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Exactly How To Reheat Cabbage Rolls – I Test 3 Methods [Pics]

Cabbage rolls are a great dish to serve guests who are up for something a little different.

And because I love trying a bunch of different fillings, there are always leftovers.

Not one to let leftovers go to waste, I set about finding the best way to reheat cabbage rolls.

I experimented with three different methods.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer:

The best way to reheat cabbage rolls is in a skillet. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and add a little oil. Place the cabbage rolls in the pan along with any leftover sauce and some extra stock. Cover the pan with a lid and reheat the cabbage rolls for 4 minutes, turning once. Serve immediately.

A note on my experiment

I  spent one fun Sunday afternoon prepping and baking some cabbage rolls, ate some for my dinner, and put the leftovers in the fridge.

The next day I tested reheating them:

  • In the oven (good but a bit slow)
  • In the microwave (quick but watery sauce)
  • On the stove (my favorite)

Cabbage rolls are quite delicate, and you can ruin them by over-heating them, so it’s important to go slowly.

All the heating methods worked well, but the stove was my favorite because of the flavor it added to the cabbage.

Reheating cabbage rolls in the oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the cabbage rolls in an oven-safe dish along with any sauce you have. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the filling reaches at least 165°F (75° C). Frozen cabbage rolls will take longer.

How to reheat cabbage rolls in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Place the cabbage rolls in an oven-safe dish and pour over any sauce you have. Add a few tablespoons of stock or water if the sauce seems dry.
  3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the filling is piping hot. Frozen cabbage rolls can take up to double the time.

Placing tin foil over the dish ensures that the cabbage rolls don’t dry out by keeping the moisture inside.

To test if your cabbage rolls are hot all the way through, stick a sharp knife into the thickest part of the cabbage rolls and feel how hot the metal is when you pull it out.

The cabbage rolls are done if the knife feels warm to the touch.

My verdict

The results from the oven were pretty good. 

The filling was moist and tasty. The cabbage was a tiny bit overcooked, but nothing drastic.

You can reheat lots of cabbage rolls at once, so this option is great for large portions. But it’s a bit slow if you’re only heating one portion.

Reheating cabbage rolls in the microwave

Put 2-3 cabbage rolls in a microwave-safe dish and add any leftover sauce plus a tablespoon of water. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap with holes poked in it. Heat the rolls in 30-second intervals until they’re piping hot. Let them rest for 30 seconds, then serve.

How to reheat cabbage rolls in the microwave:

  1. Put 2-3 cabbage rolls in a microwave-safe dish. Any more, and they will start to heat unevenly.
  2. Add any leftover sauce along with a sprinkling of water or stock.
  3. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap (with some steam holes).
  4. Heat the rolls for 30 seconds at a time until hot.
  5. Allow the rolls to rest for 30 seconds before serving.

Letting the cabbage rolls rest before serving will allow any trapped steam to escape.

If you bite into the rolls straight away, you could be in for a nasty shock!

Using short bursts of heating time gives you more control over the process and ensures you don’t overcook the cabbage rolls. 

My verdict

This issue I had with the microwave was that it thinned the sauce out, so the final result was a bit watery.

However, the cabbage rolls came out moist and tender.

And it was super quick. If I was in a hurry, I’d use the microwave.

Reheating cabbage rolls on the stove

Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and add a little oil. Place the cabbage rolls in the pan along with any leftover sauce and some extra stock. Cover the pan with a lid and heat the rolls for a minimum of 2 minutes. Turn the rolls over and heat for another 2 minutes. Continue until hot. 

How to reheat cabbage rolls on the stove:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat with a bit of oil or butter.
  2. Place the cabbage rolls in the skillet.
  3. Pour over any leftover sauce and some extra stock or water to loosen the sauce. 
  4. Place the cabbage rolls in the skillet.
  5. Cover the skillet with the lid.
  6. Heat the rolls for a minimum of 2 minutes.
  7. Turn the rolls over and heat for another 2 minutes until they heat through completely.

Cabbage rolls are pretty dense, so using a lower heat will help ensure they heat all the way through without burning on the outside. 

Using a lid also helps because it traps steam which will penetrate the cabbage rolls and heat the middle. 

You need to make sure you have enough liquid to create steam, so don’t hesitate to add more if the pan starts to dry out.

If you notice the cabbage is starting to burn, turn the heat down. 

My verdict

This was a great method that left me with super tasty cabbage rolls.

I liked the slight crisp on the outside of the cabbage, and the filling was nice and juicy. 

The only downside is having to stand over the pan and flip the cabbage rolls, plus having to wash the pan up afterwards.

How to store cabbage rolls

You can store cabbage rolls in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep them in shallow airtight containers or wrap them in plastic wrap or foil. You can keep the sauce in the same airtight container as the cabbage rolls or use a separate container. For longer-term storage, you can freeze the cabbage rolls. 

Don’t allow your cabbage rolls to stay out at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.

Tip: you can also store unbaked but assembled cabbage rolls in the fridge for up 8 hours.

Can you freeze cabbage rolls?

It’s best to freeze unbaked cabbage rolls. Fully cooked cabbage rolls can fall apart upon thawing and don’t last as long. Unbaked cabbage rolls will last around 3 months in the freezer, while baked ones will last up to 1 month. 

How to freeze cabbage rolls:

  1. Chill the cabbage rolls in the fridge to get them cold. This will help them freeze faster.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly cover it with non-stick spray.
  3. Spread the cabbage rolls out on the baking tray and drizzle some sauce over them (if you have any).
  4. Place the cabbage rolls uncovered in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
  5. Once solid, remove them from the freezer.
  6. Pack the frozen rolls inside a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible to avoid freezer burn. 
  7. Label and date the bags and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

If you have lots of sauce, you can freeze it separately in an airtight container. 

Flash freezing the cabbage rolls on the baking tray means they won’t stick together in the freezer bag, so you can take out a few at a time. 

Individually wrapping the cabbage rolls in plastic wrap will achieve the same thing.

If you know you want to reheat all the cabbage rolls together, you can simply freeze them in their baking tray covered with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil.

How to thaw and reheat frozen cabbage rolls

It’s best to thaw cabbage rolls slowly in the fridge.

You can also thaw them by holding the freezer bag under cold running water or in the microwave. If you use the microwave, be aware that the cabbage may end up mushy.

I would avoid heating cabbage rolls from frozen if you can because they will take a while to heat through, so the cabbage will overcook. 

But if you need to, here’s how:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Cover the bottom of a baking dish with some pasta sauce, tinned tomatoes, or stock. Place the frozen cabbage rolls on top and cover with any more sauce you have. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Summary

The best way to reheat cabbage rolls is in a skillet. Reheat on medium to low heat for 4 minutes or until piping hot. Other ways to reheat cabbage rolls include the oven and microwave. The oven can be slow but produces consistent results. The microwave can turn the cabbage roll sauce watery.

Exactly How To Reheat Cabbage Rolls

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover cabbage rolls.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cabbage rolls, reheat cabbage rolls
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 114kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion cabbage rolls
  • 1 portion sauce or stock optional

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet on medium-low heat with a bit of oil or butter.
  • Place the cabbage rolls in the skillet.
  • Pour over any leftover sauce and some extra stock or water to loosen the sauce.
  • Place the cabbage rolls in the skillet.
  • Cover the skillet with the lid.
  • Heat the rolls for a minimum of 2 minutes.
  • Turn the rolls over and heat for another 2 minutes until they heat through completely.

Notes

Cabbage rolls are pretty dense, so using a lower heat will help ensure they heat all the way through without burning on the outside.
Using a lid also helps because it traps steam which will penetrate the cabbage rolls and heat the middle.
You need to make sure you have enough liquid to create steam, so don’t hesitate to add more if the pan starts to dry out.
If you notice the cabbage is starting to burn, turn the heat down.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 114kcal

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