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comfort food in a bowl

Cozy Baked Cabbage Roll Meatballs

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All the deliciousness of cabbage rolls in a meatball. The combination of beef and turkey meatballs bake in the oven.  While the meatballs bake, a lightly sweetened and chunky tomato sauce teaming with sautéed onions and cabbage simmers on the stove top.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head green cabbage (shredded (about 5 cups))
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion (thinly sliced (about 1 cup))
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (minced)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium high heat add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the shredded cabbage, sliced onions, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The cabbage should be wilted and the onions translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, ¾ of the can of tomato sauce, raisins, lemon juice, honey, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl, add the remaining tomato sauce, ground beef, ground turkey, garlic, paprika, ground cloves, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Gently combine the ingredients until thoroughly mixed together.
  5. Form the meat mixture into about 50 small meatballs about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until just cooked through.
  6. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the cabbage tomato sauce. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • Use a combination of beef and turkey to lighten up the meatballs. You can also use a "meatloaf mix" which is a combination of beef, pork and veal for the meatballs.
  • Instead of standing over the stove cooking the meatballs, use an easy oven baking method. Place all the meatballs on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven. 
  • While the meatballs bake, make a lightly sweetened and chunky tomato sauce teaming with sautéed onions and cabbage simmers on the stove top.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: appetizer or entree
  • Method: stove top and oven
  • Cuisine: Eastern European


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 570
  • Sugar: 13.5 g
  • Sodium: 1213 mg
  • Fat: 29.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.8 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.1 g
  • Protein: 48.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 207 mg