Cabbage Rolls -

Cabbage Rolls

These “Cunningham, Falcsik, Henry Cabbage Rolls” are a combination of three family recipes and include a “secret ingredient!”

Plate of cabbage rolls
Cabbage Rolls

Recipe donated by: Josh Cunningham

In memory of: Ginny Falcsik

Cunningham, Falcsik, Henry Cabbage Rolls with the “Secret Ingredient”


  • Head of cabbage (the larger the better but avoid the ones with splits)
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef (80/20 or higher fat content, lean is bad)
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup long grain non-instant white rice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, half-drained
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup applesauce


Cut large leaves of the cabbage off the head. Try to keep the leaf intact as much as possible. Continue “peeling” the cabbage until you can no longer successfully keep a leaf partial intact as you try to remove it from the main head.

Put this large cabbage leaves into a pile and steam for 8 minutes or until pliable over a pot of boil water. Allow leaves to cool.

In a mixing bowl combine 3/4 lbs of ground beef and 1/4 pound ground pork, all spices (including salt and pepper), diced onions, tomatoes, and rice into mixing bowl. Hand combine. Add apple sauce so that the mixture remains sticky but never turns to runny. Allow mixture to sit for 15-30 minutes for flavors to meld and to allow liquid to be absorbed initially into the rice.

Form a small football shaped ball of the mixture into your hand. Please the mixture at one end of a steamed, cool cabbage leaf. Roll once to cover the meat, tuck in sides (as you would a burrito or wrap so that no filling will come out) and roll a second time until cabbage roll is forms and the meatball will not fall out. As cabbage leaves get smaller, use two or more leaves to make sure that the wrapped consistency remains, and meatball remains safely inside. 

To freeze: After wrapping and rolling, put cabbage rolls into a freezer safe container or bag and freeze in deep freezer. Will keep for 12-18 months. To cook, DO NOT THAW. Follow instructions below for cooking from frozen

To cook:

Crock pot: Place cabbage rolls in the bottom of a lightly oiled crockpot (or keep from sticking) and cover (not submerge) with tomato or spaghetti sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours before serving with more tomato sauce and crusty bread. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure center of cabbage rolls have achieved 160 degrees

Oven: Stack cabbage rolls in a lightly oiled casserole dish and cover (not submerge) all the rolls with tomato or spaghetti sauce. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil to keep steam in the dish. Cook the cabbage rolls at 350 for 2-2.5 hours before serving with more tomato sauce and crusty bread. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure center of cabbage rolls have achieved 160 degrees

Long cook oven: Use the same method as above but cook at 225 for 6-8 hours covered (the more solid the cover the better, the goal is to keep the steam inside the cooking vessel). Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure center of cabbage rolls have achieved 160 degrees.

Looking for more great recipes? Sign up to receive all the recipes from my annual fundraiser, The New Moon Bake-a-thon to support the Alzheimer’s Association! We bake all day long on the summer solstice (June 20th) to raise funds for research and patient care. All recipes are provided FREE on the website (donations optional, but always welcome!) and now you can get ALL of the recipes from the day delivered to your inbox in one handy-dandy e-book. Sign up today to get it – free!

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