What To Serve With Cabbage Rolls? 7 Side Dishes You Must Try

If you have not tried a cabbage roll before, you might be in for a treat when you do. For some, they are a classic dish, but for others, it is something for a special occasion. You can go with this dish but make it a full meal with some delicious side dishes.

Stay tuned to see what to serve with cabbage rolls! We promise that these recipes all fit within your capabilities, and you will not regret making them.

What Are Cabbage Rolls?

A stuffed cabbage roll is a dish that consists of cabbage leaves that wrap around a filling. The filling can be a variety of things, including meat, spices, herbs, tofu, and mushrooms. The cabbage rolls are usually cooked by steaming, baking, or simmering.

The dish is traditional from Central, Northern, and Eastern European cuisines. However, you can find variations of this dish in African, West Asian, and Chinese cuisines. The fillings and preparations vary widely from region to region.

In Europe, meat fillings are common, usually containing beef, lamb, pork, or chicken. These are usually seasoned with herbs and spices and cooked along a grain or vegetable. Other filling ingredients include rice, barley, mushrooms, and vegetables.

In Asian cabbage rolls, the cabbage leaves are fermented. The filling might contain tofu, seafood, and mushrooms. The cabbage of choice is traditional Chinese cabbage.

What sauce accompanies stuffed cabbage rolls varies depending on the cuisine. Sometimes a berry jam is preferred side dish, others a tomato sauce or even yogurt or sour cream. You might have cabbage rolls served on their own.

Cabbage rolls in the United States became popular thanks to Polish immigrants. However, cabbage rolls are also traditionally Jewish. You can find a variety of these dishes in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country.

Nutrition Facts

One cabbage roll with cooked rice and beef (103 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 115 calories
  • 8.66 g protein
  • 5.15 g fat
  • 8.89 g carbohydrate
  • 1.34 g fiber
  • 3.55 g sugar
  • 28.8 mg calcium
  • 1.28 mg iron
  • 16.5 mg magnesium
  • 84.5 mg phosphorus
  • 249 mg potassium
  • 353 mg sodium
  • 18.5 µg vitamin A
  • 39.1 mg cholesterol

Stuffed cabbage rolls can be relatively low in fat and carbohydrate but have a high protein content. Still, depending on the preparation methods, ingredients, and condiments, these rolls can also be high in sugar and sodium. Choosing a leaner protein, low sodium, and high fiber will make your cabbage rolls much healthier.

If you have too much cabbage, use these valuable tips to freeze cabbage for later.

What Goes With Cabbage Rolls?

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with stuffed cabbage rolls at any time!

#1. Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Even those that are not very keen on soups will love this one as a side dish. It is both creamy and savory with enough hints of sweetness too!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ⅓ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your red pepper and tomato soup:

  1. Begin by roasting your bell peppers. Place them on top of the stove with some oil and roast until they turn black. Allow your bell peppers to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Peel your peppers, chop them, and set them aside.
  3. Wash, clean, peel, and remove the seeds from your tomatoes. Chop them and set them aside with the peppers.
  4. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan along with the garlic. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the peppers, tomatoes, paprika, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook over low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and allow the liquid to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and place it in a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth and return to the saucepan.
  9. Add the cream and simmer for 10 more minutes, mixing often.
  10. Serve your soup hot with garlic bread and cabbage rolls on the side.

#2. Red Potatoes with Garlic

Potatoes go well with most foods, and cabbage rolls are not different. You can make these roasted red potatoes with garlic without much effort to serve with cabbage rolls for a hearty dish.


  • 10-12 red potatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your red potatoes with garlic:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Wash, clean, and chop your onion and potatoes.
  3. Melt the butter in a microwavable dish and then transfer it to a small bowl.
  4. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the butter. 
  5. Arrange your potatoes and onion on a baking dish.
  6. Pour the butter and garlic mixture over the potatoes and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Roast your potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes or until they are soft and golden. 
  8. Serve your red potatoes with garlic hot on the side of your cabbage rolls.

#3. Sauteed Spinach and Bacon

Spinach is one of those versatile greens that go well with about anything. Adding some salty flavors, like bacon, will make your side dish tastier.


  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your sauteed spinach and bacon:

  1. Wash, clean, and dry your spinach. Set it aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet for 5-8 minutes or until it turns crispy.
  3. Remove the bacon and transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess fat. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet.
  4. Add the spinach to the skillet working in batches. Add more as it starts to cook and shrink.
  5. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.
  6. Cut your bacon slices into cubes and add them to the skillet.
  7. Pour the lemon juice and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Serve your sauteed spinach and bacon hot on the side of your cabbage rolls.

#4. Butter Noodles with Mushrooms

When you want something simple but still tasty, this recipe will save the day. It is easy to make and packs a ton of flavor.


  • 1 box of egg noodles
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your butter noodles with mushrooms:

  1. Cook the noodles according to box/package instructions. Drain and reserve ¼ of the cooking water.
  2. In the meantime, clean and chop your mushrooms, and set them aside.
  3. Add the butter to a skillet along with the garlic. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper.
  5. Turn the heat to a low simmer and stir in the noodles and the cooking water.
  6. Add the parmesan cheese and cook for one more minute.
  7. Serve your butter noodles with mushrooms hot on the side of the cabbage rolls.

#5. Beef Goulash

A hearty stew always compliments your stuffed cabbage rolls perfectly. Plus, you will have a higher protein meal than you anticipated.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lb boneless beef chunks, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can cooked tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 4 yellow potatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your beef goulash:

  1. Melt the butter and garlic in a large pot. Add the beef and brown evenly on both sides.
  2. Sprinkle the flour onto the meat as it is cooking and add olive oil if necessary to remove any clumps.
  3. Add the onion and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Season with paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour the apple cider vinegar and broth into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat and add the tomatoes.
  6. Cover your pot and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking your meat occasionally.
  7. Stir in the potatoes and cover once more—Cook for another 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and allow your goulash to sit for a few minutes.
  9. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top for garnish.
  10. Serve your beef goulash hot with your favorite cabbage rolls on the side.

#6. Roasted Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables you can mold into anything you want. This recipe is crunchy and full of aroma.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted cauliflower with pine nuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Wash, clean, and break your cauliflower into pieces. Remove the stem and discard it. 
  3. Place the cauliflower pieces in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, honey, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
  4. Place the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet. Spread any remaining olive oil mixture on top.
  5. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.
  6. Roast your cauliflower for 12 to 15 minutes or until it turns golden.
  7. In the meantime, place your pine nuts on a saucepan. Roast them for 1 to 2 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
  8. Remove the cauliflower from the oven.
  9. Place your cauliflower and pine nuts on a serving dish. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top.
  10. Serve your roasted cauliflower hot on the side of the cabbage rolls.

#7. Waldorf Salad

A Waldorf salad is a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. It is easy to make, decadent, and very satisfying.


  • ⅓ cup walnuts, halved and toasted
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 green apples, cubed
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 4-6 cups Romaine or Boston lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Waldorf salad:

  1. Wash, clean, and chop your vegetables. Set them aside.
  2. Halve your walnuts and place them on a saucepan. Toast them for a few minutes making sure they do not burn.
  3. In the meantime, whisk the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Wash and core your apple. Cube it into smaller pieces and place them in the bowl.
  5. Add the apples, celery, and raisins to the bowl. Toss well.
  6. Stir in the walnuts and toss again.
  7. Serve your Waldorf salad fresh on the side of the cabbage rolls.

Tip: if you are not eating your salad immediately, refrigerate it but do not add the walnuts until you are ready to serve it.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Side Dish?

Cabbage rolls are a delicious treat, no matter how you prepare them. Save time when you are prepping by choosing one of these side dishes to serve with cabbage rolls. You can make them ahead of time and use the leftovers another day.

Cabbage rolls will be perfect even with simple mashed potatoes or roasted carrots, but try all our recipes if you want a skillful side dish.

If you are trying to add some protein to your hearty dish, a meal with some meat can be the right choice. The beef goulash is hearty and comforting, perfect for a dinner at home. The sauteed spinach with bacon adds enough protein to make the meal whole.

For a meal that contains more vegetables, you can choose something purely vegetarian. The roasted cauliflower and pine nuts are a delicious and crunchy mix. The Waldorf salad is a combination of flavors, but it is worth it.

When you need more starch for your meal, carbohydrates are a good option. These red potatoes with garlic are a classic that never disappoints. The butter noodles with mushrooms are easy to make and very delicate.

Finally, try serving the red pepper and tomato soup all other times. It can be an appetizer or side dish without much problem.


Never shy away from serving a full meal with your cabbage rolls. Instead of stressing over what to serve, try one, two, or more of these recipes. You will likely want more every time. 

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*image by wirestock_creators/depositphotos

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