Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Suffice to say cabbage rolls have found a welcome spot in our winter-resurgence menu. {btw, February, I never thought I'd say this but I miss you.} This vegan-friendly version of a classic Eastern European dish has a filling of seasoned vegetables and tofu and is baked in a simple tomato based sauce. We like them served with rice on the side, but many recipes call for the grain in the filling, and you can certainly adjust this recipe and add some cooked rice to the filling if you so desire.



  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil and add a large pinch of sea salt to the pot. Carefully remove 6 large outer leaves from a head of cabbage. Blanch cabbage leaves in salted boiling water for 4 minutes then strain and rinse under cold running water. Set cabbage aside while you prepare the filling.
  3. Mince 1/2 of sweet onion, carrots, peppers, and 1 clove of garlic in a food processor.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to skillet and then sauté minced veggies until translucent and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in bunapi mushrooms and paprika, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, caraway, fennel, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cook for another minute or so until mushrooms are browned and transfer veggies to a mixing bowl.
  5. Crumble tofu in food processor (no need to clean the bowl beforehand). Add crumbled tofu to veggies along with tamari. Taste filling for seasoning and add more salt or tamari if needed.
  6. Divide filling into 6 equal portions. Working with one cabbage leaf at a time fill and roll them up burrito-style, tucking the side closest to you up and over the filling then folding in the sides and rolling away from you. Tuck the filled rolls together into a baking dish.
  7. Purée tomatoes, remaining 1/2 of onion and garlic in food processor (again no need to clean bowl first). Stir 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil into purée.
  8. Pour mixture over cabbage rolls and tuck bay leaves into the sauce. Drizzle tops with extra-virgin olive oil.
  9. Place baking dish onto a foil lined baking sheet to catch any drippings.
  10. Cover cabbage rolls with foil and bake at 425˚F for 30-35 minutes until the sauce in bubbling. At this point remove foil and sprinkle nutritional yeast over cabbage rolls and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until lightly browned.
  11. Serve cabbage rolls hot over white or brown rice. Left overs will keep covered and refrigerated for 2 days. Heat to serve. Enjoy!

Recipe by Fare Isle at