Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls in a Skillet

Easy unstuffed cabbage skillet meal
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
372 Calories
11g Fat
35g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 372
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 159mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 31g
Calcium 77mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cabbage rolls are one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and it was always a very special family meal when my mother served them. The most time-consuming prep steps are avoided with this easy skillet version of the dish. There's no need to fuss with whole cabbage leaves and the task of stuffing them. If you crave cabbage rolls but don't have the time, try this delicious skillet recipe.

This dish has all the great flavor of stuffed cabbage rolls in one quick and easy skillet dinner. Add a tossed salad or coleslaw and crusty rolls or garlic bread to round out the meal.



  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (at least 85% lean)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage, about 1 pound (shredded or chopped)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Place a large, deep skillet or saute pan (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or butter and then add the ground beef. Break up the beef with a spatula and cook, stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and continue cooking, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent. 

  2. Add the cabbage to the ground beef mixture along with the stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. 

  3. Add the water and rice to the beef and cabbage mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, or about 20 to 25 minutes. Add more water, if needed. 

  4. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


Recipe Variations

  • Add 1 cup of instant brown rice with 1 cup of water in place of the white rice and 3/4 cup of water.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 cup of diced green bell pepper to the beef and onion mixture.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon to the tomato mixture.
  • When the dish is finished cooking, top it with about 1 cup of shredded cheese, cover the pan, and cook for a few minutes longer, or just long enough to melt the cheese.

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