I’ll be honest. I have never been a fan of cabbage, but when I saw this stunning cabbage at the market, it was calling me, ‘experiment, try something new, try to like me’!

Having grown up on stuffed grape leaves, I decided I had to at least try this lovely cabbage, stuffed. With Thanksgiving in a few days, I knew there would be a need for some easy, delicious, and new turkey leftover recipes. I created this recipe, and now I must admit, I am a new fan of cabbage!

This recipe comes together quickly, and note that any other cooked meat or smoked fish, can work in its place; ground or cubed.


Makes 8 large cabbage rolls

  • 8 large cabbage leaves, carefully removed from the cabbage head
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, or any other cooked meat, or smoked fish
  • ¾ cup spicy cashews, or any other nut, crushed
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped (dried cranberries or raisins work too)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 8 tooth picks


Preheat oven to 350

Each cabbage leaf will need to be blanched. In a pot of boiling water, carefully press one leaf at a time into the water, count to 8 and remove it to drain. This can be done in advance and wrapped, and chilled until ready to use.

In a bowl, mix cooked barley, turkey (meat or fish), nuts, and apricots. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. (The barley will be a bit wet and sticky so it will hold everything together nicely.)

Lay out one cabbage leaf, place about ¼ cup of filling at one end of the leaf, roll up like a cigar, place a toothpick gently in and out of the leaf to hold it closed. (Or simply place the bundle, open side, down)

Lay on a baking sheet, brush olive oil across each bundle, sprinkle a little salt (preferably coarse ground) across the tops, and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Remember, everything is already cooked, and so you only need to heat the bundles through to the center, taking care not to lose the color of the leaf, through over baking.

Great as a side dish. Perfect to serve for a luncheon, or simply to grab and go, since the bundles hold together all the way to the last bite!

Leave a Reply