Camping recipes: Stuffed cabbage rolls

By: Macca, Photography by: Macca

Cabbage leaves provide an easy and delicious alternative to pasta.

Camping recipes: Stuffed cabbage rolls
These stuffed cabbage leaf recipes will fill any void on a chilly night

I’ve got friends who are on a low-carb diet. And one of the ingredients they’re using as a substitute in pasta-based meals is cabbage.

Now, the humble cabbage has long been the poor relation to just about every other vegetable. It’s sort of a filler, is used as an afterthought and it has never been the jewel in the crown of any meal.

But I think it’s underrated. Let’s take its ability to mimic pasta. Substitute lasagne sheets with wilted cabbage leaves and you have a nutritious, tasty and low-carb meal that, for all intents and purposes, looks exactly the same as your traditional lasagne.

Then there’s cabbage leaf ‘cannelloni’. These little parcels are a great way to present a mixture of ingredients. Usually baked in a sauce, they are a joy to cook and eat.

Cabbage is the base of all types of coleslaws and, when fried in butter and combined with diced bacon, it’s to die for.

And it was this that prompted me to put together these recipes. These stuffed cabbage leaf recipes will fill any void on a chilly night.

Cabbage rolls with chicken stuffing and mushroom sauce

For the cabbage rolls

  • 12 large cabbage leaves
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 500g coarsely chopped chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • For the mushroom sauce
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 500g coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the cabbage leaves in a pot of salted water and cook until soft and tender. In a frying pan, melt 2 tbsp of the butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat and put the onion, rice and chopped meat into a food processor, season with salt and pepper, and pulse until well mixed.

Lay out the cabbage leaves on a work surface and divide the filling among the leaves. Roll up each leaf tucking in the sides as you go.

Line the bottom of a baking dish with any leftover cabbage leaves. Rest the rolls on top, seam-side down; they can be crowded together, just as long as they don’t overlap.

Pour in the chicken stock (it should come about a third of the way up the sides of the rolls). Dot the tops of the rolls with the remaining 3 tbsp butter. Bake for up to an hour or until the tops are golden and slightly crispy.

Remove the cabbage rolls to a platter and keep warm. Discard the leaves lining the baking dish, but reserve the broth, which will be added to the mushroom sauce.

To make the wild mushroom sauce

In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the chopped fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until all the mushrooms are soft and golden.

Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour, season with salt and pepper, and stir constantly until the mushrooms are well coated. Add the wine, stirring constantly until thickened then repeat with the cream and again with the broth. Add the lemon juice and lower the heat. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes until thick and rich.

When ready to serve, pour the mushroom sauce over the cabbage rolls and serve immediately.


  • 500g minced beef
  • 1/4 cup raw long grain rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, minced
  • 12 wilted cabbage leaves

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce

Mix together meat, rice, egg, onion, carrot, salt, pepper and bacon. Spoon mixture into the centre of each of the 12 cabbage leaves.

Roll them up, tucking in the sides as you go. Place folded side down in a greased baking dish.

Mix together brown sugar, lemon juice and tomato sauce.

Pour over rolls, cover tightly and bake at 170°C for 1 hour.

Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer.


  • 8 large cabbage leaves
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (or any type)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 750g minced pork
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Boil cabbage leaves until soft. Mince mushrooms, carrot and onion. Mix ground pork, mushrooms, carrot, onion and salt in a bowl.

Divide the pork mixture among the cabbage leaves and roll up, tucking in the sides as you go. Put chicken stock and soy sauce in a deep pan and place cabbage rolls in the pan. Simmer the cabbage rolls on low heat until meat is cooked. Serve on a bed of steamed rice.

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The full feature appeared in Camper Trailer Australia #88 May 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!