Spicy Turkey Cabbage Rolls

By Friday, July 25, 2014

This could seriously be my favourite take-to-work lunch EVER!!!

Cabbage Rolls

First, I need to confess – I have never made cabbage rolls! I don’t even know if I’ve ever eaten them. Not to knock my Mama, but she had a set dozen recipes or so that she would make repeatedly when I was growing up (including Chicken à la King, Beef Bourguignon, Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Coq au Vin)… so I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of recipes that my friends consider classics.

Also, just noticed – apparently my Mama loved French cooking??? Who knew! And oddly enough I have never made ANY of those classic French dishes. Weird.

Cabbage Rolls

Anyway, I was super excited to make these because they’re healthy (or at least healthier than noodles) and spicy! Spicy + Julia = Love.

They were stupid easy. I thought it was going to be a big grand process, but it was practically mindless. Especially since I already had made the enchilada sauce. You can definitely make this recipe by substituting it for regular pasta sauce though! It just won’t taste as Mexican or be as spicy. Totally up to you.

Cabbage Rolls


When these rolls had finished cooking, I immediately portioned them out into glass lunch containers for myself and My Other Half. I froze half (as I mentioned here, and because we tend to get sick of eating the same thing for five days straight) and then refrigerated the rest. They were so easy to grab on our way out the door in the morning, and when heated up they tasted just as good as when they came out of the oven. I’ve also tried the frozen ones now and they were perfect – you can’t even tell they were in the freezer for a couple weeks!

Spicy Turkey Cabbage Rolls

Yield: 12


1 head Savoy cabbage
1 lb ground turkey
2 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsps minced garlic
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups (1000 ml) enchilada sauce


Find the biggest pot you own and fill it halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Stab the bottom of your head of cabbage with a fork and submerge it in the boiling water. Leave it there for five minutes, then remove and run the cabbage under cold water immediately. Lay out some clean tea towels and one-by-one, remove the leaves in whole pieces, snipping the bottoms with scissors. Dry all the leaves completely. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until softened and then add the tomato paste and stir. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add the uncooked rice, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, turkey and sausage meat. Mix well. To fill the cabbage rolls, put 1/3 cup of meat mixture in the centre and wrap it like a burrito. Place each roll in a large greased baking dish (I used 9x13 one), tightly together. Pour the enchilada sauce over top so that it covers all the rolls and bake for an hour at 375 degrees.


Adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Spicy Turkey Cabbage Rolls

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