Cabbage Roll Meatballs

Cabbage Roll Meatballs.jpg

To be completely honest, I am terrified to try any variation of cabbage rolls. The number one reason being they would never measure up to my Grandma Taylor’s recipe. Therefore, I save any possible disappointment by avoiding the recipe altogether. I learned this lesson the hard way after attempting to make her soul-warming chicken and rice soup… which turned out to be so far from her recipe that I almost cried. All the ingredients made sense and the aromas during cooking were promising; but in the end, the secret ingredient (aka Grandma’s love) was missing.

Pinterest Inspired


  • 1 c. uncooked brown rice, steamed and cooled
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage, sliced into 1/4″ strips
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (85% lean is best)
  • 1 lb. Jennie-O lean ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped fine and divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb salt-free seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Nature’s Seasoning
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. matchstick carrots
  • 2 c. Smart Made marinara sauce
  • 1 c. hot water
  • optional: grated parmesan cheese


  1. Fill half of a large 6 quart pot with water and bring to boil. Add in the thinly sliced cabbage pieces and remove from the heat. Stir gently and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Pour cabbage into a strainer and allow to drain. *Here is where you will get a workout* Grab a handful of cabbage and squeeze the moisture out. Add back to the empty large pot. Continue until all cabbage is drained.
  2. To the large pot of cabbage, add turkey, sausage, steamed rice, 2 eggs, half of chopped onions, Mrs. Dash, Nature’s Seasoning, and parsley. Use your hands to thoroughly mix until well incorporated.
  3. Preheat oven to 425*. Spray a 9×13″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Form the meatballs into heaping 1/4 c. mounds and place into greased casserole dish. I made an even 12 oblong balls.
  5. In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add in the oil. Pour in remained onions and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent. Pour in the marinara sauce and water and stir until combined. Gently pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for additional 5 minutes if tomato mixture is still too soupy.
  7. Garnish with additional parsley and grated parmesan cheese

Yields 6 servings.

Eat, Bork, and Be Merry!

~ Kate


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