Cabbage Three Ways | Gluten-Free | Part Two

Cabbage Three Ways | Gluten-Free | Part Two

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


Above you see my mom’s world famous stuffed cabbage rolls. I converted the family recipe to gluten-free and no artificial flavorings or seasonings. My used to use Accent (MSG) in quite a few of her recipes.

A quick note to my VEGAN FRIENDS: Below you will see photos of the ground meat version of this recipe. Hold tight, if you scroll down, I also offer a vegan version of this recipe using beans.


Preparing the Cabbage Rolls

I decided to use ground lamb for this recipe since I am trying to be more conscious of rotating my meats and using ground turkey, chicken, bison and lamb when possible. I used a mix here of ground beef and lamb. I also decided to ground my own beef for this recipe. I’ve started grinding my own whenever possible now. First, I think it makes a superior burger. Second, I can control what is in my ground beef by doing it at home. When you buy supermarket ground beef, they use various scraps in their ground beef. I buy a rib roast and have the butcher cut it into 1 to 1-1/2 inch cubes that I can easily put through the meat grinder attachment I bought for my old KitchenAid mixer which I inherited from my mother. I also like the fact that I can be assured of the cleanliness of the meat grinder I use at home because I’m the one that cleaned it which thereby reduces the risk of unwanted bacteria.


Above is the ground lamb and the home ground beef. I bought the 85% – 15% rib roast. I think the fat creates more flavor and juiciness to the end product.


The rib roast which was cut into chunks small enough to go through the meat grinder attachment.


I place the meat chunks on a small half baking sheet and freeze it for about 15-20 minutes. This will make the grinding a little easier and less messy.


You could also freeze and store the meat chunks to easily grind them the day you want the burgers. You could also use them for beef stew if you prefer.


My lovely meat grinder bought for my almost antique KitchenAid mixer. This lovely harvest gold color was from the 70’s when it made it’s first debut on the market. This thing is so old, it has a two prong electrical plug. It”s probably quite dangerous. I am sure all current models have a three prong plug.


My meat grinder doing a fabulous job.


Look how fresh it looks. Such a big difference from the store bought ground beef.


The burgers made with fresh ground beef were fabulous. This really brings me back to the amazing burgers I used to have as a kid and young adult. It’s hard to find a good burger anymore.


Now back to the cabbage rolls. Above I am cutting the core out of the cooked cabbage head to begin my cabbage rolls.


Once you cut around the core, you have to reach in and pull it away from the leaves.


Once you carefully pull the cooked cabbage leaves away, you can begin rolling the stuffing. In the photo above, I used pinto beans for a vegan stuffed cabbage. You can use whatever type beans you prefer.


Once you have your stuffing in place, fold the cabbage leaf like a letter around the stuffing. Fold upward over the stuffing and then fold both the sides inward to make a pocket and then roll it up until the stuffing is entirely wrapped in cabbage leaf.


I placed all the finished cabbage rolls on the bottom of a dutch oven casserole.


Once done with all the rolls, I cover them with marinara sauce. I like to make my own sauce but you could also use a jarred version for easier meal preparation. I usually make my marinara sauce the day before to allow the flavors to meld together. Once I add the sauce, I will sometimes throw in some shredded cabbage and carrots to the top to provide more veggie to the overall meal. It will cook down into the sauce and be super yummy.


Done…yummy stuffed cabbage rolls.

I hope you enjoy these cabbage recipes as much as I have. I’d love to hear your feed back.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - beef and vegan options 2
  • 1 large head of white cabbage
  • 2 pounds of ground meat, beef, lamb, bison, turkey or chicken or any combination
  • 1 egg or chia seed egg (1 tablespoon of chia seed and 3 tablespoons of water, let set for 5 min)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • ½ tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper (gluten-free)
  • 1 recipe of marinara sauce (featured later in this post) or one jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups of cooked beans, I use pinto, a variety cooked with onion will make the dish tastier
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • ½ cup Shitaki mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Chia seed egg (1 tablespoon of chia seed and 3 tablespoons of water, let set for 5 min)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground white or black pepper to taste
  1. Steam the head of cabbage in a small amount of water in a stock pot covered until the cabbage is tender. Be careful not to overcook.
  2. Take the cabbage head out of the water and allow to cool on a plate.
  4. Mix the ground meat with the chopped vegetables and the egg (or chia egg mixture)
  5. Add seasoning and work well with hands until well blended.
  6. Then take the meat mixture and work it into the cooked rice.
  8. Saute the chopped onion, mushrooms and shredded carrot in olive oil until the onions are translucent.
  9. Add soy sauce or coconut aminoes and tomato paste, stirring constantly to make a thick paste like substance until it becomes fragrant. Be careful not to scorch.
  10. Set aside and let cool slightly.
  11. Mix with beans, rice, chia egg, salt, lemon pepper and other seasonings.
  13. Take some of the odd shaped cooked cabbage leaves and cover the bottom of a dutch oven pot.
  14. Make small oval size balls of the meat or bean mixture and place on top of cooked cabbage leaf.
  15. Fold the filling up into the cabbage leaf like a letter, folding the bottom of the leaf up over the mixture and then folding the sides into it making a "pocket" for the filling. Then begin to roll upward until the filling is completely rolled in the cabbage leaf.
  16. Place the cabbage roll onto the cabbage leaves inside the dutch oven pot.
  17. Once all the cabbage rolls are down and in the post, pour the marinara sauce over the rolls.
  18. Spread shredded cabbage and carrots over the mixture and cover with a lid.
  19. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer and allow to cook for one hour for bean mixture and two hours for the meat mixture.
  20. After placing the cooked cabbage rolls on dinner plate, top with cooked cabbage and carrots along with some extra sauce.
Marinara Sauce
  • 2 – 32oz cans of organic, fire roasted, crushed tomatoes (blend these if your child prefers no lumps or chunks)
  • 4-6 garlic gloves, crushed (jar version is okay – 1 teaspoon equals one clove)
  • 4 teaspoon dry basil
  • 2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of organic sugar to tame the acidity
  • 1-2 tablespoon of oil with high smoking point (avocado, rice bran, tea seed)
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add garlic and spices stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes; bring to simmer; reduce heat to low and allow sauce to thicken (about 20-30 minutes).
  2. The flavor of this sauce intensifies over 24 hours.
  3. Serve meatballs and sauce over prepared gluten-free noodles.
  4. Make this a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.


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