These traditional Romanian Cabbage Rolls are made from sauerkraut sour cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of ground meat with rice. This delicious main dish can be served with any type of side are and can be store in the fridge for couple of days. Popular across the Balkans, Eastern, Central, and Southeastern Europe you’ll find variations of these stuffed cabbage rolls that can be prepared with different ground meat or they can be vegan.

Traditional Romanian Cabbage Rolls

Authentic Romanian Sauerkraut Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are made from cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of ground meat with rice.
Prep Time1 min
Cook Time3 hrs 45 mins
Total Time4 hrs 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Romania
Keyword: Beef, cabbage, rice


  • 1 lb ground meat beef, pork
  • 1 big onion chopped finely
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 pickled cabbage or 1 big jar of cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 lb bacon chopped


  • Turn on the stove to medium heat and add a pot with few drops olive oil. Finely chop the onion on cutting board and add it to the pot until softened and translucent and leave aside. 
  • Rinse the rice under running cold water and add it to the pot. Cover the rice with water and bring it to boiling. Stir occasionally.
  • After the rice absorbs about half of the water season with salt, pepper, thyme and add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and stir well. 
  • You can use a large bowl to mix the ground meat with the sauted onions and rice, dried herbs or use the pot.
  • Open the jar with cabbage leaves and grab one and add place meat mixture in the center. Make a roll from the cabbage leaf by wraping the meat inside. You can find sauerkraut sour cabbage leaves in most of the intenrational stores.
  • Transfer each roll to a baking dish and add a layer of bacon over each rolls.
  • Then add the paste and pour it over the rolls, add water to cover the rolls and mix it with the tomato juice.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Bake for 3 hours.

Inspiration and adaptation:,,

Explore other recipes from the traditional Romanian cuisine.

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