These tasty vegan cabbage rolls are stuffed with spiced and diced potatoes, lemony couscous, and finely chopped kale; drizzled with a tomato-based sauce; and sprinkled with pine nuts. With its delicate ruffled leaves and relatively subtle flavor, savoy cabbage is a good one to try if you’re a bit cabbage-shy.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 1 head savoy cabbage
  • 2 cups finely chopped russet potatoes
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoon Ras el hanout or other Middle Eastern spice blend, such as baharat
  • 1 cup dried whole wheat couscous
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2¼ cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pine nuts


  • In a large pot bring 2 qt. water to boiling. Remove outer leaves from cabbage head. Rinse cabbage head and place in boiling water. Boil 10 to 15 minutes or until cabbage is light green. Place cabbage in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well.
  • Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Cut out core from halves. Separate and spread out leaves on a towel-lined baking sheet to dry.
  • For filling, heat a large skillet over medium until a few drops of water sizzle when sprinkled on pan. Add potatoes, onions, garlic, and spice blend; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add couscous, kale, and lemon juice to skillet; season with salt and pepper and stir well.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. To assemble cabbage rolls, create an assembly station with cutting board, cabbage leaves, filling, and a 2-qt. rectangular baking dish. Stack two cabbage leaves on cutting board, overlapping to create a 5-inch circle. Place ⅓ cup filling in the center. Fold sides of leaves over filling; roll up like a burrito. Place roll, seam side down, in baking dish. Repeat to make eight rolls. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan combine tomato sauce, garlic powder, parsley, the ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil from baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over cabbage rolls. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more or until sauce gets dry on top. Let stand on a wire rack 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and additional parsley. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

Comments (5)

(5 from 5 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Judy Gatewood

I dont like to fight the cabbage leaves so I just course chop the cabbage and make a casserole. I also do this with stuffed peppers.

Leslie Roos

They look delicious. Please email recipe.

Shaun Willhite

I loved this recipe and my family did too. Tasty and easy to make. Fun to involve the kids in the assembly process. Thank you!

Jacqueline DiPego

After reading the comments I made a couple of modifications. I also needed it to be gluten free. So I used quinoa. I toasted in a skillet with a tsp of olive oil. It brings out the nuttiness. Also when I added to the potatoes I gradually added 2 cups of water, next time I would use a vegetable stock for flavor. Added more spice. Also toasted the pine nuts. End result. Everyone loved it. One gentleman loved it so much he wants the recipe.

Ally Strom

Turned out "ok" in the end, but it's labor intensive and the instructions are lacking some clarity. The recipe calls for "1 head of Savoy cabbage" to be cooked in 2 qts. of water. Well, I'm new to Savoy cabbage, but my "1 head" (I live in Ireland) was HUGE. Way too big for 2 qts of water. It would have made about 36 rolls, no exaggeration. So I struggled from the start on cooking it, and the extremely dark green leaves never turned "light green". The filling was undercooked, even after doubling the stovetop time - with the veggies being crunchy. I naively thought that maybe after baking, they would be fully cooked. Next time, I'll steam them instead.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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