Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce


Happy St Patrick’s Day friends! My mom always made corned beef and cabbage for St Patrick’s Day growing up and while this is a far cry from that traditional recipe I’m still getting my green cabbage fix.  This recipe is extremely flexible (you can even make it in advance- see notes below).  I used quinoa and lentils but you could use any rice or grain, you could do all lentils or all grains or throw in some chopped carrots or other veggie… it’s your St Patrick’s Day choose your own adventure.  The cabbage leaves can be a bit of a pain (see below) but this definitely does not need to be perfect.  Just smoosh some of the filling in there and tuck the stuffed cabbage into the sauce.  I love how filling and hearty this is while being vegan and gluten free.  Although I did serve this with an aggressive portion of bread for dipping and scooping up spilled out filling… a Guinness would be a good addition too.


You’ll need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, or rice/farro/etc
  • 1 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 7 full cabbage leaves*
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt/Pep

*I bought one head of cabbage, removed the core, and got about 3 full cabbage leaves and 8 half leaves which I combined to make full leaves.  If you only want full leaves (that have that bright green color that the outer leaves do) you might want to buy a few cabbage heads.  You’ll have a lot of cabbage leftover but hey that’s what coleslaw is for.  Also, I sliced the thick core pieces down… I just ran my knife along them so they weren’t quite so thick which made them easier to use.

To Make:

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add half of the chopped onion and sauté until softening and turning translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add lentils to sautéed onions and cook for one minute.
  3. Add quinoa and cook for five minutes. Season with salt/pep.
  4. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or large saucepan bring salted water to a boil. Boil the cabbage leaves, a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from water and set aside until cool enough to touch.
  5. In a dutch oven or large sauce pan, (can be the same one you cooked cabbage in with water removed), heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add remaining half of onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste to sautéed onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add 0.5 cup water and season with salt/pep.  Keep on simmer for ten minutes.
  7. While sauce cooks lay out cabbage leaves. Place a quarter cup (depending on size of cabbage leaves) in center of cabbage.  Fold bottom half of cabbage over filling, then fold in sides and roll up.  This really doesn’t have to be perfect just do the best you can, then tuck (seam side down) in sauce. The better wrapped they are the easier they will be to eat but I didn’t really care and just made it work.
  8. Once all the cabbage rolls are in the sauce, spread the sauce around with some being on top of the cabbage rolls. Let warm through for a few minutes and serve, with crusty bread for sopping up the sauce. *

*you could make the entire thing ahead of time (I did!) and just place back on the stove, with the lid slightly on, to warm through for 5 minutes before serving

Inspired by TheMinimalistVegan


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