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Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage


Just in case you’re not all cooked out yet, here’s yet another traditional holiday dish. Stuffed cabbage, also called cholopchkes, is a Simchat Torah classic.

Don’t be fooled by its reputation—stuffed cabbage is really not that hard to make.

Start with a head of green cabbage. You’ll also need a large pot—big enough to hold the cabbage. Fill the pot with water, just covering the cabbage.

Put the pot on the fire, and as soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the cabbage and let it sit a while so the hot water can drain and you don’t burn your hands.

While it’s cooling, prepare the filling. Fry up the onion and mix it with the meat and rice and water. Set aside.

When the cabbage has cooled down enough to handle, cut out the core and separate the leaves.

Lay out one leaf. Place a couple of tablespoons of meat at the bottom edge. Fold in the sides, and roll up the leaf. For a clearer description, follow the steps in the collage below.

Place all the cabbage rolls in a pot. I like to wedge them in tightly so they don’t unwrap. Alternatively, you can stick a toothpick through each one to hold them together.

Now it’s time to make the sauce. You can find all kinds of sauces if you troll the Internet for long enough, most of which have a dozen or more ingredients, but I find this simple sauce to be unbeatable.

Pour over the cabbage 2 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans jellied cranberry sauce, 2 cans water, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon salt. You don’t even need to mix them first: as the pot heats up, the sauce will meld together.

Cook over a low flame for 2–3 hours. Serve immediately, or cool, refrigerate and reheat later on.

Voilà—delicious stuffed cabbage.


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 head cabbage

  • 2 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 15-oz. cans jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • Water


  1. Place cabbage in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove the cabbage and allow to cool.
  2. Sauté the onion in 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt. Mix it with the ground meat and rice. Mix the water into the meat and rice.
  3. Lay out each leaf. Place 2 tbsp. of meat at the base, and roll up according to the collage above. Wedge all cabbage rolls tightly into a pot.
  4. Pour 2 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans jellied cranberry sauce and 2 cans water over the cabbage rolls. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon and sprinkle 1 tbsp. salt over the pot.
  5. Cook on a low flame for 2–3 hours. Serve immediately, or cool, refrigerate and reheat later.

Have you ever made stuffed cabbage before? If you have a different recipe, please share!

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Mrs$T NJ October 10, 2017

BSD. The cabbage needs to be checked for bugs before cooking or the cabbage and your pot will be treif. Either use the old fashioned method digging out the core, carefully prying off leaf by !eaf, checking and then putting in hot water to soften; or the modern method of freezing and defrosting to soften. Tastes much better the old way Reply

Anonymous October 10, 2017

I just made these, delicious Reply

andreas obuaculla dublin October 10, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

i made 3 bamboo steamers of them on sunday,hadnt used the steamers in ages they collapsed,and all the cabbage rolls fell every where,the feral fox in my yard,had a great Sukkot! i hope you enjoyed the holidays and a belated Shanah tova to you thanks for the comment Reply

Miriam Szokovski March 7, 2017

re-heating Hi Jill, you can reheat covered in the oven, or at a gentle simmer on the stove top. As long as you have lots of liquid, it will reheat well. Reply

Jill Waxman Atlanta, GA March 6, 2017

Sounds lovely. If making ahead & reheating, could you provide reheating instructions. Thanks. Reply

Myron Zorger Nevada, USA February 26, 2016

Jewish cookery As a gentile, I have more than a passing interest in really good cooking!
Most food , fresh excepted, are over cooked, over spiced overly fattening and not good for my old body!
My early years of my life were spent in Miami beach and my friends had some very, very good cooks for mothers!
Yummmm! Reply

Miriam Szokovski September 25, 2015

water Hi Sharon,

you will fill two of the cans (from the tomato or cranberry sauce) with water and pour that in. Reply

Miriam Szokovski September 25, 2015

grape leaves I've never tried it with grape leaves, but it should work. Reply

Susan September 25, 2015

Can this be made with grape leaves instead of cabbage? Reply

Sharon Dwoskin Vallejo,Ca September 24, 2015

Stuffed cabbage How much water, mentioned @ the end of recipe? Reply

Lynn Eleen Merseyside UK September 7, 2015

Miriam my husband is Jewish his grand parents where from Ukraine and Poland. I have always cooked and baked some of the Eastern European food he grew up with. With his travels abroad he has enjoyed Jewish food from other countries. I recently got a recipe for pumpernickel bagels. They are just as they are in New York a great success. I have lots of cook books but often visit chabad. org for inspiration. I enjoy your recipes they are concise and enjoyable. Reply

David Guiseley March 3, 2015

I am amazed I am personally not a Jew but I have one special friend who is. I got to this website through his facebook (thank you Jordan). I always adored recipes from Jewish cuisine and this website got me! I love it all! Gorgeous tasty meals which I would personally eat almost all and I definitely wouldnt be ashamed to offer them to any of my friends or collegues at work! Yummy! And we also have some sort of stuffed cabbage as a traditional meal in Eastern Slovakia (I unfortunately moved away) what makes this particular meal even closer to my heart (and stomach haha). I wish you only good luck, lots of great recipes and tons of fans! :) And thank you for this beautiful website :) Reply

Anonymous North Creek, NY December 8, 2014

Stuffed cabbage I prefer a savory sauce made with tomato sauce, water, garlic, oregano and crushed peppers. Sometimes a little vinegar.

The next day I mix the leftovers with the matzo ball soup and it makes a delicious soup. Reply

anon dublin November 26, 2014

mixture of very thick cooked red lentil;onion,celery,gr pepper,herb garlic,egg,mix will be loose matzo meal to thicken abit,wrap tightly in leaves,steam(chinese bamboo steamer best)about 1 hr,allow to cool,reheat with sauce of your choice,tomato is best Reply

Ben October 19, 2014

Abbey someone else said this was a great recipie early so maybe you could read the early posts too? Reply

Rishe Deitsch Brooklyn October 19, 2014

in our family stuffed cabbage is a traditional Succos dish so we made them this year using your recipe, Miriam Szokovski
thank you very much
came out fantastic
nothing left! Reply

Abby October 18, 2014

checking for bugs your bug issues were addressed much earlier on in the comments. do none of you read before posting?! I remember this discussion from last year.

Thank you for a great recipe!!! Reply

Ben melville England October 15, 2014

I'm going to try this! But If you are going to cook a cabbage whole make sure it is really really clean as dirt can be stuck tightly around the inside bottom edges. Reply

Caleb Roberts Alexander, AR October 15, 2014

The Shape of the Stuffed Cabbage They remind me of little Torah scrolls. It is no wonder they are served on Simchat Torah. Reply

Anonymous new york October 15, 2014

Ella you are not freezing cabbage long enough . At least 2 days and then defrost. Each leaf when defrosted completely rolls up like tissue paper

Chana 1.5 is not enough .Cabbage is not soft enough and hard to eat Reply

ella toronto, ont October 15, 2014

I make my tomato juice sweet and sour with lemon or sour salt and brown sugar. I also add raisins, I tried freezing the cabbage and it was a disaster, didn't even soften with a long cooking Reply

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