Stuffed Cabbage Cups

This fresh and faster take on classic steamed cabbage rolls takes half the time but does not sacrifice on flavor. It's also a cinch to prepare, with no fussy filling and rolling each cabbage leaf before cooking. Instead, the sauteed filling is simply scooped into boiled cabbage leaves and topped with a creamy tomato sauce before serving. It's a meaty, hearty and completely satisfying meal for a busy weeknight.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup sour cream

Cabbage Cups:

8 Savoy cabbage leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 teaspoon paprika

4 ounces ground beef

4 ounces ground pork

1 cup cooked rice (any kind)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, brown sugar and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.  
  3. For the cabbage cups: Meanwhile, add the cabbage leaves to the pot of boiling salted water and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove with tongs and place in a colander. Rinse under cold water, then drain and pat dry.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, celery and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring and breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Add the cooked rice and stir to combine and warm through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. 
  5. Finish the sauce by stirring in the sour cream until fully incorporated. To serve, divide the beef mixture among the cabbage leaves and top each with some sauce.