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How to make Lahanodolmades – Greek Cabbage Rolls

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Greek Cabbage Rolls are such a delicious, easy dish to make! For this Greek version – Lahanodolmades – the ingredients are really simple and it’s quick to throw together. This easy cabbage rolls recipe can be served Lesvos style with no added sauce or smothered in Avgolemono Sauce. Lahanodolmades are amazing on their own as a snack, or appetizer, or even as a main dish. Low Carb + Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free

lahanodolmades (Greek stuffed cabbage rolls) covered in avgolemono sauce, on white plate. One dolma cut open

These Greek Cabbage Rolls are JUST. AMAZING! This is an adaptation of my partner’s father’s recipe. They’re from the Greek Island Lesvos. Lesvos is right next to Turkey, in fact, closer to Turkey than Greece, and as a result, the cuisines overlap. This version of Lahanodolmades (Λαχανοντολμάδες) is very similar to the Turkish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe, Lahana dolması or Lahana Sarması.

Why you will love these stuffed Greek cabbage rolls:

  • It’s easy! Boil some cabbage, wrap the mince mixture in the cabbage, and let it steam.
  • There are only 7 ingredients! That includes salt and pepper.
  • They’re healthy! Minced meat + veggies + rice!
  • Perfect for meal prep: These Greek Cabbage Rolls keep well in the fridge and can either be reheated for leftovers or eaten cold. You can also freeze them!
  • They are delicious! I can’t emphasize this enough! Did I eat them cold straight from the fridge the next day? Yes.

Key Ingredients

  • Minced Meat: Beef, pork, or turkey. I like to use either pork or beef for these greek cabbage rolls depending on what I have on hand.
  • Sausage meat, uncased: I’ve used pork sausages and chicken sausages. They both worked really well. Check the ingredients to make sure you’re buying a good product that isn’t loaded with additives, breadcrumbs and other extra ingredients.
  • Cabbage: Pointed/sweetheart cabbage is ideal for this lahanodolmades recipe. The green, white, and red cabbages I’ve found to be too tough to shape properly.
  • Onion: white or red, grated (tears might add to the flavor..?).
  • Rice: white, uncooked. Carolina rice is recommended, but you can use basmati, or regular dry rice too. 
  • Seasoning: Salt & pepper just to bring out all of the other flavours.
spoon dripping avgolemono sauce over lahanodolmades stuffed cabbage rolls, on white plate.

How to make stuffed cabbage rolls

There are a few steps, but it’s pretty simple:

  1. Boil the whole cabbage for about 10 minutes, until the leaves start to come apart. Cut the leaves off as they separate from the cabbage, and place in a strainer in the sink to get rid of excess moisture.
  2. 2. Mix the mince, sausage, onion, uncooked rice, salt, and pepper.

3. When the cabbage leaves are separated and cooled, it’s time to stuff them! Starting with the darkest leaves, lay one on a flat surface.
4. Add about 2-3 tbsps of the meat mixture at one end of the leaf, in a kind of cylinder/sausage shape. Make sure you have enough cabbage all around to fold over the whole mixture (less is more if this is your first try!).
5. Fold the sides of the cabbage leaves over first, and then roll it to the other end.

6. Place in a large pot, darkest leaves first.
7. Add about 200ml of water, or enough to cover the bottom layer of cabbage rolls.
8. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
9. Place a plate/saucer/bowl over the cabbage leaves – it should be a little smaller than your pot so you can remove it later. 
10. Put the lid on the pot and cook on low-medium heat for about 50 minutes. 
11. After 50 minutes, carefully remove the plate/saucer/bowl with something like a wooden spoon and oven mix, so you protect your hands.
12. Serve these Greek cabbage rolls drizzled in Avgolemono Sauce!

How to store

These stuffed cabbage rolls keep well in a fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them by boiling as before or steaming them until hot through, or you can eat them cold.

Can I freeze Greek cabbage rolls? Yes! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Use sweetheart or pointed cabbage instead of the regular round cabbages. The round cabbge leaves are a little more firm and difficult to soften quickly.
  • Don’t over-stuff the cabbage! You only need 2-3 tbsp per cabbage roll. If you over-stuff them, the stuffing will come out!
  • Place the darkest leaves at the bottom so that they cook a little quicker.
  • Serve Greek cabbage rolls with Avgolemono sauce. These two are made for each other!
Pile of Greek stuffed cabbage rolls on a white plate

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Lahanodolmades - Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Lahanodolmades - Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Yield: 6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a delicious, easy dish to make! The ingredients are really simple and it's easy to throw together. This cabbage rolls recipe can be served Lesvos style with no added sauce, or smothered with avgolemono sauce. They are amazing on their own as a snack or appetizer, or as part of a main dish. Low Carb + Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free

Ingredients

  • 250 g mince, pork, beef, turkey, or a plant-based mince alternative
  • 250 g sausage meat, casing removed, or a plant-based sausage alternative *see notes
  • 1 whole cabbage , boiled - pointed/sweetheart cabbage
  • 1 onion grated, grated
  • 115 g rice, uncooked, 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 200 ml water, **see notes

Instructions

  1. Boil the whole cabbage for about 10 minutes, until the leaves start to come apart. Cut the leaves off as they separate from the cabbage, and place in a strainer in the sink to get rid of excess moisture.
  2. Mix the mince, sausage, onion, uncooked rice, salt, and pepper. how to stuff cabbage leaves 1
  3. When the cabbage leaves are separated and cooled, it’s time to stuff them! Starting with the darkest leaves, lay one on a flat surface.
  4. Add about 2-3 tbsps of the meat mixture at one end of the leaf, in a kind of cylinder/sausage shape. Make sure you have enough cabbage all around to fold over the whole mixture (less is more if this is your first try!).
  5. Fold the sides of the cabbage leaves over first, and then roll it to the other end. raw stuffed cabbage roll
  6. Place in a large pot, darkest leaves first. stuffed cabbage rolls in pot
  7. Add about 200ml of water, or enough to cover the bottom layer of cabbage rolls.
  8. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  9. Place a plate/saucer/bowl over the cabbage leaves - it should be a little smaller than your pot so you can remove it later. plate over stuffed cabbage rolls
  10. Put the lid on the pot and cook on low-medium heat for about 50 minutes.
  11. After 50 minutes, carefully remove the plate/saucer/bowl with something like a wooden spoon and oven mitt, so you protect your hands.
  12. Serve drizzled in Avgolemono Sauce!

Notes

*I've used turkey sausage and Cumberland sausage (both gluten-free), but I think most would work. If using plant-based, the texture should be as close as possible to the meat version.

**enough water to cover the bottom layer of cabbage rolls in the pot

 

nutrition info dolmades

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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