Get the flavor of cabbage rolls without the work. Unstuffed cabbage roll skillet is a quick and easy one pan dinner that makes cabbage roll goodness possible on a weeknight.
If you love cabbage rolls, but don’t like taking the time to make them, this is the recipe for you. This cabbage roll skillet dinner with rice and ground beef gives you all of the flavor with a fraction of the work.
This economical and tasty dinner is a great way to feed your family. A pound of ground beef is stretched with rice and plenty of healthy cabbage making it possible to feed the whole family for under ten dollars.
Plus you can get the flavor of grandma’s stuffed cabbage rolls without the effort and only 1 dirty pan!
I was first introduced to cabbage rolls when I asked family members for favorite recipes. My husband’s uncle Greg sent over a guide for how he make golumpki (or gotabki depending on who you ask.)
I gave them a go and they were delicious, but to be honest they were also a fair amount of work. So despite enjoying them, I haven’t made them again since.
However I have made versions of this casserole version several times. It is a lot quicker to make and every bit as flavorful.
Making this skillet version means you can have it on a weeknight. It’s a great way to make a whole meal in one pot.
We usually just serve it on its own, or maybe add a little buttered bread. You really don’t need much else.
Tips and tricks
Make sure to use a large enough pan. The cabbage cooks down quite a bit but will take up a lot of space to start with.
Use a pan with a lid. That will help the rice and cabbage to cook evenly.
Do yourself a favor and core the cabbage and cut it into nice bite sized pieces while it’s raw. It will make serving and eating it much easier.
Not into white rice? Use brown rice or quinoa instead. Just be sure to adjust the amount of beef broth and cook time accordingly.
Could you use a different kind of greens? Sure, but cabbage’s mild flavor and sturdy leaf really is ideal.
A cabbage cousin like bok choy or napa would do well. Kale would alter the flavor, but would likely be delicious if you love the heartier greens.
You can have fun playing with the seasonings as well. I generally stick with marjoram or oregano, and some garlic.
Those are flavors my family loves. My husbands uncle suggests mixing and matching some of the following: celery seed, thyme, nutmeg, ground mustard, ground cumin, garam masala, or cloves.
If you want, you can use bulk sausage instead of the ground beef. That is a great way to add big flavor without any more work.
I don’t usually add sugar, but if you generally add it to your cabbage rolls feel free to add some here too. Use this recipe as a jumping off point and then alter it to taste like your favorite cabbage rolls.
The cheese topping is not at all traditional, but makes it super delicious. Plus a layer of melted cheese helps me sell almost any meal to my family. Feel free to leave it off if that’s your preference.
More great cabbage recipes:
- Bacon wrapped beer braised cabbage is a tasty side dish that can be made in the oven or on the grill. Either way, the cabbage is tender and loaded with flavor.
- Cheesy cabbage casserole is a lot like cheesy potatoes, but with cabbage instead. The cabbage bakes in a creamy cheese sauce and it is all topped with buttery cornflake crumbs to make it extra tasty and comforting. d
- Cabbage and potatoes are a classic combination for good reason. My recipe includes some Parmesan cheese to take them to the next level.
- Instant Pot cabbage, kielbasa, and potatoes is another great all in one meal. The sausage adds so much flavor to the mix and dinner is done in no time.
Or try southwest chicken and rice skillet meal for another tasty all in one pan meal. It is loaded with tex-mex flavors and a bit of cheese.
Now get this perfect one pan un-stuffed cabbage skillet dinner on your menu and let me know what you think!
Cabbage Roll Skillet Meal
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 onion diced
- 1 cup white rice uncooked
- 28 ounce canned diced tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 head cabbage small to medium
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan, dutch oven or braiser over medium heat. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper. Brown the beef and drain any extra grease.1 Tablespoon cooking oil, 1 pound lean ground beef, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the diced onion and cook until translucent.1 onion
- Add the rice and toast for a minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, soy sauce, beef broth and seasonings.1 cup white rice, 28 ounce canned diced tomatoes, 8 ounce can tomato sauce, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 cup beef broth, 1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces and add to pan.1 head cabbage
- Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. If it starts to look dry, add a bit more broth or water. If after 20 minutes it looks a little loose, simmer for a few minutes with the lid off. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
- Sprinkle with mozzarella and either put the lid on to melt or place under the broiler for a minute or two to brown.1 cup shredded mozzarella