Stuffed Cabbage Cake

stuffed cabbage cake I have to say right off the bat that this post was solely inspired by a photo I saw in the beautiful new cookbook by Mimi Thorisson, A Kitchen In France. In fact the recipe name she calls it is, Chou Farci.

Instead of individual rolls of stuffed cabbage like most of us are use to seeing, her recipe was made and molded into a cake-like form by building layers of meat and vegetable filling and then wrapping it all into a beautiful little package of lacy savoy cabbage leaves.

After reading her recipe, which I’m sure is  quite delicious, I thought it would be fun to make my Italian style version of this stuffed cabbage cake just the way I make my own stuffed cabbage.

unmolding stuffed cabbage cake You’ll need a round, deep souffle or casserole dish because you’re going to layer the bottom and sides with the cabbage leaves as well as each layer of filling and the top. After it’s baked together you let it rest a bit, then invert it onto a serving plate.

unmolded stuffed cabbage cake All the filling stays neatly contained inside the wrapped cabbage leaves. It looks like there’s a cute little tree on top doesn’t it?

stuffed cabbage cake But I just couldn’t keep it unadorned, so I decided to embellish it with warm marinara and freshly grated parmesan cheese, just like frosting on a cake!

stuffed cabbage cake This way of presenting stuffed cabbage takes a simple meal and elevates it to something very special. You can try Mimi’s version, or use a filling that your own family would like, the sky’s the limit!  Just follow the directions for the cabbage layout and you’re good to go.


For some reason I’m not able to edit my recipe but please note to add in the rice along with the meat, #4 in the instructions.

Here’s my Italian style version.

Stuffed Cabbage Cake
  • 1 head of savoy cabbage, it has pretty lacy leaves
  • 1½ pound of good quality ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup of marinara sauce plus extra for topping mold and plating
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • fresh chopped basil and parsley, a small bunch of each
  • salt and pepper
  1. Core and separate the leaves from the savoy cabbage, then cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a deep souffle type dish and then arrange the prettiest and largest leaf on the bottom. Place another leaf on top of that and up the sides of the dish all around.
  3. In a large saute pan cook your meat until you see no pink, if it needs to be drained of added grease do so and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the onions, carrots, garlic and diced red pepper until soft, then toss it all together with the cooked meat.
  5. Add the grated cheese, marinara and fresh herbs, toss til well coated, let it cool then toss in the egg.
  6. Put your first layer down, about ½ inch then layer a cabbage leaf on top. Repeat until you reach the top or run out of filling.
  7. Finish with cabbage on top making sure to tuck it in the dish all around.
  8. Drizzle the top with olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of romano cheese all over.
  9. Bake at 350 for around 40 minutes.
  10. Let it rest then invert a serving plate over the souffle dish, then flip it over.
  11. Cut into slices and serve with additional warmed marinara and more grated cheese.



Stuffed Cabbage with Basil White Wine Cream Sauce

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!

Savoy Cabbage, Sauteed and Stuffed

This side dish of savoy cabbage is one I’ve been making for as long as I can remember, it’s my absolute favorite way to eat cabbage. Simple, rustic, quick and easy, but the taste is phenomenal!
You start off toasting up some bread crumbs in olive oil in a small skillet, then you add in a generous amount of grated Grana Padana Parmigiano cheese, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, then set this all aside.

Meanwhile, take a larger skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, toss in minced garlic and sliced sweet onions, add in your partially precooked and sliced up savoy cabbage, keep tossing until tender and soft, then sprinkle in your toasted breadcrumb mixture, drizzle with more olive oil, and add more parsley. That’s it! This goes especially well with an herb roasted pork loin.
I love the mild sweet flavor of savoy cabbage, and just look at those vitamin enriched crinkled leaves. Did you know it’s considered one of the best for eating?

Not only good as a side dish, but equally delicious as a main course. I like to stuff mine Italian style and top it off with a spicy arrabiata sauce.

To remove the leaves, take the whole head, cut off the stem, turn it upside down in a pot of boiling water, cover it and cook for 10 minutes. Take the whole head out and let the steam continue cooking it until it cools down so you can touch it, then start to peel off the leaves, cutting the hard core off each one.

I decided to go healthy here and used cooked brown rice along with ground turkey that I had browned beforehand, adding in of course garlic and onion.

Fresh parsley was then added to the turkey rice mixture, along with fresh snipped basil, salt, pepper and grated Grana Padana cheese. I also spooned in in some of my arrabiata sauce to make the mixture a little juicy. Place a good size scoop on your presteamed leaves that have been cored, and place a couple cubes of fontinella cheese on top, provolone would work also. Of course you can use ground beef, white rice, or any red sauce that you like in place of what I used for this recipe.
Place your rolls in a greased casserole dish with sauce spread on bottom, place more sauce on top of your rolls, along with grated cheese and a drizzle more of olive oil. Bake covered with tin foil in a 375 degree oven until heated through.

All the flavors really come through in this dish, the sweetness of the cabbage, the distinct taste of each cheese, the fresh herbs, onions, garlic, and that mildly spicy sauce to top it all off. I think you’re going to love it!

Buon Appetito!