Brown Rice Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage is the perfect vessel for nutty brown rice, and lean beef and pork. If your store doesn’t carry lean ground pork, grind your own from pork loin.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 12 large cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1⁄4 cup minced onion
  • 3⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 lb. 95% lean ground pork
  • 1⁄2 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  • Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove and lay flat on a tray. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  • Combine the cooked brown rice, onion, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add ground pork and beef and mix well. Remove cabbage leaves from the refrigerator and blot with paper towels. Place about 1⁄4 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf. Fold in sides and then roll up leaf to completely enclose filling. Place the cabbage rolls in the prepared dish, seam side down.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and brown sugar; stir to combine.
  • Spoon the sauce over the rolls, cover with foil, and bake until the filling is cooked through and the cabbage leaves are very tender, about 1 hour. Serve hot.