Lamb Cabbage Rolls – Battle Cabbage

Written by Diana - February 29, 2012 10 Comments

I met some really cool foodbloggers in Cicinnati at the #5B conference – and a couple of them intorduced me to Culinary Smackdown. It’s a challenge where you try to create a recipe using a particular ingredient chosen by the winner of the previous smackdown. February’s smackdown ingredient is cabbage – one of my favorite ingredients. I had cabbage from my market bag, so it was a no brainer. I was determined to use other ingredients I had already on hand – so I made cabbage rolls using ground lamb, but I added baby potatoes, onions, sweet red peppers and carrots, along with a few herbs and fresh sage. I made the dish really sagey – chopped sage inside the cabbage rolls, but also i threw more on top.

We each ate three cabbage rolls – and I stopped my husband from eating more, though he wanted too. My son was supposed to put the cabbage rolls in the oven, but forgot, so he only had a sandwich before leaving for work. I saved his share for after work, fighting my husband off the whole time. My son started with one, but then finished off the other two. I only used some broth to cook the cabbage rolls in a baking pan, but because you are using ground lamb, there will be a lot of fat at the end. Lamb is very fatty, but has a lot of flavor, so if you want to substitute a lower fat meat, go right ahead.


Ground Lamb Cabbage Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cabbage rolls using lots of fresh ingredients and vegetables. Easy assembly. Make the night before and heat when you get home from work, or stick in the crock pot on low.
Serves: 3-4
  • 6 outer cabbage leaves
  • 4 small potatoes diced small
  • 1 med onion diced small
  • 1 medium carrot diced small
  • 1 red pepper diced small
  • 1 pint lamb or chicken broth
  • Sage leaves ½ chopped ½ whole
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Either place leaves in the freezer the night before assembly or Drop large leaves into boiling water to soften.
  2. Mix meat with all of the vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper.
  3. Place a handful of meat into the middle of the cabbage leaf then fold the top and bottom over the meat and cover side to side.
  4. Place the cabbage rolls into a flat bottom glass dish and cover with broth.
  5. Throw sage leaves over top, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for about 30 -45 minutes on 400 covered with aluminum foil.
The leaves were a little tough when I used the freezer method, so boiling water method may be better. I made my cabbage rolls the night before and then cooked it when I came home from work. I think you could probably put it into the crockpot also.


Read the Comments

10 Outstanding Responses to "Lamb Cabbage Rolls – Battle Cabbage"

    La Diva Cucina on February 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    What a nice take on traditional cabbage rolls!  I like the Italian-Med influence and the use of lamb.  LOVE lamb!  I bet these rocked!  Well done!  Good luck, I’m up too!  Cheers!

    La Diva

    Tim @ Chicken and Apples on February 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I love cabbage rolls, but I haven’t seen them made with lamb before. This is definitely going on my “to cook” list.

    GG on February 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Hi, Diana!  Thanks so much for participating in the Smackdown this month.  I love your entry.  Lamb is one of my favorite meats but my wife won’t eat it much.  I think this dish might get her to change her mind!  I’ll hope to announce the Smackdown winner in the next day or so.  Really happy to make your cooking/blogging acquaintance!


    Jen on March 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Diana!  These cabbage rolls look so wonderful.  I personally love cabbage rolls and I’ve never made them with lamb but I’m sure it’s so juicy and savory this way.  

    Leah on March 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m glad you made this with lamb — it’s far underutilized in Cincinnati and I love it. 

    intuitive eggplant on March 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Diana, these sound great – love the lamb and sage idea! And I’m all for cooking with what’s on hand. It was a delight to meet you at the #5B conference, and I’m so glad you joined in the Smackdown!

    Buzz Kill on March 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I came over from GG’s blog and am a smackdown participant.  These cabbage rolls remind me of Polish Golabki only you usde lamb and potato instead of beef and rice.  I’ve heard of the freezer thing with cabbage leaves but have never tried it – and now I won’t bother too.  I like these. 

    Matt on March 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Can you skip the broth?

    Diana on March 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm


    I think you can leave out the broth if you like.

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