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Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (Ленивые Голубцы)

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are a quick & easy one pot wonder with ground beef, rice and cabbage, almost a Casserole! Perfect When You Are in a Hurry! - Lazy Cabbage Rolls (Ленивые Голубцы)

Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Eastern European, Russian, Slavic, Ukrainian
Keyword Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Peter's Food Adventures


  • 1 large cabbage - roughly chopped 3" to 4" pieces
  • 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 lbs /1kg lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh chopped dill & thyme
  • 2 cups uncooked medium grain rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bottles of Passata Tomato Puree 25oz/700g
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 teaspoons Vegeta beef stock powder
  • handful fresh chopped dill chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning to taste optional


  1. Wash and cook the rice as per package instructions and set aside to cool. TIP: Cook the rice in beef stock instead of water for a richer flavour. While rice is cooking, start prepping your vegetables and start step #2.
  2. In a large cast iron dutch oven, (I used a 8 quart size) heat the oil on high heat and add the onions and fry for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the carrots and 3 cloves garlic and continue to cook until carrots are tender.

  3. Add the ground beef and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and breaking up the pieces occasionally. Mix in the dill, thyme, salt and pepper.

  4. When the meat is cooked, add the cabbage leaves into the dutch oven. If there is too much cabbage, put the lid on for a few minutes, and the cabbage will reduce, as it's mostly water. Then add the rest of the cabbage. Stir with the meat mixture until combined.

  5. Add the Passata, cooked rice, 3 cloves garlic, beef stock powder, chopped dill and sour cream. Mix thoroughly and taste. Add Maggi seasoning (optional - but adds great flavour) and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and dill.

Recipe Notes

*Using Passata gives this recipe a fresher tomato taste instead of cooking in tomato sauce and water like traditional Cabbage Rolls. Passata is an uncooked tomato purée that’s been strained of seeds and skins. If your supermarket doesn’t carry Passata, it can be found in Italian delis. If unavailable, substitute with 4 cans of crushed tomatoes.