Unstuffed Cabbage

We all stuffed something for our kosher connection challenge this month, like Jessica’s acorn squash, but I’m here to you to share something unstuffed with you.

I have stuffed many things in my kitchen-life: grape leaves, meatballs, zucchini, onions, etc. But never have I stuffed cabbage, and I think it’ll stay that way. I mean, this is so much easier, but you still get the same flavors. I guess the only thing lacking is the single-serving cabbages, but whatever, who needs portion control!? 

You were probably expecting some turkey around here, but this year, I’m sharing something I tried last Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law’s then-boyfriend-now-fiance hosted a potluck dinner at his home in New Hampshire, and one of the guests brought this. It was one of my favorite dishes on the table, and I heard in passing that it was from one of the Kosher by Design cookbooks. When looking through my brother’s wife’s cookbook, I remembered this recipe, and I jotted it down so I could make it.

When I picked up some cabbage from the farmer’s market, I knew I finally had to make this recipe on my own.

See, we just can’t get away from stuffed stuff. Thanksgiving is just on our mind.


I halved this recipe, because it serves 12!! Six is a more appropriate number for my Manhattan apartment.

Unstuffed Cabbage (barely) adapted from Kosher by Design Entertains
serves 6


  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3/8 cup water (you know, half of 3/4)
  • 1/2 finely-chopped onion
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 head green cabbage
  • 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice of 1-1/2 lemons


  1. Gently mix the meat, egg, water, rice, onion, garlic salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cabbage and kosher salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, sugars and lemon juice. (You can also add 1/4 cup of raisins here, I omitted them.)
  4. Form meatballs out of the meat mixture (make sure not to handle the meat too much, you don’t want it to get tough) and add to the cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for one hour.