Stuffed Cabbage (hold the red sauce)

When you think of stuffed cabbage, what comes to mind?  I’m guessing you think of ground beef and rice rolled up in cabbage and smothered in red sauce, right?  You probably also think of excessive gas.  Let’s try and relieve ourselves of that thought for now 😉

I’m not entirely sure why, but my mom has always made stuffed cabbage without red sauce.  I can remember going to friend’s houses as a child and getting super excited when I heard we were having stuffed cabbage for dinner.  This ALWAYS ended in disappointment because everyone (other than my mom… and my sister) makes stuffed cabbage with red sauce… and I’m not really a fan.  In my family, we like our stuffed cabbage with a side of cabbage.  And some cabbage broth.  And excessive amounts of sour cream and salt and pepper.

Stuffed cabbages has been one of my all-time favorite home cooked meals for as far back as I can remember, yet I’ve never tried to make them myself.  So what the heck, I decided to give it a shot.  My mom uses ground beef in her stuffed cabbages, but I decided to further health-it-up with 99% fat-free ground turkey and brown rice. 

First up, the cabbage:


I can honestly say this is the first time I have ever purchased cabbage.  I have a feeling we are going to be GREAT friends 🙂

(Guess who left her camera at work??? Yes, all photos were taken with the lovely iPhone tonight)

I cut the core out of the cabbage:


And dropped it hole-side down in a big ole pot of bowling water. 

While the leaves softened in the boiling water, I combined the following in a bowl:

  • 8 ounces 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1/2 a chopped white onion
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

As the leaves began to soften, I pulled off the outer cabbage leaves with a pair of tongs and laid them out while the remaining cabbage kept softening in the pot:

I used an ice cream scooper to evenly distribute the meat and rice mix among 9 cabbage leaves:

Then gave them a roll and lined them up in a baking dish.

Then I gave the remaining cabbage a rough chop and tucked it in between the rolls and threw the rest on top.  I used a ladle to spoon some of the hot cabbage broth onto the rolls until the water level was about half way up the dish.  Then I covered with foil and baked in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour.

When the rolls were done, I topped two of them off with a dollop of sour cream and some black pepper:


Andd…….  whelp… it’s wasn’t mom’s.  And it wasn’t my sister’s either.   Have you ever tried to recreate one of your mom’s famous dishes?  If you’re like me, it probably didn’t go so well.  That’s ok, nothing a little hot sauce can’t cure!

All-in-all these were OK– but I think using the ground turkey instead of the ground beef made a HUGE difference (and not for the better).  I think ground beef is the way to go.  That’s what I’ll use next time for sure!

Stuffed Cabbage Ingredients List (serves 4)

  • 8 ounces 99% fat free ground turkey
  • 1/2 a chopped white onion
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head cabbage (about 2 lbs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fat-free Sour cream (optional in your book, NOT optional in mine)

Stats on 1 serving:  237 calories, 39g carbs, 2g fat, 19g protein, 7g fiber

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