Sweet and Sour Cabbage 'Rolls'

Both my mom's and dad's family origins are in various areas of Eastern Europe. As a result, cabbage rolls was a common meal for me growing up, either made by my parents or one of my grandmothers. One thing I really wish I had done, was to have my grandmothers share some recipes with me... Sadly, I was very uninterested in cooking until my mid 20's. By then, I was already living abroad so the opportunities to connect with them in the kitchen were very limited (and they both past away at the end of 2015).

My version of cabbage rolls is the lazy version - I had full intention of actually making rolls, but I kept procrastinating and eventually went with the quick and easy method - deconstructed rolls! 

This recipe makes A LOT of food, so expect leftovers, which freeze beautifully for those crazy busy days when you get back home from work/training and the last thing you want to do is cook, but still need good, wholesome home made eats. I have not tried it myself (yet), but I am sure this recipe will work really well in the slow cooker too - if you give it a try, let me know!

Sweet & Sour Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls 

Makes ~6-8 servings   |   Hand on time: ~15 minutes   |   total time: 35-40 minutes 



  • 1 small cabbage, roughly sliced
  • ~450g lean ground beet (grass fed preferred)
  • ~450 ground pork (you can also use either pork or beef, instead of a combination of the two)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1.5 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups sauerkraut 
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat, add meat and cook until browned. Drain and set aside
  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil and onion in the pot. Cook until translucent, then add the all spice and sugar. Mix to coat the onion
  3. Add the meat back into the pot, as well as the cabbage, stock, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and sauerkraut
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, then add the rice
  6. Turn the heat down to low and add the rice. Keep simmering over low heat for another 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked

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