Wondering what to serve with cabbage rolls? Check out these 35 incredible side dishes that complement this comfort food so perfectly. From hearty grains to fresh salads and mouthwatering side dishes, these ideas will help you figure out what to serve with stuffed cabbage rolls.
If you're looking for a well balanced and hearty meal, look no further than stuffed cabbage rolls. Even though there are different ways of making cabbage rolls, there's a clear consensus that this classic dish qualifies as a complete meal.
That's because stuffed cabbage rolls have everything you need for a well-balanced meal: hearty ground meat, healthy grains, veggies like carrots, onion, cabbage, and delicious flavor from the tomato-based sauce.
Add a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread, and mealtime has been made easy.
But if you are serving a crowd or if you just want to take this to a whole new level - pair your cabbage rolls with one of these fitting side dishes. Any of these cabbage roll side dishes will make a great accompaniment to the main course!
- What are Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?
- Reasons to Make Cabbage Roll Side Dishes
- Tips for Cabbage Roll Side Dishes
- What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls
- Best Side Dishes with Root Vegetables
- Best Cabbage Roll Side Dishes with Grains
- Roasted Vegetable Side Dishes
- Best Salads for Cabbage Rolls
- Fermented Recipes to go with Cabbage Rolls
- Helpful Tools & Links
What are Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?
If you're not familiar with this hearty dish, let me introduce you. Originally hailing from Eastern Europe, stuffed cabbage rolls come in all shapes and sizes depending on the geographic location. There are different versions of cabbage rolls as there are any other traditional dish.
This ultimate comfort food usually consists of ground meat, cooked rice (white rice is my choice!) and vegetable tomato sauce rolled into cabbage leaves and then cooked to tender perfection.
Some recipes call for gently simmering the cabbage rolls on the stove top while others are baked in the oven. If you are looking for a traditional recipe, learn how to make stuffed cabbage rolls.
Because homemade cabbage rolls don't have to be difficult, I also have an easy step-by-step post on how to take a whole head of cabbage and break it down to create perfectly tender-cooked cabbage leaves. Check out how to boil cabbage to make the rolls go easily and streamlined.
And finally, if that seems a bit too involved and you need something simpler, check out this recipe for lazy cabbage rolls. It's the best way to get all the flavors of old fashioned stuffed cabbage rolls but without the fuss.
Reasons to Make Cabbage Roll Side Dishes
- Quick and easy side dishes - Cabbage rolls are generally a labor of love so you need quick and simple sides to serve alongside them.
- Comfort food - Because it's so balanced and flavorful, this classic comfort food makes a delicious dinner on it's own. Traditionally, Russian cabbage rolls have been enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of rye bread.
- Serves a crowd - If you're serving cabbage rolls to guests or a larger crowd for special occasions, it's good to be armed with equally nourishing side dishes.
💭Pro tip: Cabbage rolls freeze exceptionally well. Consider doubling the batch and freeze half for an easy meal in the future.
Tips for Cabbage Roll Side Dishes
- Use a freezer. See what frozen vegetables you have on hand to see if you can pop them in the oven for an instant side dish for cabbage rolls. Or prepare several options and have them readily available in the freezer for the future.
- Buy seasonally. Make side dishes using produce that is available to you right now. Seasonal vegetables are more nutritious, tastier, and cost-efficient.
- Keep it simple. Sometimes, the most satisfying side dishes are the simplest ones. Don't feel compelled to make elaborate sides every time. A simple salad or roasted veggie can be the perfect accompaniment to cabbage rolls, allowing the flavors to shine without overwhelming your palate.
What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls
Ready to explore delicious pairings? Check out this compilation of popular side dishes that complement cabbage rolls well.
These side dishes will provide your dinner with a contrast of textures and flavors that makes the entire meal more interesting. And you'll notice that we are big on variety - lots of different vegetables here that add incredible health benefits to your plate.
In this roundup of What to Serve with Cabbage Rolls - these delicious side dishes are broken down by categories that I think would make more sense to the cook:
- Sides with Root Vegetables (of course potatoes are an obvious choice here but there are other equally delicious root vegetables)
- Side Dishes with Grains (this includes veggies that are great stand-ins for grains)
- Roasted Vegetables (personally my favorite for a meal like cabbage rolls because it's super easy!)
- Versatile Salads (close second!)
- Fermented Pairings for Cabbage Rolls
Best Side Dishes with Root Vegetables
Cabbage rolls and potatoes are such a perfect match which is why we absolutely needed to include them in this roundup. But taters aren't the only main attraction in this group. Check out how other root vegetables can make a perfect side dish for cabbage rolls.
Best Cabbage Roll Side Dishes with Grains
A simple barley pilaf, egg noodles, or a side of brown rice cooked in bone broth makes a great side dish. In this category are also vegetables that resemble these grains but come with amazing health benefits.
Roasted Vegetable Side Dishes
The best part about roasted vegetables is how quickly it takes to whip them into a quick side dish without the fuss. These are truly some of the best side dishes for cabbage rolls and for good reason! They're usually one-pan recipes and require very little hands-on prep time. I'm convinced you'll find a perfect side dish for cabbage rolls in this collection.
Best Salads for Cabbage Rolls
A nice light salad is great at complimenting a balanced main course. In fact, adding a simple green salad to your main dish is always a good idea. Check out these salads that all come with their own delicious flavor.
Fermented Recipes to go with Cabbage Rolls
As is typical for all Prepare and Nourish recipes, we are big on serving all meals with a serving of lacto-fermented food. These are some of the best lacto-fermented pairings that go well with cabbage rolls.
You'll notice that the time it takes to make these foods are much longer than what we'd want in a side dish. That's because fermented foods are a labor of love. They're meant to have a long shelf life so make these well in advance of your meal.
In fact, have a variety of different ferments to vary your probiotic and live enzyme intake.
Helpful Tools & Links
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you plan what goes with cabbage rolls for your next dinner. I'm only including these as reference but it's likely you already have something similar.
- Serving tools: cutting board, large mixing bowl, ceramic baking dish, serving platter set, large salad bowl
- Storage Supplies: glass snap containers
There are multiple side dishes on the list that make a great meal prep option. Dishes like cooked grains, hearty salads like coleslaw, and roasted vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Fermented vegetables are also great to have on hand for an instant side dish.
Absolutely! You can get creative with international flavors. Consider pairing cabbage rolls with gluten-free garlic bread topped with Parmesan cheese for a simple side. Or try a different authentic side dish to create a blend of textures and flavors that's sure to satisfy your taste buds.
When you think about what to serve with stuffed cabbage rolls, you want a contrast in flavors and textures. I would try to avoid similar-type foods like cabbage or Brussels sprouts, ground beef or turkey, and tomato-based sauce.
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