clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Stuffed cabbage rolls - Dr. Axe

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Lamb Recipe

  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


The traditional Eastern European stuffed cabbage rolls dish gets an upgrade. Instead of ground beef, we up the flavor with minced lamb.


  • Lamb Mixture:
  • 1 pound minced lean lamb
  • 1 cup long-grain rice, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Vegetable Mixture:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/4 small lime)
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored
  • salt and pepper
  • Sauce Mixture:
  • one 28-ounce can fire-roasted whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced


  1. In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to mix together the lamb, rice and spices and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the oil, butter, salt and pepper together until the butter is melted. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and jalapeno.
  3. Cook for 5–8 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the vegetables. Add the spices, mix well and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature while you prepare the cabbage leaves.
  4. Fill a large stockpot halfway full with water and bring to a boil. Pull the head of cabbage apart. Add a generous dash of salt and the cabbage leaves to the boiling water and boil for 2–3 minutes.
  5. Drain the leaves and allow to cool. Once cooled, trim the spine of each cabbage leaf with a paring knife to promote easy rolling.
  6. Stir the lime juice into the vegetable mixture. Add the vegetables to the lamb mixture and mix well with your hands. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the sauce.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  8. In a medium saucepan, bring the fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, Roma tomatoes and onions to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer until the tomatoes break apart easily with a spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  9. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with 6 small cabbage leaves.
  10. Remove the lamb mixture from the refrigerator. Lay 1 cabbage leaf flat with the stem pointing toward you. Add ½ cup lamb mixture to the bottom edge of the cabbage leaf. Pull the bottom edge of the cabbage leaf up and over the lamb, forming a log.
  11. Tightly roll the log to the end of the cabbage leaf. Place the roll in the casserole dish seam side down. Repeat with the remaining lamb and cabbage leaves, making 2 rows of 5 rolls each.
  12. Sprinkle the rolls with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato sauce over the top of the rolls and cover with the remaining cabbage leaves.
  13. Bake for 90 minutes. Allow the cabbage rolls to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 120 min
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven, By Hand
  • Cuisine: Eastern European


  • Serving Size: 1 roll
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 6.5g
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Fat: 14.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Fiber: 4.9g
  • Protein: 14.9g
  • Cholesterol: 49mg

Keywords: stuffed cabbage rolls recipe, cabbage roll, cabbage roll recipe, stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce,