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Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Servings: 9

*Almost* like what Baba always made - but with a healthy twist! These will quickly become your new go-to side dish this winter.

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    1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

    2 cups (500 mL) chopped onion

    6 garlic cloves, minced

    1 can (28oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes

    4 cups (1 L) canned tomato juice

    2 tsp (10 mL) dried marjoram

    ½ tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper

    1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar

    1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot chili flakes

    ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt


    1 head savoy or regular cabbage

    3 cups (750 mL) “al dente” cooked white or brown rice

    2 cups (500 mL) cooked green lentils

    1 cup (250 mL) minced onion

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley

    2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh dill

    2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice

    2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika

    ¾ cup (175 mL) grated asiago cheese (optional)

    ¾ cup (175mL) tomato sauce (above)


  1. Sauce: Heat oil in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook until golden. Add remaining sauce ingredients, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes as you prepare the cabbage leaves and filling, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cabbage: Fill a large deep pot with enough water to cover cabbage and bring to a boil. Remove all torn or ragged outer leaves from the cabbage. Use a paring knife, cut at an angle around the core and remove as much of it as you can. Put the cabbage core-end up into the boiling water and cook until the leaves soften and begin to come free of the cabbage; you can use a fork or tongs to loosen leaves if they become stuck, but be careful not to tear them. Remove each leaf and repeat until you have 18-20 whole cabbage leaves. Trim the stems of the leaves, making it easier to bend and roll. Finely chop the remaining cabbage (up to 1 ½ cups) and add it to the tomato sauce.
  3. Filling: Toss all filling ingredients (minus the cabbage) into a large bowl and combine. Add ¾ cup (175 mL) tomato sauce from the simmering pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Rolling: Place 2-3 Tbsp (30–45 mL) of the filling near the stem end of cabbage leaf and mold it into an oval shape. Fold the stem up over the filling and fold each of the sides toward the middle. Roll the filling up the rest of the leaf. The roll should be a tight little package. Place it on a plate and continue with the rest of the filling and leaves.
  5. Spread of the remaining tomato sauce in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Place each cabbage roll, stem side down, on top of the sauce in a snug, single layer. You can continue with another layer of rolls if needed, just place a small layer of sauce in between and continue. Top the rolls with half of the remaining sauce. Cook the cabbage rolls in the oven at 375˚F (190˚C) for 45-60 minutes. The cabbage should be tender.
  6. Serve the rolls family style with the remaining sauce and chopped fresh herbs.

Try including coconut milk, cilantro, and Thai curry paste for a south Asian twist.

Nutritional Information

  • Serving Size: 2 cabbage rolls
  • Per serving:
  • Calories 270
  • Total Fat 6 g
  • Saturated Fat 2 g
  • Cholesterol 10 mg
  • Carbohydrates 45 g
  • Dietary Fibre 10 g
  • Sugar 10 g
  • Protein 11 g
  • Sodium 490 mg
  • Potassium 549 mg
  • Folate 152 mcg