Unstuffed Cabbage | Cookies and Cups

Unstuffed cabbage is a faster method to benefit from the savory taste of conventional cabbage rolls! This deconstructed model is made with juicy floor beef and pork mixed with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, and seasonings in a flavorful and simple one-pot meal.

Unstuffed cabbage served over rice on a white plate, with a large pot in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Recipe

Cabbage rolls are a conventional European meal, and this deconstructed model is quick changing into one in every of our favourite weeknight dinners! Right here’s why you’ll need this recipe for wealthy and savory unstuffed cabbage on rotation, simply in time for the cooler climate:

  • Time-saving. Brief on time throughout the week? Make hearty unstuffed cabbage in 45 minutes or much less from begin to end. The substances are budget-friendly, out there just about in every single place, and simply customizable.
  • Superb taste. This recipe is fast to make and stuffed with scrumptious taste because of juicy floor meat, tangy tomatoes, caramelized onions, and a mouthwatering mixture of herbs and spices. 
  • One-pot. Making conventional cabbage rolls casserole-style is the simplest method to take pleasure in all these superior flavors with a fraction of the hassle. Convey all of the substances collectively in a single pot on the stovetop as a substitute!
  • Nice leftovers. Make an enormous batch of unstuffed cabbage and save the leftovers for satisfying meals, all week lengthy. This recipe shops and freezes properly, and there are such a lot of methods which you could serve it. 

We love turning cheap, simple substances into scrumptious one-skillet dinners. In case you’re in search of one other weeknight one-pot surprise, do this tacky skillet chicken parmesan or this creamy beef pasta!

Ingredients for unstuffed cabbage.

Elements in Unstuffed Cabbage

You is perhaps considering, “That appears like plenty of substances!” However don’t fear. All the pieces you see right here is straightforward to seek out in nearly any grocery retailer. Beneath, I embody some fast ingredient notes to get you began. Don’t neglect to scroll to the recipe card on the backside of the put up with the entire substances record, quantities, and recipe directions. 

  • Olive Oil, Onion, and Garlic – Diced onion and garlic sautéd in oil type the fragrant taste base of the soup.
  • Floor Meat – I like to make use of a mix of floor pork sausage and lean floor beef for the utmost taste. You’ll be able to simply make this recipe with any floor meat you may have available, although. See the part additional on for variation concepts.
  • Tomatoes  – Canned tomatoes work nice, and fire-roasted tomatoes carry one other layer of taste. You’ll additionally want a can of tomato paste.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Crimson wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and even balsamic additionally works.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – To present this unstuffed cabbage successful of umami richness.
  • Seasonings – I exploit thyme, paprika (candy or smoked), brown sugar, chili powder, salt, pepper, and beef bouillon. I’m a fan of the Higher Than Bouillon model.
  • Cabbage – You’ll want chopped or shredded inexperienced cabbage. You should use two small cabbages or one medium to large-sized cabbage, sufficient to fill 10 cups.

What Form of Cabbage Ought to I Use?

Briefly: Any type that you just’d like! Savoy cabbage (additionally referred to as winter cabbage) and napa cabbage are the primary selections when making cabbage rolls, they usually’ll additionally work properly right here. However the great thing about unstuffed cabbage is which you could make this recipe with just about any kind of cabbage you’ll find. White cabbage and inexperienced cabbage are good choices. Even crimson cabbage will work, although understand that it can bleed shade into the dish.

The best way to Make Unstuffed Cabbage

Why spend hours prepping and rolling cabbage rolls when packing all that goodness into one pot is this simple? Let’s get began!

  • Sauté. First, sauté the onions in a big pot with oil. As soon as the onions are softened, add the bottom beef and pork sausage, and prepare dinner till completely browned. Lastly, stir within the garlic.
  • Mix. Drain any extra grease from the pan earlier than including the tomatoes and tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and bouillon. Convey the contents to a boil.
  • Add the cabbage. Subsequent, stir within the shredded cabbage after which place the lid on the pot. Decrease the warmth and simmer the cabbage for 25-Half-hour, till tender.
  • Serve and revel in! Dish up this unstuffed cabbage heat over fluffy rice together with your favourite sides. See beneath for concepts.
Close up of unstuffed cabbage in a skillet.

Recipe Ideas and Variation Concepts

Listed here are some last-minute suggestions for the very best unstuffed cabbage, together with some recipe variations which you could attempt:

  • Don’t overcook. Except you’re going for mushy cabbage, watch out that you just don’t overcook it. My favourite texture for cabbage is softened however nonetheless a little bit crisp. Alternatively, in case your cooked cabbage is on the more durable facet, it’s an indication that it might have to prepare dinner for longer.
  • Change up the meat. Rather than pork sausage, be happy to make this recipe with solely floor beef. You should use different leaner meat, too, like floor hen or floor turkey. Spicy Italian sausage would additionally give this dish a pleasant kick.
  • Extra veggies. You’ll be able to positively fill this unstuffed cabbage recipe with any greens your coronary heart wishes (or any veggies that you’ve within the fridge). Attempt dicing up zucchini, mushrooms, celery, and carrots, or add in frozen peas, spinach, or kale.
  • Add raisins. Rather than brown sugar, add raisins! Golden raisins or Sultanas add a scrumptious candy steadiness to the tangy tomato sauce.
  • Completely different seasonings. In case you don’t have chili powder, use cayenne pepper and cumin, or you’ll be able to mess around with completely different spices in response to your choice. Rather than thyme, attempt rosemary, basil, or Italian seasoning.
Overhead view of unstuffed cabbage served over rice on a white plate next to more cabbage in a large pot.

Serving Ideas

We love unstuffed cabbage served over fluffy white rice (or Instant Pot butter rice) or homemade egg noodles, topped with bitter cream. For a simple vegetable facet dish, attempt tender-crisp air fryer asparagus, steamed or roasted broccoli, a cool cucumber salad, or a flavorful Mediterranean couscous salad. To essentially spherical out your meal, serve your unstuffed cabbage with a basket of sour cream cornbread or homemade baguette for mopping up further tomato broth.

Searching for a simple meal prep thought? Make unstuffed cabbage bowls over a mattress of rice or grains. And don’t neglect home made Polish kolaczki for dessert!

Overhead view of unstuffed cabbage served over rice on a white plate next to a fork.

Storing and Reheating Unstuffed Cabbage

  • Fridge. This recipe makes nice leftovers. Permit your unstuffed cabbage to chill to room temperature, after which retailer it hermetic. It retains within the fridge for as much as 5 days. Take pleasure in tasty meals for the remainder of the week!
  • To Reheat. Heat leftovers within the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop till they’re sizzling all through.
  • Freezer. Cool the unstuffed cabbage fully, after which switch it to an hermetic container to freeze for as much as 2-3 months. Thaw it within the fridge earlier than reheating.

Extra Cozy One Pot Recipes 


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Unstuffed cabbage is a faster method to benefit from the savory taste of conventional cabbage rolls! That is a simple one-pot meal made with juicy floor beef and pork mixed with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, and seasonings.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 pound floor pork sausage
  • 1 pound lean floor beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 (14.5-ounce) cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon (I like to make use of Higher Than Bouillon model)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper
  • 10 cups chopped cabbage

  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven (or 10-inch deep skillet), warmth the olive oil over medium warmth. Add within the onions and prepare dinner till softened.
  2. Flip the warmth as much as medium-high, add within the floor pork and floor beef, and prepare dinner till no extra pink stays, breaking up any massive items. Add within the garlic and prepare dinner for 1 minute. Drain any extra liquid or fats from the pot.
  3. Add within the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, smoked paprika, bouillon, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix and produce to a boil. Add within the cabbage, stir to include, after which cowl the pot. Cut back the warmth to medium-low and prepare dinner for 25 – Half-hour, or till the cabbage is to desired tenderness.
  4. Serve heat.


  • You’ll be able to serve this over rice as an choice.
  • Retailer hermetic within the fridge for as much as 5 days.

Key phrases: unstuffed cabbage, unstuffed cabbage rolls, unstuffed cabbage casserole

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