Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls have the comforting flavor of traditional cabbage rolls but without all the work! Chopped cabbage, ground beef, and a spice-infused tomato sauce come together easily to make this a perfect one-pot weeknight meal.
I always looked forward to my mom’s homemade cabbage rolls when I was a kid. There was something about the sticky rice, ground beef, and slightly sweet tomato sauce that made me gobble it up.
When I started making traditional cabbage rolls on my own, I had a newfound respect for the meal my mom effortlessly brought to the table. Turns out making cabbage rolls is a lot of work! Blanching the cabbage, cooking the sauce, and assembling the rolls took hours.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe tastes just as rich, flavorful, and comforting, but is made in a fraction of the time, with barely any effort. Serve this one-pot meal over cooked rice, or omit the rice all together for a low carb option.
Helpful Tips to make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls:
- This makes a great freezer meal. Double the recipe and cook in a
larger pot, such as a dutch oven. Cool and freeze half for a later meal.
- To make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls healthier, substitute ground turkey
- Use up the leftover cabbage in coleslaw, add to soups, fried rice, or make cabbage and noodles.
- If you like a little spice add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
What you will need to make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls:
- A large skillet – A deep, large skillet is perfect for easy, one pot meals and can go from stovetop to oven.
- Santoku Knife – My most used knife in the kitchen! Perfect size for chopping, mincing, and dicing all kinds of foods.
- Silicone Spoon – From mixing, scraping to sautéing, this is my hardest working utensil in the kitchen.
Check out more of our favorite one-pot recipes:
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1/2 small cabbage, chopped (about 6-7 cups)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 14 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
- fresh parsley and cooked rice, for serving
- In a large 10-inch skillet cook ground beef and onion over medium heat, for about 5 minutes. When beef is cooked and onion is translucent, drain excess liquid. Add garlic to the skillet and sauté for 30 seconds more.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, paprika, thyme, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to skillet and stir. Add chopped cabbage and toss gently. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir, recover, then simmer for 10 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender.
- Remove lid and add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir and simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, or until sauce reduces slightly. If you prefer a thicker sauce, add additional tomato paste and stir. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over cooked rice.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
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