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)
347 Calories
14g Fat
19g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 347
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 623mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 23mg 113%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 958mg 20%
*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 percent lean)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 medium head cabbage (about 1 pound), shredded or chopped

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice

  • Salt, to taste

  • 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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