I’m in a love/hate relationship with cabbage rolls. I love them, well, because they are so tasty! I hate the time and effort it takes to make them. But they’re so GOOD! Enter – my unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe for the freezer. Yup. Not only do I get to enjoy a lazy man’s version of cabbage rolls, I get to freeze some for another day.
My dear grandmother, bless her soul, used to make cabbage rolls all the time. Christmas dinner was not complete without a tray of cabbage rolls served along side her gigantic turkey. Every Christmas eve she would serve dinner to 15-20 people. She also introduced me to homemade pierogi. Thank you grandma!! I was a spoiled granddaughter. I was also the grandchild that lived the closest to her so I was probably spoiled the most. A 5 minute walk down the street brought me right to her front door.
While I did eventually learn how to make cabbage rolls from my mother-in-law, it’s definitely a job best shared by a number of people. I think making cabbage rolls would make for a lovely afternoon with friends.
Unfortunately, I don’t always have the extra help in the kitchen so the freezer meals I make need to come together quickly with very little effort. Chopping the cabbage raw then blanching it is must easier than peeling off the leaves one at a time as it cooks in the boiling water, cooling it THEN chopping it. I discovered that I could chop the cabbage into bite size pieces before it even hits the boiling water. Drain the cabbage, then add it to the rest of the delicious ingredients and voila! Unstuffed cabbage rolls! Whip up a few casserole dishes of these unstuffed cabbage rolls and stick them in the freezer for another day. Done like dinner! Pun intended.
I was also inspired to make a cabbage roll soup that was a huge success at the office.
You can use these recipes if you decide to host your very own Freezer Meal Party with your friends. If you’re not already signed up for my newsletter, make sure you sign up! I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how you can host your own Freezer Meal Party complete with print outs, recipes and a planning guide. Who doesn’t want to save money, fill your freezer with delicious meals and spend time with your friends? Make sure you share the love and tell your friends to sign up too!
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Freezer Recipe
- ½ head green cabbage (about 2 lbs), coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 large onion , finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 cup tomatoes , diced
- 355 ml V8 juice
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cooked rice
Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
Remove the outer layer of the cabbage and coarsely chop into bite size pieces. Blanch the cabbage in the boiling water until tender crisp. Drain the cabbage and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the ground beef to the pan and brown until cooked completely.
When the beef is cooked, add the garlic. Cook for one additional minute. Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, V8 juice, parsley, pepper and salt.
Once your beef mixture is assembled, you’ll need to combine the cabbage, rice and meat mixture. You may need to use a large pot or mixing bowl.
Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish (or multiple dishes). Cover with foil and either bake for 30 minutes or until the cabbage is completely tender or place in the freezer for another day.
If you have frozen the unstuffed cabbage rolls, take the dish out of the freezer the day before you intend to eat it and defrost in the fridge. Cook the dish in a 350 F oven for about 45 minutes or until cabbage is tender.