The secret revealed – stuffed cabbage rolls

If you’re looking for a healthy recipe read no further – this one is my specialty but it is loaded with fat.

Essentially, my stuffed cabbage rolls with bacon and Polska kielbasa are a guaranteed heart attack in every bite. But, I’ve been making them for years now, taking them to holiday parties or just making them to enjoy at home.

I think they’re great – and one of my aunt’s confirmed this. My Aunt Tootsie, who is no longer with us, once told me my cabbage rolls were better than my Aunt Joann’s.

Aunt Joann is known to make a mean cabbage roll.

“These are very good Jon,” she whispered into my ear one time she was visiting. “In fact they are even better than Joann’s. Don’t tell her I told you that though.”

Joann, if you somehow manage to read this, the secret is out – Tootsie thought these were better than yours. However, I think she was just giving me compliments like she always did.

You will need:


One large stock pot

Cutting board


mixing bowl


Approximately 2-3 pounds of ground chuck

1 pound of ground pork

1 pound of bacon

1 pound of Polska kielbasa

2-3 cans of stewed tomatoes

1-2 cans sauerkraut

garlic powder, kosher salt

mild salsa

4 servings of cooked rice

2 heads of cabbage


***Before you begin any of these steps start by steaming your rice so it is ready and cool when you need it.

Carve the bottom of the cabbage out around where the stem used to be.

Place the carved out cabbage heads in a pot and steam until leaves easily peel off.

While waiting for the cabbage leaves to cool, mix rice with the beef and pork. Add about a quarter cup of salsa to this mixture and season with garlic powder. Mix well.

When the steamed leaves have cooled, use a knife to cut the vein portion on the outside of the leaf. Ideally it should be flat for rolling purposes.

Place the meat mixture in the leaf and roll it up.

When rolled, tuck the ends in carefully with your finger.

Take cabbage rolls and line them in a circular fashion in your stock pot. In the center of each layer in the pot, place your sliced Polska kielbasa and sauerkraut. On top of that, criss-cross bacon strips and pour in stewed tomatoes. Do this until the pot is full (seasoning each layer with garlic and salt is optional). When the pot is full bring the contents to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

If you’re heading to a party, or your spouse wants to take some to work to impress their co-workers, transfer what you can fit into a crock pot.

****As a side note – it is a good idea to place cabbage leaves and a few cups of water on the bottom of the stock pot before you begin your first layer. This helps keep the bottom layer of rollsĀ from burning.





7 thoughts on “The secret revealed – stuffed cabbage rolls

  1. Melani

    This looks and sounds great! It’s been so long since I’ve had your cabbage rolls! I pulled the crockpot out last week and have made three meals so far! Packing the freezer =P I am going to have to make this one – I bet they freeze pretty well. Thanks!

    1. Jon Wysochanski Post author

      They actually do freeze well. We put them in small plastic containers with lids and then you can nuke them for lunch. Enjoy! Just hit the treadmill after eating, lol!

    2. Becky Cawrse

      Hey Melani I will have to forward you some crockpot recipes, I love mine. And now that I am working evenings I make dinner for the family so they can eat when I am not home. Heaven forbif anyone else cook arounf here. LOL

  2. Cindy

    What….no onions mixed with the ground beef and rice? Your cabbage rolls rock and your pierogies are tasty too!

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