Stuffed Cabbage with Basil White Wine Cream Sauce

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I told you I’ve been stuffing things! Stuffed cabbage is something I make a few times over the fall and winter season, ultimate comfort food, warm and satisfying little bundles filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and herbs usually covered in a light tomato sauce but this time I wanted to change it up and replace it with and a basil white wine sauce. The wine sauce definitely elevated this dish to a different level!

My cabbage of choice is always savoy, I love the look of it’s lacy patterned veins and crinkled leaves, it tastes great and cooks up perfectly, of course other cabbage would work just as well.
For this recipe I used one HUGE cabbage and it made 15 rolls.
Preparing the Cabbage
Core as much of the cabbage possible before the actual steaming. Do not remove the outer leaves. Steam the whole cabbage in a large pot with approximately three inches of water. As the leaves soften, remove them one at a time to a large platter. Steaming the whole cabbage should take about thirty minutes. Cabbage leaves should be softened but not mushy. When cabbage has cooled enough to handle, use a paring knife and pare the thick base of the cabbage leaf. Set aside the tough outer leaves of the cabbage.

Stuffing Mixture

1lb. of ground turkey, I like to brown mine up a little beforehand
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/4 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 diced red pepper
10 oz of cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice
Salt and pepper
Grated lemon zest, fresh parsley and basil


Basil White Wine Cream Sauce
Saute 2 shallots in 1 tablespoon of butter, deglaze with a healthy splash of white wine, then add to that 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and equal amounts of cream and whisk. Snip fresh basil into the sauce and let it reduce down until thickened, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If cream is not your thing, you can make a bechamel with lowfat milk instead, but don’t forget the wine!
Stuff each cabbage leaf and then fold them over like a burrito, place rolls seam side down in a baking dish that has some chicken broth on the bottom and a small amount of the sauce, drizzle cabbage rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and bake around 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

When finished baking place your cabbage rolls into a pool of sauce spooning some over the top.
The majority of the sauce is used as a finishing sauce because I found that if you pour it all over and then bake it, during the baking process it tends to break down and you sure don’t want to miss out on swiping each bite into that creamy luscious sauce now do you?
Enjoy and Buon Appetito!
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  1. One day my friend had me over for lunch and served homemade stuffed peppers and she used a jar of something like asiago alfredo sauce and to my surprise it was delicious! So I am sure this basil cream sauce would be fabulous.

  2. I made this last night and it was delicious! Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, but the taste was wonderful. I added a couple of dashes of cayenne to the sauce to give it a bit of pizazz (I use it in a lot of dishes). Thanks for this great recipe! My husband was commenting about it the whole time he was eating. He loved it! It was a lot of work to make, but worth the trouble.

    Btw, I found your blog via Pinterest and have also made your Cedar Planked Portobellos Stuffed with Summer Veggies. Delizioso! Grazie mille!

  3. Last Friday, I went to get some ground pork to make stuffed cabbage based on another recipe I saw online but alas, the butcher had none 🙁 I am going back this week though and keeping your recipe in mind!

  4. Marie, you’re killing me. These look phenomenal.

  5. They look amazingly yummy, Marie!!!

  6. Hi Marie! Those look so delicious! Such an elegant twist on the classic. I must make them (with non-fat milk and butter substitute, and I am sure they will be almost as tasty).

  7. Hi..I’m a new follower of yours….today on my littel young italioan blog..I posted a pasta (big snails) filled with cabbage!!! I really like your recipe..I’m going to try this..have a nice day in your beautiful Chicago (I went last year…and I love it!!!)ciao Flavia

  8. Your stuffed cabbage looks fabulous! I have had them countless times Hungarian style. I would love to try your version:) hope your Sunday is beautiful.

  9. My mother-in-law makes these but her sauce is made with canned tomato soup [ugh]. I never thought of making a nice white wine cream sauce instead. Yummy!

  10. You definitely gave an ol’ Polish favorite a real Italian feel to it. I love when cultures and cooking can fuse in delicious ways. This certainly sounds like it’s worth a try and I love the idea of the white sauce.

    Seems to me if you use red cabbage with the white sauce it would definitely give it some brilliant color as well

  11. Tantalizing dish, Marie. The sauce sounds sublime and I love that you used brown rice in your filling. Gorgeous photos top it all off!

  12. I just bookmarked a traditional stuffed cabbage, that reminds me of my something my mother used to make. I really love how you switched it up with this beautiful sauce! I think I’d prefer this over tomato sauce anytime. Great job!

  13. I love stuffed cabbage and your basil white wine sauce sounds just perfect. I have never made stuffed cabbage with savoy before – but what a great idea!

  14. I haven’t had stuffed cabbage in forever. Yours photos are fabulous. I’m accustomed to them being cooked on the stove top, will have to try your recipe.

  15. This is the first time I’ve been motivated to try a dish like this. It looks delicious.

  16. Wonderful timing as the New York Times food section columnist Mark Bittman also has a recipe for stuffed cabbage today! He uses ground lamb/rice mix and a tomato red pepper sauce. I think your version is even more inventive, Marie. The basil cream sauce sounds like we say in NY, “to die for”!

    My Mom was Eastern European so we grew up eating stuffed cabbage once a week 🙂

  17. I think I might actually be able to get my hubby to eat cabbage with this recipe.

  18. This could actually make me eat cabbage

  19. Beautiful recipe dear! Because the wife doesn’t eat meat I make mine with a filling of abborio rice, some greens and chopped mushrooms. Your sauce sounds like an elegant addition!

  20. Your photos make we want to dive right in with a fork! Such a delicious recipe and I really like the fact that they’re made with turkey. The sauce sounds wonderful too!

  21. Wow, Marie… this just looks awesome! I’m a cabbage lover from way back and stuffing it is even better. That sauce looks divine. Creamy lusciousness, indeed.

  22. I always use a tomato sauce for my cabbage rolls, but this wine sauce looks fantastic and one I must try. Funny coincidence, I was thinking about cabbage rolls just the other day and have been hungry for them.

  23. My mother used to do these a lot when I was a kid. Haven’t had them in ages! Hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking …
    These look fab and neat idea about changing the sauce.

  24. Yummy cabbage and I’m in love with that basil white wine cream sauce. It sounds like cream sauce heaven.

  25. Very nice.

    How about veal as an alternative to turkey?

    More Italian, yes?

  26. The stuffing looks somewhat like the makings of boudin. Good stuff, and wonderful recipe.

  27. Wait! I haven’t stuffed my squash yet! Confession: Never stuffed cabbage. Happy Ending: This weekend I will. Looking for more ways to use ground turkey. I may change the cream a bit (shhh.) I linger here. I’d stalk you if I lived in Chicago.

  28. Our housekeeper made this for us whn I was a child. This recipe made me miss her so and it brings back such fond memories!!! Yum!!

  29. holy cannoli. you could put that sauce on shoe leather and it would taste amazing. wow. this just sounds divine. another winner.

  30. I have been dying to make stuffed cabbage. Love how this is a little different than the typical red sauce.


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