New this month
Get the Allrecipes magazine just $5!

Grandma Elaine's Unstuffed Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Chef Daddy Pete

"This is a family heirloom recipe that has been handed down through the ages. My mother taught it to me, and I tweaked it to its current form. I have eaten all kinds of 'stuffed' cabbage and this recipe beats them all. It's sweet, sour, and comforting. The flavors are even better the second day. This dish also freezes well."
Added to shopping list. Go to shopping list.


3 h 20 m servings 347 cals
Original recipe yields 10 servings


  • Calories:
  • 347 kcal
  • 17%
  • Fat:
  • 15.2 g
  • 23%
  • Carbs:
  • 34.7g
  • 11%
  • Protein:
  • 20.4 g
  • 41%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 92 mg
  • 31%
  • Sodium:
  • 1117 mg
  • 45%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

On Sale

What's on sale near you.


Sort stores by

These nearby stores have ingredients on sale!
Find the closest stores
(uses your location)

May we suggest



{{model.addEditText}} Print
  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Place the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the sliced onions, and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, using a spoon to slightly chop the whole tomatoes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the cabbage into the tomatoes. Cover, and simmer 1 hour until the cabbage is tender and mixes easily with the tomatoes.
  2. Place the ground beef, eggs, finely chopped onion, rice, water, additional 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix together with hands until thoroughly blended. Add additional rice if mixture is too moist. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs. Place meatballs on a plate, and refrigerate 20 minutes to firm.
  3. Place meatballs on the surface of the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the meatballs are firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Gently stir the meatballs into the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and continue to simmer 45 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice, and taste for seasoning, adding additional lemon juice if required. Stir in the raisins, and honey. Add the brown sugar, a little at a time, tasting after each addition. Cook mixture over medium heat 15 minutes more.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Similar: RecipesVideosCategoriesArticles

Similar: {{title}} recipes videos categories articles


Read all reviews 47
  1. 52 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

This is the first recipe I have done a review on. I have made this multiple times and it is awesome. I made it as written. Don't leave out the ingredients you add at the end. They are what makes...

Most helpful critical review

I found it to be not sour enough or sweet enough. So I tweaked it by adding sauerkraut and addition brown sugar. I also added a little water to make it soupier. Bearing that in mind, I think y...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

This is the first recipe I have done a review on. I have made this multiple times and it is awesome. I made it as written. Don't leave out the ingredients you add at the end. They are what makes...

I will never make cabbage rolls again. I have rarely heard my husband rave as much or as often as he does about this recipe. I make only a couple of changes. I use regular brown rice in the m...

THis is really good. It takes a few hours to prepare but it is really worth it. There is a nice balance between the sour lemon juice and the brown sugar and honey. I highly recomend this!

Very easy and tasty. I used a bag of cole slaw mix instead of chopping the cabbage. I also replaced the raisin with a cup of prunes. And to make it the way my family likes it, I crumbled 10 g...

We really liked this. I adjusted this recipe to use 5lbs of ground beef, so I made a LOT of it. I took it easy on the salt and really easy on the sugar. This would have been way too sweet for us...

I too grew up with this recipe. It is truly wonderful and worth the time. It was always a special occasion at our house when mom made this. However, I have never tried the brown sugar. Sound...

OH Chef Daddy Pete...all I can say is yumm yumm yumm! What a wonderful recipe and its so so easy..The only things I did different is added more rice, some garlic powder to the sauce and meat, an...

Delicious..Did use turkey to be healthier..added bread crumbs instead of rice to the meat along with herbs for more flavor..baked the meatballs first then added to the stew..Will make again for ...

I thought that this was an excellent recipe and loved the blend of flavors. I left out the raisins because we don't like them but it was still excellent. Also because I don't have time or pati...