Drool-worthy, very easy vegan cabbage rolls – with rice and veggies stuffing
These vegan cabbage rolls, also called Sarmi, are a classic Eastern European dish. They are prepared very often, in some families every week. There are many variations of the wrapping of the rolls, as well as with the stuffing. Often used wrappings are cabbage leaves, raw or pickled and grape leaves.
In our case, I make them vegan and often based on rice. You can add quinoa or other types of starches / beans per your choosing. Traditionally, they can be prepared with minced meat, so I suppose some Beyond meat can be added for additional flavor.
Alternatively, if you want a meaty-like texture of your vegan cabbage rolls, you can use the mock mince meat (based on lentil) from my Moussaka stuffing recipe.
- Raw cabbage leaves – I made a small portion so I used only four leaves. Please adapt the quantities of the ingredients accordingly
- One carrot, peeled
- Half an onion, white
- Two small red tomatoes
- Three gloves of garlic
- 100 g white rice
- One cup veggie stock of choice
- One cup thick tomato sauce (I used canned pasta sauce)
As my readers may already know, I love dishes with stuffing! Here are more stuffing-filled recipes:
- Vegan stuffed zucchini boats + secret trick
- Easy vegan leftover rice and quinoa stuffed peppers
- Vegan stuffed grape leaves | Dolmades | Sarmi
This is an easy and straight-forward recipe, but there is one important step that you shouldn’t miss. My trick to making these vegan cabbage rolls is to always prepare the cabbage leaves beforehand.
Fresh, raw cabbage can be tricky to work with when you wrap your roll. So, to make it easier, I always put the leaves in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. You don’t need to boil them, just soak them after you bring the water to a boil. This makes the leaves softer and much easier to work with.
Heat a large pan and add 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil or broth of choice. Add peeled and chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic and dill and shredded carrot. Let the veggies sautee for about 10 minutes or until the water evaporates.
When the veggies have soften, add 100 g white rice. Or, mix rice with quinoa – your choice. If using only rice, add one cup of veggie broth and one cup water. Add salt if needed.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the liquid and looks well cooked.
With your stuffing ready, it’s time to pre-heat your oven to medium heat and prepare your cabbage rolls. In the meantime, leave the stuffing aside for at least 10 minutes – just to rest and cool down.
Time to start wrapping! Check out the video below for the exact process. Take a cabbage leaf (which should now be softer and easier to work with), add two or three tablespoons stuffing and wrap. Continue the process with all cabbage leaves.
Spread some of the tomato or pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking pan, place the cabbage rolls and cover with more sauce. Bake over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the leaves get a nice, golden hue.
Did you make this recipe? Share and comment below!