Barley-Ricotta Cabbage Rolls


  • Prep Time40 mins
  • Total Time40 mins
  • Makes12 Rolls
*PLUS Cooking time: 60 minutes
Barley-Ricotta Cabbage Rolls

(Photo: John Cullen)

Chatelaine Triple Tested


  • 1 head green cabbage

  • 1 tbsp safflower oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 cup pearl barley

  • 2 tsp dried dill

  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 250 g lean ground pork

  • 1 cup light ricotta, drained

  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tsp red-wine vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 796-mL can whole plum tomatoes

  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut in half

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Core cabbage but leave it whole. Place cabbage in boiling water and cook 6 to 8 min or until outer leaves are tender. Carefully remove from boiling water and plunge into ice water. Pull 12 leaves off the cabbage, boiling again if the leaves are too raw to remove easily. Pat dry and slice out tough centre vein.

  • Heat a large saucepan or large, deep frying pan over medium. Add oil, then garlic, and cook 1 min. Add barley and dill. Cook 1 min. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed, 25 min. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 min. Stir in onion, pork, ricotta, parsley, Dijon, egg, vinegar, thyme and salt.

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13-in. baking dish with oil. Spoon about 1/3 cup of filling onto centre of one cabbage leaf. Roll into a cylinder, folding up the sides and trimming cut ends if there is too much cabbage. Place seam-side down in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining filling and leaves. Pour 1/4 cup water over rolls. Cover tightly with foil and bake 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare sauce.

  • Combine tomatoes and onion in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 30 min. Remove from heat and let stand 10 min. Purée in a food processor or blender. Stir in sugar and salt. Serve over baked cabbage rolls.

  • Make-Ahead Tip: Cook cabbage rolls and tomato sauce. Keep refrigerated up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave on medium for 2 min. Cooked cabbage rolls can also be frozen. Reheat in the microwave on medium for 5 min or in a 350F oven for 15 min.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 150, Protein 9g, Carbohydrates 15g, Fat 6g, Fibre 2g, Sodium 387mg.

Get more of our best cabbage recipes.