Unstuffed Cabbage Roll


This is an easy casserole made with ground beef, cabbage, garlic, and tomatoes. My kids don't even like cabbage, but they love this. Serve with rice for a comforting weeknight dinner. Also, the longer it stands the better it tastes!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

This unstuffed cabbage roll is a cheap, quick, and easy weeknight dinner you don't want to miss. If you're looking for a simple and hearty dish that's just as good the next day, you're going to want to add this one to your recipe box.

high angle view looking down into a large pot of unstuffed cabbage rolls
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Is an Unstuffed Cabbage Roll?

An unstuffed cabbage roll is basically a deconstructed version of a regular casserole. All the traditional cabbage roll ingredients (cabbage, ground beef, tomatoes, other veggies, and spices and seasonings) are cooked together — so you don't have to worry about pre-cooking and rolling the cabbage.

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this unstuffed cabbage roll recipe:

This unstuffed cabbage roll recipe calls for two pounds of ground beef, but you could use ground turkey or chicken if you're so inclined.

A diced white or yellow onion is cooked with the beef, adding bold flavor.

You'll need one head of cabbage, cleaned and roughly chopped.

Canned Tomatoes
Traditional cabbage rolls are topped with a savory tomato-based sauce. To replicate this, use two cans of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce.

A half cup of water is enough extra liquid for this recipe. For more flavor, substitute beef broth.

This unstuffed cabbage roll recipe is simply seasoned with garlic, salt, and ground black pepper.

Rice (Optional)
Though this unstuffed cabbage roll is delicious on its own, you can serve it over white or brown rice to bulk it up a bit.

How to Make an Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
Snacking in the Kitchen

This unstuffed cabbage roll recipe couldn't be easier to make. You'll find a full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect:

Cook the ground beef and onion in a Dutch oven or skillet until the meat is brown and crumbly. Drain the grease, then add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot or skillet, and cook until the cabbage is tender.

How to Store Unstuffed Cabbage Roll

Allow the leftover unstuffed cabbage roll to cool, then transfer it to an airtight storage container. Keep it in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven.

Can You Freeze Unstuffed Cabbage Roll?

Yes, you can freeze this unstuffed cabbage roll. Allow the dish to cool, then transfer it to a shallow freezer-safe storage container. Freeze the unstuffed cabbage roll for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"My husband and I loved this," says Vicky. "We ate it like a stew. A bowl for each of us, with a piece of cornbread, and we were set. This is definitely going in my recipe box."

"Great recipe," raves Big Dave. "This is one of those versatile, one-pot dishes that is easily personalized.

"It was simple and quick and yummy," according to Angie. "When I make it again, I might use turkey instead of ground beef and maybe add some red pepper flakes for some heat, but really, the recipe is perfect as is.

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and onion in the hot Dutch oven until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease.

  2. Add cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, garlic, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat, and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

    high angle view looking down into a large pot of unstuffed cabbage rolls
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

398 Calories
24g Fat
16g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 398
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 1294mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 59mg 293%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 852mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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