Lebanese Cuisine,  Main Dishes

Lebanese Cabbage Rolls – Malfouf

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Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are also called Malfouf

This is a classic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cabbage rolls dish! Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls are filled with ground beef and rice and cooked in a Dutch oven with garlic and tomato sauce with mint and lemon as well. This rolled cabbage leaves recipe is so healthy and gluten free!

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What are Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls? Also called Malfouf recipe

Lebanese cabbage rolls come in a variety of different flavors and styles. From classic cabbage rolls to traditional cabbage rolls, I only prefer the style of Mediterranean stuffed cabbage rolls. Stuffed with a mixture of white rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices, it is cooked in tomato sauce and spiced with lemon, mint and garlic. If you have never had that flavor combo before, quite frankly, your missing out!

Not only is this stuffed cabbage incredibly delicious (and might I add THE BEST cabbage roll recipe), but it is also a very healthy cabbage roll recipe. A popular Middle Eastern cooking technique is to stuffed vegetables like this recipe for Stuffed Yellow Squash (kousa mahshi). Check it out!

But here is your chance to try this very flavorful dish. And don’t be scared, kids love it too, even though the word cabbage may scare them.

I also recommend a good Dutch oven for cooking these cabbage rolls. Here is a great one from Amazon.

Dutch Oven

Before you get started, make sure you grab a helper. This dish is a little more labor intensive then some. I will give an easy step by step video of how to make Lebanese the cabbage rolls. If you want to find out more about Middle Eastern and Lebanese Food, read my article by clicking the link.

How to make cabbage roll filling

Cut the ground beef, rice, cinnamon, salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of tomato sauce together until combined evenly. This is your stuffing for the cabbage rolls.

ground beef, meat mixture,  ground beef and rice for stuffing cabbage

Next you will need to cut the core out of the head of cabbage. The cabbage needs to go into simmering water in order to wilt the cabbage leaves. You don’t want to kill the leaves, just wilt them enough for them to separate easily from the head of cabbage, and so that it will be pliable for rolling.

head of cabbage

Have your helper monitor the cabbage, pulling off the outer leaves as they wilt.

parboiling cabbage, boiling cabbage for cabbage rolls

PRO TIP*** Don’t use the first few leaves that are greener. The green leaves tend to be tough.

Step by step how to roll the cabbage leaves

Now comes the rolling. Each of the larger cabbage leaves will yield 2 cabbage rolls and here is how to cut them.

  1. Set your leaf like so
  2. With a paring knife cut down the side of the hard rib in the middle
  3. Cut down the other side of the rib so as to separate if from the cabbage leaf completely.
  4. on the edge that had the rib, put a few tablespoons of the meat mixture.
how to stuff cabbage leaves, rolling stuffed cabbage

Make sure to put some of the ribs from the cabbage onto the bottom of your pan before putting the cabbage rolls into the pan.

Don’t over stuff the cabbage or else it will be hard to get into a tight roll. Start by rolling from the edge that had the rib, fold in both sides as you go.

Place the stuffed cabbage roll into the pan on top of the cabbage ribs. Make sure to set each roll tightly next to each other in the pan forming a nice, tight layer. Reference the video below for the step by step process of rolling the cabbage.

Video of how to make recipe for Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

After completely a single layer, sprinkle garlic, mint and salt on top then cover with some tomato sauce.

layering cabbage rolls
One layer of cabbage rolls with mint, salt and garlic on top

Repeat the layer process sprinkling garlic, mint and salt between each layer and a few tablespoons of tomato sauce.

After all of the layers are completed, pour the remaining sauce over the top and fill with water until it reaches the top of the cabbage rolls.

Lebanese stuffed Cabbage in tomato sauce

In order to keep the cabbage rolls tight and from opening, put a bowl or pottery plate on top to weigh it down.

cover the cabbage rolls with a piece of pottery

Bring water to a boil then simmer it for 25 minutes then add lemon, garlic, mint and salt mixture and simmer for 20 more minutes. Carefully take the plate off the top and feast your eyes upon those delicious cabbage rolls.

Stuffed Cabbage rolls with ground beef and rice, cabbage rolls Lebanese

Stuffed cabbage rolls are delicious and super healthy! Serve and enjoy!

Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls with ground beef and rice, cooked in tomato sauce with Mediterranean spices

Coming soon!!! I will be posting a super east lazy cabbage rolls without all the work. Yes, unstuffed or deconstructed cabbage rolls is about the easiest and quickest way to make Lebanese cabbage rolls!

Want to see some other great Lebanese recipes? Check these out!

Lebanese flat bread recipe with za'atar seasoning Seaasoned Lebanese Flat Bread (Za’atar Bread)

The inside of Lebanese Meat pies Lebanese Meat Pies

Lebanese chicken Rice Lebanese Chicken Rice


Shop kitchen products used in this recipe

Enamel Dutch Oven The Best Knife set review


Stuffed with a mixture of white rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices, these cabbage rolls are cooked in tomato sauce and spiced with lemon, mint and garlic

Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Emily Ackerman
Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are filled with a mixture of white rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices, these cabbage rolls are cooked in tomato sauce and spiced with lemon, mint and garlic.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head Cabbage
  • 1 cup White Rice
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 14.5 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 3 cups Water
  • ¼ teas Cinnamon
  • ¼ teas Pepper
  • 1 ½ teas Salt
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tbls Dried Mint Leaf
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice

Instructions
 

  • Core the cabbage and parboil it to remove the leaves. Leaves should be pliable to roll
  • Cut ground beef, rice, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cinnamon and 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce together in a mixing bowl
  • Slice each leaf in half next to the rib, slice the rib out completely (see post for video and step by step visuals)
    how to roll cabbage leaves
  • Layer the ribs on the bottom of the pan
  • Put 2 tablespoons of the ground beef and rice mixture on the edge of the leaf where the rib was cut out
  • Roll the leaf over the beef mixture once and fold in both sides. Continue to roll until it is tight
  • Place seem side down in the pan on top of the ribs
  • Make a tight layer of cabbage rolls
  • After each layer sprinkle mint and garlic and 1/4 teas salt over the top of the cabbage rolls then put 4-5 Tablespoons of tomato sauce on top also
  • Repeat these steps to make more layers of cabbage rolls
  • After all of the ground beef mixture is gone, put the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of the cabbage leaves. Add 1 teaspoon of salt over the top and cover the cabbage rolls with water until it reaches the top of the cabbage rolls
  • Put a plate of pottery over the top layer of the cabbage rolls so that they hold together while cooking
  • Simmer for 20 minutes
  • Add the rest of the garlic, ½ teaspoon of mint to the lemon juice and pour over the top of the cabbage rolls
  • Simmer for another 20 minutes or until rice is done
  • Serve and enjoy
Keyword lebanese cuisine, stuffed cabbage, cabbage rolls, cabbage leaves
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure

Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Looking for the best cabbage dish? Here is your recipe for traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Each roll is a wrap stuffed with rice, ground beef and Mediterranean spices and cooked in tomato sauce to perfection. Healthy, delicious and an easy step by step tutorial how to roll the cabbage leaves. -APinchOfAdventure
Tasty Mediterranean style cabbage rolls are stuffed with a delicious ground beef and rice mixture and cooked in tomato sauce with  garlic, lemon and mint. -APinchOfAdventure
Stuffed cabbage rolls are delicious, healthy and the gluten free cabbage recipe out there! Lebanese stuffed cabbage leaves are stuffed with ground beef and rice. This is a complete guide on how to make stuffed cabbage rolls. This is a great recipe idea for the Mediterranean diet and this cabbage recipe is tasty
Stuffed cabbage rolls are delicious, healthy and the gluten free cabbage recipe out there! Lebanese stuffed cabbage leaves are stuffed with ground beef and rice. This is a complete guide on how to make stuffed cabbage rolls. This is a great recipe idea for the Mediterranean diet and this cabbage recipe is tasty
Stuffed cabbage rolls are delicious, healthy and the gluten free cabbage recipe out there! Lebanese stuffed cabbage leaves are stuffed with ground beef and rice. This is a complete guide on how to make stuffed cabbage rolls. This is a great recipe idea for the Mediterranean diet and this cabbage recipe is tasty

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