Red cabbage rolls stuffed with a flavorful mixture of onions, lentils, brown rice, and Italian seasonings. This is one of our favorite healthy, inexpensive dinners! Tastes just like grandma’s cabbage rolls but without the meat! Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free.
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MMmmMmm cabbage rolls, a classic recipe that my family loves!
Except, I’ve changed it up a bit and veganized it!
I bet you’ve never seen red cabbage rolls before! Usually, they’re made with green cabbage. Why? I don’t know. If you know why please tell me! Purple cabbage is so good for you! Any fruits or vegetables that are bright purple, are loaded with antioxidants. I make the swap anytime I can.
Lentil Stuffed Red Cabbage Rolls
I do remember my grandpa, Poppy, talking about Golumpkis (pronounced goy-yump-kees), so that’s what I wanted to recreate and put my own spin on it.
Traditional polish golumpki are made with green cabbage leaves, beef or pork, onions, garlic, rice, and tomato sauce. I made my vegan cabbage rolls with red cabbage leaves, lentils, onions, garlic, brown rice, and tomato sauce.
Can I Use Something Instead Of Lentils?
Related Vegan Lentil Recipes:
- Lentil Quinoa “Meatballs”
- Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Pea Pesto Lentils
- Secret Ingredient Lentil Sloppy Joes
- Creamy Coconut Lentil Spinach Chickpea Soup
Do You Have To Bake The Cabbage Rolls?
To keep the delicate cabbage leaves from sticking to the bottom of the dutch oven and burning, use 2-3 cabbage leaves to line the bottom of the pot! It acts as a barrier between the golumpki and the hot pan. You definitely don’t want to have to stand over the pot, constantly moving them to make sure they don’t stick.
How to Assemble A Cabbage Roll
- Use the larger outer leaves first, the smaller inner leaves will be harder to roll and keep together.
- I like to cut 1 inch off the base of the stem from the larger leaves, sometimes they can be tough.
- Add the filling to the center of the roll, fold over both sides, then fold the bottom up and start rolling.
- Place seam side down into the casserole dish.
Do your best to roll the cabbage rolls up pretty tight to keep the filling in. If the leaf tears or some filling falls out one side, it’s okay, don’t panic. Just tuck the ends in the best you can, and place them in the casserole dish. When it’s baking, everything magically melds together, and it holds together very well when you take it out of the dish.
What Should You Serve With The Cabbage Rolls?
I served the cabbage rolls with brown rice on the side, but it would also be delicious with multicolored quinoa, wheat berries, mashed potatoes, or pasta. Two cabbage rolls is plenty for me for dinner, and Travis had three, so this dish lasted us for two meals. Yeah! Cook once, eat twice!
Not to mention, this is a very affordable meal option if you’re on a budget, like us. Everything I used was organic, and it only cost around $8 for two people to eat for two days.
Vegan red cabbage rolls stuffed with a flavorful mixture of onions, lentils, brown rice, and Italian seasonings.
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 1 cup dry green lentils
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste, I love this paste because it's in a jar, so no BPA!
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large head of red cabbage
- 1 26 oz jar of tomato sauce
- Parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook lentils and brown rice (separately) according to package directions, set aside.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut out and remove the stem from the bottom of the cabbage head.
In a large pot, boil the water and season it with salt. Add the whole cabbage head to the water and let it boil for 5 minutes or until the outer leaf starts to pull away from the head. Using tongs, carefully remove the outer leaves until you have 10-12 large leaves. Let them cool on a plate. Cut out one inch of the thick rib from the base of each leaf.
Sauté the onion in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and dry seasonings. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add the cooked lentils and rice to the pan. Stir to combine and let the mixture cook for 4-5 minutes to let the flavors to meld.
Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish.
Spoon 1/3 cup of filling into each cabbage leaf. Fold the sides in, and then roll it up. Place the cabbage roll seam side down in the casserole dish.
Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
Cover with foil or parchment paper, and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with parsley.
Do you have any favorite family recipes that were passed down from your grandparents? Please share them with me in the comments!
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