Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

These Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls are a delicious twist on a classic recipe!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 12 cabbage rolls
Author: Ginnie


For Filling:

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

For Rolls:

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • nonstick spray


Prepare filling:

  • Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion to oil and saute until edges begin to brown.
  • Stir garlic and spices into onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Add quinoa, golden raisins, and broth to onion mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover pot.
  • Cook until quinoa is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove quinoa from heat and stir in chickpeas and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Prepare sauce:

  • While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and spices. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Stir tomato sauce and sugar into garlic mixture. Heat to a simmer, then cover pan.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off heat, stir in parsley, and season to taste with salt. Set aside to cool.

Assemble cabbage rolls:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • While the quinoa and sauce cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Remove core from cabbage and discard.
  • Add cabbage to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove cabbage from water, then remove tender outer leaves. Set leaves aside and return cabbage to boiling water.
  • Cook for a couple minutes, then remove cabbage from water and peel off more leaves.
  • Repeat process until you have 12 large cabbage leaves. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray, then cover with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
  • Trim any thick stems from leaves. (Do not cut leaves completely in half.)
  • Place a leaf on a flat surface with the stem end facing you.
  • Place 1/12 of the quinoa mixture in the center of a leaf.
  • Fold stem end over filling, fold in sides, and then roll up leave completely. (Like you'd fold a burrito.)
  • Place rolls, seam side down, in baking dish.
  • Repeat process with remaining cabbage leaves; then pour remaining tomato sauce over cabbage rolls.
  • Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until hot, about 30 minutes.
  • Serve cabbage rolls immediately. Enjoy!


  • If you cannot find a large cabbage, purchase 2 smaller cabbages. Otherwise, you won't be able to get enough large leaves.
  • You'll have some cabbage leftover from the center of the head. Use it in soup, stir fry, fried rice, and any recipe calling for cabbage. Just keep in mind that it's already partially cooked.
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