Kali Orexi’s Lahanodolmades – Greek Beef-Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Baked in Red Sauce Recipe

I am sharing with you my beautiful recipe of Lahanodolmades – Stuffed Cabbage Leaves. Traditionally lahanodolmades are boiled and then dressed with an avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce. These lahanodolmades are a little different – they are baked in a light tomato sauce. I was introduced to this method by Toula, who also shares her beautiful Spring Lamb with Greens dish with Kali Orexi.

There is a bit of effort in preparing these – but the YUM factor is definitely worth it!!!

Try them and please let me know what you think!

KO's Lahanodolmades - Greek Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Baked in Tomato Sauce Recipe

Course dinner
Cuisine Greek
Keyword cabbage, cabbage rolls


  • 1 large cabbage (that fits in your pot)
  • 2 medium brown onions, diced
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVVO) + more for drizzling
  • 500g beef mince or pork mince or a mixture of both
  • ½ cup cup passata
  • ½ cup medium grain rice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 30 g parsley
  • 20 g mint
  • 50 g dill
  • 400 ml additional passata


Preparing the cabbage

  1. Cut the core/stalk out of the base of the cabbage

  2. Place the cabbage in a large pot with the open side face-down

  3. Fill the pot with water and bring to a gentle boil

  4. Boil for approximately 30 minutes and then turn the cabbage over

  5. Boil for a further 15-20 minutes

Preparing the filling

  1. Grate the cabbage core

  2. Add the grated cabbage and the brown onions to a fry pan

  3. Add ½cup EVOO and sauté till the cabbage and onions have caramelised (this is a slow process – you need to reduce the heat as the water content in the cabbage and onions decreases) – this caramelisation process times nicely with the cabbage leaf prep

  4. On very low heat, add the mince to the pan and just break it down into small pieces and coat it with the EVOO –you do not need to brown it

  5. Transferthe onions/cabbage/mince meat to a bowl and add the ½ cup passata, rice, salt,pepper and herbs – mix well

Preparing the lahanodolmades

  1. Using tongs and holding only onto the midrib of the cabbage leaves, remove the outer leaves of the cabbage – remove 4-6leaves at a time

  2. Leave the cabbage in the simmering water to continue softening and then remove more leaves as you need them

  3. Drizzle a medium-large baking dish with some EVOO

  4. Lay down 2-3 cabbage leaves on the base of the baking dish and drizzle with more EVOO

  5. Pour a little passata on top and season with salt too!

  6. Place a cabbage leaf on your work surface with the midrib facing towards you

  7. Cut out the thicker section of the midrib and set aside (I cook the midribs with EVOO till they brown and then add eggs – they are delicious!)

  8. Take approximately 65g of the filling and form into a quenelle shape and place it horizontally just above the point where you cut out the midrib

  9. Fold over the cabbage leaf lobes (closest to you) onto the filling. Then fold one side of the leaf inwards and then the other. Finally, roll the lahanodolma upwards – from bottom to top - to form a neat, cylindrical parcel

  10. Lay down the lahanodolmades, so their open seam faces downwards, and they fit snugly in the baking dish – I make 16 lahanodolmades from these ingredients and they fit perfectly into my baking dish that is 36 x 32cm

  11. Pour a little passata on top of the lahanodolmades (I used 300ml passata – you can use more or less), season with salt and drizzle with more EVOO

  12. Bake at 180ºC fan-forced covered with slightly vented aluminium foil for 1- 1 ¼  hours

  13. Carefully flip the lahanodolmades in the pan and then bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes more – till they have softened and browned a little

Serving the lahanodolmades

  1. Serve with yoghurt and/or feta!

    Kali Orexi!

Recipe Video

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