Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Vegan roast or mushroom ragout? It is a difficult decision that we have to make every Christmas. And as if the decision wasn't hard enough already, here's the next Christmas recipe: vegan cabbage rolls.

As I grew up in a cabbage rolls-free household, I had to get some outside help for the test cooking this time. Luckily, I was able to find one or two cabbage roulade connoisseurs in my circle of friends. The result: the vegan roulades taste just as savory and hearty as the original! And they're actually not as difficult to prepare as you might think.

The filling for our roulades consists of "fresh" vegan minced meat. You can now find it at many discount stores and supermarkets. The taste and consistency are perfect for the filling, as it is easy to shape and not as "dry" as soy granules. We also added cooked lentils from the tin. Of course, you can also soak and cook the lentils yourself. The filling usually ends up in a rolled white cabbage leave, but we opted for savoy cabbage because of its great green color. Both are perfect.
Make sure to remove the hard stems before blanching the leaves; this makes rolling a breeze. Before frying, secure the roulades with cooking string. You should never skip this step. Otherwise, the rolls will fall apart hopelessly. You can actually find cooking string in any supermarket or online. Alternatively, you can also secure the cabbage rolls with toothpicks.

To save you (and us) some work, we prepare the brown sauce directly in the pan in which the cabbage roulades are simmering (yay, no need to wash up). To do so, add the tomato paste to the roulades in the pan and deglaze both with plenty of vegetable stock. After about 30 minutes, the cooked roulades can be removed from the pan. Use the roulade stock to make the sauce. To do this, add the plant-based heavy cream, starch and spices to the pan one after the other until you have a thick brown sauce. We have served cabbage roulades and sauce with potatoes, but mini dumplings or potato dumplings are also perfect.

Tip: Anyone who has ever had a whole cabbage like this at home knows that it is practically endless. But don't worry, instead of making 50 cabbage rolls out of it, you could use the leftovers to make vegan cabbage and onion pasta or coleslaw, for example.

R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
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Vegan Cabbage Rolls

4 servings (6–8 cabbage rolls)
60 minutes


For the cabbage rolls:

  • 6–8 leaves white cabbage (or savoy cabbage)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 g (2 oz) carrot
  • 10 g (0.33 oz) fresh parsley
  • 250 g (9 oz) vegan "raw minced meat"
  • 250 g (9 oz) cooked brown lentils
  • 2 tbsp medium-strength mustard
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • vegan butter for frying
  • salt
  • pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 l (4.25 cups) vegetable stock
  • 35 g (4 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 100 ml (0.5 cup) plant-based heavy cream
  • 2 tsp soysauce
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • sugar
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 1,5 kg (3.33 lbs) waxy potatoes
  • salt
  • fresh parsley for serving


  1. For the cabbage rolls, peel and finely dice onions, garlic, and carrot (you can also grate the carrot if desired). Wash and finely chop fresh parsley.

  2. Add chopped onions, garlic, carrot, parsley, vegan "minced meat", cooked brown lentils, mustard, tomato paste, and paprika to a bowl. Stir to combine – you can do so by using your hands and knead the filling until it's a mushy and shapeable mix. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Carefully cut off one cabbage leaf per cabbage roll from the stem. Rinse under water, then remove the tougher end of the stem with a knife. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch cabbage leaves for approx. 4-5 minutes. Remove from the hot water and rinse under icecold water. Pat them dry on a clean kitchen towel.

  4. Add approx. 2-3 tbsp of the filling to the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the left and right side of the leaf over the filling, then roll up the leave from the bottom to the top to form your cabbage roll and to seal the filling. Use cooking string to fix the cabbage roll. Repeat this step with remaining cabbage leaves and filling until everything is used up.

> Tip: How to fix the cabbage roll with cooking string: Wrap the cooking string around on end of the cabbage roll and knot it tightly. Now wrap the string around the whole cabbage roll several times until you get to the other end. Knot it there again and cut off remaining string.

  1. For the sauce, melt vegan butter in a large, deep frying pan (or a roasting pan). Add cabbage rolls and fry them from all sides until browned. Add tomato paste and fry for a few minutes until it gets darker.

  2. Add vegetable stock, then close with a lid and let the cabbage rolls braise over medium heat for approx. 30 minutes. The sauce should simmer during this time.

  3. In the meantime peel waxy potatoes and transfer them to a pot. Cover with water, saeason with salt, and let them boil for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender.

  4. Remove the cabbage rolls from the frying pan. Mix cornstarch with 2-3 tbsp of water, then stir the mixture into the sauce. Add plant-based heavy cream and season the sauce with soy sauce, marjoram, a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for approx. 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickend. Add the cabbage rolls back to the pan, then remove from heat.

  5. Wash and finely chop parsley for serving. Serve cabbage rolls with sauce and boiled potatoes, then sprinkle with parsley.

R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
R594 Vegan Cabbage Rolls
R594 Vegane Kohlrouladen

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