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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sometimes, You Just Don’t Want to Stuff Cabbage

And that’s the perfect time to make unstuffed cabbage! It’s a great comfort food (have you noticed my life requires a lot of comfort foods?), and one of my favorites to take to friends when they need a break from cooking or daily life in general.

This is a recipe I first saw in either Family Circle or Woman’s Day, about a year ago. However, I couldn’t find it again by searching online, for whatever reason, after the first time I made it. This is the recreated version…I think it’s pretty much spot on, and, even the things I’ve changed only make it better, I think!

My mom made stuffed cabbage frequently for Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s house, getting up early and letting it cook while we were at church. Looking back, I realize it was a little odd that the small town in rural Oklahoma where I grew up had a rather large Lebanese population. In the steakhouses there, cabbage rolls are served as an appetizer, and so delicious. My mom made entree-sized ones, but they were just as tasty, if not more so!

This recipe has most of her ingredients, minus rice. That’s because I serve it over mashed potatoes, so it doesn’t need a starch in it. Enough blathering and ‘splaining myself…just try it, you’ll like it!

DSC_0019-1 Unstuffed Cabbage

1 lb ground beef

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic

2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or any diced tomatoes)

1 1/2 cups water (I fill a tomato can about 3/4 full)

1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

12 oz bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)

Brown the beef and onions together in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. Stir in remaining ingredients, except coleslaw mix. Bring to a simmer, then add coleslaw mix, making sure it’s all coated with the tomato mixture. Cover and bring to a boil. After about 5 minutes, stir cabbage down into tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for about an hour, until the cabbage is soft.

Serve over mashed potatoes, with steamed green beans as a side. Or whatever you want. I’m certainly not the boss of you and your sides! For our side in this photo, I steamed fresh green beans, squeezed half a lemon over them, drizzled on a little olive oil, and seasoned them with salt and pepper. It’s our favorite way to eat them!


  1. I don't really like cabbage and the husband hates coleslaw. Do you think you could leave that part out and just serve it over potatoes? Which I know totally defeats the purpose of this recipe but still...

  2. You could, but you really should try it as is...Frank hates cabbage, and my kids are not wild about it, but everyone really likes this. You can't taste the cabbage, but you're getting the benefits. I can't stand coleslaw, either, because of the dressing I guess, but the coleslaw mix is really just cabbage and some shredded carrots. As you can see in the pic, you can't tell it has cabbage in it, and it doesn't stink up the house while cooking, either!


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