Stuffed Cabbage: The Jewish Hot Pocket


If you haven’t tried this tantalizing staple in the past, why not serve it as the weather starts to cool down? It’s perfect year-round, but it’s best right around now.

Meat-Stuffed Cabbage

2 large cabbages
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. stew meat, cut into cubes
1 can (29 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup honey
2 Tbsps. lemon juice
2 lbs. ground meat
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup bread crumbs or 1⁄2 cup cooked white rice

pinch of garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper

Boil or steam the cabbage leaves until they easily pull apart. Set aside to cool.

In a pot, saute onion and garlic. Add the stew meat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, honey and lemon juice. Cover and cook on low.

In a bowl, mix the ground beef, eggs, rice or bread crumbs, and spices.

Preheat oven to 300˚. Lightly grease a deep baking pan with a tight fitting lid.

Place some ground beef mixture in the middle of a cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaf around the meat — bottom up, sides over, top down. Place rolls, seam side down, in the pan.

Pour the meat sauce over the rolls. Cover tightly. Bake for 2 and 1⁄2 hours.

Serves 12 to 14.

Unstuffed Cabbage

This recipe is the way to get that great taste without all the work.

1 large cabbage, sliced into 1⁄2-inch strips

Meatball Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground meat
2 eggs
4 oz. tomato sauce
3 Tbsps. bread crumbs
1⁄2 tsp. paprika
1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

16 oz. tomato sauce
2 Tbsps. lemon juice, or to taste
3 Tbsps. brown sugar, or to taste

Put 2 cups of water into a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Add cabbage. Lower the flame. Cover pot. Steam for 20 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the meatball ingredients. Form the mixture into meat balls. Place the balls on top of the cabbage. Cover and continue to cook on low flame.

In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients. Pour on top of the balls.

Cook for 1 hour, and then stir and taste. At this point, you can adjust seasonings by adding more water or tomato sauce or lemon juice or brown sugar according to taste.

Cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the cabbage is tender.

Recipes courtesy of


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