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cabbage and sausage in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon stirring it

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

These UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS have all the flavor of a traditional cabbage roll and call for just 5 ingredients! This low carb cabbage rolls recipe is super filling and totally easy for busy nights! 

unstuffed cabbage rolls in yellow dutch oven

My family and I went on a cruise around the British Isles a few years ago and it was a seriously amazing trip. We stopped at 11 different ports and I absolutely loved trying the different foods in each port.

But what I loved even more was watching my son get excited seeking out local restaurants to get an authentic taste of each country.

One of our ports had a little Russian restaurant that he insisted on trying.

We were in Scotland at the time, but he’d had enough shepherd’s pie and wasn’t interested in trying haggis, so we got a little taste of Russia. He ordered cabbage rolls and I was super skeptical over whether or not he’d like them.

Y’all, the kid LOVES cabbage. I’ve been making all kinds of low carb cabbage recipes for him since then. This unstuffed cabbage casserole might just be his new favorite.

Ingredient Notes:

unstuffed cabbage roll ingredients.

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Cabbage – Obviously you’re going to need some cabbage when making unstuffed cabbage rolls! One large chopped head of cabbage should do the trick. While cabbage does have a fair amount of carbs, it’s also full of fiber, which makes it a good low carb choice in moderation.

Ground Beef – I used lean ground beef in this recipe, but other types of ground meat will work too! Try chicken or turkey, if you’d like.

Marinara Sauce – I really love this Rao’s Marinara Sauce. It tastes great and doesn’t have any added sugars. You can use whichever brand you like, just be sure to check the label.

What Readers Are Saying:

“My family of 10 all gave 2 thumbs up!! I have some cabbage haters here, but they loved this!”
– Kris W.

unstuffed cabbage rolls in white bowl.

How To:

  • Prepare the Beef – First up you’re going to need to brown some beef. Add it to a Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, crumbling as it cooks. You shouldn’t need to drain the fat unless you are using some extra fatty ground beef. I would recommend using lean ground beef but it should be okay if you don’t have it. Once the meat has partially cooked you can add in the onions and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring often, before moving to the next step.ground beef with onions in pan
  • Add the Sauce – Next up is the tasty marinara sauce! Start by stirring in the marinara sauce and water. I use Rao’s Marinara because it’s the BEST tasting sauce I’ve found in a jar and it also happens to be the lowest in carbs. Mix the sauce, beef, and onions up well and then move on to the final step!cabbage and beef in dutch oven
  • Add the Cabbage – Now all that’s left is to chop up a head of cabbage and add that to the pot. Just stuff it all in there and stir carefully! The cabbage will cook down some and the pot won’t be quite so full. Once the cabbage has cooked down until it is nice and tender, you’re all done! It’s so quick and easy and you can enjoy this recipe in just 30 minutes.cabbage and sausage in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon stirring it


Do I have to use ground beef?

Nope! Just about any type of ground meat should work in this. A few readers have suggested that ground lamb works really well in this recipe, and another mentioned using smoked sausage. Ground pork, chicken, and turkey would be great too.

Can I store/freeze this recipe?

These unstuffed cabbage rolls should store well in the fridge for a few days if you seal it tightly. I have not tried freezing this recipe, but I think it would freeze well and reheat perfectly.

More Keto Cabbage Recipes:

cabbage roll casserole in yellow dish

More low carb favorites:

Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl: The most popular recipe on my other blog!

Avocado Egg Salad: This one is for the avocado lovers out there!

Cauliflower Potato Salad: You won’t miss the potatoes, promise!

Brussel Sprouts and Bacon: Who would have guessed Brussels sprouts cold be so tasty?

keto unstuffed cabbage rolls in white bowl.

Follow me on social for more recipe ideas & inspiration!

cabbage and sausage in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon stirring it

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Take the work out of cabbage rolls with this low carb cabbage roll casserole recipe! 

Yield 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes



  1. Add the beef to a 5 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the meat, crumbling as it cooks.
  2. When meat is partially cooked, add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue cooking, stirring often.
  3. Add the cabbage, marinara, water, and salt to the pan and stir to cover the cabbage in the marinara and beef. 
  4. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the cabbage is as tender as you'd like.
  5. Serve immediately.


We prefer to use Rao's marinara, but any will do. Be sure it contains zero added sugars.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1030mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 34g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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182 thoughts on “Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls”

  1. I was stuck with what to do with a cabbage… thank you, I’ve now found a perfect dish. I live in the U.K. So use tinned chopped tomatoes (half the amount) without any herbs and a beef oxo cube to add stock to lower the carbs. It turned out great! I will be making this again. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Karly Campbell

      Whatever you prefer is fine. I normally use a leaner ground beef and do not drain the fat as it adds to the flavor with the cabbage.

  2. Made this for 2. Sauteed 1/2 lb chopped filet steak with 1 small onion adding 1 T chile powder, 1 t cumin, pinches cinnamon and allspice. Then added 1 small container Sassanos garden style tomato sauce and 1 small can plain tomato sauce with chopped 1/2 cabbage. It was delicious! Served over rice. Will definitely repeat.

  3. Jennifer k

    Tastes like spaghetti and meatballs instead of Eastern Europe cabbage rolls. Rao’s is my favorite sauce but it doesn’t work in this recipe. Stuffed cabbage is supposed to have a sweet/sour sauce- usually it’s canned tomatoes and add sugar and vinegar. There is no Italian spices in stuffed cabbage like there is in the marinara sauce. I make this the rolled way all of the time.

    Looks like I’ll be telling myself the cabbage is noodles and put parm on it bc I would hate to throw it out.

  4. OMG, this is SO good!!! Thank you for recommending the Rao sauce. I never really pay attention to the spaghetti sauces in the grocery store since my husband usually makes his own red gravy, but holy cow, this stuff was good! I got the bolognese style. It was 3 net carbs per serving. Really, really good stuff! Thank you!

  5. I added some red wine and a bit of sugar. Ok ok so there goes the low carb but dang the taste is awesome

  6. Maureen Kmie

    Made it just as suggested and it was great. Kind of like Hamburger Helper without all the carbs. Making again today for lunches. Even though you said serve immediately it was great the next day.

  7. LOVE THIS RECIPE. Works well with my keto diet. I doubled the recipe tonight and it seems to have A LOT of liquid…will this boil down eventually?

    1. Karly Campbell

      It should reduce if you boil it long enough, but in the future, you probably don’t need to double the liquid. 🙂 Glad you enjoy the recipe!

  8. I’ve been keto for 3 months and made this recipe a few times. IT IS SO GOOD!!! I doubled it tonight and it seems to have a lot of liquid; will this boil down? Either way so good!! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Jim O'Brien

    Delicious! You’re right about the Rao marinara. Tasty. No embellishments here. Straight up recipe. It takes hardly any time at all.

  10. Delicious and so easy! I used less beef and sauce. To make sure I didn’t lose flavor, I used Rao’s spicy sauce – Arrabbiata. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  11. Do you have a specific program that can break down a recipe to carbs, sodium, protein etc.?

  12. I’d like to make it for a weekend I’m going on… it says “serve immediately” but do you think it would taste good a day or two later?


    I searched the grocery aisles awhile before I found Raos Marinade. It was with the spaghetti sauces not Salsas where I sometimes find it but this brand was more than 2 times the price of others at $6.94. I used Paul Newman Marinade which cost about $2.58. Great Dish!

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Cathy! Yep, Rao’s is definitely in with the other Italian pasta sauces. It is pricier than most, but we love it so much. I’m sure Paul Newman’s was good too. 🙂

    2. Eugene C. Caine

      Costco has a two pack of Rao’s for almost half the price and each bottle is larger than the grocery store 24oz.

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