Italian Sausage Cabbage Rolls

For some reason, out of the blue one day, I got a hankering for cabbage rolls. I couldn’t actually recall the last time I had eaten them, which was really strange. Regardless, my mind was set on cabbage rolls. Since the basic recipe calls for ground beef, which I don’t eat, I decided to get creative. While I could have simply used ground turkey in its place, I opted for sweet Italian sausage to give them more flavor. In addition, I threw in some diced green pepper. Though peeling the leaves off the cabbage turned out to be quite tedious (I don’t think it can be done without tearing every single one of the leaves at least a little bit), they turned out great.

12 cabbage leaves
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
1 small onion, diced
1 green medium pepper, diced
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cooked rice
1 - 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, flavored (I used Hunt’s Spicy Red Pepper)
14 oz. tomato juice
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350°. In a skillet, cook the sausage with the onion and green pepper until crumbled and no longer pink. Add cinnamon, chili powder and salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Add the egg and milk; stir well. Stir in the rice. Set aside. Boil cabbage leaves for 2 minutes; drain. Place one or two spoonfuls of the meat and rice mixture in each cabbage leaf, fold and roll up. Place each of the cabbage rolls, flap side down, into a greased baking pan. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, juice and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Pour over cabbage rolls and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour. Serve.


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