These Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a Middle Eastern specialty bursting with flavor. This recipe is made with beef, rice, lemon and garlic and is an ideal entree or main dish!
All around the world, people prepare stuffed cabbage rolls using many different ingredients and cooking methods. Today, I’m sharing the flavor-packed Lebanese version, which is loaded with lemon, garlic and mint. Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls are an ideal lunch recipe you’ll want to make over and over again!
As a fan of beef, I like to prepare these stuffed cabbage rolls with half beef and half lamb, as the customary filling is ground lamb. For added flavor, my mother tosses in a few lamb bones to the cooking liquid.
How to Make Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
First, start boiling a large pot of water or chicken broth. Second, use a sharp knife to carefully remove the tough inner core of the cabbage. Third, add the whole head of cabbage (cored) to the boiling pot.
As a result from boiling, the cabbage leaves will start to separate from the head in 2-3 minutes. Carefully place them on a plate as they fall off the core. Next, combine sirloin, rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon and half of the garlic in a medium bowl.
Then, roll each cabbage leaf with meat mixture. Place 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture in the middle of each leaf and roll them until the cabbage covers the meat.
When I have a free Sunday afternoon for cooking, I like to prepare this type of meal for my family. This recipe makes six servings, so be sure to use all of the meat mixture.
I promise — the end result is always worth the wait!
After you create the stuffed cabbage rolls, place them in the same pot you used to cook the leaves and line them up close together. Alternate the direction with each layer and continue until you’ve used all of the leaves.
Next, if you have any extra meat mixture, roll them into tiny meatballs and add them on top of the stuffed rolls.
Then, add dried mint and the remaining two crushed garlic cloves. If you have a celery stick or two laying around, you can add it to the pot for increased flavor as an optional step.
After you add seasoning, cover the stuffed cabbage rolls with water, about ½ inch above the top layer.
To amp up the flavor, squeeze any leftover lemon juice and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Next, take a small plate and turn it upside down and place it on top of the rolls. Push down to ensure all the rolls are submersed in liquid. Finally, cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until you have fully cooked the meat.
There you go: Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do cabbage rolls freeze well?
Yes, the cabbage rolls will stay good in the freezer for up to three months. You’ll want to cook them before freezing.
Is the rice pre-cooked or does it go in raw?
The rice goes in raw.
Why are my cabbage rolls tough?
If your cabbage rolls are too tough, it means you have not cooked them long enough. Go ahead and cook them longer.
What is the best type of cabbage for cabbage rolls?
Savory cabbage is the best and it is full of vitamin K and C and fiber. It also has a sweetness that is wonderful with the combination of meats in these rolls.
Serve these stuffed cabbage rolls with plain yogurt or a Syrian salad for the ultimate healthy meal. It’s true, these rolls taste even better the next day.
More recipes to try
If you like this recipe, you might also want to try these healthy meal ideas:
- Lebanese Quinoa Salad
- Middle Eastern Syrian Salad
- Vietnamese Fresh Rolls with BBQ Pork Meatballs
- Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice
- Mexican Street Tacos
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Bring a large pot of water (or chicken broth) to a boil.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully remove tough inner core of the cabbage. When water or broth has come to a boil, add the whole head of cabbage (cored) to the pot. In about 2-3 minutes, the cabbage leaves will slowly start to separate from the head. Carefully place them on a plate as they fall off the core.
- In a medium bowl, combine sirloin, rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon and half of the garlic.
- Working one leaf at a time, place 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture in the middle and roll until meat is covered with cabbage.
- Place stuffed cabbage rolls in the same pot you used to cook the leaves and line them up close together, alternating direction with each layer. Continue until leaves are gone.
- If you have any extra meat mixture, roll them into tiny meatballs and add them on top of the stuffed rolls. Cover stuffed cabbage with water – about ½ in above top layer. Throw in dried mint and remaining 2 crushed garlic cloves. Squeeze any leftover lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Take a small plate and turn it upside down and place on top of rolls.Push down to ensure all rolls are submersed in liquid. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until meat is fully cooked through. Serve with plain yogurt.