This unstuffed cabbage roll is an easy one-pan meal that’s filling and delicious! It’s paleo, keto, whole30, and AIP compliant.

Unstuffed cabbage roll in a white pot with a wooden spoon.


What is Unstuffed Cabbage Roll?

Cabbage rolls are a delicious, comforting, and traditional recipe made by rolling cabbage leaves around a ground beef and rice mixture with tomato sauce. Though the recipe is delicious, it can be a bit labor-intensive to roll the cabbage! Yes, traditional cabbage rolls are wonderful, but do you really have to roll cabbage to get the cabbage roll experience? The answer is no!

This recipe is everything you love about cabbage rolls but made into an easy one-pot meal. All of the same ingredients are used, but the recipe is simply made in one pot, so not rolling required.

This meal is made to be keto, paleo, whole30, and even AIP-compliant. And the best part? It’s super cost-effective to make with low-cost ingredients like cabbage and ground beef!

The Ingredients You Need For the One Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

  • Ground Beef. Cheaper than many other cuts of meat, and easy to find! Feel free to use ground beef with the fat content of your choice.
  • Cabbage. Green cabbage chopped and cored is much easier than the traditional rolling in my opinion! I like to use a large green cabbage for this recipe to stretch it even further.
  • Cauliflower. Cabbage rolls typically have rice, but this dish uses cauliflower rice in its place. You can use a food processor to rice the cauliflower, or you can buy it pre-riced.
  • Onion and garlic. Traditional flavors in cabbage rolls.
  • Beef broth. I used a kettle and fire broth that I had on hand, but you can use homemade broth.
  • Tomato sauce. To make it nightshade free, use my nightshade-free marinara sauce. 

Cabbage roll ingredients in separate bowls.

How to make this Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Recipe

  • Cook the ground beef. Use a large pot to saute the ground beef on medium heat and set aside.
  • Cook the vegetables & combine. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Then add the riced cauliflower and saute. Reincorporate the ground beef along with broth, tomato sauce (or nightshade-free sauce), and cabbage.

Three side by side photos of unstuffed cabbage rolls being cooked.

  • Simmer with the lid on until soft and serve! 

Unstuffed cabbage roll in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

How to make Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Keto

This recipe is naturally lower carb as it’s made with cauliflower rice, cabbage, and ground beef as the main ingredients. To make sure it stays keto, watch the tomato sauce you use for added sugars!

Tips & Tricks

  • Chop the cabbage, don’t shred it. This recipe is a lot heartier if the cabbage is in large pieces! Trust me, I love a short cut with shredded cabbage from a bag too, but it’s worth chopping a whole cabbage.
  • Switch it up with ground turkey or even ground pork. This recipe is great with ground turkey as well if you don’t eat beef!

Can you make an unstuffed cabbage roll in the instant pot?

Yes, this recipe would work in the instant pot as well! Saute the ground beef and veggies on saute mode and pressure cook the rest of the recipe on high for 5 minutes.

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

  • Store in glass. Store in a glass container for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Reheat on the stove. The best way to reheat food is to mimick how it was cooked. Add it to a pot, simmer on low and stir for a few minutes.

unstuffed cabbage roll on a plate.

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Easy One Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


This one pot cabbage roll is the perfect weeknight meal!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, riced (using a food processor, or pre-riced)
  • 1 large green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (sub nightshade free for AIP )
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped


  1. Using a large dutch oven, brown the ground beef on medium heat and lightly season with salt and pepper. Remove the beef and set aside, reserving about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan.
  2. Next, saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the riced cauliflower and saute for 5-7 minutes or until softened
  3. Add back in the ground beef as well as the broth, tomato sauce, cabbage, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine and coat the cabbage for a few minutes.
  4. Place the lid over the dutch oven and simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to allow the cabbage to soften.
  5. Remove the lid and stir well, topping with parsley to serve.


All nutrition facts are estimations.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: one pot meals
  • Method: stove
  • Cuisine: global


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 271
  • Fat: 5.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.8g
  • Fiber: 4.6g
  • Protein: 37.1g

Keywords: cabbage roll



This post was originally published in March of 2018 and has been updated in 2022. Photos by.