Cabbage rolls are a homemade favorite, consisting of ground beef and wrapped up tightly in cabbage rolls and slathered in tomato sauce. The meal takes some time and patience to make, as you have to fill and roll each cabbage leaf separately.
With it taking a while to make this, it would make sense to make a few extra cabbage rolls to enjoy later on.
So how do you reheat them? Cabbage rolls are best when reheated in the oven. It allows them to heat through evenly and does not cause the cabbage leaf to become too soggy, or for the meat and rice to dry out.
Reheating Cabbage Rolls In The Oven
The oven is by far the best method to use to heat up cabbage rolls. You can heat them from the fridge or from frozen in the oven.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the cabbage rolls in a baking pan and pour some extra tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
- Cover the cabbage rolls in the baking pan with aluminum foil and leave them to bake for 30-45 minutes until heated through.
- If they need a little longer in the oven, check them again every 5 minutes until they are ready to eat.
If you are cooking the cabbage rolls from frozen, they will take longer. However, you can leave them out to thaw in the fridge overnight to speed up the reheating time.
Pros of using an oven
The oven will give the best reheating results for your cabbage rolls. It warms the cabbage rolls evenly throughout, so you won’t have some ice-cold parts and others scorching hot.
The oven is also less likely to dry out the tomato sauce, as you will have a foil cover over the rolls. The meat on the inside, as well as the rice, will remain moist and tasty, and the cabbage leaves will not become too soggy.
Cons of using an oven
The oven obviously takes longer to warm up the cabbage rolls than when using other methods, so make sure to factor at least an hour into your cooking time, to allow for the oven to warm up and then for the cabbage rolls to be reheated.
Reheating Cabbage Rolls In The Microwave
Surprisingly enough, many recipes allow for cabbage rolls to be cooked from scratch in the microwave, so it would make sense then that you could reheat cabbage rolls in the microwave as well, and it is fairly simple to do so.
- Arrange the cabbage rolls in a microwave-safe dish and spoon over any leftover sauce onto the top of the cabbage rolls.
- Wrap plastic wrap around the top of the dish. This causes the cabbage rolls to steam in the microwave, which helps keep them moist and tender without losing too much sauce or drying up.
- Microwave the cabbage rolls on high for 4 minutes.
- Leave them to sit for 1 minute after this and check to see if they are warmed through. Leaving them to rest for a minute allows the heat to distribute evenly through the cabbage rolls.
- If they need to be heated more, do so in 1-minute increments until heated through completely.
Pros of using a microwave
The obvious benefit of using a microwave is that it is the quickest way to warm up the cabbage rolls. They only need to be placed in the microwave for a few minutes until warmed through.
By using plastic wrap to cover the cabbage rolls, you are also stopping any excess moisture from escaping, which helps to keep the cabbage rolls moist and tender.
Cons of using a microwave
One of the downfalls of using the microwave to reheat cabbage rolls is that it can give inconsistent results. Some areas of the food might be incredibly hot, while other areas will still be cool.
Leaving the cabbage roll to sit covered for a minute after heating does allow for the heat to distribute evenly, warming up all the areas. It is then worthwhile to place them back in the microwave for another minute to heat it thoroughly.
Reheating Cabbage Rolls On The Stove
You might not be able to cook cabbage rolls on the stovetop as well as you could in the oven, but you can reheat them on a pan.
Use a flat large pan which is big enough to hold the cabbage rolls. If you are reheating quite a few, you might need to do them in batches. Place the cabbage rolls inside the large pan, making sure they are not too cramped.
- Spoon some extra sauce over the top of the cabbage rolls to give them more moisture. Bring the sauce in the pan to a simmer, as this will indicate how much your cabbage rolls are being heated.
- You could also add some stock to the pan as well, to essentially boil the cabbage rolls lightly.
- Leave them to heat on the stove on medium or simmer for 15 minutes, moving them around and turning them if possible.
- Check to see if they have heated through after 15 minutes, and if not, check them again after a minute or two.
Pros of using the stove
Using the stovetop is a fairly quick method to reheat cabbage rolls compared to using the oven. You are also able to add more sauce or stock to the pan with the cabbage rolls if it is needed, not having to remove the pan from the oven or microwave to do so.
You can also move the cabbage rolls around to heat up better on the stovetop. Simmering down the stock and the sauce also allows the cabbage rolls to have more concentrated flavors.
Cons of using the stove
The stove will not be able to heat the cabbage rolls as evenly as the oven, and you will need to move the cabbage rolls around to ensure they are heated up evenly. You will also need to add stock or sauce to the pan to stop it from drying out.
Freezing Cabbage Rolls
If you are not going to eat your leftover cabbage rolls any time soon, you might want to freeze them to keep them for a later stage.
- To freeze cabbage rolls, you can place the cabbage rolls in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it.
- This can be laid flat in the freezer to save space. You can also lay the cabbage rolls on top of each other in a freezer-safe container.
- It is a good idea to freeze the sauce separate from the cabbage rolls.
- The moisture in the sauce might ruin the texture and taste of the cabbage rolls in the freezer, and keeping the sauce separate helps to have it handy for whatever you might need it for.
Cabbage rolls can be left in the freezer for up to 1 month before they begin to lose their taste and texture. When you are ready to eat them, you can leave them to defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Is it better to freeze cooked or uncooked cabbage rolls?
It is best to freeze uncooked cabbage rolls, as it helps to keep the taste and texture of the cabbage rolls more preserved.
You are still able to freeze cooked cabbage rolls, but be sure to freeze them properly in secure and airtight containers so they do not get freezer burn or form too many ice crystals which could break down the cabbage leaves.
How long can you leave uncooked cabbage rolls in the fridge?
Uncooked cabbage rolls can be kept in the fridge for a day, but make sure that they are stored in an airtight container or wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum and plastic wrapped.
Cooked cabbage rolls can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days, as long as they are stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap and then double wrapped in aluminum foil.
Can you prepare cabbage rolls the night before?
You can prepare cabbage rolls the night before, and leave them in the fridge from the night before being cooked for the next day.
Keep the premade cabbage rolls wrapped up in a plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container. When it is time to cook the cabbage rolls, place them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until cooked through completely.
Reheating Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls are such a comforting, homemade meal, and having some leftover is the best way to enjoy an easy dinner or lunch the next day. You can also freeze some leftover cabbage rolls and sauce to whip out as a last-minute dinner on one of your busier days.
Using the oven to reheat the cabbage rolls is the best option, as it will not dry them out and you will still have soft cabbage leaves with a juicy and tender filling.