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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Recipe for cabbage rolls

Searching recipe for cabbage rolls?  We are sharing our recipe for cabbage rolls with you today.  So yummy!

You can make cabbage rolls easier on yourself if you follow our recipe for cabbage rolls.  Cabbage rolls do not need to be labor intensive, they can be easy to make if you deconstruct them.  Crockpot cabbage rolls are even easier.

Raise your hand if cabbage rolls make you feel a bit nostalgic.  Do you have a family member who is known for making them in your family?  How about a friend who enjoys making them and then asking you over for dinner to share with you?

In our family, my grandmother made the cabbage rolls.  She would make entire stock pots of them for the entire family and hand them out.  Early bird got the worm, but no fear, there were always enough made for everyone even if you were the last one to the cabbage roll party.

We all loved my grandmother's cabbage rolls.  My sister and I thought wow, who has time for the work that goes into cabbage rolls?  My grandma, that's who.  The lady who showed her love through cooking and baking for us all, and sharing the labor of her love and recipes by handing it out by the truckloads.  

When you visited grandma's house you would never leave hungry, and chances are, you always went home with the extras because there were always leftovers.  She never knew how to cook for two, our grandfather and herself.  Oh no, that was crazy talk!  She cooked for the masses.

Once any of us got wind that she made any of our favorite recipes, we would drop by for a meal.  I loved her salmon loaf, cabbage rolls, peanut butter fudge, popcorn balls, oh the list went on, and on.  She was a cook, and baker in her own right.  How could you ever turn down a meal, snack, or dessert from grandma?  You just couldn't!  I do not think any of us grandkids ever did.  

I often wonder if everyone's grandmother is/was like this or if it was just her?  She had one of the largest stock pots I have seen, and it would be filled to the brim with cabbage rolls.  

She would use those large pails that ice cream comes in and would freeze them and hand them out as you would visit with her.  If she sent you home with an ice cream pail, you better believe it she was requesting it to return to her home so she could continue to fill and send it home with you or the next family member who visited.  

Onion chopped up in bottom of crockpot 

My sister and I always looked forward to cabbage rolls, we both love them, but neither one of us thought we could take on this recipe, the many layers, and steps, and the rolling of the cabbage leaves so my sis did something else.  My sis, the lover of short cuts one day decided to take grandma's recipe and see if she could make it, but only made it deconstructed style, and you know, it worked!  

So I am sharing with you today my grandmother's recipe, only with my sister's twist, and much easier for us with our busy schedules.  I am a firm believer that no matter how busy we are in life, we still deserve a hot, homemade meal.  Maybe that is a bit of my grandma coming out in me, but even when I was working so many hours, I still made sure we had a homemade meal most every night.

Cooked sausage added to crockpot

Crockpots work wonders when you are working all day, they became my best friend for our evening dinners.  At one time, I had three crockpots so I could make sure one was always clean for dinner.  I had one crack and so it had to be thrown away, and now we are down to two.  Maybe one of these days, I will replace my small crockpot.  Our large, and extra large ones still get a lot of usage.  We love crockpot dinners, and dinners that are easy as you know.

What you will need:
  1. 1 onion, chopped
  2. 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  3. 1 package of Bob Evan's sausage, cooked & drained
  4. 1 lb ground beef, cooked & drained
  5. 1 (64 oz) tomato juice
  6. 1 c instant rice
  7. 1 t garlic powder
  8. 1 t onion powder
  9. 1 t paprika
  10. Salt & pepper to taste 
  11. 2 bay leaves

Cooking ground beef on stovetop 

What you need to do:
  • Chop onion and place into bottom of crockpot
  • Cook sausage, drain, place into crockpot
  • Cut up cabbage, place into crockpot
  • Cook & drain ground beef, add to crockpot
  • Add tomato juice to crockpot
  • Add rice
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Add spices
  • Mix again to make sure all of the rice has been covered with the tomato juice, and spices are thoroughly mixed throughout
  • Add bay leaves, I leave them on top so they are easy for me to fish out when I am ready to serve
  • Place crockpot on low, I set ours for 6 1/2 hours (I cooked this a few hours on high, and then put back to low since I was able to keep an eye on it), but you can easily cook for 8 hours
  • Remove bay leaves before serving 

Cutting cabbage

As I said before, my sister came up with this deconstructed cabbage roll dinner, but the recipe is 100% grandma's.  Sis came up with the deconstructed cabbage rolls one day when she was feeling a bit homesick and craving grandma's cooking.

She went to the grocery, and picked up all of the ingredients, assembled it in her crockpot, and then once she sampled her version she called me.  She was ubberly excited when she said can you believe I made grandma's cabbage rolls, and they taste just like hers?

There was pause on my end... at the time, she was not so much into doing a whole lot of cooking like she does these days.  Then she said to me, I made them deconstructed style.  I said oh?  Do tell, share with me how you made them because then I just may give them a try myself.  

After she told me, I thought wow, how did none of us figure this one out before now?  We could have been making them all along and sharing them with our families all these years.   

Many of grandma's recipes were shared with us over the years.  She wanted to make sure we all knew how to make her recipes.  She would write them down on recipe cards for us so we could keep them in our recipe stash.  She thought it was especially important all of us know how to cook as we married off too, gotta keep those husbands happy through their stomachs.  I laugh at that because I am not all about waiting on my husband hand and foot as grandma thought men should be! 

Grandma would love her recipes shared with the masses.  Cooking and baking should have been a job for her where she was paid, instead of just cooking and baking for our family.  She was the best, no matter what she made!  

Now, as she is approaching her 100th birthday, her cooking and baking days are over, but I think if she could still get to the kitchen, she would be making food for the masses again.  I think she misses being in the kitchen.  Despite her small kitchen, she would roll out enough food for an army.

I hope to one day make all of her recipes gluten free so I can eat them once again, but it takes a bit of time, and patience to figure out how to convert recipes that have already been established.  I am not sure I will ever get them to the perfection she had.  She was the Gordon Ramsey of our family, able to use every bit of food up in some way or other while producing tasty dishes.

I keep working on my recipe stash, and sharing with you, but I am not sure I will be the wonderful cook and baker she once was.  I began in the kitchen at a young age.  My mother let me mix up cookie recipes with a stand mixer when I was four.  For the most part, I was always supervised, minus my stunt with the chocolate chip cookies on my own.  Stinker that I was... at least I have learned a thing or two since those days.

You may be thinking to yourself, wow!  This recipe sure does make a lot of food, and yes, you would be right.  When I made this, I gave back... packed up my deconstructed cabbage rolls, and away I went to my mother's house to share the spoils of my labor (ok, maybe less labor than grandma anyway).  Mom said oh, these taste just like mom's.  That made me smile, and grandma enjoyed dinner that evening too.

I was able to provide them with dinner for a few nights, a few nights for us, and then I froze the rest.  I figure it will come in handy one evening when I do not feel up to making dinner, and we can thaw it, and have a homemade meal.  I enjoy taking those tips from grandma, make enough to share, enough for dinner, and enough for another time.

Viola, dinner is ready!

That generation sure were wiser... they knew how to work with what they had, and make the most of it.  I never heard my grandparents complain about life, they just kept marching, while making the most of what life had to offer.  We sure could learn a lot from them.  

If this recipe is too much for one evening, then break it up.  You can cook the sausage and beef together in a skillet, I just decided to cook them separately since I did not think my skillet was large enough to cook both at the same time.  

You can also cook both meats one evening, and then mix the rest up the next morning and let it cook all day.  So many ways to throw this together.  When I was working, I often made the meat, cut the cabbage, then assembled everything in the morning before I would head to work.  There were even those evenings where I would assemble everything, put it in the crockpot dish, refrigerate it, then put it in the heating part, and let it cook all day.  When we got home from work, dinner was ready.  Do what is easiest for you.  

Well, we hope you enjoy grandma's cabbage roll recipe.  With fall around the corner, cabbage rolls sure do sound mighty tasty.  Enjoy your week!  

How about this stainless crockpot, or a large stock pot, or our stainless skillet we love, if you need bay leaves, or paprika, or onion powder, or garlic powder we have you covered.  

Would you like to comment?

  1. Hi Cara, Thanks for sharing your yummy cabbage rolls at Vintage Charm!

    1. Thank you for hosting Cecilia! My grandmother just turned 100 this past week, and she is over the moon her recipe is being shared online. She may not understand the whole concept of online, but she knows there are a lot of people reading about her and I think she loved the idea of it. LOL!