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Intuitive Cooking: Cabbage Rolls

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 by in Recipes | 0 comments

Vegan Cabbage Rolls Header

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done an intuitive cooking post, but this is one that I think lends itself very well to experimentation and improvisation. I like this dish because it’s a great ‘kitchen sink’ dish – meaning it’s a great way to use up lots of different leftovers and lonely veggies from your fridge.

Vegan Cabbage Roll Recipe

Since the #Elf4Health challenge today is to clean out your fridge, I thought I’d get a bit of a jumpstart and make these cabbage rolls. The method seems complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. A bit of a warning though: it does take a bit of time to prepare, though most of that time you can be doing other things.

Cabbage Rolls with TVP

I also think this dish would be a fantastic alternative main dish for a holiday dinner. It’s straight up comfort food and you can’t really ask for much more on a cold winter night than a warm, filling meal. The flavors can be as bold as you’d like – as you can change up the spices however you see fit – but they can also be very neutral so they can be served along with any side dish you have up your sleeve.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls Header

If you want some approximations, I used about 1 cup TVP, 1 1/2 cups rice, and it made 10 medium-size cabbage rolls. To make this even easier, I used a prepared spaghetti sauce that was a tomato basil flavor. Again, feel free to mix up the proportions and add in anything else you like. I imagine something like corn or even cranberries would taste good in these rolls, and that would also make it feel more festive.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls


  • Head of Cabbage
  • TVP + Boiling Water
  • Vegan Sausage, crumbled
  • Brown Rice (cold)
  • Garlic, minced
  • Onion, diced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Tomato/Spaghetti Sauce


  1. Core the head of cabbage and place into a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the outside leaves are tender. While the cabbage is cooking, prepare the TVP according the package. You can also add a bit of soy sauce to the TVP at this point for additional flavor.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the cabbage from the water and let cool. Mix the TVP, vegan sausage, garlic, onion, and spices together in a small mixing bowl. Gently pull the cabbage leaves off of the head. Trim a bit of the tough stem off of the leaves to make them easier to roll. Place 1/4 cup or so of filling in the center of the leaf. Fold in the sides and then starting from an unfolded side, roll the leaf up. Place the prepared rolls into a casserole dish - repeat until you've prepared as many as you'd like.
  3. Pour a bit of vegetable broth over the rolls until there is about 1/2" of liquid at the bottom of your baking dish. Pour the tomato/spaghetti sauce over the top - make sure you cover them generously to prevent the tops from burning.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes - check several times to ensure the tops of the cabbage leaves are not burning. If they are, top with a bit more tomato sauce. Let cool and serve.


I hope you enjoy these cabbage rolls! I have a product review coming for you on Thursday or Friday along with some more ideas for the holidays.


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