A comfort food classic, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls have long been a popular classic family dinner entrée. They are filling, easy to make and almost always please the whole gang. And they only require about 30 minutes of hands-on cooking time.
Now, while you may think any dish that spotlights cabbage could never be a contestant for family-favorite in your household, if you use savoy cabbage you’ll be in good shape! Savoy cabbage is highly nutritious but also mild and sweet-tasting. Shaped like green cabbages, savoy cabbage has deeply crinkled leaves and is particularly tender, even when raw. The secret to cooking savoy cabbage is not to over steam it. (Seriously, unless you want the kitchen to smell like stinky feet, do not overcook your cabbage!)
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Get a Clean Cuisine Makeover
Now that I have given them a makeover, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are really one of my favorite healthy dinner recipes, especially for weeknights.
The makeover secret? Adding lots of minced vegetables and savory, meaty mushrooms to the ground pastured beef mixture! Not only do the extra vegetables and mushrooms make this Clean Cuisine version healthier than the conventional Stuffed Cabbage Recipe, but it really is tastier too. If you check out my recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, you’ll see I did pulled a similar trick by sneaking in lots of extra minced vegetables. The key is to make sure the vegetables are finely minced by using a food processor.
I also substitute whole grain brown rice for the conventional white rice. As for the tomato sauce, you can either make your own from scratch (here’s a good basic recipe) or use a clean store-bought version made with extra-virgin olive oil. Hands down, my favorite store-bought marinara is Rao’s.
Ok, enough talk, lets get cooking!Print
- 1 large head Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds, cored)
- 1 large Spanish onion (coarsely chopped)
- 3 carrots (coarsely chopped)
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms (quartered)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (note: use thawed-frozen if you want to save time)
- 1 1/4 pound grass fed ground beef
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 organic (pastured egg (such as Vital Farms))
- 3 cups prepared marinara sauce (such as Rao’s)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook whole head of cabbage in a large pot of boiling water for 2 minutes (no longer!) Cool slightly. Carefully remove the softened outer leaves, keeping them whole; set the leaves aside. Return cabbage head back to the pot and repeat until you have 15 cabbage leaves. Finely chop the remaining cabbage, measuring out 2 cups, and set aside (if you have any leftover cabbage save it for another purpose.)
- Place the coarsely chopped onions in a food processor and pulse several times to finely chop. Remove onions from food processor and set aside. Process the carrots and then the mushrooms in the same manner, keeping all of the vegetables separate.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the 2 cups of chopped cabbage, carrots and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Remove from heat; set vegetables aside to cool slightly.
- To the skillet, add the brown rice, ground beef, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, and egg. Stir gently.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Shave the rib of each cabbage leaf with a pairing knife or vegetable peeler so it lies flat. Place approximately 1/2 cup of the cabbage-meat mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Starting at the core end, roll into a tight log, tucking in the sides of the cabbage leaf as you go. Place cabbage roll in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. Top with remaining marinara sauce.
- Cover dish with foil; bake at 350 degrees for 45-minutes. Uncover and serve warm
Hungry for More Healthy Dinner Recipes?
Check out our Clean Cuisine Dinners cookbook!