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Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls (Keto, Paleo, Whole30)

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls with ground beef, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and green cabbage are deconstructed cabbage rolls…in a bowl! A simple yet flavorful and satisfying healthy dinner made in one pot in under an hour and is perfect for meal prep!

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls - paleo, keto, whole30 dinner recipe with cabbage, ground beef, tomato sauce, onion, garlic and more! A delicious low-carb meal ideal that is perfect for meal prep!

Nourishing, wholesome unstuffed cabbage bowls are that healthy dinner recipe that really hits the spot when we’re craving a big volume of food, but not necessarily a ginormous amount of calories.

Also amazing for those times we’re craving tomato sauce (pasta lovers, you may just find this to be an appropriate substitute)  or just…BEEF!

These “Unstuffed” Cabbage Bowls are so easy to put together any night of the week and creates a substantial amount of food. 

The way I see it, this is the perfect recipe to meal prep for work lunches or dinners!

But let’s back up just a bit.

Keto Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls are like liked deconstructed stuffed cabbage rolls - ground beef, cabbage, onion, garlic and more!

What is “Unstuffed Cabbage?”

Unstuffed Cabbage is simply a deconstructed version of stuffed cabbage rolls (or leaves). Stuffed cabbage rolls are filled with a mixture of ground beef, rice, onion, and a tangy tomato sauce. It is typically served as an appetizer or finger food.

We’re taking that concept and simply making it easier. Everything gets chopped up and cooked in one big pot for a delicious, satisfying one-pot meal. 

Bonus: The whole thing comes together in less than 40 minutes!!

Let’s make it!

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls are like deconstructed stuffed cabbage leaves with ground beef, tomato sauce, onion and more. A healthy paleo, keto dinner recipe

How to Make Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls:

Add the avocado oil to a large thick-bottomed pot (I use my Dutch oven) and heat to medium-high.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery are very fragrant, about 5 minutes.

onion, celery, garlic, and carrots in a pot

Move the vegetables off to one side of the pot and add the ground beef. Allow it to brown for 3 minutes before flipping it to the other side to brown for another 2 to 3 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller chunks and mix it in with the vegetables.

vegetables and ground beef cooking in a pot

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (tomato sauce, chicken broth, nutmeg, black pepper, sea salt, and cabbage).

All of the ingredients for unstuffed cabbage bowls in a pot

Cover the pot without stirring and cook for a few minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly so that it is easier to stir.

Stir the pot well, cover, and cook at a gentle boil for 30 to 40 minutes, or longer if you have the time (the longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will be). Be sure to stir every once in a while.

Serve the unstuffed cabbage in big bowls and enjoy!

One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage - deconstructed cabbage rolls with ground beef and tomato sauce

Tip For Making this Recipe:

The cabbage will be difficult to stir in the pot when you first put it in. Simply keep the pot covered and stir from time to time until the cabbage wilts and becomes easier to incorporate into the meat mixture.

One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage - deconstructed cabbage rolls with ground beef and tomato sauce, onions, celery, garlic and more

Recipe Adaptations:

Add 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice or white rice for a more traditional approach to stuffed cabbage. Leave it rice-less for a low-carb, whole30, paleo, keto version.

Swap ground turkey for the ground beef.

As the recipe is written, there is a generous amount of cabbage. For a higher ratio of meat to cabbage, add another pound of ground beef and an additional 6 to 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

Easy One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls with ground beef, onion, garlic, celery, tomato sauce, and more

More Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes:

Stuff those Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls!

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls - paleo, keto, whole30 dinner recipe with cabbage, ground beef, tomato sauce, onion, garlic and more! A delicious low-carb meal ideal that is perfect for meal prep!

Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

The combination of cabbage and ground beef in a magical tomato sauce yields a nourishing and satisfying meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or beef broth
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg, optional
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 large green cabbage, chopped

Instructions

  1. Add the avocado oil to a large thick-bottomed pot (I use my Dutch oven) and heat to medium-high.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery are very fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Move the vegetables off to one side of the pot and add the ground beef. Allow it to brown for 3 minutes before flipping it to the other side to brown for another 2 to 3 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller chunks and mix it in with the vegetables.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (tomato sauce, chicken broth, nutmeg, black pepper, sea salt, and cabbage).
  5. Cover the pot without stirring and cook for a few minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly so that it is easier to stir.
  6. Stir the pot well, cover, and cook at a gentle boil for 30 to 40 minutes, or longer if you have the time (the longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will be). Be sure to stir every once in a while.
  7. Serve the unstuffed cabbage in big bowls and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 331Total Fat 20gCarbohydrates 11gNet Carbohydrates 8gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 26g
Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls made with ground beef, onions, tomato sauce, cabbage, and more! Paleo, keto, low-carb, whole30 healthy dinner recipe. Perfect for meal prep!

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Susan

Saturday 31st of July 2021

In the Hungarian cuisine, which I grew up on, stuffed cabbage is a main dish. I haven't eaten it in years, so I might try this. I will, however, tell you that I NEVER crave tomato sauce. I got really sick of it a few years ago and would be really happy never eating it.

Julia

Sunday 1st of August 2021

I bet the recipe will still be tasty without the tomato sauce if you can add some other flavorful ingredients like chicken broth to replace the liquid and use more onion, garlic, or even artichoke hearts or olives. Hope you enjoy!

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