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Cabbage Rolls

There are many different versions of cabbage rolls out there. I make cabbage rolls much like those that my mom made...and we had frequently when I was growing up.  Cabbage and beef were staples at our place!  We celebrated my dad's birthday recently and had an old-fashioned dinner together with family.  I brought cabbage rolls, or 'hallapse' as we used to call simplified version.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • two slices bread, soaked in water and then squeezed
  • 1 medium potato, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans tomato soup, divided
  • 2/3 cup long grain white rice, un-cooked
  • 2 medium heads Savoy cabbage* 
  • tomato juice
  1. Place ground beef in large mixing bowl. 
  2. Combine eggs, soaked bread, potato, onion, salt, pepper and one tin of tomato soup in blender. Process until completely smooth.
  3. Add pureed mixture to mixing bowl...along with the rice.
  4. Using your hands, mix well.
  5. Remove leaves from head of cabbage and place in large microwavable bowl. Add several tablespoons water, cover and microwave for several minutes on high, just to soften the leaves a bit.  Savoy cabbage is most flexible, and doesn't require much steaming.
  6. Form meatballs with about 1/4 cup of meat mixture. Place on center of a cabbage leaf and  roll up cabbage to enclose. Fit cabbage rolls snugly in the bottom of a roaster.
  7. Combine remaining can of tomato soup with 1 can of water.  Pour over the cabbage rolls.
  8. Cover and bake at 350°F for about 2 hours. 
  9. Check on cabbage rolls part-way through baking time and add tomato juice if  more liquids are required.
  10. Before serving, combine tomato sauce (drained from pan) with 1/2 cup sour cream and heat through.  Serve over cabbage rolls.
*If not using Savoy cabbage, I prefer to freeze the entire head in advance and then remove the leaves one at a time from the partially defrosted head of cabbage.

The cooked cabbage rolls freeze well.  Package in meal-size portions to freeze.  Thaw and re-heat in the oven or microwave. 


  1. Hi Judy: One of my favorites. I use 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 kielbasa (casing removed) or garlic sausage. Also I mix the tomato soup with V8 Spicy tomato juice. I do not use potato but use regular bread crumbs. I generally use regular cabbage that has been steamed but an important step to make rolling easier is to use a sharp paring knife and trim the core stem to the same thickness as the leaf. Marion

  2. Looks like comfort food for a fall dinner table to me!!! Yum!

  3. This will make such a great dish for gifting. Who doesn't love holobsti? If I am making them for "special" I also include sliced mushrooms for the sauce.

    I've been eating cabbage rolls cold all summer and as with many savoury dishes, the flavour is highlighted when cold. I prefer to use the soured cabbage sold in packages which doesn't have a hard spine anymore due to the souring process, but I do have to rinse the leaves well. Too much salt for me otherwise.

    And who hasn't tried Lazy Cabbage Rolls, with all the ingredients in layers and served in squares? (Oh, no tme, oh no... )


  4. This is a keeper recipe (as I hit the print button). Yum yum!!!

  5. Wow…this look so nice. Normally we do cabbage roll with pork. If thinking to increase some extra texture, can try to add some chopped pear or apple, but I like to add some chopped mushroom. The sauce normally we use chicken broth and mix with corn starch. But I really like your version which is using tomato soup. It must be really match with beef and soft cabbage. And we always steam the cabbage roll, I guess baking is really nice since will bring out the flavors and aroma. :)

  6. Do I cook the beef? And rice?

    1. Neither the beef or the rice are cooked in advance. The mixture cooks in the oven wrapped in the cabbage leaf.

  7. no it will cook in the oven. :)


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