Russian Cabbage Rolls with Gravy Recipe – Russian Special

An easy Russian cabbage roll recipe that is healthy and bursting with flavors! Plus it’s super freezer friendly making it ideal for those nights when there is no time for a healthy dinner!

  • Prep Time40 min
  • Cook Time1 hr 40 min
  • Total Time2 hr 20 min

Russian Cabbage Rolls with Gravy Ingredients :

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 2 ½ cups water, divided
  • ¾ cup uncooked white rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¾ pound ground pork
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs, or as needed (Optional)

How To Make Russian Cabbage Rolls with Gravy


Make slits in cabbage base or cut out entire core. Fill a large saucepan 1/3 full of water; bring to a boil. Cook whole cabbage in boiling water, turning occasionally, until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut cabbage leaves off cabbage one by one, trying to keep them intact. Cut out any tough, thick center ribs of the large leaves with a sharp knife.


Bring 1 1/2 cups water and rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet. Cook 1/2 of the onions in hot oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked rice, ground beef, ground pork, salt, and pepper to onions in the bowl; mix with your hands until filling is well combined.


Lay 1 cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Place 1 tablespoon filling at the base of a cabbage leaf. Overlap with the bottom of the leaf; fold in side edges and roll up. Repeat with remaining cabbage and filling.


Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and fry cabbage rolls in hot oil until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large pot and sprinkle with remaining onion and grated carrots.


Stir together tomato paste and sour cream in a medium bowl until well combined. Whisk in 1 cup water; season with salt and herbs. Pour over cabbage rolls.


Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat until cabbage rolls are cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes.