Keto Cabbage Rolls (Without Rice)

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These Keto Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with seasoned meat and cauliflower rice, then covered with a flavorful tomato sauce and baked to perfection.

» Looking for a side dish? Try one of these side dishes to serve with cabbage rolls.

Cabbage roll cut in half
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Without the rice, these cabbage rolls are very low in carbs and are perfect for a keto or low-carb diet. It’s such a classic dish and it’s packed with amazing flavor.

No matter who you serve this dish to, they’re going to love it. You don’t have to be on a keto diet to appreciate the flavors in this dish.

Ingredients Needed For Keto Cabbage Rolls

If you’ve ever made cabbage rolls before, you know that they are stuffed with meat and rice. Well, this version is made with all the same ingredients, but we use cauliflower rice as a substitute to cut down on the carbs.

That’s a good thing for a few reasons. First, it’s much lighter and super healthy, and secondly they are packed with good-for-you veggies and fiber.

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Cabbage – I use Savoy cabbage for this recipe because it is a bit more tender than other cabbages and works nicely as a wrap. The leaves are easy to peel away and are pliable for rolling. You could use green or Napa cabbage as well. I wouldn’t recommend using purple cabbage. The leaves are too stiff for rolling.
  • Ground beef – you could also use ground pork, chicken or turkey.
  • Cauliflower rice – You can make your own or use a packaged brand. I use a frozen bag that is heated in the microwave.
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes – I use 12 oz of tomato sauce (which is the same consistency to tomato passata in the EU/UK). You could also use a can of chopped tomatoes and puree it yourself (or use it chunky if you like it that way).
  • Seasonings – Oregano, thyme, salt and ground black pepper

You’re also going to need a 9×13″ baking dish and some tin foil to cover it with.

How to Make Keto Cabbage Rolls

Preheat the oven to 350°F. You’re going to need a 9×13″ baking dish to put the rolls in, so go ahead and get that out.

With a Savoy cabbage, I find it really easy to remove the leaves because they aren’t as tightly packed. Remove as many outer leaves from the cabbage as possible, then cut the stem out of the base of the cabbage to release more leaves.

Put the leaves in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, or until they’re a bit soft and pliable. Remove them from the water to cool.

If you’re using a green cabbage instead, you might find that you have to boil the whole head of cabbage to remove the leaves.

Mix the Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl. You’re going to use half of it in the meat mixture and half in the tomato sauce.

Combine the ground beef, half of the seasonings, and cauliflower rice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Meat filling mixture

In another bowl, mix the tomato sauce and the remaining seasoning. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce mixture in a 9×13 dish.

Divide the meat mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Place the meat mixture in the center of the cabbage roll. Fold the sides of the cabbage over the top of the meat and roll the cabbage tightly, like a burrito. Place each roll seam side down in the prepared pan.

Meat in a cabbage leaf
Rolling a cabbage roll up

Top the whole dish with the remaining tomato sauce. I also give another sprinkle of salt and pepper for good measure. Cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour.

Uncooked cabbage rolls in the pan
Uncooked cabbage rolls in the pan with sauce on top

How Many Carbs Are in Keto Cabbage Rolls

Since these cabbage rolls are without rice, they have a lot less carbs than classic cabbage rolls. However, the tomato sauce does have quite a few carbs, so there are still 5 net grams of carbs per roll.

I usually recommend the serving size be 2 rolls, but if you’re watching your carbs really closely you might find that one rolls fits your dietary restriction better.

Cabbage rolls in the pan

Can They Be Made Ahead?

You can make these keto cabbage rolls ahead of time, up to a day or two. After that the raw rolls will start to become soggy and watery, so it’s not a good idea to make them too far ahead.

I roll the cabbage and put the rolls in a ziplock bag until I’m ready to cook them. You can even freeze them in that state, before cooking. If cooked from frozen, they will need about 1:30 minutes in the oven to fully cook through.

How Many Carbs Are In a Serving?

There are 12 keto cabbage rolls in this recipe. Each serving is 2 rolls. There are 4 net grams of carbs in each serving, so that makes 2 net carbs per roll.

You can further reduce the number of carbs by using less tomato sauce on the top of the dish. I personally think it needs the tomato sauce for flavor, but you could also grate on more Parmesan cheese to add additional flavor without the carbs.

Can I Cook Cabbage Rolls in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook cabbage rolls in the Instant Pot. It’s super fast actually. All you need to do is:

  • Combine the tomato sauce with 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot inner pot.
  • Load in the rolls.
  • Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes.
  • When the time is up, give it 5 minutes to naturally release pressure, then do a quick release.

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Cabbage rolls

Keto Cabbage Rolls

These Keto Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with seasoned meat and cauliflower rice, then covered with a flavorful tomato sauce and baked to perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef, Cabbage, Cauliflower
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Laura

Ingredients

  • 12 leaves Savoy cabbage 1/2 large head
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2/3 cup cauliflower rice thawed if frozen 120g
  • 12 ounces can tomato sauce or passata
  • Additional salt to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175C).
  • Remove as many outer leaves from the cabbage as possible, then cut the stem out of the base of the cabbage to release more leaves. Put the leaves in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, or until they’re a bit soft and pliable. Remove them from the water to cool.
  • Add a small amount of the tomato sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 dish and spread it around.
  • Mix the Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl. You're going to use half of it in the meat mixture and half in the tomato sauce.
  • Combine the ground beef, half the seasonings, and cauliflower rice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Combine the tomato sauce and remaining seasonings in another bowl.
  • Divide the meat mixture evenly into 12 oblong balls.
  • Place a meat ball in the center of a cabbage leaf. Fold the sides of the cabbage over the top of the meat and roll the cabbage tightly. Place seam side down in the prepared pan. Roll all 12 cabbage rolls.
  • Top the rolls in the dish with the tomato sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour.

Notes

  • If using a green cabbage, you might find it harder to get the leaves off without breaking them. You can boil the whole head of cabbage and remove the leaves as they soften slightly.
  • The serving size is 2 rolls.
  • Each serving has 4 net grams of carbs.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 732IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Cabbage rolls
Keto Cabbage Rolls (Without Rice)

2 thoughts on “Keto Cabbage Rolls (Without Rice)

  1. Nancy says:

    How many rolls is a serving? And how many total carbs per roll? Also you missed adding the riced cauliflower to the meat and spices mixture.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Nancy. I’ve fixed the recipe notes, sorry for the omission. There are 2 rolls in a serving for a total of 4 net grams of carbs. 2 net grams per roll.

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