Cabbage Rolls with Ground Chicken

Stuffed cabbage rolls with rice and meat

Notes: 

  • This is inspired by traditional cabbage rolls but modified for allergens, calories and ingredients that work better with chicken than beef and pork.
  • This is time-consuming to make so it is worth it to make a large batch, it won’t cut down on your cooking and prep time to half or quarter the recipe.

Makes: 8-10 servings

Total Time: 3 hours, cook time: 2 hours, prep time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 3 pounds extra lean ground chicken
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I use Basmati rice because that’s the type I cook with the majority of the time)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped very fine
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (use 1/3 cup if using dried basil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 500 millilitres of strained tomatoes (I use Primo brand in the bottle)
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, diced very fine

Optional

  • 2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Marinate chicken for at least 1 hour ahead of time if possible using: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, ½ cup of the strained tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of basil, ¼ of the onion and if using: 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  2. Cook rice and set aside for it to cool down (cooking time will be in-between 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the rice used).
  3. Thoroughly mix the rice and meat together and set aside.
  4. Sauté the remaining garlic and onion 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a deep pan or pot until onions are brown. Add in the strained tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, remaining salt, pepper and the majority of the basil.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool to near room temperature.
  6. Core the cabbage.
  7. Blanche cabbage leaves in boiling water, peeling them off as they become limp. (I’ve also heard that you can put the cabbage in the freezer and after it’s frozen, let it thaw and the leaves will be limp so you can just pull them off.  I haven’t tried this method but if you want to go this route, do it the night before since it will take a few hours for it to thaw).
  8. Once you’ve separated all the leaves, take a paring knife and cut off any thick stems preventing the limp leaf from bending/rolling.
  9. Put about 2 tablespoons of the meat and rice mixture in the center of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf in and roll it up into a little package. Put each roll face-down into a casserole dish.
  10. Once you’ve used up all the cabbage leaves or meat filling, take your tomato sauce and pour it over the cabbage rolls.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining basil over the cabbage rolls.
  12. Bake covered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes-1 hour (depending on your oven).

Approximate Nutritional Information for 1 Serving (Based on brands and amounts used in the recipe)

  • Calories per serving: 279
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbs: 37 g
  • Protein: 19 g

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