Stuffed Cabbage

Wednesday is Recipe Day at CookingManager.Com.

Stuffed cabbage, or holishkes, are traditionally served on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and most often on the seventh day, the half-holiday of Hoshana Rabba. Anything that must be filled  can seems daunting, but stuffed cabbage is forgiving. The worst thing that could happen is that the rice would be undercooked, in which case you would just cook them some more, or that they would burn. So watch them carefully.

Stuffed Cabbage or Holishkes

Adapted from Jewish Cookery by Leah H. Leonard.

Serves 4-5 (allow one per person as a side dish)


  • 10-12 cabbage leaves. To separate leaves easily, freeze and defrost the entire head.


  • One lb. or 1/2 kg. ground beef or turkey
  • 1/4 c. uncooked white or brown rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 c. lemon juice, vinegar, or 1/8 tsp. citric acid crystals
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (use less if you like)
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce (if you only have tomato paste, dilute it to the consistency of catsup and then measure).


If you haven’t frozen them, blanch cabbage leaves by covering with boiling water for two or three minutes. Drain

Mix filling ingredients together. Place a ball of the mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends securely. Don’t worry if they rip as the egg will bind the meat together. Place close together in a heavy frying pan. Add the sauce ingredients and enough water to cover. Make balls out of any leftover filling and add to the pan. You can add extra cabbage to the pan too.

Cover tightly and cook over moderate eat for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 40 minutes. If you like, uncover and place in the oven for the last 20 minutes at 350° F or 180° C., turning once to brown on top. Add small amounts of hot water if necessary.

This post was featured in the Real Food Digest Rosh Hashanah Carnival.


  1. Looks yummy 🙂
    Why Hoshana Rabba, though?

  2. I’m so glad you recommend freezing the cabbage rather than boiling it. Your recipe is similar to mine. But now you’ve given away the secret, people will know how easy it is. 🙂

  3. Kate, I read that it has something to do with the sacredness of the day being hidden like the stuffing in the food. But I don’t know for sure.

  4. Tesyaa, if I didn’t give away any secrets you would stop coming. . .

  5. Great recipe Hannah. I was always intimidated to make these and I will try it this holidy.

  6. Hannah Blachman says

    The freezing is a great idea – I’ll try it next time. My mother’s recipe which she called “prakes” included beets, tomato and raisns. Does anyone else here do it that way?


  1. […] Hannah at Cooking Manager cooked up the most savory stuffed cabbage. […]

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