Where Is My Spoon Recipes Main Dish Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

by Adina 15/02/2018 16 comments

vegan stuffed cabbage rolls
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Last Updated on 18/03/2020 by Adina


Delicious and satisfying vegan cabbage rolls filled with amaranth, sweet potatoes and lots of spices and seeds.




Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Amaranth and Sweet Potatoes


Cabbage rolls. Food I grew up with, food I love, I could eat cabbage rolls any time of the year and with any kind of filling you can think of. I have already posted some cabbage rolls recipes on Where Is My Spoon over the past couple of years, but by far not as many recipes as I have cooked during this time.

And not only cabbage rolls, vine leaves can be stuffed just as you would stuff regular cabbage.

If you would like to see some of those recipe, here are some of my favorites:

Sarmale – Traditional Romanian Cabbage Rolls with Pork and Rice

Vegan Rice Cabbage Rolls with Sauerkraut

Syrian Stuffed Vine Leaves with Rice, Garlic and Herbs

Vegan Stuffed Vine Leaves with Rice and Mushrooms


Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Amaranth and Sweet Potatoes



Actually this cabbage or vine leave rolls series was born from the necessity of using up a huge jar of vine leaves that I bought to make the last recipe mentioned above.

There were just so many vine leaves in the jar and I did not want to fill them all with the same filling, I have so many wonderful recipes for stuffed vine leaves or stuffed cabbage rolls that I want to try, that I just couldn’t make one huge pot of only one kind of rolls.

So, I have actually managed to get 4 smaller dishes of differently stuffed vine leaves rolls from just one jar.

But enough talking about vine leaves, this first recipe of the Stuffed Leaves Series deals with vegan cabbage rolls actually.

The same story here, from one large head of sauerkraut I managed to make two different recipes, today’s vegan cabbage rolls with amaranth and the next post, which will feature another vegan recipe for sauerkraut leaves stuffed with rice, raisins and walnuts.



How to prepare the sauerkraut for filling:

The head of sauerkraut I had weighed about 1,5 kg/ 3.3 lbs. I got 40 cabbage rolls, but this is not an exact science. Some leaves breaks, some are too small to be filled… but you will get between 35 and 45 rolls out of a cabbage of this size for sure.

I usually buy the sauerkraut in the Russian store, but you should be able to find it in any other Eastern European food store and if you live in Germany even in some of the larger supermarkets (like Kaufland, they have it most of the times).

  • You will have to soak the sauerkraut in cold water for about an hour before using, even longer if you still find it too salty. If not soaked, the dish will be too sour and too salty.
  • After soaking the sauerkraut, drain well. Separate the leaves and rinse them well. Place them on a chopping board, one at a time, and remove the lower part of the leaf, where the stem is very thick.


how to stuff cabbage rolls

  • Cut the larger leaves into halves, in the middle where the thick stem is.

how to stuff cabbage rolls


  • Discard the thick stem but only in the case of the larger leaves that you split in half. Leave the smaller leaves whole and cut the thick stem as good as possible so that the leaves will be easy to roll.


Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Amaranth and Sweet Potatoes



Many people think that making stuffed cabbage rolls is difficult. Well, it is not. It might feel that way if you have never tried it before and it is for sure a bit more time intensive than making a regular half an hour quick dinner.

But once you’ve got the hang of it, you will realize that stuffing vine or cabbage rolls is not difficult at all, that you will get faster with practice, the more you do it, the faster you get and that stuffing and rolling cabbage or vine rolls can even be quite relaxing, it really helps me calm down and clear my head sometimes…

The procedure of stuffing and rolling the cabbage or vine rolls is quite simple and I have explained that several times while writing the posts for the stuffed rolls mentioned above. However, I will include some pictures again, just to make things easier.

  • So, when stuffing the rolls, you start by placing a small amount of the filling somewhere in the middle-lower part of the leaf. The amount of filling needed for one roll greatly depends on the size of the leaf.


how to stuff cabbage rolls


  • After placing the filling on the leaf, fold the lower part of the leaf over the filling.

how to stuff cabbage rolls


  • Fold both the left and the right sides of the leaf over the filling.

how to stuff cabbage rolls


  • Form the roll.


Vegan Rice Cabbage Rolls


That easy! After you have made two or three of them, you will already be able to call yourself a professional. 🙂

I stuffed these cabbage rolls with amaranth because I just happened to have an open bag of amaranth in the pantry. But you could replace amaranth with bulgur, couscous or millet. Just cook the different grains according to the packet’s instructions, the needed cooking times differ from grain to grain.


Vegan Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Amaranth and Sweet Potatoes



Like with any kind of cabbage rolls, these vegan stuffed cabbage rolls with amaranth can be easily reheated and enjoyed for several days in a row. You could either heat them in the oven adding a bit of hot water to the dish or they can be transferred to a pot and reheated on the stove adding a little water as well.

Or you can use the microwave.


vegan stuffed cabbage rolls




vegan stuffed cabbage rolls in a casserole dish


vegan stuffed cabbage rolls

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Delicious and satisfying vegan cabbage rolls filled with amaranth, sweet potatoes, lots of spices and seeds.


  • 1,5 kg/ 3.3 lbs head of sauerkraut/fermented cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 onions
  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 generous cup amaranth (or bulgur, millet, couscous – See note)
  • 450 ml/ 15.2 fl.oz/ scant 2 cups good quality vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • chili flakes, to taste
  • 35 g/ 1.2 oz/ ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 35 g/ 1.2 oz/ ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • a small bunch parsley
  • salt and pepper



Remove the core of the sauerkraut head. Release the leaves and place them in a large bowl filled with cold water. Let soak for one hour.


In them meantime prepare the filling.

Chop the onions finely. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and cook the onions until translucent.

In the meantime peel and roughly grate the sweet potatoes. Give them to the onions and continue cooking for further two minutes.

Wash the amaranth in a very fine mesh sieve and give it to the pan as well. Add the vegetable broth, cover the pan and cook the amaranth according to the packet's instructions, in my case 20 minutes. Use as much broth as required by the amaranth's packet instructions, but keep in mind that the liquid should be completely absorbed in the end. If that is not the case, drain the cooked amaranth very well.

Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili flakes to taste, sesame and sunflower seeds. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Cabbage rolls:

Drain the cabbage/sauerkraut. Separate the leaves and rinse them well. Place them on a chopping board, one at a time, and remove the lower part of the leaf, where the stem is very thick. Cut the larger leaves into halves, in the middle where the thick stem is. Discard the thick stem but only in the case of the larger leaves that you split in half. Leave the smaller leaves whole and cut the thick stem as good as possible so that the leaves will be easy to roll.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the rolls place one cabbage leaf on the working surface, place a little filling more or less in the middle of the leaf. Fold the lower part of the leaf over, then one side of the leaf over the filling, then the other side of the leaf over. Roll the leaf to form the cabbage roll and tuck in the open end of the leaf. If some of the leaves are too small you can build a cabbage roll from two leaves, nicely arranged on top of each other.

Chop the middle of the cabbage (where the leaves are too small to use for rolls) and all leftover pieces of cabbage into fine stripes. Place the chopped cabbage in an even layer on the bottom of a casserole dish large enough to hold all the rolls tightly but in a single layer.

Arrange the cabbage rolls in the dish, in a tight, single layer. Pour hot water over the rolls, just as much as to barely cover the rolls, they should not swim in the water. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the rolls are nicely colored and the cabbage is cooked through.


When cooking other grain, read the packet's instructions regarding the cooking time and the amount of water you need.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 3 cabbage rolls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 957mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Rae 15/02/2018 - 18:10

I love stuffed cabbage rolls, such a comfort food. My it must be nice to have a whole fermented cabbage! I’ve never seen that here in the States, only fresh heads of cabbage. Then you have to simmer the cabbage in hot water until the leaves loosen (some recommend freezing and thawing it to achieve the same thing. That definitely makes it a bit more work, but still a rewarding meal. Do you have a different technique for using a fresh head of cabbage?

Adina 15/02/2018 - 18:41

Hi Rae. You can definitely use fresh cabbage for this recipe. I core the head of cabbage and boil it in water with some vinegar loosening the leaves one by one as they soften. It does take longer than just using fermented cabbage, which is so nice and soft, but it works and it is delicious. I have never tried freezing the cabbage, sounds interesting and there is less work involved. sounds great! 🙂

Rae 17/02/2018 - 09:35

Thank you, Adina! I’ll have to try that. It makes sense that the vinegar would have a softening effect on the cabbage as it would on bones for bone broth.

Melissa 20/11/2019 - 15:01

I made these ahead of time for Thanksgiving and I’m freezing them until then. I’m planning on just taking them out and just warming them but I’m wondering if they’ll be too dry. Have you ever made a sauce or sage butter to go over these?

Adina 20/11/2019 - 16:14

Hi Melissa. I have never made sage butter to go over the rolls, but why not? Butter makes everything taste better! 🙂

Nammi 16/02/2018 - 05:28

Hello Adina, hope you had a lovely valentines. Love these cabbage rolls but its the first time I am seeing a vegetarian one, I always see the one with meat. Looks delicious

Sissi 19/02/2018 - 12:51

Very original cabbage rolls! My mum used to make cabbage rolls so often and in such big amounts, I had an overdose and it was like most boring food in the world, even when I moved out, but now I miss them a lot! I must start making my own!
(By the way, I buy sauerkraut in German organic shops and organic sauerkraut is sold even in DM’s drug store’s food section!).

Sven 12/03/2019 - 03:20

Hello Adina! The recipe looks very delicious. How many cabbage rolls do you get from this recipe?

Adina 12/03/2019 - 08:34

Hi Sven. Between 15 and 20, depending on how large the cabbage leaves are and how much filling you put into them. You don’t have to be exact.

Susan 09/02/2020 - 10:16

Have not had these before am wishing to have a go at cooking Cab,roll look so nice thank you for your sharing your recipes have just found this page 😀👌😋💕

shapelessjourneys 30/06/2020 - 03:01

Made these with fresh cabbage that I cooked for a bit. Used rice instead of amaranth, added a bit of soy chunks and therefore doubled the spices. Loved the spices! I find cabbage rolls to usually taste quite bland but this is a good recipe! Thanks!

Adina 30/06/2020 - 07:05

I am happy you liked it, I make the rolls with fresh cabbage sometimes too, I cannot always find the sauerkraut.

Veronika 15/11/2020 - 16:09

I love to try traditional meat dishes that have been adapted for vegans. I’ve never seen cabbage rolls that have a brown top. Could you share how you did that? They look so much more appetizing than any cabbage roll I’ve ever had!

Adina 15/11/2020 - 17:13

Hi Veronika. Thank you for your comment. I didn’t do anything special, they just come out that way, every time.

Minal 21/11/2020 - 10:00

How is your filling so red in color?

Adina 21/11/2020 - 15:49

Hi Minal. More orange than red, the sweet potatoes and turmeric.


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