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Cabbage Roll In A Bowl – An Easy, Low-Carb Dinner Recipe

If you enjoy the taste of Grandma’s cabbage rolls, but dread the time and effort it takes to make them, then you are going to love this Cabbage Roll In A Bowl recipe.

It provides you with all the flavor of traditional cabbage rolls, but in a deconstructed form. Instead of wilted cabbage leaves wrapping around a flavored ground beef mixture, the ingredients are all mixed together.

It is an easy way to get all of the wonderful flavors of traditional rolls without spending hours upon hours in the kitchen.

cabbage roll in bowl
Cabbage roll in a bowl – an easy way to enjoy all the flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, without all the work!

Once cooked, you can serve it as a thick stew like mixture. Or if you want something a little thicker, let the liquid reduce down to serve it more like a casserole.

Although you could make Instant Pot Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls, I find it just as easy to make in on the stove. In fact, if you already have your ground beef cooked, it can be on the dinner table in 30 minutes!

Cabbage Roll In A Bowl


  • Lean ground beef*
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Diced onion
  • Green cabbage, chopped
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Paprika
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper


  • Cooked white rice**


*Lean Ground Beef – It is best to use a lean ground beef for this recipe. Not only is it healthier, but you won’t have the worry of residual grease releasing from the beef as it cooks. I recommend using 90% lean ground beef.

However, if you want to make this recipe even healthier, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken or even plant based crumbles if you prefer. Although, be sure to add a little extra virgin olive oil to the skillet before browning so that the meat does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

**Cooked White Rice – If you ask 10 people how they make their cabbage rolls, about half of them will tell you that they add cooked rice to the beef and tomato mixture.

However, the other half would never think about adding cooked rice to their recipe. The difference is largely due to culture and recipes that have been passed down for decades.

Therefore, I have included adding cooked rice as an optional ingredient. And I have to admit, at the beginning of a new year, I typically omit it to decrease the amount of carbohydrates that I consume.

But when I make this Cabbage Roll In A Bowl recipe in early Autumn when the first cold snap hits, I almost always add rice.

ground turkey and rice
Although traditional cabbage rolls are made with ground beef, you can make this dish even healthier by using ground turkey or ground chicken instead.


The first step in making Cabbage Roll In A Bowl is to brown the meat. In a large non-stick skillet add the ground beef and diced onions.

Continue to cook and break the meat into small crumbles until the beef is no longer pink.

*If you are using ground turkey, ground chicken or plant based crumbles as a substitute for the ground beef, be sure to add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan before adding the meat. This will help prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.

Once the meat is cooked through, add the minced garlic and cook just for 1 minute. You don’t want the garlic to over cook because it will turn brown and become bitter.

Once the garlic is nice and fragrant, drain the meat, onion & garlic mixture and return it to the skillet.

Then quickly add the chopped green cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir the contents together and then bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the skillet with a glass lid. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes and then add the cooked rice, if using.

Continue to cook at a simmer, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is wilted and tender. This process will take approximately 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir. Continue to cook until desired consistency is reached.

Serve Warm

cut cabbage
Be sure to cut the cabbage in 1 inch pieces so that it wilts down and is easy to eat once cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use brown rice in this recipe instead of the cooked white rice?

Because you are adding cooked rice to this recipe, you can use whatever type of cooked rice that you have on hand. I have added brown rice, Basmati rice and even Jasmine rice to my Cabbage Roll In A Bowl. All have turned out delicious with barely a notice of difference in texture.

2. Can I use uncooked rice instead of cooked rice?

Although this recipe calls for cooked rice, you can add uncooked white rice instead. However, you will need to decrease the amount of dried rice to 1/4 cup and add an additional 3/4-1 cup of broth.

Add the uncooked rice and additional broth when you add the cabbage and tomato products. Just be sure to watch the pan carefully so that the starches in the rice don’t make the liquid bubble up under the lid.

However, I would not recommend using uncooked brown rice as it takes longer to cook and requires more liquid.

3. How do I reheat leftovers?

If you have any leftovers, reheat them by adding 1 tablespoon of water or broth and reheating in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring half way through the reheating process. *All microwaves vary so adjust reheating time accordingly.

cabbage and turkey
Once all the ingredients have been added, cover and simmer until the cabbage is nice and tender.

4. Can I make this recipe Vegetarian or Vegan?

It is easy to convert this recipe to accommodate those who are vegetarian or vegan. Simply replace the ground beef with plant based crumbles and use vegetable broth in place of the beef broth. And for those who are vegan, be sure to use coconut aminos instead of Worcestershire sauce.

Enjoy! Mary

For other delicious, and easy to make dinner recipes be sure to visit the Main Course Page under the Recipe Index tab at the top of this article. Check back frequently, as I am always adding new, trending and delicious recipes for every occasion!

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cabbage roll in bowl

Cabbage Roll In A Bowl

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Enjoy all the flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, without all of the time and work!


  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup white rice, cooked


  1. In a large skillet brown ground beef and onions until the beef is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain grease and return mixture to the skillet.
  2. Add cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sugar, salt, and black pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the skillet. Continue to simmer until the cabbage is wilted and tender, approximately 30 minutes. *see note if adding cooked rice.
  4. Remove the lid and stir. Continue to cook until desired consistency is reached.

Serve Warm


*If adding cooked rice, do so after the cabbage and tomato products have simmered for 15 minutes, then add the cooked rice. Stir frequently and continue to simmer until the cabbage is tender (about another 15 minutes)

Recipe provided by

Nutrition Information
Yield 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 225Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 67mgSodium 693mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 4gSugar 7gProtein 24g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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