Kohl Stuff! Kohlrouladen – German Cabbage Rolls Recipe

German food gets bad rep a lot of the times. People mainly think German food consists of a lot of sausages and Sauerkraut. You know, there is an awful lot of sausages in Germany but you’d be surprised by how little they features in the every day dishes. Traditional German food can sometimes look very British, meat and two vege type stuff.

Growing up in Germany, I’ve had my fair share of German delights but because my mum’s Korean, I was more likely have the usual bolognese and lots of Korean food on a regular basis (though my mum made an AWESOME Gruenkohl). I guess that’s the reason I have never thought about cooking German food. But then I had a huge craving for some Kohlrouladen and upon research I realised it’s pretty easy to make, so I had a German themed night yesterday!

Kohlrouladen are seasoned mince meat balls rolled up in cabbage leafs, baked and served with gravy and traditionally some boiled potatoes.

It’s delicious and quite a strong meal.

The recipe is super simple and only takes a little prep work. Here is my recipe:

German Cabbage Roll Recipe

By Lia Schopmeyer
Published: September 4, 2013

This is a German recipe for Kohlrouladen. Stuffed Cabbage leafs.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hr 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 2-3 cabbage rolls


Savoy cabbage
250g Minced beef
100g Minced pork (you can keep it completely beef though if you wish)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Gherkins, finely diced (my little twist, optional)
2 eggs
5 cream crackers, crushed into fine crumbs (or use breadcrumbs )
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs tomato puree
1 Beef stock cube
New potatoes
String (for tying up the rolls or you could use cocktail sticks)


Add minced meat to a big mixing bowl and add onion, garlic, gherkins, parsley, paprika and gherkins. Mix it up and add the eggs and cream cracker crumbs. If needs be, you can always add more crumbs if the mixture is too wet. Season with salt and pepper, don’t be shy! There is no other seasoning apart from the gravy so make sure you season well.

Carefully take off 10 cabbage leafs from the stem. Try and not tear them too much. Boil water and blanch each leaf in boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove and add them in a bowl of cold water to stop them from wilting too much. This will make the leafs flexible and ideal for rolling.

Remove the thick bit of the stem from each leaf. Add a little ball of meat on the leaf. like so:

Step 1

Then wrap each side across.

Step 2

And roll and tuck the sides in.

If you have string, it will be much easier to get it all tightly wrapped, if you are using cocktail sticks, stick them in diagonally across, trying to stick it through as many layers of leaf as possible.

Step 3

Set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 170 Degree C.

Once you have rolled everything up, fry them in a bit of oil and butter until browned on each side. Put them in a baking dish, they can fit in snuggly.

Add about 1/2 liter of stock and wrap the tray in tin foil, making sure everything is sealed shut.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, boil your potatoes.

Once the potatoes are done. take the cabbage rolls out of the baking tray on a plate. To make the gravy, add the juices to a saucepan, add tomato puree and bring to boil. Add a tsp of cornstarch mixed in a bit of water to thicken the sauce.

Season to taste.

Serve your rolls with potatoes and gravy all over.


I heated pickled red cabbage with lots of sugar as a side, now this is perfectly German. Drink some German beer for more authenticity.

(Also remove the cocktail sticks before eating to avoid casualties).


Lia Schopmeyer

7 thoughts on “Kohl Stuff! Kohlrouladen – German Cabbage Rolls Recipe

  1. Goodness, this is an awesome recipe! I haven’t seen it offered here in many places around Mainz yet, maybe it’s seasonal or regional? I love visiting here…Just the last handful of posts have great recipes I can incorporate into our family meal calendar.

    1. Awesome! I’m glad you like it. I reckon it is seasonal, don’t think stuffed cabbage leafs is the biggest hit during summer, so autumn/winter time is best. I also know there are regional differences in how you season the meat depending where you are in Germany. Let me know if you tried it and send us a photo! 🙂

      – Lia

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