A baking dish of cabbage rolls with salad

Middle Eastern-style cabbage rolls

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

Add this vegan dish to your repertoire. We've filled cabbage leaves with satisfying brown rice and lentils along with mint, lemon, tahini and pine nuts

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal463
  • fat19g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre14g
  • protein16g
  • salt0.8g


  • 16 large Savoy cabbage leaves, stems trimmed (430g prepared weight)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 2 large onions (360g), finely chopped
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 390g can green lentils, drained
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 tbsp chopped mint



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 2 tbsp tahini



    Also known as tahina, this finely ground paste of husked and roasted sesame seeds is an…

  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated

For the salad

  • 6 tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cucumber (150g), sliced
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the cabbage leaves and put a heavy ladle on top to keep them submerged. Boil for 4 mins, then drain, reserving the water.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Reserve 2 tbsp of the onion, then fry the rest for 10 mins until just golden. Stir in the pine nuts and cook until starting to colour. Add the spices and rice, then pour in 450ml of the reserved water. Stir in the bouillon powder, cover and cook for 15 mins until the rice is almost tender and the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the lentils, zest and mint.

  3. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put a spoonful of the rice into the centre of a cabbage leaf, roll up and put in a shallow casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining rice and leaves. Cover and bake for 30 mins until the rice is fully tender.

  4. Meanwhile, combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 3 tbsp water, and mix the salad ingredients with the reserved onion. If you're following our Healthy Diet Plan, serve half the rolls with half of the sauce and half of the salad. Cover and chill the rest to eat another day. Will keep in the fridge for two to three days. Reheat in the microwave until hot.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Cigdem Lettieri's picture
Cigdem Lettieri
4th Jan, 2020
Good recipe, cooking time in the oven could be a little less as cabbage leaves dried out too much. Also, ingredients have lentils but it is not mentioned in the method. I was almost forgetting to add them in!
Linda Chamberlain's picture
Linda Chamberlain
8th Mar, 2020
Thank you for length of cooking cooking tip. The lentils are mentioned - a short sentence at the end of Method 2. They go in with the mint and lemon zest. Easily overlooked if you are in a hurry, I think.
7th Jan, 2020
Where do the lentils come in ? Cannot see mention of them in method section ? Thanks
lulu_grimes's picture
7th Jan, 2020
Hello, Thanks for flagging this, I will get the recipe amended. The lentils are cooked so they go in once the rice is cooked with the mint etc.
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