Traditional cabbage rolls are labor intensive and take up a fair amount of the day between the preparation of the filling, parboiling the cabbage, preparing the leaves for stuffing, and then finally slow roasting them in the oven. These Cabbage Roll Meatballs have the same great flavor and are ready in minutes, not HOURS! This entire kid-friendly meal is ready in just over 30-minutes.
1(28-ounce) can tomato sauce, divided [See Note 3]
Add the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add the rice, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, salt, pepper, onions, Italian seasoning blend, egg, onions, and garlic and mix until well combined. Once combined, add the finely chopped cabbage set aside for the meatballs and mix until combined. Then form the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
Heat a large sauce pot of dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil into the bottom of the pot. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the reserved tomato sauce (24 ounces) to the sauce pot along with the diced tomatoes. Stir in the rice for the sauce (optional) and the cabbage for the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir until combined, taking care not to break up the meatballs.
Cover tightly with a lid or some aluminum foil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice in the meatballs is cooked through.
Serve on mashed potatoes or alone with the simmered cabbage and rice.
1). Converted rice, like Uncle Bens, is a parboiled, long-grain rice that cooks quicker than a traditional rice. It is available in both white and brown.2). Italian Seasoning Spice Blend is a blend of spices sold on the spice aisle and not the salad dressing seasoning packet. 3). The 1/2 cup of sauce will come from the 28-ounce can used for the sauce. The sauce will use the other 24-ounces of tomato sauce.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is sourced from the USDA Food Database.