Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

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Yum. Whenever we think of Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls & Mash (we call it Mixemup) my mouth waters!!! I love it and it is so easy compared to the real deal(cabbage rolls). I call it  Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls & Mash because you have to eat it with mashed potatoes. It would be a shame not to.   At least try it once with mashed potatoes, even if you are trying to cut back on the carbs! So here it is – your secret to cozy mouth watering bliss!

What Is an Unstuffed Cabbage Roll?

An unstuffed cabbage roll is essentially a simplified version of the beloved casserole. Rather than rolling the ingredients into individual cabbage leaves, all the essential components of a cabbage roll are combined and cooked together. This results in a flavorful and comforting dish that requires minimal effort.

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Ingredients

To make this delicious unstuffed cabbage roll recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

Beef: Two pounds of ground beef serve as the foundation for this dish, although you can opt for ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.

Onion: A diced white or yellow onion adds a bold flavor to the recipe.

Cabbage: One head of cabbage, cleaned and roughly chopped, is the star vegetable.

Canned Tomatoes: Two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce replicate the savory tomato-based sauce commonly found in traditional cabbage rolls.

Water: Half a cup of water or beef broth adds the necessary liquid for the recipe.

Seasonings: A simple combination of garlic, salt, and ground black pepper provides the perfect seasoning for the dish.

Rice (Optional): While delicious on its own, you can serve the unstuffed cabbage roll over white or brown rice to enhance its bulk and texture.

How to Make an Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

Preparing unstuffed cabbage rolls is a breeze. Follow these simple steps to enjoy this delectable meal:

Heat a Dutch oven or skillet and cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is brown and crumbly. Remove any excess grease.

Add the garlic, chopped cabbage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water (or beef broth), salt, and pepper to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot or skillet, and allow it to simmer until the cabbage becomes tender.

Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Once the cabbage is tender and the flavors have melded together, your unstuffed cabbage rolls are ready to be served.

How to Store Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

If you have leftovers, you can store your unstuffed cabbage roll for future enjoyment. Follow these guidelines:

  • Allow the dish to cool completely.
  • Transfer the leftovers to an airtight storage container.
  • Keep the container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • When you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers, reheat them in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven until heated through.

Can You Freeze Unstuffed Cabbage Roll?

Yes, you can freeze unstuffed cabbage rolls for later consumption. Here’s how:

  • Let the dish cool down to room temperature.
  • Transfer the unstuffed cabbage rolls to a shallow freezer-safe container, ensuring that the container is tightly sealed.
  • Freeze the dish for up to three months.
  • When you’re ready to thaw and reheat, move the container to the refrigerator overnight to defrost slowly.
  • Reheat the thawed cabbage rolls on the stove, and they’ll be ready to enjoy.

Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be used as a leaner alternative to beef in this recipe. Adjust the seasonings according to your preference.

How long does it take to cook unstuffed cabbage rolls?

Once the ingredients are combined, you’ll need to simmer the dish for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cabbage reaches your desired tenderness.

Can I add other vegetables to the recipe? Certainly!

Feel free to incorporate additional vegetables, such as bell peppers or carrots, to enhance the nutritional value and flavor profile of the dish.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Try this delicious casserole recipe that combines ground beef, cabbage, garlic, and tomatoes. Even kids who claim not to like cabbage can't resist this flavorful dish. For the perfect meal, serve it with rice. Plus, the longer it sits, the more the flavors meld together and become even more delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 small cabbage chopped
  • 2 cans 14.5 ounces each low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 can 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  • Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
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