Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – Bollitos de Repollo

My mother’s step Mother was of Syrian/Lebanese descent. She grew up eating Middle Eastern food and later, as a mother, she cooked them for us. So, we ate Kipes (from the kibbeh libanés), Tabbouleh (which we called tipile), Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and other delicacies on a regular basis. I loved all of them.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Bollitos de repollo


  • 1 Large Cabbage (choose one that is not too tight)


  • 3 pounds rice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • Cilantro to taste
  • 5 Olives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Escabeche
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

In the DR, we didn’t have Kefir or Yogurt when I was a kid. So, my mother would use curdled milk instead. Since they are available here, you can substitute for plain Kefir or Yogurt.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Boil the whole cabbage, pulling the leaves apart as they start loosening up.

Step 2

Cook until they are soft enough to handle and roll, but not coked enough to rip easily.

Step 3

Mix milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle milk. See Note in Tips about substituting curdled milk for kefir or Yogurt.

Step 4

Mix beef with all the stuffing ingredients.

Step 5

Stuff each cabbage leaf with stuffing and roll, not too tight, because rice will grow when cooked. Fasten with toothpicks. 

Step 6

Prepare escabeche.

Step 7

Arrange cabbage rolls in escabeche skillet. Cover and cook until rice is fully cooked and rolls are tender.

Step 8

Before serving, pour curdled milk over the rolls.