Make-Ahead Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce

To serve immediately, bake at 375°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until sauce bubbles and rolls are thoroughly heated.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10 oz.) condensed tomato soup


  • Core cabbage and carefully remove 8 whole cabbage leaves from head. Soak leaves in hot water while preparing filling. Shred remaining cabbage; set aside 3 cups to use in filling.
  • Cook ground beef, onion, and garlic in a heavy skillet over medium heat until beef is browned and onion and garlic are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain well.
  • Stir in rice, mustard, ketchup egg, pepper, and shredded cabbage. Fill each cabbage leaf with filling and roll up.
  • Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with freezer wrap. Pour 1 cup tomato sauce into lined pan. Arrange cabbage rolls, seam-side down, in pan. Place any remaining filling around filled rolls. Mix together remaining tomato sauce and condensed tomato soup and pour over filled rolls. Cool in fridge until cold; then freeze until solid. When frozen solid, pop out of pan, wrap, label, and freeze.
  • To thaw and reheat: Unwrap casserole and place in 13-by-9-inch baking pan; thaw overnight in refrigerator. Cover casserole and bake at 375°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until hot. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbly.