Low-Carb Cabbage Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef, eggplant and mushrooms, all covered in a rich tomato sauce.
Serves: 5-6 servings
For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Cabbage Rolls:
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 small eggplant (or ½ a large eggplant), diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. First, get your tomato sauce started. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat, and add in your diced onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until softened and translucent, stirring often, then add in your garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in your crushed tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes, stir to combine, and allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. While your sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and add in your whole head of cabbage (it's okay if not all of it is covered by the water) and cook for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Use tongs or a large, heavy spoon to remove the head of cabbage and place it on a cutting board lined with paper towels. Remove the outer leaves, place them on a plate lined with paper towel to drain, and then put the cabbage back in the water once you've peeled off all of the cooked, tender leaves. Continue doing this until you've peeled off all of the usable layers of leaves. I've found that this is the easiest way to cook the leaves for cabbage rolls - don't worry about getting the leaves bone dry, either, it's fine if there is a little water when you're rolling them up later.
  4. At this point, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In one more bowl, add your ground meat, eggplant, mushrooms, egg, garlic, salt, paprika, and pepper. Use a spoon or your hands to mix everything together. Butter a 9x13-inch casserole dish, spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish, and set it next to your work station.
  5. Take one cooked cabbage leaf, place about 2-3 tablespoons of meat mixture in the leaf, and roll it up like a tiny burrito and place it seam-side down in your dish. Continue doing this until you've gone through all of your leaves. You can really squeeze them in there, as this dish isn't necessarily meant to be super aesthetically pleasing, anyway. I squeezed in about 15 rolls. If you have any extra meat, you can make meatballs, add it to a sauce, or freeze it to use later.
  6. Cover the rolls in the rest of your tomato sauce, then place in your cabbage rolls in the oven for 45 minutes or so, until cooked through and the sauce is slightly caramelized on top. Serve hot, maybe with a little sour cream on the side. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days - they make great work lunches!
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2016/01/06/low-carb-cabbage-rolls/