Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

4.34 stars average

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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!

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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! While they are traditionally made with ground lamb, and that’s how my mother made them growing up, I’ve made them with ground beef for today, and typically will do a mixture of both!

Ingredients

  • Green cabbage: Very mellow flavor, but they hold up well even when cooked.
  • Ground beef: I usually use ground sirloin for the lower fat content, but you could use ground chuck, or even ground chicken, turkey, or lamb!
  • Rice: Short or long grain white rice work well for these cabbage rolls.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh, bright, acidic flavor in the filling and in the water to cook the rolls.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a warm, somewhat sweet flavor that is common in Lebanese cuisine.
  • Garlic: Strong, aromatic, somewhat nutty and spicy flavor for the filling.
  • Dried mint: I always use dried mint, as the flavor isn’t quite as sweet as fresh.

How to Make Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

cabbage in a pan

Start your Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls by trimming the core out of your head of cabbage, and adding it to a large pot of boiling water.

cabbage leaves being added to a pan

As the head of cabbage boils, the leaves will start to open up and separate. Carefully take them and place them on a plate. Next, combine the ground sirloin, rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon and half of the garlic in a medium bowl.

cabbage leaves and raw meat in a 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.

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a pan

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.

cabbage rolls in a pan

If you have any extra meat mixture, roll them into tiny meatballs and add them on top of the stuffed rolls.

placing cabbage rolls in a pot

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.

water being added to a pot full of cabbage rolls

After you add seasoning, cover the stuffed cabbage rolls with water, about ½ inch above the top layer.

lemon juice being added to a pot

To amp up the flavor, squeeze any leftover lemon juice and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

A plate on top of cabbage rolls

Finish by taking 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. Top the pot with the lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes or until you have fully cooked the meat.

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls plated

Garnish with some fresh parsley, and enjoy your 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.

Why is my cooked cabbage tough?

If your cabbage rolls are too tough, it means you have not cooked them long enough. Go ahead and cook them longer.

What ethnicity are cabbage rolls?

Many parts of the world have recipes for cabbage rolls. From Ukraine, to China, to the Middle East!

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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person eating cabbage rolls

For an easy meal-prepping recipe that is full of flavor and nutrients, my Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are sure to please.

Your fork is waiting.

stuffed cabbage rolls

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

4.34 stars average
A Middle Eastern specialty, these Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are made with beef, rice, lemon and garlic.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour
Pin
Servings6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon Juice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint (crushed)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

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Notes

Optional but if you have a celery stick or two laying around, add it to the pot for added flavor.
Excellent source of Vitamin C.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 16.8gProtein: 18gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 434mgFiber: 1.9g
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27 responses to “Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls”

  1. Danni Lane Eldred Avatar
    Danni Lane Eldred

    Will try this next weekend. Looks like comfort food! Anything with cabbage is tops in my book. Thanks for continuing to provide quality recipes and nice posts along with them.

  2. Donna Avatar
    Donna

    I freeze uncooked rolls and they are fine when they are cooked from frozen

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Good to know!!