Becky Luigart-Stayner
8 servings

We've revived a nearly forgotten comfort food--cabbage rolls. These are made in the Finnish style, with a corn syrup-bacon glaze that caramelizes during baking. Cooking the cabbage in the microwave makes easy work of removing the leaves for the rolls. (Recipe by Finnish-American Jim Fobel, a Cooking Light Contributor and the author of Jim Fobel's Casseroles and Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book.)

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare cabbage rolls, core cabbage using a serrated knife. Place cabbage in an 8-inch square baking dish or 2-quart casserole; add 2 tablespoons water. Loosely cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap. Microwave at high 9 minutes, rotating baking dish a half-turn after 5 minutes. Cover dish and let stand 15 minutes. Discard any tough dark green leaves. Remove 8 light-colored cabbage leaves. Cut off raised portion of the main vein of each leaf, and set leaves aside. Finely chop enough remaining cabbage to measure 1/2 cup, and set aside. Coarsely chop enough remaining cabbage to measure 2 cups; arrange in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with slivered onion.

Step 2

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 8 minutes. Drain well.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 4

Combine 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage, rice, apple, and the next 7 ingredients (apple through egg). Crumble turkey over mixture; stir just until blended. Place about 1/2 cup turkey mixture in center of each cabbage leaf. Fold in edges of leaves, and roll up; place cabbage rolls on top of coarsely chopped cabbage. Cut several 1/4-inch-deep slits across top of each roll. Pour 1/4 cup water over rolls. Cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Step 5

To prepare basting glaze, cook the bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat. Remove bacon from pan; discard bacon drippings. Return bacon to pan; stir in corn syrup and remaining ingredients. Uncover cabbage rolls; spoon one-third basting glaze over cabbage rolls. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour, basting with basting glaze every 20 minutes. Spoon about 1/4 cup remaining cabbage on each of 8 plates; top each with 1 cabbage roll.

Ratings & Reviews

steponme's Review

February 09, 2015
Delicious comfort dish. Takes a good amount of time to cook; next time, I'll start earlier.

karengra's Review

May 14, 2010
Nice recipe, the flavors work well together.

elsinore51's Review

February 13, 2010
I followed the recipe exactly (not the norm for me!) because I wanted to see how it turned out before I started tinkering with it. All of my family agreed that it was very bland; it's as if the ground turkey neutralized all the other wonderful ingredients. The only bites that were flavorful were those that had the glaze on them but there weren't enough of them. I think you would need to double the glaze and use something other than turkey to make this a flavorful and moist dish.

KathJB's Review

September 08, 2009
This is a wonderful recipe. We are getting a lot of cabbage from our CSA so I am looking for fun ways to prepare it. I made this to freeze but the aroma of it was so compelling that I had to slice a taste of it and it was delicious. I followed the recipe pretty closely. Used fresh sage in place of the rubbed. It does take a while to prepare but as a previous reviewer mentioned--its fun. The first time you make cabbage rolls it seems daunting but believe me it gets easier. I almost always make them ahead and reheat them the next day or after freezing. I plan to serve these with a barley pilaf and either ginger/mustard glazed carrots or sauteed spinach.

2ndRowSista's Review

August 11, 2009
Not sure why some of the other reviewers didn't like the taste, but we thought it was fabulous! The sauce with the bacon really makes the dish, ok so I cheated and used 6 slices of bacon...but even the flavors inside the rolls were great! But WARNING: You need to start making this 2 hours before you plan to eat! It's not hard, just a lot of cooking time.