Unstuffed Cabbage Bowl

INLINE_ Stuffed Cabbage 1If you love stuffed cabbage but want to do away with white rice and the time consuming task of stuffing and rolling cabbage leaves, this recipe is for you. The dish is slightly lighter, and the flavors are brighter than in traditional stuffed cabbage, but this unstuffed cabbage bowl is still full-blown comfort food.

To make the bowl, shredded cabbage is sautéed just until soft, without losing its bright green color and soft crunch. The meat is simmered in onion, garlic, tomato sauce and a pinch of cinnamon. Layered in a bowl, the meat and cabbage are topped with a dollop of sauerkraut and an abundance of fresh parsley.

This bowl is a tasty combination of protein, a leafy green (parsley), sulfur-rich vegetables (cabbage, onion, garlic), and fermented food (sauerkraut). It’s a healthful meal that’s just as flavorful and comforting as traditional stuffed cabbage—but not nearly as much work.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes



  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (60 ml)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef (567 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (1.2 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (5 ml)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (240 ml)
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley (120 ml)
  • Sauerkraut, for garnish



Over medium heat, cook the onion in 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil until the onion is soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ground meat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add cinnamon and thyme.

Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the meat as it cooks. When the meat is starting to brown on the outside but still a bit pink in the middle, add tomato sauce. Simmer 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

In a wide skillet, warm the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the cabbage. Saute until the cabbage has wilted slightly but is still bright green and a little crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t over-stir the cabbage while it cooks, give it a chance to brown a little against the hot skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

In each serving bowl, layer the meat and cabbage. Garnish with sauerkraut and plenty of parsley.

Stuffed Cabbage 2

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