Cabbage Rolls in Vine Leaves

Cabbage Rolls in Vine Leaves

Easy to do and very tasty, this cabbage rolls in vine leaves can be the ideal choice whenever you want something special for you, your family or for your guests.

Cabbage rolls in vine leaves – A Romanian traditional dish, with fresh ingredients. The main ones are organic “chicken meat” and the vine leaves

Whenever you cook meat dishes, try to buy meat from a “safe, organic” source. In Romania we do this from a local farm, or peasants that come in the town’s market or even from local Facebook groups where local farmers advertise their products. It is very important that chicken not to be raised with soy or chemicals.

Cabbage rolls in vine leaves – what ingredients do you need and how to prepare this dish?


20 vine leaves
1 boneless chicken breast
1 egg
1 carrot
1 small onion (optional for the ones who do not tolerate onion)
salt, pepper,
1 small cup of rice (white or brown, as you wish)
3 tablespoon of bullion or tomato sauce

1/2 litre borsht or 1/2 litre water with 2 teaspoons of salt


1.    Wash and boil the rice in 3 cups of water (1 part rice – 3 parts water). Let it boil until the rice is half tender (it will be cooked in the cabbage rolls, in the oven too).

2.    Drain and leave aside, in a bowl, to cook.

3.    Finely chop the chicken breast (in the meat grinder or with a knife, both methods are fine).

4.    Grate the carrot and finely chop the onion.

5.    In the bowl where you put the rice, add the minced meat and vegetables (onion and carrot).

6.    Add in the middle the egg, salt and pepper (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste). Add also 1 tablespoon of bullion or tomato sauce.

7.    Mix all the ingredients very well. Optional, you can also add here 1 bunch of fresh dill, washed and chopped.

8.    Then, you have to prepare the vine leaves, leaves that must be fresh. In a pot, boil ½ litre borscht (or ½ litre of water with 2 teaspoons salt). When it reaches the boiling point, turn off the heat and add in the liquid the vine leaves. Let them inside for about 5-6 minutes.

9.    Then, take them out. They should be now a bit lighter.

10.    Take each leave a time, place it on a wooden board (with the veining part upwards) and add 1 teaspoon of the above composition. Wrap like the classical cabbage rolls.  

11.    Put them in a pot, not too close from each other because they will increase the volume. After you add them all in the pot, make a sauce from bullion (or tomato sauce) and some water. Add this sauce over them, to cover.

12.    Put the pot in the oven, for about 40 minutes. Check from time to time and, if necessary, add more warm water over the cabbage rolls.

13.    Serve simple, with polenta. If you are not dairy free, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream or thicker yoghurt.

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