Braised Cabbage Rolls

  • Yield 6 servings

These cabbage rollsare braised in a flavorful broth enhanced with vinegar and brown sugar, then drizzled with a red pepper garlic sauce.


Lentil rice filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Braised cabbage rolls
1 large head cabbage
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Red pepper garlic sauce:
2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce


  1. To make the lentil rice filling: Place the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the diced shallot for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the broth and lentils to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the rice, cumin and soy sauce. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid has absorbed.
  3. To prepare the cabbage: While the lentil mixture is simmering, steam the cabbage leaves for about 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Immediately remove the cabbage leaves from heat and shock the leaves in cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut the tough stems out at bottom center of each leaf.
  4. To assemble the braised cabbage rolls: Roll ½ cup of the lentil rice filling in each blanched leaf, jelly roll style, tucking in sides of the cabbage leaves as you roll. Place seam-side down in a large pan so that the rolls are all in a single layer, completely filling pan.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, brown sugar and vegetable broth.
  6. Pour the vinegar broth mixture over the cabbage rolls in the pan so that the rolls are almost covered, adding a little water if necessary.
  7. Simmer the rolls in the vinegar broth mixture for about 30 minutes, or until the leaves are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  9. To make the red pepper garlic sauce: While the rolls are simmering, place the red pepper strips cut side down on a baking sheet positioned in the top rack of the oven. Bake for about 5-7minutes and add the garlic cloves. Bake the red pepper and garlic for 5 minutes more, or until the red pepper has softened and browned.
  10. Puree the roasted red pepper and garlic in a blender with the olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until the sauce is very smooth.
  11. To complete the braised cabbage rolls: Remove the rolls from the pan and serve on a platter with the red pepper sauce drizzled on top.

Recipe by Donna of Fab Frugal Food, courtesy of Meatless Monday



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