Leftover Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are yet another great way to reinvent your post-holiday roast leftovers. If you’ve never heard of stuffed cabbage rolls this simple casserole recipe is a fantastic way to try them out. The reason is that the Leftover Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe relies on leftovers from your roast dinner. Most is already cooked and it only needs to be chopped up, mixed up and rolled inside tenderised cabbage leaves.
We do add a few fresh/frozen ingredients like chopped mushrooms and some peas and maybe some extra stuffing to hold things together and to add a new spin on the flavour of the leftovers, but that’s pretty much it. This is a perfect, minimalistic recipe for all those who are short on time and /or/I hope support #lovefoodhatewaste campaign!
Cabbage leaves are such a fantastic vehicle for any type of reasonably self-holding (as opposed to runny) filler. Think any type of flavoured grain like rice, barley, or even bread, bacon, minced meat… In Poland there is a traditional name for stuffed cabbage rolls: “Golabki”, which in direct translation means “little pigeons” – as a matter of fact, no pigeon meat is used and the name comes from old Slavic tradition of naming traditional dishes after animals.
The only Golobki’s filling I know of is made with white rice and minced pork. But your imagination and taste can take you so much further! All you need is tenderised cabbage leaves so that they are more flexible to work with and don’t break and crumble, as they do when fresh and raw.
To make cabbage leaves cooperate, you must first remove them from the cabbage head in one piece, one by one, which can be an intimidating thing to do for the first time, unless you know how! The best way to go about it is to approach the cabbage from the tail end, by cutting the core/bottom of the stem out. When this is done, removing leaves whilst keeping them in tact is much easier.
Then all that’s left to do is to briefly submerge them in simmering water and within a minute the cabbage leaves will become limp and much easier to act like a wrapper for fillings.
Amazing sauce for Leftover Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
What really makes my Leftover Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls so super special and more than just leftover roast turkey dinner stuffed inside cabbage leaves is the amazing, 15 min, eat with a spoon tomato sauce. It goes over the cabbage rolls just before baking. FYI: Just in case you’re a bit like me and always have a jar of my Authentic Homemade Marinara Sauce in the fridge, the tomato sauce mentioned above can be replaced with it!
Without any exaggeration this combination, the filling wrapped in tender cabbage plus the sauce with just a dusting of salty Parmesan, is a perfectly enjoyable midweek dinner! Leftover Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe is definitely worth bookmarking or pinning for later. Not only because it is a clever way to take good care of perfectly good roast dinner leftovers, but also because it is really easy to make and tastes great! And that’s always worth keeping!
- 8 raw white cabbage leaves, removed from the whole head of cabbage
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Splash of oil + 2 tablespoons butter
- 4oz/120g/1.5 cup Portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
- 200g/3 cups dry stuffing mix + 400ml/2 cups vegetable or poultry stock (you can also use leftover stuffing - you’ll need about 400g and about 1 cup of stock to loosen it up & to help it mix with other ingredients)
- 250g/about 2 cups cooked turkey meat, diced
- 100g/2/3 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- Pinch of dry chili flakes
- 2-3 tablespoons of butter
- 400ml/2 cups tomato passata
- 2 teaspoons dry basil
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- salt& pepper to taste
- 100g Parmesan cheese to serve, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley leaves
- Preheat oven to 180C/356F and set a large pan with water over high heat. Bring it up to boil and then turn it down to simmer.
- Using a sharp pointed knife, make 3-4 angled cuts to help remove most of the core from cabbage head, as pictured in the post. This will allow you to loosen up the leaves at the core and push them away to remove them from cabbage head more easily.
- Spread a kitchen towel close to the cooker to place hot cabbage leaves on.
- Using tongs, grab a cabbage leaf (one by one) by the core end and submerge it in the pan with simmering water for a minute or so, just so the more delicate part of the leaf becomes very limp and bright green. When done remove it from the pan and place on the kitchen towel to cool off. Repeat this process with the remaining 7 leaves.
- In a pan, soften onions with thyme in oil and butter. Add garlic and allow it to sizzle for 2-3 minutes until it starts to turn straw colour. Turn the heat of. Transfer onions to a big bowl.
- Add all remaining cabbage rolls filler ingredients to the bowl (apart from cabbage leaves) and season well with salt and pepper.
- Place ⅛ filling on 1 of 8 cabbage leaves. Fold the stem end over it, follow with two sides of the leaf toward the center of the filling and then close it like an envelope. Refer to pictures in the post.
- Butter a baking tray big enough to take all 8 cabbage rolls (11” x 13” is big enough) and place the rolls tightly inside (folded end down).
- In a deep saucepan, melt butter and sizzle chopped garlic with chilli flakes for about 2 minutes, until garlic starts to turn straw colour. Pour the tomato passata in, add oregano and basil, season with salt & pepper, mix it all and pour over the cabbage rolls.
- Bake for 50min-55min. Serve with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese shavings.
bottom of your slow cooker with a few raw cabbage leaves. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls in the slow cooker, top it up with the sauce and cook on low 6 hours, or on high for 3-4h.
Do you have even more roast dinner leftovers? Try my Leftover Turkey Corn Chowder or Coronation Turkey Sandwich recipes. Next Tuesday I will also share the most amazing Leftover Roast Dinner Cottage Pie, which has been a real life saver after this year’s Thanksgiving roast dinner meal.