Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Bowls

This is the quicker easier version of the traditional European cabbage rolls. Still all the delicious flavors with half the time and effort! These are so hearty, a good source of protein and they make great leftovers too.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: Cabbage Rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 434 kcal


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjarom
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, chopped (5 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice or white rice,* cooked according to package instructions


  1. Heat olive oil in a deep 12-inch non-stick skillet or a pot over medium-high heat. 

  2. Add in onion and saute 2 minutes, add garlic and saute 10 seconds longer. Push to one far side of the pan.

  3. Add beef in large crumbles, season with salt and pepper.

  4. Let beef brown on bottom about 3 minutes then continue to cook and break up beef, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.

  5. Drain excess fat. Return to heat add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, paprika, thyme, marjarom, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer.

  6. Toss in cabbage, season with salt and pepper to taste, reduce heat to medium-low cover and simmer, tossing occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.

  7. Serve warm over rice garnished with parsley (I also like to serve with cayenne pepper which is totally untraditional but try it if you like some spice).

  8. *To keep this a quick meal I like to use leftover rice or go for the minute rice - especially if using brown.

  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy