Besides the obvious turkey dinner, there is one recipe during the holidays that is never missed in our family, Cabbage Rolls with Hamburger Filling. I take my cabbage rolls seriously and have become accustomed to the boost of flavour sour cabbage brings to these rolls, add on wild rice for another depth of flavour, smothered in tomato sauce for a delicious compliment to any holiday dinner.
Cabbage Rolls with Hamburger Filling – Flavour
It’s true that cabbage rolls take a bit of time but once they are prepped, you can freeze into smaller batches for future meals rather than cook them all at once. Just pour the tomato sauce over the top before cooking from frozen; you will need to adjust the cooking temperature if you do this, but it’s worth having a few in your freezer.
Regular cabbage can be use but I personally love the flavour sour cabbage gives to these rolls. Filled with a thick filling of hamburger, wild rice and spices with tomato sauce poured over is a combination of flavours that everyone at a holiday meal loves. You can also go without the tomato sauce but again, I find it adds the right boost of flavours.
Cabbage Rolls with Hamburger Filling – Tips
I’ve heard people say that they have a heck of a time rolling the leaves without them tearing. My grandma says to throw the cabbage in the freezer the night before, thaw in warm water and you will have an easier time with the leaves. Personally, I simply throw the cabbage (in package) into a sink of hot water and it’s pliable enough for me.
This recipe makes enough filling for approximately 3/4’s of 1 large sour cabbage. You can choose to make more filling or use the remaining cabbage for my Cabbage Roll Soup which is comfort food at it’s finest. Cabbage Roll Soup can also be frozen for later reheating on the stove.
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- 1 large sour cabbage
- 2 lbs lean hamburger
- 2 cups wild rice, cooked slightly underdone
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cabbage in a sink of hot water for about 5 minutes.
- While the cabbage is soaking, mix the hamburger, spices and cooked wild rice together and set aside.
- Cut the stem out of the cabbage and unwrap some leaves. If they are large leaves, cut the leaf in half to make two cabbage rolls, smaller leaves will make 1 roll.
- Fill each leaf with hamburger filling, approximately 3 tbsp's, roll the edge over folding in the sides as you go until fully rolled. Once complete you should have a roll approximately 1½" thick and 3" long, give or take. Trying to make the rolls uniform in size, continue until the hamburger filling is gone.
- Fill a 9"X13" baking dish with cabbage rolls and 1 smaller baking dish for the extra rolls, cover with a single layer of leftover leaves laid out over the top to prevent drying out while cooking. Mix cans of tomato with 1 can of water then pour tomato sauce over the top just prior to cooking.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes covered with foil.
The leftover cabbage should be enough for the cabbage roll soup.
You may want to put a baking tray underneath for drips while cooking.