Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls - overhead view

Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls - side view

I was inspired to make these Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls after learning to make Anna Olson’s Cabbage Roll Soup recently. My friend Sharon Hapton was celebrating the launch of Soup Sisters Virtual Soup Pot and Anna demonstrated her recipe from the first Soup Sisters Family Cookbook on Zoom to mark the occasion. 

Her soup starts with bacon and has layer after layer of flavours including surprises like horseradish and cider vinegar. I loved it. And, I loved the leisurely pace of making it along with Anna. She’s a chef’s chef – so knowledgeable and yet down to earth, relaxed and approachable.

Soup Sisters has a variety of chefs for you to cook with virtually. It helps support their delivery of soup to 40 shelters across Canada. Those shelters are crucial because they serve women fleeing domestic violence and help them work towards lives of domestic harmony. You can check that program out here. You can even book yours truly for a session. I’ve been volunteering for Soup Sisters since they started. Soup is part of who I am.

Back to all things cabbage rolls. Because I have a friend whose vegan I decided to develop something similar to Anna’s soup that she could eat. My recipe turned into these Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls. So easy! I’ve taken the bacon out, changed the flavour profile and added both lentils and vegan mince. There’s a good bit of paprika, some balsamic vinegar glaze and an uplifting garnish of Vegan Tzatziki and dill. Whether you, like me, want to treat a vegan in your life or you’re looking for Meatless Monday inspiration, I hope this recipe helps you savour it all


Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls

Lentils, brown rice and vegan mince buried in a rich tomato paprika sauce with layers of chopped cabbage simmer on the stove until they’re ready for the bowl and a big slice of crusty bread.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 big bowls
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons oregano

½ teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 bay leaves

6 tomatoes chopped

1 (630 mL – 23 ounce) bottle tomato sauce

Plus ½ bottle of water and more as needed

1 Tablespoon Balsamic glaze or vinegar

½ cup uncooked brown rice, rinsed and drained

4 cups (half a head) Savoy or small green cabbage, sliced crosswise

1 (540 mL – 14 ounce) can lentils, rinsed and drained

1 300 gram package vegan mince (I used Very Good Butchers brand)

Vegan Tzatziki or vegan sour cream

Fresh or dried dill


  1. Heat the olive on in the pot on medium heat and add the onion and carrot, cooking until soft.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds) and then add the oregano, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper and bay leaves.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, Balsamic vinegar and rice and simmer for 40 minutes.Stir frequently and add more water as necessary to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pot.
  4. Stir in the cabbage, lentils, and vegan mince and simmer another 15 minutes. You know it is done when the brown rice is cooked.
  5. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning.
  6. Garnish with Vegan Tzatziki (or vegan sour cream) and sprinkle o ffresh or dried dillweed.
  7. Enjoy with crusty bread and a cold beer. 


Keywords: Lazy Vegan Cabbage Rolls

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