Easy one pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are a delicious, simple way to enjoy a classic. A full healthy meal in a bowl that the whole family will love.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Traditional stuffed cabbage rolls are so good but require a lot of time and effort to make, with all of the rolling and stuffing. That’s why this UNstuffed version is even better. Same great flavors, but requires a fraction of the effort.
Plus, there’s something so comforting about eating out of a bowl.
Not only is this Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe delicious, healthy, and filling, it’s also a whole meal in a bowl AND you make it in just one pot.
Juicy ground beef and pork with chopped cabbage and warm rice, all smothered in a zesty tomato sauce. You wouldn’t believe it’s actually good for you, too! Yum!
What Kind of Cabbage to Use
The best cabbage to use in unstuffed cabbage rolls is basic green cabbage. This cabbage is in a ball shape and is light green in color.
This is the same cabbage that is used in coleslaw. It is hardy enough that it won’t break down too much when cooked, and while it is bitter when raw, gets sweeter as it’s cooked.
What Goes with Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are pretty much a meal in a bowl. Packed with meat, vegetables, and rice, it pretty much has it all.
If you’d like to include some sides as well, a nice warm crusty bread, such as this skillet cornbread, with a fresh green salad would round out the meal perfectly.
How to Make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown ground beef and ground pork with onions and garlic, until meats are cooked through and no longer pink (photo 1). Drain excess grease and return to the heat.
Add marinara, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste (photo 2). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil (photo 3).
Add cabbage and parsley (photo 4). Stir to combine. Bring back to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering until cabbage is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Add rice and brown sugar (photo 5). Stir to combine. Simmer until heated through, about 4 minutes.
More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
- Unstuffed Peppers – another easier version of a classic! Make this delicious version of stuffed peppers in one pot in 30 minutes!
- American Goulash – a warm, filling one-pot wonder! Quick and easy dinner the whole family will love.
- Best Chicken Pot Pie – seriously. The best ever. Your family will be begging for more.
- Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole – cheesy tater tots on top of a beefy casserole. Comes together quickly and easily.
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff – warm, creamy, and delicious with NO cream soups. Plus, make it in the Crock Pot!
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 jar marinara (24 ounce)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes with liquid (28 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small green cabbage chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
- In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, brown ground beef and ground pork with onions and garlic, until meats are cooked through and no longer pink. Drain excess grease and return to the heat.
- Add marinara, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- Add cabbage and parsley. Stir to combine. Bring back to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering until cabbage is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add rice and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Simmer until heated through, about 4 minutes.
- Serve warm.
- This recipe is gluten free and dairy free.
- Make this recipe low carb by substituting the rice for riced cauliflower.
- Is the brown sugar really necessary? You can easily omit the brown sugar if you’re eating low carb or trying to cut sugars. The brown sugar is meant to cut the acid from all the tomatoes and tomato sauce. It’s not going to ruin the dish if it’s missing, but I do recommend it if you’re not on a special diet.
- In a pinch, use all ground beef or all ground pork, instead of half of each. You can also substitute for other ground meats such as chicken or turkey.
- Save some time by using 2 bags of coleslaw mix (without dressing) so that you don’t have to chop cabbage.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer Directions: Follow recipe directions. Allow unstuffed cabbage rolls to come to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer dish or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to an oven-safe dish. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until heated through.
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