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Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

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Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers use your meal from last night to make a whole new meal. Delicious cabbage rolls made from whatever delicious meal you made.

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers
I’m always looking for quick meals I can make with leftovers.

This Cabbage Rolls recipe came about on just such a night.

I had tons of leftovers in the refrigerator but not enough of any one thing to make a whole meal out of it.

Don’t you hate that?

I had to grab a head of cabbage from the store, but the rest of it was all stuff that was in my refrigerator.

Leftover beef from taco’s over the weekend, leftover rice from a beef tip meal a few nights before.

The rest of what I used to make it into a meal, came from stuff I always have on hand (onions, garlic).

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

We love traditional cabbage rolls, but these are a great substitute when you don’t feel like all the fuss.

This is NOT a traditional cabbage roll recipe in any regard, and can be made without leftovers by simply following the recipe below.

You can also stuff the cabbage rolls with just about anything you want.

Think shredded chicken or pork, ground beef, steak, shrimp, fish, veggies – you name it, the possibilites are endless because of how ridiculously easy this recipe is.

In fact, this really is just a jumping off ground for you to make them the way your family enjoys!

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

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Ready to make Cabbage Rolls with Leftovers?

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers

Easy Cabbage Rolls from Leftovers use your meal from last night to make a whole new meal the next night. Delicious cabbage rolls made from whatever delicious meal you made.


  • 1 head of cabbage
  • leftover, or ½ lb lean ground beef
  • ½ onion
  • minced garlic
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • seasonings and sauces for flavor, see recipe


To Prepare the Cabbage:

  1. Some people slice the ends off the cabbage and boil the whole thing. I did that the first time (for these pictures), but have since found that removing the leaves you want to use is MUCH easier and works better. So - remove the # of leaves you need. We did 8. Drop the cabbage leaves into boiling salted water; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain well.
  2. Allow to cool before trying to roll up the filling.

To Prepare the Filling:

  1. In a saucepan on the stove, saute the 2 Tbs. olive oil, onion, garlic with the ground beef.
  2. Combine the beef mixture with the cooked rice. I added some dashes of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and pepper. Divide into 8 portions.

To Make Cabbage Rolls:

  1. Spoon the portions of rice/beef mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf and roll up. Roll the leaf around the filling. If you need to, you can use a toothpick to hold it closed.
  2. Notes: We chose to eat our first batch as soon as we got to this point, but many enjoy baking them in tomato sauce. We've done that a few times too, but each time I do it differently. Here is a standard method.

To Bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the rolled cabbage rolls into a baking dish side by side.
  3. Pour tomato sauce and ½ cup of water into the baking dish. Spread around the cabbage rolls.
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Serve!

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Saturday 7th of November 2020

used leftover meatloaf just added some new rice and tomato soup, as the sauce very good.

Anita at Hungry Couple

Thursday 24th of January 2013

I have fond memories of my mother's delicious cabbage rolls and I like that you've adapted them to use leftovers.

Nicole Cook

Saturday 26th of January 2013

Cabbage rolls are oh so yummy and I was really craving them that night. Seemed just as easy to play with some leftovers. :) Thanks Anita!

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