Rice-free Cabbage Rolls

February 17, 2012


Woohoo! Cabbage rolls sans rice, in a creamy nightshade-free sauce! Oh how I’ve missed cabbage rolls since going paleo… The cauliflower provides the perfect texture, and there’s a nice little sauerkraut surprise inside. Finished off with some deliciously smoky Applewood cheddar. Comfort food at its finest :)


  • 1 large cabbage
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • beef tallow
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs (optional – can leave out if on Autoimmune Protocol)
  • 2.5 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 jar sauerkraut (approx.)
  • 750 ml beef broth
  • salt
  • pepper

Sauce: (optional)

  • 1/4 block butter
  • 250 ml sour cream

Topping: (optional)

  • Applewood smoked cheddar, grated


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Carefully cut out bottom core part of cabbage. Place cabbage in pot of boiling water. Using tongs, gently peel a layer off every 30-45 seconds when they become soft until close to core. Set aside any torn layers, remaining cabbage and core.

3. Sautee onions and garlic in beef tallow until soft (approx. 10 minutes).

4. Food process the cauliflower until finely crumbled.

5. In a large bowl, combine onion, garlic, eggs, parsley, cauliflower and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Be gentle – don’t overmix.

6. Roll cabbage rolls. First, put down a layer of sauerkraut, and then the beef mixture. Fold halfway, tuck in sides, fold the rest of the way.

7.Thinly layer bottom of Dutch oven with leftover cabbage leaves/chopped core and a layer of sliced onions. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can bake the cabbage rolls in large Pyrex dishes – layer the bottom the same way.

8. Place the first layer of cabbage rolls seam-side down. Place another layer of cabbage and onion on top. Repeat with remaining cabbage rolls, ending with a layer of cabbage/onions covering the cabbage rolls. If you’re using a Pyrex dish, you’ll just have one layer of cabbage rolls.

9. Pour in beef broth.

10. Cover the Dutch oven (use aluminum foil if you’re using Pyrex). Bake for 1.5 hours.

11. Remove cabbage rolls from the baking dish.

12. For the sauce, if you’ll be using an immersion hand blender, you can leave the cabbage and onions in the Dutch oven or transfer everything into a bowl from the Pyrex. Alternatively, place all the cabbage leaves, onions and broth in a food processor.

13. Add sour cream and butter to broth mixture. Blend/puree.

14. Serve sauce over cabbage rolls, and sprinkle generously with grated cheese.


Shared with Real Food Wednesdays.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug February 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Also from Vancouver, and am in day 7 in transition from Vegetarian to Paleo, after reading all about it. Glad to see you’ve answered my question about butter! Looks like a trip to Trader Joe’s is in order. The recipes look great – good job!!


[email protected] February 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Thanks, Doug! Always nice to hear from a fellow Vancouverite :) good luck with your transition and welcome to paleo!


Elizabeth February 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM

So, wait, do you start with raw ground beef? I’ve never made cabbage rolls, and they came up in conversation just last night… Looks yummy, just need to make sure I do things right. :-)


[email protected] February 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Yup! Raw ground beef. Same idea as when you’re making hamburger patties. Just mix all the stuff with the beef first. Hope they turn out great! :)


Licia Harry February 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Is the first instance of “onion” in the ingredients supposed to say “cauliflower”??


[email protected] February 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Fixed, thank u :)


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