Turkish Cabbage Rolls – filled with ground lamb, pine nuts and fragrant Turkish spices, bathed in the most flavorful Turkish Tomato Sauce. These can be made ahead and reheated for your special dinner! Low-carb and Keto Adaptable.
There are some incredibly beautiful cabbages at the farmer’s markets right now, just longing to be stuffed with this Turkish lamb and pinenut filling. The cabbage rolls are bathed in the most fragrant tomato sauce – infused with the warming spices of cinnamon and nutmeg – flavorful, cozy and comforting, perfect for the colder months!
What I love about this recipe, is how the whole thing can be made ahead and reheated – perfect for entertaining! A delicious and beautiful addition to the holiday table. Brian and I have been eating the leftovers for several days now, and they just seem to get better and better!
This week I’ve partnered with American Lamb to create a special recipe for this holiday season. When using American lamb, you’re supporting local producers and their families. American lamb is fresher in because it can be found locally, travels less, and is available year-round. The first place to source local lamb is at your local farmers market.
American Lamb is a flavorful, nutrient-rich, and an excellent source of protein, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12, and a good source of iron and vitamin B6. American Lamb is a natural choice – it is fresher because it doesn’t have to travel as far to get to you ( compared to imported lamb) and it’s available all year-round.
The recipe starts with blanching a whole head of cabbage, to make the leaves pliable.
While you can use almost any type of cabbage, large round cabbages offer more width in their leaves making them easier to roll up like a burrito.
How to BLANCH CABBAGE for cabbage Rolls: 4 ways!
- Blanch the WHOLE Cabbage: Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and blanch until tender, truning, about 10-12 minutes. Cool.
- BLANCH THE LEAVES: Alternatively you can peel off the cabbage leaves and blanch the leaves in batches of 3 for 1-2 minutes.
- MICROWAVE: You can also microwave the whole cabbage, covered tightly, in a bowl with 1 cup water for 10 mintues.
- FREEZE: You can also freeze the whole cabbage, then thaw- which is not really “blanching”, but tenderizes the leaves enough to roll. A longer method, but very simple if planning ahead.
After blanching the cabbage, let cool, then cut out the thickest part of the vein. Usually about 2 inches.
Make the fragrant tomato sauce and the lamb filling.
The pinenuts give this the lamb filling such great texture.
Place a 1/3 cup of filling into each cabbage leaf and roll up like a burrito.
Fold the bottom end up first, then the sides.
Place them seam side down in your baking dish, with a little of the sauce on the bottom.
Then lather with the remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350F for 60-75 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs and a few more toasted pinenuts if you like. At this point, you could cool, refrigerate and reheat 1-3 days later for a special dinner or gathering.
Let us know how you like this recipe for Turkish Cabbage Rolls in the comments below- I’m so excited for you to try this!