Do you love traditional cabbage rolls and also hate the time it takes to roll them and bake them? If so, these Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls might be your newest favorite dinner. Years ago, I started making Layered Cabbage Rolls as a timesaver option for a cabbage roll dinner. My whole family loves them and they’re requested often.
A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to realize that I could get the cabbage roll flavors we love in a simple skillet meal, without even turning on the oven. The ground beef is browned along with plenty of seasonings before simmering in a rich tomato sauce with fresh cabbage and rice.
From start to finish, this meal comes together in under 20 minutes, making it pretty much perfect as far as I’m concerned. I like to serve the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls with a simple salad and a crusty bread to sop up any juices on our plates.
If you’re looking for more quick and easy 20 minute dinners, check out One Skillet Beef Meatballs with Rice and Peas, and this Caprese Skillet Chicken. This Spinach Pasta Salad is a light meal that can be made ahead of time and eaten warm or cold. Lebanese Beef with Green Beans is a recipe that my sister gave us and it’s a regular on our meal plan as well now. For a lightning-fast dessert that everyone will love, try these Coconut Lover’s Oatmeal Bars.
COOK’S TIP: If you don’t have pre-cooked or leftover rice on hand, start a pan of rice cooking on the stove when you begin to brown the meat for this recipe. By the time you need to add the rice, it will be cooked and ready to add with the rest of the ingredients.
Kitchen Tip: I use this skillet to make this recipe.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 24 oz crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 head green cabbage about 4-6 cups, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups cooked rice (total amount is rice when cooked)
Warm the oil in a large deep sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, chili powder, garlic, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat as it cooks. When the meat has browned, about 8 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
Stir in the cabbage, reduce to simmer, and cover with lid. Cook until the cabbage is bright green, tender, and still slightly crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the cooked rice and simmer just until heated through about 2 minutes. Enjoy!