Mains

Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

August 5, 2019

Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls made with the most delicious meat filling and baked in the simplest tomato sauce. This cosy comfort food meal is super easy and great for prepping ahead. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and some crusty bread!

An overhead shot of Italian stuffed cabbage rolls in two bowls with tomato sauce

Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or Fagottini di Verza is one of the most incredible dishes I’ve ever eaten in Florence. This is my best attempt at recreating it which omg, is pretty damn delicious if I do say so myself. 

Savoy cabbage leaves are stuffed with a mixture of ground veal and pork, parmesan, garlic, and an egg and breadcrumbs to bind it together.

Veal has a delicious, delicate flavour and the pork has more fat keeping the filling juicy and delicious.

Then there’s the sauce which is SO incredibly simple I mean, 4 ingredients, garlic, white wine, stock and tomato paste. It’s also simmered for just 5 minutes, yup it’s that easy!

Prepping the Cabbage Leaves

I like to use a large savoy cabbage and peel off the largest leaves (8 total which makes 16 cabbage rolls). Peel the leaves by snapping the stalk from the very bottom (see photo 5).

The smaller the leaves the harder they are to remove without tearing unless you cook the whole head of cabbage. If you can only find small cabbages you’ll need two.

You then need to blanch the cabbage leaves so they are easy to roll. To do this place the leaves in batches (depending on how big your pot is) into boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes then remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Keep the leftover cabbage for soups or stews, chop it up and store it in the freezer if not using in the next few days.

Stuffed cabbage rolls in a bowl with tomato sauce

How to Make Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – Step by Step

Put the meat, egg, panko crumbs, grated parmesan, 1 clove of minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands mix everything together until thoroughly incorporated, set aside (photos 1 & 2).

If you haven’t already, peel the largest leaves from the cabbage being careful not to tear them. Blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes until softened (you’ll probably need to do this in batches or 2 or 3) (photos 3 – 5).

Step by step photos for making Italian stuffed cabbage rolls

Let them drain on kitchen paper then pat them as dry. Once dried, cut the large middle stalk from each leaf so you’re left with two halves (discard the stalk) (photo 6).

Place 1 heaped tbsp of meat mixture on the widest part of the cabbage leaf then roll it up tucking in the sides then place in a baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the meat mixture and cabbage leaves. Set aside (photos 7 – 9).

Step by step photos for making a tomato sauce for stuffed cabbage rolls

To make the sauce, add ½ tbsp of olive oil to a small saucepan, add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the white wine and simmer to reduce by half (photo 10).

Add the chicken stock and tomato paste, whisk together then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the stuffed cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes (photos 11 & 12).

Remove from the oven, uncover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Top Tips for Making Stuffed Cabbage Rolls & Serving Suggestions

  • You can swap the veal for ground beef instead
  • Use the highest quality chicken stock (preferably homemade or pre-made store-bought sold in tubs). The sauce doesn’t simmer for long so a great quality stock will add a ton of flavour.
  • You can prep the whole dish (without adding the sauce) in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
  • Make sure to bake the stuffed cabbage rolls covered to avoid them burning or drying out.
  • You can serve this dish simply as it is with some crusty bread or serve it with some creamy polenta or mashed potatoes for a hearty comfort food meal.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days and reheated in the oven until piping hot. If storing leftovers in the fridge I recommend removing them from the sauce and storing them in separate containers.
  • Leftovers can also be frozen and defrosted as needed.

A close up of Italian stuffed cabbage rolls in a rustic bowl with tomato sauce

More Delicious Italian Recipes You Might Like;

If you’ve tried these Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
Print Pin
5 from 5 votes

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls made with the most delicious meat filling and baked in the simplest tomato sauce. This cosy comfort food meal is super easy and great for prepping ahead. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and some crusty bread!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 292
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 8 savoy cabbage leaves removed from 1 large cabbage
  • 8.5 oz ground veal (250g)
  • 5 oz ground pork (150g)
  • 1 egg free-range
  • cup panko crumbs (20g)
  • cups parmesan , freshly grated (20g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine (60ml)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock (240ml)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375F) and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Put the meat, egg, panko crumbs, grated parmesan,1 clove of minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands mix everything together until thoroughly incorporated, set aside.
  • If you haven’t already, peel the largest leaves from the cabbage being careful not to tear them. Blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes until softened (you’ll probably need to do this in batches or 2 or 3).
  • Let them drain on kitchen paper then pat them as dry. Once dried, cut the large middle stalk from each leaf so you’re left with two halves (discard the stalk).
  • Place 1 heaped tbsp of meat mixture on the widest part of the cabbage leaf then roll it up tucking in the sides then place in a baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the meat mixture and cabbage leaves. Set aside.
  • To make the sauce, add ½ tbsp of olive oil to a small saucepan, add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the white wine and simmer to reduce by half.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomato paste, whisk together then simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the stuffed cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, uncover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Notes

  • You can swap the veal for ground beef instead
  • Use the highest quality chicken stock (preferably homemade or pre-made store-bought sold in tubs). The sauce doesn't simmer for long so a great quality stock will add a ton of flavour.
  • You can prep the whole dish (without adding the sauce) in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
  • Make sure to bake the stuffed cabbage rolls covered to avoid them burning or drying out.
  • You can serve this dish simply as it is with some crusty bread or serve it with some creamy polenta or mashed potatoes for a hearty comfort food meal.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days and reheated in the oven until piping hot. If storing leftovers in the fridge I recommend removing them from the sauce and storing them in separate containers.
  • Leftovers can also be frozen and defrosted as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 726IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

Newsletter

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
    August 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Yum! I love how easy and delicious these rolls are!

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    August 5, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Simply delicious! This will make the perfect back to school meal when we are all trying to get back into a routine and there isn’t much time to make dinner.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      August 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly, this is great for prepping ahead so it would be so easy to make on busy weeknights!

  • Reply
    Morgan Eisenberg
    August 5, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    You don’t see this recipe a lot in Italian-American cooking. Thanks for bringing it back with you!

  • Reply
    Alison
    August 5, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Beautiful and comforting dish! It looks perfect for a cold rainy day.

  • Reply
    Irina
    August 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    What a great recipe! I am used to make stuffed cabbage rolls with a regular cabbage, but I have never thought of using savoy cabbage leaves. Thank you for this great idea Emily and Nathan! I am gonna try your recipe for sure.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
    shares