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Plant-Based Stuffed Cab­bage Rolls — Jew­ish Food Hero Kitchen

These stuffed cab­bage rolls from the Jew­ish Food Hero Kitchen are as tasty and fill­ing as tra­di­tion­al cab­bage rolls, while being lighter and fresh­er in taste. The rolls can be baked or made in a slow cook­er. Dou­ble the recipe if you want to serve it as left­overs the next day or if you would like guests to have more than two. This dish is just as deli­cious served at room tem­per­a­ture as it is served hot.

Tra­di­tion­al Stuffed Cab­bage Rolls

Tra­di­tion­al stuffed cab­bage rolls are made with a mix­ture of ground meat and a lot of oil. Most recipes also call for eggs to bind the meat stuff­ing mix­ture. While most of us grew up eat­ing meat-based com­fort foods like stuffed veg­eta­bles or pas­ta dish­es with meat sauces, there are a few good rea­sons to leave that habit behind us.

About These Stuffed Cab­bage Rolls

These plant-based stuffed cab­bage rolls are hearty and deli­cious. They are also meat-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and filled with healthy ingre­di­ents. The fill­ing is full of fla­vors and tex­tures from the tem­peh, pine nuts, raisins, and barley.

The mix of toma­toes, sauer­kraut, and papri­ka makes the sauce very savory, slight­ly sweet, and tangy.

This recipe does take a bit of prep because you need to assem­ble a cou­ple dif­fer­ent ele­ments, but the end results are phe­nom­e­nal and you will be glad you put in the effort. This is a dish per­fect for a Sun­day gath­er­ing with friends and fam­i­ly. You can also assem­ble the dish the day before and just bake the rolls on the day you want to serve them.

Plant-Based Stuffed Cab­bage Rolls — Jew­ish Food Hero Kitchen

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serves 8 (makes 16 rolls)

Ingre­di­ents:

2 large heads green cab­bage (with nice out­er leaves if pos­si­ble) (you will need 16 nice large out­er cab­bage leaves for the rolls)

¼ cup veg­etable broth, or more as needed

1 large onion, diced
4 gar­lic cloves, minced

3 cups tem­peh, coarse­ly crum­bled or grated

2 table­spoons soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)

¾ cup toast­ed pine nuts

¾ cup dried cur­rants or raisins

1 ½ tea­spoons car­away seeds

3 cups cooked pearled bar­ley (from 3/4 cup raw, pre­pared accord­ing to the pack­age direc­tions, OR to make it gluten-free, use 3 cups cooked rice [from 1 cup raw])

Sea salt and black pep­per to taste

A touch of olive oil cook­ing spray to grease the casse­role dish

For the sauce:

¼ cup veg­etable broth, plus more as needed

1 onion, diced

2 gar­lic cloves, minced

2 7‑ounce jars toma­to paste

2 cups veg­etable broth or water

2 cups strained tomatoes

2 tea­spoons sugar

3 cups pre­pared sauerkraut

1 table­spoon Hun­gar­i­an papri­ka (or reg­u­lar sweet paprika)

1 – 2 tea­spoons sea salt, to taste

black pep­per to taste

Optional:½ cup tofu sour cream” (see the recipe in Mush­room Soup)

Tools

Large pot

Tongs or large slot­ted spoon

Colan­der

Large skil­let

Medi­um saucepan

Plate to assem­ble rolls

Glass bak­ing dish (913 inch)

Parch­ment paper and alu­minum foil

Option­al: Slow cooker

Instruc­tions

  1. Start by mak­ing the sauce for the cab­bage rolls. Heat the veg­etable broth for the sauce in a medi­um saucepan over medi­um heat. Add the onion, gar­lic, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until the onion is soft, around 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remain­ing ingre­di­ents for the sauce, low­er the heat to low, and cov­er with a lid. Con­tin­ue cook­ing, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until the sauce thick­ens up slight­ly, around 20 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is sim­mer­ing away, work on the fill­ing for the cab­bage rolls. In a large skil­let, heat the veg­etable broth for the fill­ing over medi­um heat. Add the onion, gar­lic, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook, stir­ring occa­sion­al­ly, until the onion is soft, around 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tem­peh and soy sauce, and cook for 15 min­utes, adding more broth if need­ed to pre­vent sticking.
  5. Add the pine nuts, cur­rants, car­away seeds, and pearled bar­ley. Mix well and sea­son with sea salt and pep­per to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Pre­heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Next, work on the cab­bage leaves. Care­ful­ly drop 1 head of cab­bage into a large pot with boil­ing water.
  8. After 5 min­utes, remove the cab­bage with tongs or a large slot­ted spoon, and place in a colan­der in the sink or over a large bowl to cool.
  9. When cool enough to han­dle, care­ful­ly remove the out­er leaves. You will need 16 leaves, so you can repeat this process and boil the same head of cab­bage again to be able to remove more leaves, or you can boil the sec­ond head of cab­bage if necessary.
  10. To assem­ble the cab­bage rolls, place a cooked cab­bage leaf on a plate and put a gen­er­ous scoop of the tem­peh-bar­ley mix­ture on top, in the cen­ter of the leaf. Roll up the leaf over the fill­ing start­ing from the bot­tom, then fold in each side, and last­ly the top, tuck­ing the seam underneath.
  11. Repeat with the remain­ing leaves until you have 16 nice­ly filled cab­bage rolls.
  12. To bake the stuffed cab­bage rolls, light­ly oil the casse­role dish and pour enough sauce to cov­er the bot­tom of the dish.
  13. Place the stuffed cab­bage rolls on top of the sauce and cov­er with the remain­ing sauce. Wrap the casse­role dish with a sheet of parch­ment paper and then with a sheet of alu­minum foil. Bake for 1 hour.
  14. After 1 hour, check the cab­bage rolls and add a lit­tle water if they have start­ed to dry out. Bake for anoth­er 15 min­utes, until they are ten­der when pierced.
  15. If using a slow cook­er: Cook the rolls in the sauce on low for 8 hours or until desired doneness.
  16. Serve fam­i­ly style at the table, hot or at room tem­per­a­ture. Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you’ll love the Jew­ish Food Hero Cook­book: 50 Sim­ple Plant-Based Recipes for Your Hol­i­day Meals

Kenden Alfond cur­rent­ly lives in Cam­bo­dia with her hus­band and daugh­ter, and Jew­ish Food Hero is her com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice project. When she was 12 years old, she chose to become a veg­e­tar­i­an (and now is a veg­an). After get­ting a MA in coun­sel­ing psy­chol­o­gy in 2005, she went to India as an Amer­i­can Jew­ish World Ser­vice (AJWS) vol­un­teer. Since then she has been liv­ing and work­ing around the world on human­i­tar­i­an, post-con­flict, and devel­op­ment issues with the Unit­ed Nations and sev­er­al NGOs. In 2013, she obtained a cer­tifi­cate in plant-based nutri­tion from Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty. She start­ed Jew­ish Food Hero to get health­i­er food onto Jew­ish tables around the world. When she is not work­ing on Jew­ish Food Hero, she works as a psychotherapist.