A Roemanian ex-classmate of mine (from my language school) introduced me to Stewed Cabbage Rolls, Romanian-style many years ago. It has stayed in my mind for a long time coz it was so good. She assured me that it’s a simple or easy meal to prepare when you’re expecting dinner guests and you don’t want to spend your time in the kitchen while they’re there with you. This is my version of her Stewed Cabbage Rolls.  😛

Serves 2-3


  • 1 medium cabbage, about 1-1.3 kg  (I used chinese or napa cabbage)
  • 450 g minced meat
  • 450 g can tomato passata, divided into 2 portions
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 100g uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp paprika powder
  • 400 g canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • seasonings


  1. Cook 12 good big whole cabbage leaves in boiling water just till leaves turned a little soft.  OR  as I have done:  Tear off 12 good big whole cabbage leaves carefully, wash the leaves. Without drying the leaves, put in a large bowl and microwave for about 5 mins till leaves are a little soft.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Cut out the thick stem from the cabbage leaves carefully, making a V-shaped cut for enclosing the filling but without tearing the tender leaves. Put aside.
  4. Slice the remaining cabbage and the cut-off stem into small slices and put into a large deep Dutch oven or casserole pot with a cover.
  5. Put minced meat, 1/2 of the  tomato passata, onion, rice, parsley, dill, 1/2 tsp salt and paprika powder in a large bowl and mix well to combine all.
  6. Place 2 tbsp meat mixture on a cabbage leave, overlap cut ends, fold in the sides and roll up the leave beginning from the cut end.
  7. Arrange each cabbage rolls, seam side down over sliced cabbage in casserole pot.
  8. Combine some seasonings, sugar, diced tomatoes and rest of tomato passata in a bowl and pour over the cabbage rolls.
  9. Cover and bake for 1.5 hours till cabbage’s tender and meat’s cooked.

We enjoyed our one pot meal very much and I would make this again for sure..

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