This Keto Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe is perfect for low carb diets and also makes a great dinner for holidays such as Easter or Christmas. It is inspired by a traditional recipe for Romanian cabbage rolls that my grandmother used to make and updated by yours truly to make it low carb.
- FOR THE CABBAGE:
- 1 Medium cabbage (about 2.5 lbs or 1.1 kg)
- ¼ cups Wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Sea salt
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1-½ tbsp Olive oil, divided
- 1 Finely chopped small onion
- 1 Medium carrot, grated
- 1-½ cup crushed tomatoes
- ½ cups Heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt (or to your taste)
- FOR THE STUFFING:
- ½ Small head of cauliflower – should make about 1 3/4 cups of cauliflower rice
- 1-½ pound Ground pork – (or a mixture of pork and turkey/beef)
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 big egg
- 1-½ tsp Sea salt (or to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper
- ½ cups Sauce:
To prepare the cabbage for the rolls:
Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Fill 2/3 full with water and stir in the salt and vinegar.
Remove the 2 outer leaves from the cabbage. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the core of the cabbage. Once the water is boiling, carefully place the cabbage in the water, cap side down. Simmer for 5 minutes, then flip the cabbage and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes.
While the cabbage cooks, use a pair of tongs to loosen the leaves as they begin to soften. Reserve 2 cups of water from the pot, then drain and cool in a bowl.
Once the cabbage is safe to handle, remove the leaves and lay them on top of each other.
For the sauce:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat (or use the same pan you cooked the cabbage in). Add the oil, then stir in the onion and carrot. Sauté until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the crushed tomatoes, fresh cream, oregano and salt. Continue cooking for a few more minutes, until boiling.
Remove from heat and set aside.
For the cauliflower rice:
Wash and pat the cauliflower dry with a paper towel, then remove any green leaves. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place them in your food processor. Pulse a few times, until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice. Alternatively, cut the cauliflower into large chunks and using a medium sized hole grater, grate them into rice.
For the stuffing:
In a large bowl, combine the meat and cauliflower rice. Add egg, salt, pepper, grated cheese and 1/2 cup sauce. Mix well to combine.
For the cabbage rolls:
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the raised surface of the tough central stem to flatten the leaves. This process will make them easier to roll.
Place about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture just above the stem of the cabbage leaf. Roll up like a burrito and stuff both ends. Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves and meat mixture.
Arrange the stuffed cabbage rolls in a Dutch oven or pot. Pour remaining sauce over rolls and add about 1 cup reserved water (from cabbage).
Cover Dutch oven/pot and place in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven. Bake for 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Check the rollers at halftime and monitor the fluid level. If there is not much liquid left, add a little reserved water.