Lebanese Stuffed cabbage rolls is a dish made out of blanched cabbage leaves stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes and rice; simmered in a rich tomato sauce and garlic cloves.

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is a dish made with blanched cabbage leaves, stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes and rice; Simmered in a rich tangy tomato sauce and topped with garlic cloves. If you love my Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini Recipe, you should try these Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. The recipe uses the same stuffing, but with cabbage leaves instead of zucchinis.

Lebanese Stuffed cabbage rolls is a dish made out of blanched cabbage leaves stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes and rice; simmered in a rich tomato sauce and garlic cloves.

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls!

OK, I have to admit… My mom in law makes the best Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in the world! This has always been my favorite recipe. And here, I confidently share with you my mother in law’s my recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls! In Arabic, we call this recipe Mahshi Malfouf , which translates stuffed cabbage in English. 

How to Make Cabbage Rolls- Mahshi Malfouf:

Start by boiling the whole head of cabbage in a big pot of water for about 8-10 minutes.  This helps the leaves become more pliable for stuffing and rolling.  It also helps keep the leaves from tearing when removed from the head. Let the cabbage drain and then carefully peel 25 leaves from the head. Or you can cut the cabbage in half and remove about 25 cabbage leaves. Then, blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 8-10 minutes or until tender. Place cabbage leaves in colander to drain. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing mixture. In a large mixing bowl, add all the stuffing ingredients (ground beef, rice, salt, spices, butter, and diced tomatoes and mix thoroughly until fully combined.

How to Roll these Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: 

(Scroll down to recipe card for a detailed recipe and exact ingredients)

  • Lay each cabbage leaf on a smooth surface. 
  • Add about 1-2 tablespoons of stuffing to each leaf, depending on the size.
  • Spread the stuffing across the leaf leaving 1/2 an inch of space on both edges.

How to make Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls

  • Roll the cabbage leaf around the meat mixture, leaving both edges of the roll open.

How to make stuffed cabbage.

  • Place the roll in a large greased pot.
  • Repeat with remaining meat mixture and cabbage leaves.

Tips for Making Lebanese Malfouf: 

  • Pick a large head of cabbage so you have large leaves to work with and extra leaves just in case.
  • Don’t skip the step to boil the cabbage.  It really makes all the difference when it comes to rolling these guys.  It is almost impossible to roll a cabbage leaf that has not been boiled since it is stiff as a board.
  • The ground beef does not need to be precooked.
  • If you’re boiling the whole head of cabbage- slice the root end off about a 1/2 – 3/4’s inch up.  This will make it easier to remove the leaves

Can I Make Vegetarian Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage: 

You can easily make these stuffed cabbage rolls vegetarian by substituting the ground beef for a parsley, tomato, mint and onion mixture. It’s the same stuffing I use for my Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves and Vegetarian Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls. You can also substitute the beef for chickpeas. 

More Authentic Lebanese Recipes: 

Vegan Stuffed Swiss Chard Rolls

Lahm bi Ajeen- Lebanese Meat Pies

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves 

Spinach Pies

Red Lentil Mujadara

If you try this Lebanese Cabbage Roll recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thesaltandsweetkitchen on Instagram ?

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Yield: 12 servings

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Lebanese Stuffed cabbage rolls is a dish made out of blanched cabbage leaves stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes and rice; simmered in a rich tomato sauce and garlic cloves.

This authentic Lebanese Stuffed cabbage rolls is a dish made with blanched cabbage leaves, stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomatoes and rice; simmered in a rich tomato sauce and garlic cloves.A comfort food classic that's hearty, delicious and simple to make

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Non- Stuffing Ingredients

  • 1 small green cabbage (pick one with tender leaves)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • water- for blanching cabbage leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves- Sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

Stuffing Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground  beef- I use 90 % lean
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup medium grain rice- soaked, rinsed and drained 
  • 4 ripe tomatoes- Diced

Instructions

    To prepare cabbage for wrapping:

  1. Cut the cabbage in half and remove about 25 cabbage leaves. Choose tender leaves to make wrapping easier.
  2. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for about 8 mins or until tender, but not too soft.
  3. Drain in a colander and  set aside.

To make the stuffing:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all the stuffing ingredients (ground beef, rice, salt, spices, butter, and diced tomatoes).
  2. Mix thoroughly until fully combined.

The Cabbage Rolling Process:

  1. Lay each cabbage leaf on a smooth surface. ( I use a cutting board)
  2. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of stuffing to each leaf, depending on the size.
  3. Spread the stuffing across the leaf leaving 1/2 an inch of space on both edges.
  4. Roll the cabbage leaf around the meat mixture, leaving both edges of the roll open.
  5. Place the roll in a large greased pot.
  6. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and cabbage leaves.

Getting rolls ready for cooking:

  1. Add garlic gloves on top of the rolled cabbages. ( You can cut garlic cloves in half or make them into thinner slices)
  2. Add water, just enough to cover the cabbage rolls.
  3. Thin tomato paste in few tablespoons of warm water or add one small can of tomato sauce and top it to cover all the cabbage rolls.
  4. sprinkle little bit of salt.
  5. Cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat.
  6. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 45-55 mins or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked through.
  7. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice and enjoy.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Comments (9)

  • Oh, I’m not sure why. I’m still able to see the ingredients on my end. But here it is 🙂
    Ingredients for Lebanese Cabbage Rolls:
    Non- Stuffing Ingredients
    1 small green cabbage (pick one with tender leaves)
    1 tbsp salt
    water- for blanching cabbage leaves
    5 garlic cloves- Sliced
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    Stuffing Ingredients
    1 pound lean ground beef- I use 90 % lean
    1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground all spice
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1 cup medium grain rice- soaked, rinsed and drained
    4 ripe tomatoes- Diced

  • Hello Evin,

    I add 1 tablespoon thinned with few tablespoons of water and pour it all over the stuffed cabbage rolls.
    I just updated the recipe with correct quantities, thanks for pointing that out 🙂

  • Hi- I’m just seeing your question now. You need about 5 cloves, and honestly the more the better 🙂 Thanks for trying my recipe, let me know how it turns out.

  • Dear R,
    This is my third attempt to find out how many garlic cloves are needed for the stuffed cabbage roll recipe, but my question keeps disappearing. The amount of garlic cloves needed are not listed in the recipe. Please let me know, as I really want to make your recipe, it sounds delicious!
    Thank you.

  • Please tell us how many garlic cloves are used in this recipe? The number of garlic cloves are not included in this recipe.
    Thank you!

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