Black Bean Cabbage Rolls

An image depicting the black bean cabbage roll.

To download a Spanish translation of this recipe click here.



Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 can (14-16 ounce) chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3–4 tablespoons jalapeno sauce

Tomato sauce:

  • 2 cans (14-ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Number of Servings : 12

To download a Spanish translation of this recipe click here.


  1. Add water to chicken broth to make 2½ cups liquid. Pour liquid into a medium-size pan, add
    rice and stir. Simmer until rice is cooked, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Remove and discard any discolored outer leaves from the head of cabbage. Put one inch of
    water in a covered steamer or large saucepan and heat to a simmer. Put cabbage in pot, cover
    and steam a few minutes until outside leaves are wilted and can be easily removed. Remove
    cabbage from pot and place it on a plate to catch water as leaves are removed. Peel leaves
    off, using a knife to cut leaves away from the center stem. Store the leaves in a bowl. Return
    head to pot. Repeat until 20 to 25 leaves are separated. Add boiling water to pot if needed to
    maintain steam. Return all leaves to the steaming pot and steam 5 to 10 minutes, until tender
    and wilted. Remove from water and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine black beans, carrots, corn, raisins, walnuts, jalapeno sauce
    and cooked brown rice. Taste and add more sauce if desired.
  4. Mix tomato sauce ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Set aside.
  5. If the spine on the largest leaves is too heavy to roll, trim the outer edge, being careful not to
    cut a hole through the leaf. Starting with the largest leaves, place ½ cup bean and rice
    mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf. Turn sides in and roll up to close. The leaf should
    easily overlap. Turn each roll upside down, tucking the ends under. Set rolls in a single
    layer in a 9×13-inch pan. Repeat until filling is used up. Decrease the amount of filling as the
    leaves get smaller so that filling will be fully covered by cabbage leaf. If another pan is
    needed to hold all the rolls, use a loaf pan or other small baking pan.
  6. After rolls are assembled and baking, chop any remaining cabbage and freeze for use in a
    soup or other dish.
  7. Pour tomato sauce mixture over the cabbage rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for
    60 to 75 minutes, until cabbage is very tender. Serve hot as a vegetarian main dish or a side
    dish with pork.
  8. Freeze leftovers in meal-size portions.
  9. Alternate cooking method: This dish may be cooked on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or
    other large, heavy covered pot. Line the bottom of the pot with the worst cabbage leaf.
    Place the rolls in 2 or 3 layers. Make sauce, substituting one 16-ounce can of chicken broth
    for diced tomatoes. Pour sauce over the rolls until it is up on the sides of the top layer of
    rolls. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer one hour until very tender. Check pot after ½
    hour of cooking; add more sauce if needed. Serve hot.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living
Mary TerMeers, BS, and Jamie Gates Galeana, MS, RD, LD