Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or “Involtini di Verza” are made with a delicious Italian sausage and mashed potatoes filling, baked with or without tomato sauce (according to taste). This tasty, comfort meal is an Italian recipe, very easy to make.
We used a Savoy Cabbage, a typical ingredient of the fall/winter season, often used in northern Italy recipes. In fact, Savoy Cabbage, also known as “Verza di Milano“, is the basic ingredient of various recipes of Lombard cuisine such as “Cassoeula” or “Pizzoccheri“.
Stuffed Cabbage rolls are a more delicious way to eat this nutritious vegetable. Even your children will love them so much!
Colorful, simple, fragrant, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls is an excellent dish to put on your tables in winter. Match it with a good homemade Crusty Italian bread.
How to Make Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Prep Time: 40 Min
- Cook Time: 20 Min
- Yelds: 6
Note: Here the doses for 10/12 rolls. It depends on the size of the cabbage leaf and how big you want to make them. You usually get two rolls from the largest leaves.
- 10/12 Savoy Cabbage leaves
- 150 g (5 oz) of sausage
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 medium egg
- 60 g (1/2 cup) of grated Parmigiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs
- 225 g (1 cup) of tomato passata (optional)
- 4 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil.
- fine salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Step 1) – First of all, boil the potatoes in plenty of water. When the potatoes are cooked – it will take about 30/40 minutes depending on the size – mash them in a bowl with a potato masher.
Step 2) – Meanwhile prepare the cabbage. Discard the outermost leaves, the largest and dark green ones. Choose about 10/12 medium-sized leaves. The heart of the cabbage is not suitable for rolls because the leaves are too small. You can use it for a soup or a risotto.
Step 3) – Boil the cabbage leaves in lightly salted water, covered with a lid for about 5 minutes. This will soften the leaves and make them easier to roll up.
Step 4) – After about 5 minutes, remove carefully the leaves from the water and put them to drain on a cloth. Dab them with kitchen paper and set aside.
Step 5) – Crumble the sausage and cook it on high heat in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil for about 5/6 minutes. It doesn’t need to be too roasted. When ready, add the sausage to the mashed potatoes.
Step 6) – Let cool a bit then add the egg and the grated Parmigiano, finally season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. The cabbage rolls filling is ready.
Step 7) – Take the cabbage leaves and place them on a cutting board, one at a time. Remove the hard central rib with a knife.
Step 8) – Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the leaf. Then roll the leaf around the filling to form the roll.
Step 9) – Arrange the stuffed cabbage rolls in a baking pan with the folded side facing down. That way they won’t open during cooking. Now season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
At this step, you can cook the cabbage rolls with or without tomatoes, depending on your taste.
How to Cook Stuffed Cabbage Rolls WITH Tomato Sauce
Step 10/1) – Add the tomato passata, a few tablespoons at a time, then bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes at 180°C (350 F). Before serving stuffed cabbage rolls, let them cool for about ten minutes out of the oven. Enjoy them with slices of crunchy bread!
How to Cook Stuffed Cabbage Rolls WITHOUT Tomatoes Sauce
Step 10/2) – Sprinkle the cabbage rolls with breadcrumbs and a little grated Parmigiano. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350 F) for about 15 minutes and another 5 minutes at 120°C (250 F) in grill mode, to better brown the surface of the rolls.
Before serving your cabbage rolls, let them cool for about ten minutes out of the oven.
You can keep suffed cabbage rolls in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2-3 days, in a food container, covered with a lid. Freezing is not recommended.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: Variants and Tips
In this recipe of stuffed cabbage rolls, we have showed you a very classic and widespread filling in Italian cuisine: potatoes and sausage.
Obviously, you can stuff the cabbage leaves as you like, giving life to a thousand variations. Depending on what you have at home and/or according to your tastes.
Here some cabbage rolls variants:
P.S.: we recommend a mashed potato base for each variant, to give softness to the filling and thickness to the roll. You can replace the potatoes with breadcrumbs or bread soaked in milk.
Pork Cabbage Rolls
The combination of cabbage and pork is a classic recipe, characteristic of many traditional recipes from Northern Italy.
In the filling of your cabbage rolls, you can replace the sausage with minced pork or other cured meats such as Mortadella or Prosciutto cut into cubes.
Cheese Cabbage Rolls
If you don’t like meat and cold cuts, you can stuff the cabbage leaves with various types of cheese.
You can mix the mashed potatoes both with grated cheeses such as Pecorino or Parmigiano, and with whole pieces of cheese that will give a delicious stringy effect. In this second case, you can try Mozzarella or Provola, better if smoked.
Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
You can choose to make cabbage rolls filled only with vegetables.
For example, you can stuff the rolls with mashed potatoes and pumpkin, potatoes and mushrooms or potatoes and courgettes.
Curiosity: Piedmontese CAPUNET. Cabbage Rolls from Leftover
Piedmontese Capunet are cabbage rolls stuffed with meat, a simple recipe full of flavor, really appreciated in Italy.
Capunet are proof that cabbage rolls can be stuffed in many ways.
Traditionally, these rolls were prepared after the Christmas holidays to recycle the leftovers, especially the meat. They were in fact stuffed with leftovers from roasts, sausages or other types of meat.
The wort “Capunet” in Piedmontese dialect means “small capon“, to indicate both, leftover capon from Christmas lunch and the shape these cabbage rolls took, which resemble small plump birds.