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Savory Cabbage Roll Ups

Savory and Low Fat Cabbage Roll UpsIf you’re not a lover of cabbage, then surely you haven’t tried cabbage like this! And you’re going to find out why we’ll make a cabbage lover out of you yet. This recipe makes four full servings that constitute a meal – can you say, “Hello, Lunch for the remainder of the week!” The secret in making flawless rolls is in the blanching of the cabbage leaves. By blanching the leaves, we not only soften and make them more pliable for rolling, but we also take away some of the harsher flavors commonly experienced when eating cabbage. 

Even though this recipe has a lot of steps, it’s a pretty straightforward and easy recipe to make! We use lean ground beef in our recipe, but you could substitute with another plan-friendly ground meat of your choice: ground turkey breast, ground chicken breast, ground sirloin, and ground bison are some of our favorites. Even though this recipe uses just 7 ingredients, it leaves you feeling full of warm, home-cooked goodness. You’ll definitely want to keep this one at the front of your recipe rolodex! 


  • 1 head of Cabbage; you will use 12 leaves and 1 C. Chopped
  • 16 oz. Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 C. Brown Rice, cooked
  • 2 C. Pomi Tomato Sauce*
  • Salt & Pepper: to taste

*purchase this plan-friendly tomato sauce in your local grocery store


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Fill a bowl with ice water – this will be used to blanch the leaves.
  3. De-core the cabbage, and boil for 3-4 minutes; until leaves separate and are pliable.
  4. Immediately remove the cabbage from the boiling water and submerge in the ice bath.
  5. Remove the leaves after a minute and pat dry. Set aside your 12 largest leaves. Note: If any leaves have thick, protruding veins, slice the veins from the top to remove them – careful as not to slice a hole into the leaf.
  6. Chop up some of the remaining leaves to make 1 C. of chopped cabbage, and set to the side.
  7. In a bowl, combine the ground beef with half of the garlic, and the salt, pepper, and rice.
  8. Divide this mixture into 12 – 1 ½ oz. balls.
  9. Using moistened hands, form the balls into cylinders and place a cylinder of filling near the bottom of a cabbage leaf.
  10. Roll up the leaf, being sure to fold the sides up so that the cylinder is completely enclosed by the cabbage leaf. Do this for all 12 leaves and cylinders.
  11. Seam side down, place all 12 rolls on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  12. Over medium heat, saute the remaining garlic for 30 seconds.
  13. Add the 1 C. of chopped cabbage reserves to the pan and saute for 30-60 seconds more.
  14. To the pan, add the Pomi tomato sauce, and salt & pepper (to taste); stir to combine.
  15. Increase the heat until the sauce comes to a boil. Lower and simmer for 5 minutes.
  16. Line the bottom of a 13” x 9” baking dish with a layer of the Pomi sauce.
  17. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, on top of the layer of sauce.
  18. Top the cabbage rolls with the remaining sauce.
  19. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes.
  20. Remove from oven, and serve warm! 

Servings: 4. Serving size: 3 rolls. Replaces: 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate, and 1 vegetable serving.

Lean and Easy Homemade Cabbage Roll Ups

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