This easy stuffed cabbage rolls recipe is low-carb and it’s also a great dinner idea for holidays such as Easter or Christmas. It is inspired from a traditional Romanian cabbage rolls recipe and updated by yours truly to make it low-carb.
For the cabbage:
- 1 medium cabbage about 2.5 lb (1.1kg)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 1 1/2 cups (337g) crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to your taste
For the stuffing:
- 1/2 small cauliflower head should yield about 1 3/4 cups (210g) of cauliflower rice
- 1.5 lb (680g) ground pork (or a mix of pork and turkey/beef)
- 1 cup (113g) cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt or to your taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (120ml) sauce
To prepare the cabbage for the rolls:
Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Fill 2/3 with water, and stir in salt and vinegar.
Remove the outer 2 leaves of the cabbage.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the cabbage core.
Once the water is boiling, carefully place the cabbage in water, cork side down. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, then flip the cabbage over and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes more.
While the cabbage is cooking, use a pair of tongs to loosen the leaves as they begin to soften.
Reserve 2 cups of water from the pot, then drain and allow it to cool in a bowl.
Once the cabbage is safe to handle, pull off the leaves and arrange them one on top of the other.
To prepare the sauce:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat (or use the same pot you’ve cooked the cabbage in).
Add oil, then stir in the onion and carrot. Sauté until soften, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add in the crushed tomatoes, double cream, oregano and salt. Continue to cook for a few minutes more, until bubbly.
Remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare the cauliflower rice:
Wash and pat-dry the cauliflower with a paper towel, then remove all green leaves.
Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place them into your food processor. Pulse a few times, until the cauliflower resembles ‘rice grains’. Alternatively, cut the cauliflower into large chunks and using a grater with medium-sized holes, grate them into ‘rice’.
To prepare the stuffing:
Into a large bowl, combine the meat and cauliflower rice.
Add the egg, salt, pepper, shredded cheese and 1/2 cup of sauce. Mix thoroughly to combine.
To prepare the cabbage rolls:
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice off the raised surface of the tough center stem to flatten the leaves. This process will make them easier to roll.
Place about 2 tbsp of meat mixture just over the stem portion of the cabbage leaf. Roll it like a burrito and stuff both ends in. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and meat mixture.
Arrange the stuffed cabbage rolls in a Dutch oven or pot.
Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and add in about 1 cup of the reserved water (from the cabbage).
To cook the Keto stuffed cabbage rolls:
Cover your Dutch oven/pot and place it in the preheated oven at 350°F (180°C). Bake for 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
Check the rolls at half time and watch the liquid level. If there is not much liquid left, add in some more reserved water.