Stuffed cabbage rolls recipe from Turkey! Vegan lahana dolma is a crowd-pleasing dish that is full of flavor and texture. Accidentally gluten-free with allergen-free options available.
This dish hails from the Gaziantep region of Turkey, but is loved and made all over the country. It is also my mother's favorite stuffed vegetable dish. The original recipe uses ground lamb, but using walnuts or vegan ground beef provides just as much flavor. I hope you enjoy this plant-based version of a classic as much as we do!
Ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe
For Wrapping & Cooking:
- 40 white cabbage leaves
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the Filling:
- ⅔ cup rice (medium-grain works best)
- 2 onions, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups walnut*, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon pepper paste
- ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
*If you wish, you may substitute the walnuts with vegan ground beef.
How to Make Vegan Turkish Lahana Sarma
- Boil the cabbage leaves in water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain, rinse with cold water, then set aside.
- Rinse and soak the rice in water for half an hour.
- Make the filling by placing the drained rice, walnut, onion, garlic, red pepper paste, tomato paste, chili flakes, salt, and black pepper into a large bowl. Mix gently; feel free to use your hands.
- To assemble, place each leaf with veins facing up on a level surface, then put a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the bottom half. See notes regarding different roll sizes.
- Start by folding from the bottom, then fold each side inwards and roll up tightly. See the rolling guide photo for clarification.
- In a wide pot, place a few cabbage leaves at the bottom to line the surface to prevent our cabbage dolmas from burning.
- Place all rolls in the pot, seams facing down. Cover with any leftover cabbage leaves. Weigh down with a heavy plate and add the olive oil and water.
- Over low heat, cover the pot and cook for at least 40 minutes. I’d recommend tasting one cabbage roll to check before turning off the heat. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Squeeze some lemon juice over it if you wish, and serve with plant-based yogurt, soup, and Mediterranean kale salad with warm dates on the side for a complete Turkish feast!
Some like thinner stuffed cabbage rolls. If that's you, feel free to tear the boiled leaves into two or three pieces, and roll them up tighter.
This stuffed cabbage rolls recipe is:
- A crowd-pleaser
- & therapeutic to make!
Looking for other Turkish stuffed vegetable recipes? Try:
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you make this recipe!Print