Cabbage Bundles

This recipe for a lovely and tasty side dish is less about the cabbage, and way more about the filling. Over the years, I’ve made the bundles so many different ways, but today I’m using a creamy mixture of bacon, onions and mushrooms. I’ve also included leeks and peas before.

So try this out as an easy and pretty side dish, varying the filling ingredients to your liking. You can even make these a day ahead and reheat. That’s a handy thing to do when it’s holiday season.

Cabbage Bundles
Inspired by this recipe on Epicurious here

1 large green cabbage
6 thick slices of bacon, diced
2 onions, thinly sliced
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
Garlic pepper
Dried thyme
Salt
White sauce, approximately 1 1/2 cups

Core the cabbage, then place the whole cabbage in a large pot.

Add enough water to cover. Add a little salt, then bring the water to a boil. Cook the cabbage in the water for at least 7 minutes. Remove the cabbage to a colander and let it drain upside down.

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If you feel you’ve overcooked the cabbage, place it in ice water immediately for a minute, then let it drain.

When the cabbage has cooled off, peel off the outer leaves and let them dry; set aside.

Cook the bacon over medium heat until fully cooked, but not crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Pour off some of the bacon grease if there’s too much in the skillet. But save it, of course.

Reduce the heat slightly, then add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes. You want them soft and only slightly caramelized.

Remove the onions to a bowl, then add a little more bacon grease or olive oil as needed, and sauté the mushrooms. Towards the end when they’re almost fully sautéed, add salt and seasoning like garlic pepper.

Just for fun, I added a little cognac to the mushrooms and flamed them for a minute. This step adds a little flavor, but it not necessary.

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Drain the mushrooms to get that wonderful mushroom jus, then combine the mushrooms and onions in a large bowl. Add the thyme. Save the jus for when you make the white sauce, if you like.

Add the white sauce and bacon to the cooled-off onions and mushrooms, then stir to combine gently. There’s your filling. It can be refrigerated overnight, if necessary.

To make the bundles, begin by lightly greasing a baking dish. Lay one cabbage leaf flat on your work surface, and top with filling. Don’t go overboard with the filling, or else it will all ooze out. Just a nice amount, that still allows you to comfortably roll and tuck the cabbage leaf around the filling. Also first trim off any really tough leaf ends before rolling.

Place the bundles smooth side up in the baking dish. Repeat.

Just before you want to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a little olive oil over the top of the bundles, and bake just until there’s a little color on the cabbage, or about 20 minutes. If you want more color, you can always slide the baking dish under the broiler for a minute.

Serve immediately.

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Alternatively, these can be baked one day, refrigerated, and then reheated on another day. They stay intact pretty well if you haven’t overfilled them!

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If you want a pretty decadent side dish, toss a little grated Parmesan on the bundles before the browning and heating step.

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These were delicious with pork loin, but would be equally wonderful with grilled white fish or roasted chicken.

By Published On: December 15th, 201428 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

28 Comments

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller December 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM - Reply

    Delicious. Those must taste so good!

    • chef mimi December 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM - Reply

      I think they’re pretty delicious! Hard to get good photos, though. Or maybe I was in a hurry.

  2. Cecile December 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM - Reply

    OH YEAH !! I am ALL OVER these!!!!! And I WILL add some cognac !! Actually, I usually have brandy which I use when making pate. Do you think I could add some brandy?

    • chef mimi December 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM - Reply

      Same difference to me. Besides, you’re burning it off, so I don’t think you could taste the difference.

  3. Cecile December 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM - Reply

    Wanted to share with you a few photos from our farm in Quebec. I think you’ll enjoy seeing them. (Actually, I think they’ll make you want to visit Quebec even more!) http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2013/03/13/our-wonderful-farmhouse-in-st-antoine-de-tilly-quebec-canada/ http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/01/29/going-through-some-photos-sharing-a-few/

    • chef mimi December 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM - Reply

      Can’t wait to check them out. When we lived on Long Island, my parents went to Quebec and it sounded so lovely. I was just thinking the other day that we need to go!

      • Cecile December 15, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Get this – I met a man last night who ‘announced’ to me that Montreal was ‘much more English years ago than it is now’. I wanted to ask him, “And what planet are YOU from?” (Even though I’ve lived in Montreal – he still didn’t seem to 100% believe me…)

  4. Cecile December 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    The links ran into each other – I sent you a link to two posts of mine with photos from our farm and one (I think) of Quebec City.

  5. StefanGourmet December 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM - Reply

    Very nice, Mimi. Love how you include all the flavors. It is indeed more about the filling than about the cabbage. Interesting how the colors of the leaves are so different.

    • chef mimi December 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM - Reply

      Even cabbage haters would enjoy these!

  6. Phil @foodfrankly December 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM - Reply

    What a great idea! Love the ‘hint of cognac’ element.

    • chef mimi December 15, 2014 at 1:29 PM - Reply

      I still worry that I’m going to burn down my house, but it’s a great flavor addition!

  7. Conor Bofin December 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM - Reply

    Very elegant Mimi. A lovely way to get the 5 a day.

  8. dishnthekitchen December 15, 2014 at 7:05 PM - Reply

    YUM! these are my kind of cabbage rolls :)

  9. ChgoJohn December 15, 2014 at 10:08 PM - Reply

    Bacon and cabbage were meant for each other. Your rolls ust e delicious!

  10. Abbe (@aodenwalder) December 15, 2014 at 10:41 PM - Reply

    I love stuffed cabbage and mushrooms. What a good one!

  11. dedy oktavianus pardede December 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM - Reply

    Damn delicious healthy veggies parcels!!!

  12. Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome December 17, 2014 at 9:30 AM - Reply

    Those look really good. My Hungarian grandmother made stuffed cabbage with a meat and rice mixture in a tomato sauce, it was one of my favorite things she made but as you can imagine they are a little on the heavy side! Will have to give these a go!

    • chef mimi December 17, 2014 at 9:41 AM - Reply

      Yes, those are fabulous! These are more of a side dish.

  13. Choc Chip Uru December 17, 2014 at 2:31 PM - Reply

    Such healthy vegetable parcels, this looks delicious! :D
    I have seen lettuce but never cabbage as the bundler! Love it :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  14. Mary Frances December 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM - Reply

    These might be the most elegant looking cabbage bundles I’ve seen– And they a have great, bright green color too.

  15. DesignsbyJeanneR January 2, 2015 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    These are just beautiful little packages, & certainly sound tasty.

    • chef mimi January 2, 2015 at 12:49 PM - Reply

      Thank you! They tasty and hearty little bundles!

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