Stuffed cabbage rolls are a delicacy worldwide. Indeed, different parts of the globe have variations, with European cabbage rolls providing distinct flavors from Asian ones. But all share this similarity – delicious, savory, and satisfying flavors.
Whichever variant you have, you must pair it with simple and easy side dishes. Doing so lets you avoid overpowering the cabbage rolls’ taste and overwhelming your taste buds. If you can’t decide what to serve with cabbage rolls, choose from these 14 recipes instead!
Potato side dishes are well-recommended with cabbage rolls; you can serve them mashed, roasted, boiled, or cooked on a skillet. But if you prefer something new, try this recipe for classic potato pancakes, which are really more like fritters than pancakes. They’re crispy, delicious, and perfect with sour cream, another popularly suggested side for cabbage rolls.
Mashed potatoes go great with cabbage rolls, but if you want a dish with the same feel but a new flavor, replace that with a creamy parsnip puree instead. It’s smooth and creamy and features a distinctly sweet, buttery taste. You only need 35 minutes to make it, plus these ingredients: parsnips, whole milk, butter, sea salt, and black pepper.
In terms of textures, crisp vegetables, like roasted broccoli, provide an excellent and satisfying contrast to the tenderness of the cabbage rolls. But when it comes to flavors, this recipe’s taste profile is simple – just broccoli with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and the optional lemons and red pepper flakes. Thus, there’s nothing to overpower the savory cabbage rolls.
These oven-roasted carrots make a simple, savory, sweet side dish to the cabbage rolls. Like roasted broccoli, they’re crisp-tender, which makes them much more satisfying to eat. The carrots are flavored only with olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper; thus, their flavors come through better and complement those of the cabbage rolls.
If you have Asian cabbage rolls, miso-glazed eggplants are a perfectly unique yet complimentary partner. Following this recipe, you’ll be baking and broiling the eggplants, resulting in a crisp skin and creamy, caramelized flesh. The veggies also absorb the miso glaze’s flavors perfectly, which are rich and savory, consisting of miso, sugar, mirin, and sake.
Corn on the cob is also a favorite side dish to cabbage rolls. It provides sweet and juicy flavors, which you can achieve with minimal effort and just 20 minutes. Moreover, this recipe has no butter – only white sugar and lemon juice are used to flavor the corn. Thus, you won’t have to worry about the rich butter taste offsetting the cabbage rolls.
7. Grain Salad
Cabbage rolls also go with a select assortment of salads, one of which is this easy grain salad. It’s fresh and tangy, plus full of textures and colors from the various grains, vegetables, herbs, cheese, and spices included in the salad. Although following the recipe is a way to ensure perfect flavors, you can also be creative and add your twist and taste.
You can also serve your cabbage rolls with a fresh and simple side salad. There are many recipe variations on the Internet, but this one stands out for the crisp textures, great flavors, savory Italian dressing, and bright colors, all of which you need to elevate your stuffed rolls. Specifically, you’ll encounter the following in this dish: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, onions, croutons, and cheese.
Make this apple fennel salad if you prefer light and tangy flavors with your cabbage rolls! These flavors come from the main ingredients combined with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Also, the textures in this dish are predominantly crisp, as the apple and fennel slices are coupled with celery and walnuts. They beautifully contrast the tenderness of cabbage rolls, providing complexity to your meal.
For those looking for a more filling and carb-heavy side, pair your cabbage rolls with a side of homemade egg noodles. This recipe calls for four ingredients only: eggs, salt, milk, and flour. Then, you’ll be kneading and shaping your fresh noodles yourself. You can serve them plain, with butter or cheese, or try them with your cabbage rolls’ savory, rich sauce!
11. German Spaetzle
If you prefer the German version of egg noodles or, more technically, egg dumplings, try this German spaetzle. Ingredients are similar to the recipe above, but there’s no milk, as you’ll be using water instead. The dumplings’ shape is unique, and there’s even a spaetzle maker to achieve that, but you can use your colander, too, for that effect.
Freshly cooked Asian cabbage rolls with flavorful sauce are perfect with a bowl of steaming white rice. The white rice absorbs the sauce and is as soft as the cabbage rolls. Plus, it’s a quick dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook, and you’ll only need the rice, water, and a little bit of salt.
13. Dinner Rolls
Another source of carbs for your cabbage rolls meal is a set of homemade dinner rolls. These soft, light, fluffy bread rolls melt in your mouth along with the main entree. Despite their heavenly quality, they are easy to make – you only need flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, milk, butter, and egg.
Interestingly, many recommend cabbage rolls with sour cream on the side, along with rye bread. While you can buy sour cream, it’s more delicious when homemade. It’s simple and cost-efficient, especially if you already have the three essential ingredients: lemon juice, whole milk, and heavy cream. But it takes one day to rest, so prepare this in advance.