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    Lazy Cabbage Rolls

    These Lazy Cabbage Rolls are easy to make and incredibly tasty. They are a savory combination of sauteed veggies, rice, chicken, and chopped cabbage.

    If you enjoy cabbage recipes, you might also like to try this Purple Cabbage Salad or Cabbage Cucumber Salad.

    Recipe Details

    I enjoy making Lazy Cabbage Rolls because they are not only simple to prepare, but also packed with protein, satisfying, and visually appealing. This versatile recipe works well as both an appetizer and a main course.

    • TASTE: This savory dish is full of flavor. The chicken is seasoned with salt and pepper, and mixed with sweet sauteed onions and carrots and rich sour cream.
    • TEXTURE: The chicken is juicy and the rice and cabbage are tender and delicious.
    • TIME: It takes about an hour and 40 minutes to make this recipe.
    • EASE: This dish offers the same great taste as traditional cabbage rolls, but it’s a much simpler version. This lazy recipe is nice and simple.

    What You’ll Need

    Ingredients for Lazy Cabbage Rolls: ground chicken, seas salt, tomato sauce, cabbage, sour cream, onion, carrots, black pepper, and white rice.

    Ingredient Notes

    • Cabbage- Look for heads of cabbage that are heavy for their size, with tightly furled leaves, and no blemishes or brown spots.
    • White rice- Medium grain rice is great for this recipe because it is slightly sticky and great for holding the balls together.
    • Chicken- Ground chicken is a must to incorporate easily into the rice mixture.
    • Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream for a really rich flavor.

    Add-ins and Substitutions

    • Substitute brown rice- Use brown rice in place of the white for a healthier option.
    • Add some sweetness- Add a touch of sweetness with maple syrup or brown sugar.
    • Substitute other meats- Try ground beef, pork, or turkey instead of ground chicken in this recipe.
    • Use other tomatoes- Experiment with diced tomatoes for a chunkier version or try condensed tomato soup instead of tomato sauce.

    How to Make Lazy Cabbage Rolls

    • Chop, boil, and rinse the cabbage. Remove the core of the cabbage and chop the rest into small pieces. Boil in water for 2 minutes, then strain and rinse with cold water.
    Steps to make Lazy Cabbage Rolls: chop the cabbage, soak it in boiling water, and then strain it out.
    • Cook the rice. Rinse the rice a few times and place it in a saucepan. Add water until it is about 4 inches above the rice. Bring the rice to a boil and cook over medium high heat for 11 minutes. Once the rice is about 90 percent done, strain the water and set aside.
    • Saute the vegetables. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and cook 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 shredded carrots. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.
    • Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken, cabbage, rice, salt and pepper with the sautéed onion and carrot.
    Steps to make Lazy Cabbage Rolls: cook the rice, saute the onion and carrots, then mix it with the rice, cabbage, salt, pepper, and chicken.
    • Scoop the mixture into balls. Use a cookie scoop to form full balls of the mixture, roll them, then place them tightly spaced in a 9×13 baking dish.
    • Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 370°F.
    • Add the topping. In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the remaining onion and carrots. Once the onion is translucent, add the sour cream and tomato sauce. After 5 minutes, stir in 1/2 cup water and spread the sautéed mixture over the cabbage rolls.
    • Bake. Cover the cabbage rolls with foil and bake for 1 hour.

    Pro Tip: Roll the balls of cabbage mixture in your hands to tighten them up so they stay together while baking.

    Steps to make Lazy Cabbage Rolls: scoop the cabbage mixture, place them in a baking dish, saute onions carrots and add sour cream, then top the cabbage rolls with it and bake.

    Recipe Tips

    • Rinse the cabbage- Make sure to rinse the boiled cabbage with cold water to stop the cooking process so it doesn’t become overcooked and lose its texture.
    • Don’t overcook the rice- Only cook the rice about 90% because it will continue to cook in the oven in the cabbage rolls and you don’t want it to become too mushy.
    • Use your hands to roll the cabbage mixture- I find it easiest to mix it with my hands rather than using a spatula or spoon.
    • Use a cookie scoop- For even cooking, scoop the cabbage mixture with a cookie scoop. Otherwise smaller balls will cook faster while larger balls will cook slower.


    Is it better to freeze or boil cabbage for cabbage rolls?

    You can either freeze or boil cabbage leaves to make them pliable enough to roll. In this Lazy Cabbage Rolls recipe, you will briefly soak the chopped cabbage in boiling water before adding it to the chicken and rice.

    Why is the cabbage on my cabbage rolls tough?

    If your cabbage is tough, then you have not boiled it long enough. You need to give it enough time to get soft and tender. Whole leaves take longer than the chopped cabbage in these lazy cabbage rolls, which only need 2 minutes.

    Lazy Cabbage Rolls on a white plate with a fork.

    Serving Suggestions

    Since these Lazy Cabbage Rolls make such a large batch, they are an ideal appetizer. You can also serve them as a full meal with delicious sides or starters.

    • Appetizers: Serve these in an appetizer buffet with Chicken Croquettes, Eggplant Roll-ups, Smoked Salmon Appetizer (VIDEO), or Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.
    • Salads: Enjoy these cabbage rolls with a Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad, Couscous Arugula Salad, Purple Cabbage Salad, or Broccoli Salad With Bacon and Cheese.
    • Sides: Serve them with some Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli, Super Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Breaded Chicken Skewers, or Sauteed Garlic Asparagus.
    • Soups: Pair these Lazy Cabbage Rolls with a bowl of Potato Leek Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Chicken Gnocchi Soup, or Cream of Mushroom Soup.

    Make This Recipe in Advance

    Make ahead: You can prepare these cabbage rolls and, before baking, cover the dish with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge a day ahead of time.

    Storing: Store these Lazy Cabbage Rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the microwave or in the oven.

    Freeze: Freeze the cabbage rolls in a freezer ziplock bag either cooked or uncooked for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and reheat until warmed through.

    More Tasty Appetizers!

    • Chicken Croquettes Recipe
    • Crab Artichoke Dip
    • Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
    • Eggplant Caviar Spread (Ikra) Recipe

    Full Recipe Instructions


    Lazy Cabbage Rolls

    These Lazy Cabbage Rolls are a wonderfully flavorful combination of ground chicken, vegetables and spices that produce the ultimate comfort food dish.