Hearty Stuffed Cabbage

Posted by Andrea Estey
Education Communications Manager


Stuffed Cabbage from Shelburne Farms.


We cook a lot with young learners. Why? Because food is a great way to connect learners to the Land, opening the door for students to consider where their food comes from and how their choices impact the environment and their communities. (That connection doesn’t only happen through PreK-12 programs, of course; supporters of our Farm Store, lovers of Shelburne Farms cheddar, and diners at the Shelburne Farms Inn all experience the joy of farm-fresh food!)

So, how do our educators decide just what to cook with young learners? “A good farm to school recipe has to be seasonally flexible, so we can adapt it to what’s being harvested right now,” says Director of Farm-Based Youth Programs Jed Norris. “It should have many different hands-on components so that many kids can participate. It can’t require a ton of culinary skill. And, most importantly, it has to be delicious. We want a healthy recipe, and we want to make it taste good.”

Recently, Jed collaborated with Shelburne Farms Pastry Chef Veronica Bartolacci and Executive Chef John Patterson to compile possible recipes to make with future groups of teachers and kids. In January, staff put these new recipes to the test. The following stuffed cabbage dish – a recipe originally created by Chef Veronica’s grandmother – emerged as a favorite.

“My grandma would make this in a dutch oven the original way,” shares Veronica. “She used uncooked rice, and let it pressure cook with all the liquids, making it much more flavorful. She would make it for most family gatherings; she loved to have parties at her house so we often had stuffed cabbage and Caesar salad (which was my favorite!). My mother would make a version of this which she called ‘porcupines’—this recipe, but without the cabbage leaves, so when the meatballs cooked the rice sort of sticks out like spines.”


The Shelburne Farms Education and Kitchen teams test recipes for future use in the classroom.
The Shelburne Farms Education and Kitchen teams test recipes for future use in the classroom.

Stuffed cabbage is available as a rotating option for purchase in our Farm Store, and some ingredients— including beef, garlic, cabbage, eggs, etc—may be available, too! Check out the current offerings for pick up.

Stuffed Cabbage



  • 3 lb. ground beef
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ C jasmine rice
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 20 leaves of cabbage, 1-2 heads depending on size


  • 2 14oz cans of tomatoes
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ C red wine vinegar
  • ½ C brown sugar


  1. To make the filling, first, sweat onion and garlic until it is translucent. Allow to cool.
  2. Rinse, then cook rice until soft. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice with the beef, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, and eggs. Set aside.
  4. To steam the cabbage, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel off 20-30 leaves of the cabbage and submerge into boiling water for 2 minutes, or until limp. Set aside.
  5. For the sauce, sweat the onion and garlic until translucent, then add in tomatoes, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar.
  6. To assemble, pour sauce into a prepared baking dish, 9” x 13” should be fine.
  7. Lay out cabbage leaves and use a scoop or a large spoon (about 2.5 oz of filling) to fill them. Fold in the sides and roll the cabbage so the seam lies on the bottom.
  8. Place the stuffed cabbage as close together as possible without crushing them. 
  9. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350°F.


Submitted by Marcy Harding on Thu , 02/16/2023 - 09:59 PM

What size are the cans of tomatoes? Would it work to substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar?

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