Uncle Bill's Russian Cabbage Rolls

"The original recipe was given to me by my Russian Grandmother 55 years ago. I made some modifications to enhance the flavor. These are excellent cabbage rolls but do take time to make."
photo by FrenchBunny photo by FrenchBunny
photo by FrenchBunny
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins
18-24 cabbage rolls




  • In a medium size saucepan, add 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water, bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  • Fluff rice with a fork; set aside and let cool.
  • Remove core from savoy cabbage using a long thin knife.
  • Using a large microwave container with a lid, place cabbage with core side down and add 1/2 cup of water.
  • Cover and microwave on HIGH (full power) for 10 minutes.
  • Turn cabbage over and cook on HIGH (full power) for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Cook each cabbage head separately.
  • When cabbage is cooked, drain water and let cabbage cool slightly.
  • Separate leaves carefully and set aside.
  • Divide chopped onions in two.
  • In a frying pan add margarine or butter, 1/2 of the onions and saute' until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes but do not brown.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together both cooked and uncooked rice, cooked and uncooked onions, ground beef, pork sausage, garlic cloves, dill weed, salt, black pepper and sugar and mix well until well blended.
  • If cabbage leaves are too big, cut them in half along the rib.
  • Spoon about 2 or 3 heaping teaspoons of mixture onto the wide end of the cabbage leaf.
  • Bring the end of the cabbage leaf over the mixture, roll part way, then tuck or fold inward the ends to prevent the filling from falling out and continue to roll.
  • Carefully place each cabbage roll in a single layer (with the end of the roll down), in a 9" x 13" oven-proof casserole dish.
  • You will require 2- 9" x 13" casserole dishes.
  • In a food processor or blender, process condensed soup and tomatoes until smooth.
  • Pour tomato mixture over cabbage rolls until just covered.
  • If the cabbage rolls are not covered with tomato mixture, add more condensed soup or water.
  • Place 6 bay leaves on top of the sauce in each dish.
  • Cover each dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 300 F for 2 hours.
  • Maintain oven heat at this temperature so that the cabbage rolls do not burn.
  • When cooked, remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove foil and serve while still hot.
  • These cabbage rolls freeze well.
  • You may also make small or petite cabbage rolls by cutting the cabbage leaves smaller and reducing the amount of filling.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Neither the basmati rice nor the uncooked onions were cooked after 2 hour. Also, the cabbage would have been ready after 10 minutes in the microwave. I'll make again with all the rice and onions cooked because the seasonings were wonderful.
  2. First time using savoy cabbage for my rolls. Boy, was that easy in the microwave for the leaves. 1 head took 10 minutes only. Unbelievable !! I will have to tell my Mum to stop doing it the way she does. The flavor of these rolls Uncle Bill are DELICIOUS. Even my DD actually ate the whole 2 rolls, cabbage and all !!! The only thing I did different was halve the recipe. I still had meat mixture left over and did a quick meatloaf out of it. The only thing I found was it did not have enough sauce for me. I just made a note to add more sauce the next time. This pic is before I put the sauce on it. Again I was eating them and realized I didn't take a pic of the finished meal. Silly Wabbit !! But Uncle Bill I will say again they were soooo good, thanks for the post.
  3. This was a fun recipe to make, but unfortunately the end result wasn't as tasty as I had hoped. It was bland and no one in my family (or my guest) asked for a second helping.
  4. Well,I knew if this was Uncle Bill's recipe it had to be the best.The only change I made was the rice.I used white long grain.These are the best cabbage rolls you can make so I won't be trying any others.No need to.Thanks again Uncle Bill for another perfect recipe.
  5. Oh...Mah...Goodness. It's hard to cook for one, but this dish does the trick. I halved the recipe, and made 8 rolls, ate 1 but wanted another. Froze 7. FANTASTIC recipe! I subbed a can of hot rotel for the plum tomatoes, and it left my mouth tingling. Very, Very, Very Tasty. Thanks for a great recipe that I'll make again. And again. And again. And... you get the idea.


I live in Burnaby, British Columbia. I am retired and have written a cookbook entitled, From Uncle Bill's Kitchen. I am a recipe developer, author, publisher, distributor and a chef. My cookbook is very unique as I have a Nutrient Analysis for each ingredient used in each recipe that shows you the values for Calories, Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. A high-lighted bar shows the values on a per serving basis plus the Fat/Cal%. From Uncle Bill's Kitchen contains tried-and-true, tested, easy to follow reipes for both novice and experienced cooks. You'll find old Russian, Ukrainian, and other ethnic favorites, along with modern West Coast dishes. The Nutrient Analysis will please the health conscious. Uncle Bill's favorite recipes will reward efforts of the most creative cook and provide the family with many tantalizing, healthful meals. I have appeared on 48 various Television Shows in Vancouver, Burnaby, Kelowna and Kamploops, B.C. Canada, as well as in Palm Springs, CA. In Palm Springs, CA, I have been a Guest on the JACKIE OLDEN RADIO SHOW and THE JOEY ENGLISH RADIO SHOW, twice a year since 1998. I also do demo cooking shows at CHAPTERS BOOK STORES, SAVE-ON-FOOD STORES, GALLOWAY'S FOODS, WESTMINSTER PUBLIC QUAY MARKET, and in the U.S. at BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORES in Palm Springs, CA, Phoenix and Yuma, AZ. I was in Palm Springs, CA from June 10th to July 14th. 2002 and again appeared twice on the Jackie Olden Show, twice on the Joey English Show and pre-taped a TV COOKING SHOW with Jackie Olden that is aired on TV from Palm Springs, CA to Los Angeles, CA.
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