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3.67 from 6 votes
Overhead shoot of a plate with 4 suffed cabbage rolls with a dollop of sour cream on the side and parsley leaves
Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Romanian Sarmale)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr

These Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, or the Romanian Sarmale, are a healthy dinner dish made with ground meat and rice, rolled in cabbage leaves or sauerkraut, and cooked in a light tomato sauce until tender. It's a traditional dish in Romania, which is a classic recipe at Christmas, but also all year round. Quick and easy to make, these cabbage rolls are best seved with polenta and sour cream. The best homemade dinner recipe!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: cabbage rolls
Servings: 15 rolls
Calories: 73 kcal
Author: Daniela Apostol
  • 250 g ground chicken
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetarian oil
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion
  • pickled cabbage leaves sauerkraut
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 cups water
  1. Cut the onion really finely and mix it with the minced chicken.
  2. Rinse the rice under running cold water, then mix it with the chicken and onion.
  3. Add the vegetable oil and season with salt and sweet paprika. If you cook with pork or beef that have a bit of fat in it, oil can be ommited, otherwise it must be added so that the rolls can be nice and tender.
  4. This mixture was enough for 15 rolls, but depending on how big your rolls are, you may need more or less pickled cabbage leaves.

  5. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and place it on the pickled cabbage leaf. Fold it tightly into a roll. Repeat with the remaining mince.
  6. Shred a few pickled cabbage leaves and place them on the bottom of a large pan.
  7. Place the rolls around the pan leaving a well in the middle. Do make sure they are no gaps between the rolls, otherwise they might unfold during cooking.
  8. Add the chopped red pepper and tomato purée and pour in the water, making sure all the rolls are completely covered. Add more water if necessarily.
  9. Cover with a lid and cook on a small to medium heat until the rolls are cooked through.
  10. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving plate.
  11. To reheat, simply pop the rolls in the oven until hot.
Recipe Notes
  • Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
  • The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Romanian Sarmale)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 73 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 85mg4%
Potassium 124mg4%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Vitamin C 5.4mg7%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.