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German Cabbage Rolls Recipe (krautwickel)


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German cabbage rolls recipe (krautwickel) is so full of flavor. This delicious dinner is a perfect home cooking recipe. After tasting them I KNOW your family will love these.

German Cabbage Rolls with Gravy and potatoes ready to serve.
German Cabbage Rolls with Gravy and potatoes ready to serve.

My sister in law Brigitte generously offered to cook this dinner for Dave and I. But with YOU in mind.

She let me video her making her recipe for Homemade Food Junkie.

She didn’t mind the video part. But when I had to sit her down and have her TELL me the recipe, including fussy details like measurements so I could write it all down…that took some doing.

I HIGHLY recommend you watch her make this recipe. This recipe is a perfect match for an entry level cook. Brigitte’s tips and methods make it easy.

Brigitte is one of the best cooks you are ever going to meet in the kitchen. She has worked as a cook professionally and her whole life at home is all about good home cooking. GERMAN cooking mostly. I love eating her food and I know you will enjoy this dinner too.

Brigitte and her Bay Leaf Tree
Brigitte and her Bay Leaf Tree

This bay leaf tree she grew herself from a seedling. Brigitte is a fabulous urban gardener.

She sent me up some dried Bay leaves and I made a German Borscht Soup and many other yummy meals with them. I didn’t know Bay leaf Trees would grow here!

More Cabbage Recipes:

You WILL have cooked leftover cabbage after choosing only the large leaves to roll. You may even need TWO heads of green cabbage to get enough leaves large enough to roll.

Brigitte suggests you use that extra cabbage in a separate recipe rather than throwing it out. So wasteful. Not at all in the spirit of this recipe.

Here are some more delicious cabbage recipes to help you use up your extra.

Brigitte showed me the cook book the local German government gave her on her wedding day. It’s one of her old stand by cookbooks to this day.

Every bride of Brigitte’s generation living in the City of Wurzburg Germany received this cookbook. Put out with the help of the local businesses the cookbook had advertisements from all the local shops.

It is also full of helpful household cleaning tips and childrearing helps. Just what every bride could want.

German Cabbage Rolls-pin image

The other cookbook she refers to for this recipe is German Cookery by Elizabeth Schuler.

Brigitte uses her own method and ingredients along with the culinary wisdoms found in these books to bring us this fantastic weeknight or special occasion dinner.

German Cabbage Rolls (krautwickel)

This recipe is unique to Brigitte. But cabbage rolls are a VERY popular dinner in her birth country of Germany where she was raised. Read more about the origins of cabbage rolls here.

Cabbage roll meat filling forkful
Look at that delicious meaty filling. So good!

After watching Brigitte make these and then sitting down to dinner and actually eating them I know why these are her daughter’s only request for her special birthday dinner.

Meaty, rich and sinfully flavorful. These are so good and filling. And then there is the gravy. A delicious combination.

Cabbage Rolls are a staple for German cooks because it’s delicious and very frugal. This recipe makes a lot for a small family.

There are often leftovers. Which is great because these are perfect for the office lunch box where you have a microwave to reheat them.

German Cabbage Rolls dinner with Gravy and potatoes ready to serve.
German Cabbage Rolls dinner with Gravy and potatoes ready to serve.

Brigitte’s Tips for cabbage roll recipe:

Brigitte did not mix the meat filling in the video. Use her recipe and mix it up like a meatloaf. Brigitte actually used a 50/50 mixture of Moose meat (my brother is a hunter.

I made Smoky Moose Meat Skillet Dinner too. Very yummy!) and full fat hamburger. Moose meat is VERY lean so you need the full fat hamburger to keep it moist.

No moose meat handy? You can make it a 100 percent hamburger recipe. It will taste great. Moose is very similar in flavor to beef.

  1. BEFORE you fill your cabbage rolls take a bit of the meat and fry it. Adjust the seasonings at this point. This way you will have the tastiest filling for your family.
  2. Cook the cabbage leaves until just tender. Drain the leaves and use a meat mallet (or some other like tool) to soften the tough cabbage vein so the leaf can roll easily.
  3. Place the meat in the CENTER of the cabbage leaf not the bottom to get the cabbage to roll correctly. Then follow the recipe instructions.
  4. Brown the cabbage rolls evenly on ALL sides, even the edges for best flavor. Another flavor tip is to brown the rolls in Peanut oil.
  5. You can easily make this recipe in either your stove top skillet or a good sized electric frying pan.
Cabbage rolls in a serving dish with gravy in a gravy server
Cabbage rolls and Gravy. Beautifully browned Cabbage rolls with gravy on the side.

NOTE: You will have to make these cabbage rolls in a MUCH larger skillet than you see in the video (Brigitte uses her large electric skillet). Brigitte made most of the cabbage rolls a day ahead so you are only seeing her make a few.

The point of the video is the techniques and the steps. If you prefer to cut this recipe in half that works great with this recipe.

Enjoy this flavorful satisfying meal. Savory meaty homemade German Stuffed Cabbage rolls will be a big hit with the family.

Stuffed cabbage rolls freezing Instructions.

  1. Brigitte freezes the rolls only without the gravy in a tupperware container.
  2. These rolls last well in the freezer several weeks.
  3. They are a quick and easy snack, dinner or lunch. Just whip up a new batch of gravy if your having them for dinner and want gravy on the side.
  4. Just thaw and microwave to reheat.

Nutritional Information:

See the complete Nutritional profile in our recipe card

At 7.7 NET carbs per serving this dinner is low carb unless you add in the potatoes. To keep it a low carb dinner, choose a low carb side that the gravy can accompany, like roasted cauliflower.

Your Printable Recipe Card:

Cabbage rolls in a serving dish with gravy in a gravy server
Yield: 18 cabbage rolls

German Cabbage Rolls (krautwickel)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This German cabbage roll recipe is full of meaty flavor and includes its own gravy. This delicious dinner is very versatile and freezer friendly. Perfect home cooking.


  • 20 large green cabbage leaves (1 or 2 Large cabbages) you will have leftover cabbage
  • Meat Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 lb. Hamburger (may mix 50/50 with moose or pork)
  • 1 1/2 Cups crumbled stale french bread (with enough water to soak it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Maggi sauce
  • 1 1/4 white onion-diced fine
  • 1 Cup fresh parsley-dice fine
  • 1 Tablespoon bacon grease (or avocado oil) as needed
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut oil (or avocado oil) as needed
  • Gravy Ingredients:
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth
  • 4 Cups water
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tablespoon Conrstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon dijon Mustard


  2. Saute chopped Onion in bacon grease over medium heat until glossy and transparent,
  3. Soak the bread in enough water to thoroughly wet it and make it soggy and waterlogged. Then squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl set the meat, maggi sauce, eggs, cooked onion, and soaked bread crumbs.
  5. Pour all the dry meat filling ingredients over the meat and mix by hand like a meatloaf.
  7. Pan fry a small bit of meat until done to test for flavor. If you need to adjust the seasonings do it now and mix again by hand.
  8. Set a large pot on the stove 2/3 Full of water. Bring to boiling while shaping the meat rolls.
  9. Shape into 3 x 2 inch sausage shapes. Set Aside. You should get about 18 to 20 meat rolls.
  11. Set the cabbage into the boiling water and as the leaves soften and get tender.
  12. GENTLY pull the leaves off with tongs one at a time as the cabbage cooks.
  13. USE ONLY THE BIG LEAVES. (you may need two heads of cabbage to keep the leaf size large.)
  14. Lay the leaves on a large paper towel to drain.
  15. Soften the large tough vein of the leaves with a meat mallet so the leafs will roll.
  17. Lay the leaf out on a large flat surface like a table or cutting board.
  18. Set a meat roll INTO THE CENTER of the leaf.
  19. Fold the cabbage leaf up from the bottom to cover the meat roll.
  20. Bring each side of the leaf up and over the meat.
  21. Now roll the cabbage roll up to the top of the cabbage leaf.
  22. Repeat for all leaves until the meat rolls are used.
  24. Using Kitchen Twine tie the rolls up and knot them on each end (per Video).
  25. This is all done with one continuous piece of twine as shown so the rolls can be evenly browned without falling apart. So make sure they are well secured.
  27. Set your frying pan on medium heat
  28. Add 2 Tablespoons of Peanut oil (or your favorite high heat safe oil).
  29. Brown the cabbage rolls on ALL sides for best flavor.
  30. Simmer the cabbage rolls 40 minutes with 4 cups of beef broth and 4 cups of water.
  32. Remove cabbage rolls to serving platter or large casserole dish leave the broth in the pan.
  33. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add water to make a loose paste.
  34. Pour into the beef broth and whisk over medium high heat until boiling.
  35. Boil while whisking two minutes or until thick as you like.
  36. SERVE:
  37. Cut the strings and remove from the cabbage rolls.
  38. Pour 2 cups of the gravy over the cabbage rolls.
  39. Pour the remaining gravy into a gravy server and serve on the side.


Watch the video demonstration for more details on the techniques used in making this dinner.

Freezing Instructions:

  1. Brigitte freezes the rolls only without the gravy in a tupperware container.
  2. These rolls last well in the freezer several weeks.
  3. They are a quick and easy snack, dinner or lunch. Just whip up a new batch of gravy if your having them for dinner and want gravy on the side.
  4. Just thaw and microwave to reheat.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 cabbage roll with gravy

Amount Per Serving Calories 431Total Fat 35.9gCarbohydrates 10.1gFiber 2.4gProtein 16.4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

German Cabbage Rolls-pin image
German cabbage rolls (krautwickel) are a staple dish for many. Stuffed with meat and cooked until tender they are easy to make and very filling. #cabbagerolls #german #easy #recipe #stuffed #healthy #lowcarb

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Friday 1st of January 2021

We love this! My husband wants cabbage rolls for New Years every year and this is the best recipe we have done yet! Thank you!


Friday 1st of January 2021

Hi Denise, Wonderful! Thanks so much for the great feedback and review of this recipe. Brigitte is an amazing cook. I'm so happy her recipe worked well for you. Happy New Year!


Monday 16th of November 2020

The first recipe that shows tying and browning the cabbage rolls! My mother was German and when she made the cabbage rolls she always tied and fried! Then into the oven. The browning adds so much flavor. Best ever and the tradition has been carried down to my daughter.


Monday 16th of November 2020

Hi Lori, We are SO grateful to Brigitte for showing us her German traditions, tips and techniques for these cabbage rolls. I agree these methods produce exemplary cabbage rolls. We are delighted to pass this method on for the generations to come with her first hand video. Thanks for coming by with your comment and review of the recipe. Happy Baking!


Monday 31st of August 2020

Hello I want to make these but can't find the video you recommend watching. Can you tell me where I can find it please? Thank you


Monday 31st of August 2020

Hi Loretta, Thanks for asking. It usually runs in the sidebar of the post. I just put in the bottom of the printable recipe card for you. If you need it here is the link to the video on our youtube channel as well.Enjoy!

Jody Voelker

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

My grandmother came from Paltinossa, Buchavena Austria and her cabbage rolls were out of this world! I make them at least once every fall. Your recipe is perhaps the closest I've seen, with some exceptions. Hers included bacon, rice or oatmeal instead of the bread, less eggs and were baked on a bed of cabbage leaves covered with saurkraut and also topped with saurkraut. We always make a roaster full at a time and bake them at 325 degrees for 5-6 hours. They last in the fridge for up to 2 wks and/or freeze beautifully.


Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Hi Jody, Thank you SO much for sharing your grandmother's version of German cabbage rolls. I must try this!


Saturday 11th of April 2020

I would like to know exactly what Maggi sauce is. Thank you in advance!


Saturday 11th of April 2020

Hi Sandra, Here's a website blog post that explains it all for you from the Ktchn. It's a dark brown sauce with a bit deeper flavor than soy sauce. It was made in Switzerland and is popular the world over. Especially in Germany.

As for what is in it the recipe actually varies from different producers. So read the label carefully and make sure you know what your ingesting if you have sensitivities. If you can't find it (it's in most grocery stores) Amazon carries it. Or substitute your favorite umami soy sauce in this recipe. Have a great day!

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