Our unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe gives you the same delicious flavors of a traditional stuffed cabbage roll, but minus the mess and the work! Ground beef (or turkey), rice, and a zesty tomato sauce all mixed into this delicious one-pot recipe!
On-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (Deconstructed)!
Have you ever had traditional cabbage rolls? They are so yummy. They are bursting with rich flavors and are such a hearty meal.
Stuffed cabbage rolls are a traditional Eastern European dish. While they are delicious they can be super time consuming and messy to make. You have to boil the cabbage, and make the filling, then try to stuff them. Well, I’m happy to say I don’t have to worry about all of this anymore!
Enter – Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls! This deconstructed recipe makes it so easy to get the same amazing flavors of a traditional cabbage roll, without all the hassle. Best of all, it also saves you time on the clean up, since you only need one pot and one pan to make this entire recipe.
In just 30-35 minutes you have a healthy dinner that everyone will enjoy. The addition of rice also makes it hearty and filling. You’re going to love my unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe!
Why We Love Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- One-pot recipe
- Way easier than fussing with traditional cabbage rolls
- Still has that Eastern European flair
- Ready in 30 minutes
- Simple and inexpensive ingredients
- Feeds a crowd
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (feel free to substitute ground turkey or ground chicken)
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 small head of cabbage
- 1 large (28-ounce can) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (398ml) tomato sauce
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup beef broth (low sodium)
- 1.5 tablespoons paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Minute Rice, uncooked
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How to Make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Cook ground beef and drain excess fat. Place cooked ground beef in a pot.
Use the same pan to brown the onions. Add cooked onions to the pot with ground beef.
Add cabbage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, beef broth, paprika, minced garlic, salt and black pepper to the large pot.
Mix together, then put on the stovetop and bring to a boil.
Simmer, on low, covered, for 20 minutes.
Pro-Tip: If you plan to use a different type of rice from the Minute Rice, and you will be cooking it in a separate pot, I recommend starting the pot of rice at the same time that you begin to brown the ground beef. That way it is cooked and ready to go when you need to add it in with the other ingredients.
Cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Additions & Substitutions
Ground beef: You can substitute the ground beef in this recipe for ground turkey or chicken if you prefer. I like to use very lean ground beef, as you’ll be draining off the excess fat anyway.
Rice: You can use any type of Minute Rice that you prefer. They make a white and brown rice. I like to use Minute Rice because it cooks right up in the pot with all the other ingredients. You could also use a different type of rice, such as Jasmine or Basmati and cook it in a separate pot, then simply mix it in with the ground beef mixture.
Veggie rice: Another option to cut back on the carbs would be to use cauliflower or broccoli rice in place of the minute rice. To do this, just make the veggie rice separately and serve beef and veggie mixture over the top of it or mix it in with the ground beef mixture.
Tips for Making Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Only one pan is needed for this recipe. You can actually brown the meat and the onions in the large pot you are using for the remainder of the recipe. It makes for a really easy clean-up if you do it like this! If you prefer, you can brown the meat and onions in a large frying pan then transfer them to the big pot!
- If you plan to use a different type of rice from the Minute Rice, and you will be cooking it in a separate pot, I recommend starting the pot of rice at the same time that you begin to brown the ground beef. That way it is cooked and ready to go when you need to add it in with the other ingredients.
How to Store Leftovers
This dish is great as leftovers. I usually plan to have it for lunch the day after making it for dinner. You should store leftovers in a sealed food storage container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
You can also pop it in the freezer for up to 1 month and reheat it for a quick dinner. However, this is so easy to make that I prefer to make it fresh and forego the freezer option!
This unstuffed cabbage roll recipe is so full of flavor. It’s an easily made dinner, that’s both hearty and filling. What’s even better is that the clean up is a breeze. Plus, it makes for a great leftover dish as well, which means you have dinner for a few nights in a row!
Other Easy Dinner Recipes
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 1 small head cabbage chopped (core removed)
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 can (398 ml) tomato sauce
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup beef broth (low sodium)
- 1½ tbsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Minute Rice uncooked
- In a large frying pan, thoroughly cook ground beef and drain off excess fat. Once cooked, place in large saucepot.
- In the same (now empty) frying pan, brown onions. Add cooked onions to same large pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the large pot except the rice.
- Stir well to mix then put on stovetop bringing to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.
- Add uncooked rice then cook (covered) for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.
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