My Grandmother's Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


My grandmother cooked from memory. Her wonderful stuffed cabbage roll recipe was transcribed by my mother and handed down to me.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

My grandmother made the best stuffed cabbage rolls, also known as krautnagels. The recipe I have is in a "Recipe Memories" book that my mom created.

Each of the twenty or so recipes is hand-written. It is one of my most prized possessions, and I have made many of the recipes over and over again. My grandmother didn't write anything down—everything she cooked was from memory. My mom transcribed the recipes from my grandmother's telling. There weren't too many actual measurements, so I will add helpful tips as I go along.

My grandmother

My grandmother


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef, chuck, or meatloaf mixture (pork and beef)
  • 1 head cabbage with large outer leaves
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 (36-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar saurkraut
  • White vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 sugar, or to taste

Step 1: Prepare the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Boil water in a large pot.
  2. Add cabbage leaves and cook for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the leaves into a colander and allow them to cool.

Step 2: Prepare the Meat Stuffing

  1. In a large bowl, add the meat.
  2. Add the white rice.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the crushed tomatoes.
  5. Remove your rings, wash your hands, and mix all ingredients together thoroughly.

Step 3: Stuff the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Take a cabbage leaf and put a handful of meat mixture in the leaf. Note: The handful should be small enough to allow the edges of the leaf of cabbage to be folded around the meat mixture
  2. It may be helpful to tie a string around the cabbage roll just to keep it together.
Stuffed cabbage leaves with meat mixture

Stuffed cabbage leaves with meat mixture

Stuffed cabbage leaves tied with string

Stuffed cabbage leaves tied with string

Step 4: Layer the Cabbage Leaves and Other Ingredients

  1. Cut up the onion and place it on the bottom of a large pot along with the vegetable oil.
  2. Put 5 or 6 cabbage rolls on top of the cut-up onion.
  3. Place 3 to 4 slices of bacon on top of the cabbage rolls.
  4. Place enough sauerkraut on top of the bacon to cover.
  5. Continue to layer cabbage rolls, bacon, and sauerkraut.
  6. Pour the remainder of the large can of crushed tomatoes over the top.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water.
  8. Add sugar to sweeten. Note: Sugar should be added to taste dependent upon sweet or sour preference.
  9. Pour the vinegar-water-sugar mixture over the top of the cabbage rolls and cover the pot.
  10. Simmer 1 1/2 -2 hours.
Vegetarian stuffed cabbage leaves

Vegetarian stuffed cabbage leaves

Vegetarian Variation

Posna means Lentin or fasting. Meat and dairy are strictly prohibited during Serbian Orthodox Lent and Advent, so this vegetarian stuffed cabbage leaves recipe is a perfect alternative for both vegetarians and those wishing to satisfy their taste buds while abiding by religious restrictions.


Sandi (author) from Greenfield, Wisconsin on March 26, 2012:

Hello, dinkan. I will have to look up Russian Golubsi. If it's simmilar I know I will have to try it. I don't think I have made Russian food before. Thanks for the yummy suggestion! I appreciate your vote and thanks for stopping by.

Sandi (author) from Greenfield, Wisconsin on March 26, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, sharing and voting Kimberly. I really appreciate it and I hope you enjoy the recipe:)

Sandi (author) from Greenfield, Wisconsin on March 26, 2012:

Thanks, KaraokeGuy. They are amazing. I haven't thought about them in awhile and now that you left this great comment I feel like making them. What is that vegetarian "meat" that looks like ground beef? Depending what kind of flavor that has it may just make a good vegetarian version. I will do some research and add to my recipe. Thanks so much for stopping by:)

dinkan53 from India on March 26, 2012:

Great recipe, similar to Russian "Golubsi". Thanks for the recipe which is really appetite welcoming. Voted up and interesting.

Kimberly Lake from California on March 26, 2012:

They look really good. I can't wait to try you recipe.voted up and shared.

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on March 26, 2012:

this sounds amazing. I'll have to try and figure out a vegetarian version so I can make some for my wife :-)

f on February 24, 2012:

Yes, and good to have plenty of plastic containers ready for the left overs.

Sandi (author) from Greenfield, Wisconsin on February 23, 2012:

Just thinking about making a batch. Time consuming but well worth the time and effort. Left overs are nice too!

f on February 23, 2012:

These are really tasty; I've not actually made this dish but I do like the taste. Voted up.

Sandi (author) from Greenfield, Wisconsin on September 14, 2011:

thank you for such a nice comment, twila. It truly is a comfort food and Fall is the perfect season to serve it. I hope you do love it!

Twila Nelson from Carmichael, California on September 14, 2011:

Creative and fantastic family recipe in a clearly written Hub. This recipe sounds like comfort food and I know I am going to love it. Thank you and have a nice day.

Sun-Girl from Nigeria on May 04, 2011:

Interesting article you have in here with is very colorful and made me to instantly hungry with those pics of cabbage rolls.

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