vegetarian stuffed cabbage
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Easy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls for Passover

A Passover twist on a classic recipe.

There’s nothing like Passover to remind us where we come from. In many Jewish homes, Passover traditions are carried down from father to son, establishing the family’s customs and setting the standards for their Passover pantry.

Growing up, my family’s standards were quite stringent. We did not eat any processed ingredients, and we only used produce that could be peeled. My mother prepared simple syrup in place of sugar, and we seasoned our dishes minimally with kosher salt, no spices allowed. Thankfully, I married into a family whose customs were slightly more lenient. My in-laws allow a variety of fruits and vegetables, including cabbage, as well as some minimally processed foods, like tomato sauce.

When I spent Passover with my in-laws last year, I decided to pay homage to my roots by adapting my grandmother’s stuffed cabbage recipe for the holiday. While my grandmother would never have made this recipe for Passover, to me, it signifies the union of my husband’s familial customs with my Eastern European heritage. And that is precisely how we celebrate Passover.

Variation: For unstuffed cabbage soup, shred the cabbage and roll the meat into balls. Place everything into a pot and continue with Step 8.

Note: Place the cabbage in the freezer overnight (about 12 hours) before making this dish, to make it pliable for rolling and stuffing.

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passover stuffed cabbage roll recipe jewish Sukkoth
Photo credit Chanie Apfelbaum

Passover Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.4 from 8 reviews

A Passover twist on a simple, classic dish.

  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 rolls 1x


Units Scale

For the rolls:

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 heaping cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • cup sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the cabbage in the freezer overnight (about 12 hours). Remove and place in a colander in the sink to defrost. This makes the cabbage pliable for rolling and stuffing.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Peel the remaining large leaves, taking care not to tear the cabbage as you go. Set the whole leaves aside and chop up the remaining cabbage for later.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, potatoes, onion, egg, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Set up a stuffing station with your whole cabbage leaves and ground beef mixture. With a paring knife, trim the thick part of the stem off the base of the leaves, taking care not to cut through the rest of the leaf. Place the leaves upright so that they are curling upward like a bowl.
  5. Place a small handful of filling towards the base of each leaf and fold over the leaf from the left side. Roll the cabbage leaf up and using your finger, stuff the loose end of the leaf inward, pushing it into the center. Rolling the cabbage this way ensures that they hold together nicely during cooking.
  6. Continue with remaining leaves. If you have any leftover filling, simply roll them into meatballs to place in the pot alongside the cabbage rolls.
  7. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls in a large pot and cover with sauce ingredients. If you had any leftover cabbage or meatballs, add them to the pot as well.
  8. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil over medium heat and reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot, leaving it slightly open so that the steam does not force the cabbage rolls to open. Cook for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours, until cabbage is tender and sauce has thickened.


Place the cabbage in the freezer overnight (about 12 hours) before making this dish, to make it pliable for rolling and stuffing.

  • Author: Chanie Apfelbaum
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Basics


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

  • Belinda Flanagan

    This is so much easier than placing cabbage leaves in boiling water to make them pliable. I never used based potato or apple before, very yummy. Thank you.

  • Shosh

    Raisins and matza meal instead of potato’s you can also use tomato drink with the tomato sauce

  • Kacy Michelle

    Wonderful way to make cabbage “respect the roll”
    I use 1 cup leftover white rice instead of potatoes & pour a can of sauerkraut on top before adding sauce topping.

  • Beth

    From the 3rd picture, it looks like you turn the meat and cabbage around to continue rolling?

  • Beth

    referring to step 5, and the 3rd picture, where is your next fold? Do you fold up and roll from the bottom up?

  • Fran

    My mother decided that rolling cabbage leaves was too much trouble. Instead, she made the meatballs, and put them in a pot with sauce and cabbage. Delicious!

    • Marlene

      The potato is used as a substitute binder for rice during Passover, when many do not eat rice for the same reasons we don’t eat bread. My rating is for the recipe itself. I haven’t tried to make it yet! I will edit once I’ve tried it!

  • ruth

    I put the cabbage on a pie plate with a little water and put it in the microwave for 12 to 15 minutes to soften the leaves
    Core the cabbage first before you put it into the microwave
    There is no fuss or muss with the cabbage

  • Rich P

    I add white bread in the meat mixture to make it moist, I also add lentils instead of rice for extra protein. Also a nice variation is to add raisins to the meat and sauerkraut on top of the rolls for a sweet and sour take.

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