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Cabbage Roles – Kohlrouladen

Cabbage Rolls

Gift-wrapped meatballs would be a funnier name for Cabbage Rolls but I guess I’ll have to go with the regular name. Meatballs wrapped in cabbage leafs are very well known in Germany but it seems that they are also not new to the US. However, here is my German take on it.

Cabbage Rolls Video

I really don’t know why I keep calling it “rolled cabbage” in the video.

About the Recipe

If you buy your cabbage, keep two things in mind:

  1. It has to fit into your pot
  2. Larger is better because the leaves are getting smaller the closer you get to the core.

I keep it all very simple in this recipe, trusting that you will find your way to spice things up a little to your taste. So this is the basic of a stuffed cabbage role but you can alter it with herbs and spices, try to create a different sauce etc. There are no rules to this since ground beef can easily be seasoned with all kind of spices. Just make sure your beef has enough salt!

Cabbage Rolls In Germany

Only a few people really go through the process from scratch any more. I used to buy this in a can or frozen instead of boiling a cabbage and having the house smell like cabbage. But I don’t have that luxury here in Texas and like always, homemade is much better than store-bought.

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Cabbage Rolls – Kohlrouladen

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Course Lunch (or Dinner), Main Course, Meat Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 3 people


  • 400 g Ground Beef
  • ½ Dinner Roll, soaked in cold water
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Mustard
  • some salt & Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil

For the Sauce

  • 500 ml Vegetable Broth
  • 4 tsp. Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbsp. cold Water


  • Pur Water to a large pot and add 1 tsp. of Salt to 1 Liter (4 cups) of the water.
  • Add the cabbage to the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Wash the cabbage, remove the outer leaves and cut out the stem as shown in the video.
  • While the Cabbage comes to a boil, prepare the ground beef.
  • Squeeze the water out of the roll and add it to a bowl with the ground beef.
  • Also add the diced onion, egg, mustard, salt, and pepper and mix all very well.
  • When the cabbage is boiling, the outer leaves will fall off. Take them out and put them aside, wait until the next layer of leaves comes off and repeat until you have 12 to 15 cabbage leaves.
  • From each leaf, cut flat the stem part so you can roll them easier later.
  • Combine a large, a medium-size, and a small leaf on top of each other.
  • Take about 1/4 of the ground beef and shape it in a football shape, then put it int the center of the top leaf.
  • Fold the sides of the leaves to the center, then roll the front to the back so you get a nice package.
  • Secure with kitchen yarn.
  • In a large pot heat the oil.
  • Put the cabbage rolls into the hot oil and fry from all sides.
  • Add the broth and close the lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes.
  • Check occasionally if there is enough liquid in the pot and turn the cabbage rolls once.
  • After the cooking time, remove the cabbage rolls and set them aside, covered with a plate or lid to keep them warm.
  • Mix the corn starch with the water and add to the remaining liquid in the pot. Bring to a boil and let thicken.
  • Either pure the sauce through a sieve or use an immersion blender to blend it.
  • Season to taste and serve with the cabbage rolls and sides like potatoes and carrots.
Keyword keto
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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8 thoughts on “Cabbage Roles – Kohlrouladen”

  1. Also, I told my mom that I made it and she said that my oma used to take extra cabbage wedge and cook it with the kohlrouladen. Such an easy way to cook more food for the meal and she says it was delicious. Just thought you all may like that idea, too.

  2. 5 stars
    My kids’ first real German feast I made for them last night. Three out of four want me to make this on their birthdays; they absolutely loved it! Thank you.

  3. Hello, I have already made this twice! I added a little more herbs for the meat and it worked beautifully. :-) Just one thing, it is obvious but the ‘Ingredients’ section does not say ‘cabbage’, so I almost forgot to buy one today! haha. Thanks for this simple but lovely recipe, especially the video is super useful.

  4. 5 stars
    One of my favorites. My Grandmother in Braunschweig always made a large batch of cabbage rolls for me so I could freeze them. I have not been able to duplicate the flavors. This recipe is perfect!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you! I really appreciate the video. I’ve always WANTED to know how to make these. Have you ever heard of bierrocks? They are German-American rolls filled with cabbage, onion and ground beef: basically bread plus the Kohlrouladen ingredients. My family always told me growing up in Kansas that they were German but after living and working there for several years, I believe they were wrong. Rather, they are German-American in my opinion. If you haven’t heard of bierrocks, it’s worth a google.

    1. Hi Sara,
      I have never heard of Bierrocks in Germany. I googled them and it seems that they have their origin in East Europe, like Russia. A lot of Germans who had settled in Russia or other parts of East Europe have immigrated to the US after WWII and I believe they brought it here. They seem to be a mix from Pieroggs and German Cabbage and would be a great example of how cultures learn from each other and create something great.

      1. Hi Barbara,
        Thank you for confirming my suspicion. Pieroggs, of course! That must be where they come from. If you change the P to a B and the GG to a CK sound then that is probably how they got their American name. Love your show! Keep up the good work!

  6. Beautifully done! I’ve never bought premade cabbage rolls. I love the way you roll yours and take the time to prepare your meals for us! Thank you ?

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4.84 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)
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