Cabbage Rolls without the Carbs

Cabbage rolls, or galumpkis, are one of my very favorite dishes from childhood. I make them several times a year, although I’ll admit to sometimes taking a shortcut and making it as a casserole for ease!

cabbage rolls tittle page

The problem with cabbage rolls is that they are starchy and high in carbs which will definitely throw your right out of ketosis and right out of that lovely fat burning stage. I’ve made low carb ones but they are almost always just meat filling and I like the rice mixed with the meat because it makes it lighter. Luckily I have an answer – using cauliflower instead of rice.

These are relatively easy to put together. You’ll remove the core from the cabbage and then steam it with the core side down, until the leaves are very tender, flexible, and easy to pull off. Once they cool a little you’ll put a spoonful of filling on the edge and roll them up tightly, tucking in the sides as you roll. Now just put them seam side down in the baking dish and you are good to go.

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low carb cabbage rolls are easy to make

You can put the cabbage rolls together one day and cook them the next, you can cook them and freeze them, you can hold them for several days in the refrigerator — they will still be there waiting for you and as delicious as ever when you are ready to eat them. A programmable Slow Cooker will allow you to have even more freedom when it comes to how and when they cook.

If you like them a little spicy a pinch of chipotle is a wonderful thing.

Please give these a try and let me know your thoughts. I basically just adapted my mom’s recipe.

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Cabbage Rolls without the Carbs

Tangy, tender cabbage rolls - just like the galumpkis mom used to make only low carb. These are going to become a permanent part of your menu.
Course Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 140kcal
Author Marye

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage about 1 pound
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 2 cups of raw cauliflower chopped fine
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Stevia or xylitol to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream.

Instructions

  • Core the cabbage and pull off the first layer of outer leaves.
  • Place in a large pot with about 2 inches of boiling water.
  • Let cabbage steam until the leaves pull off easily and are very pliable without being mushy..
  • Let cool.
  • Process cauliflower in food processor until it is finely chopped, about the size of rice.
  • Set aside.
  • Cook the ground beef with the onion.
  • Drain well.
  • Add salt and pepper to tast.
  • Mix the parsley, beef, and raw cauliflower in a bowl.
  • Beat the egg and mix in well. This will help the filling stick together.
  • Lay a cabbage leaf flat on the counter.
  • Slash the bottom vein if it doesn't seem pliable.
  • Add a tablespoon of the meat mixture to the cabbage and roll up.
  • Repeat with all of the cabbage leaves that are big enough.

Sauce

  • Whisk the tomato, cloves, sweetener, and sour cream together until smooth.
  • Add a little water to thin it down if needed.

To Cook

  • Add about 1/4 cup to the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Lay the rolls in the slow cooker.
  • Cover with the remaining sauce.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or cover or cook in the oven at 350F for an hour.

Notes

9.4 carbs / 5.9 net carbs per serving

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 677mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 12.7% | Vitamin C: 96.1% | Calcium: 9.5% | Iron: 13.7%

If you like low carb cabbage rolls you may also like:

Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Onions (low carb layla)

Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowl (kalyn’s kitchen)

Low Carb Ravioli with two Fillings (lowcarb-ology)

Low Carb Stuffed Poblano Peppers (lowcarb-ology)

Last Updated 04/02/2019

30 Responses to “Cabbage Rolls without the Carbs”

  1. I’s super excited to make this! Should I prepare the cabbage or cook it differently if making it as a casserole?

    Reply
    • I’d cook the cabbage a little longer if you are making it as a casserole. 🙂

    • Hi! I’m making this for dinner tonight. Can’t wait, either! Do you have a carb count?

    • 5.9 net carbs per serving. 🙂

    • I’m guessing a serving is one roll?

    • Yes. 🙂

    • I am super excited to make this recipe but first I need to clarify some nutritional facts cuz I’m a little confused…

      The carbs in the nutrition don’t add up to your “noted” comment that it’s 5.9 net carbs… Which is correct the nutrition facts or your recipe notes? And how many carbs per roll?

      Also the nutrition facts state it’s 7 grams sugar, where is the sugar coming from ?

    • When the nutritional calculator was updated a few recipes had some small differences. The nutrition charts are always correct. the 7 grams of sugar is natural sugars found in the cabbage, cauliflower, and sour cream. Hope this helps.

  2. I’m confused by #4 under Cook. Is it 6 hours in the crockpot OR 1 hour in the oven? Seems unusual to require both.

    Reply
    • Sorry. I’ve fixed it now. It was supposed to say OR.

  3. […] Cabbage Rolls without the Carbs […]

    Reply
  4. will this make it dry cuz your cooking the meat first

    Reply
    • I always cook the meat first. 🙂 I don’t think it’s ever been dry.

  5. This looks good! Going to try it this week. I am always riding cauliflower, since it is my go to rice substitute. Next batch will be for this recipe. ????

    Reply
    • 🙂 let me know!

  6. anyone have a calorie count on this ?

    Reply
    • Jessica – I don’t have calorie counts on some of the older recipes but if you google recipe calorie calculator you’ll find a couple of sites where you can figure the nutritional information. Here’s one https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  7. On the cabbage roll soup what are the carbs, fiber, protein, an calories for one serving

    Reply
    • I’ve added this info to the bottom of the recipe.


    • Using Napa Cabbage tonight. Love the finished product.

    • 🙂 oh that’s a good idea! Thanks!

  8. How would you do this as a casserole???? I’ve never made cabbage rolls before. So I’m clueless. But we’re on a low carb diet and have cabbage at home.

    Reply
    • Just chop the cabbage up and mix it all in together.

  9. From what I have read, in most cabbage roll recipes, the rice must soak up the fat from the meat. In your recipe, since the meat is precooked, where does the fat go? How do you prevent the veggies from being over cooked?

    Reply
    • I tend to use 90/10 ground beef which doesn’t leave much fat. And… I’ve never had them be overcooked.


  10. I’m making cabbage rolls today and my recipe is similar to yours except I use bacon, not ground beef, lots and lots of ground pepper, and I am also using Konjac Rice. I squeezed out the excess moisture as the rice was too watery.. So far, so good and they taste pretty good. I never thought to use cauliflower! I will try that next time. Thanks!

    Reply
  11. Thanks for the recipe idea—in your experience, does the cauliflower and egg bind with the beef ? This solid but light inside texture is what I like about bothering with the rolling instead of just a casserole. Chipotle sounds like an interesting twist too. I wonder if hemp hearts would bind too? They worked well as a substitute in my tabbouleh instead of bulgur. Appreciate the inspiration…some recipes just don’t adapt well to keto but this one looks promising!

    Reply
    • Not perfectly but it does work. 🙂


  12. I use pork mince instead of beef and a spoon of tomato pasta instead of tomato sauce. After wrapping them, I fry a bit to brown the cabbage on. Put in a bit of water with stock and boil it about 30 min. After that I add mix of tomato pasta, stevia, salt, peppers, saur cream. Boil for 10min. Add 2 baileys leaves for 4-5min.

    Reply
  13. Would a head of Kissel Sour Cabbage work for this? I have one sitting in my fridge that I would like to use for something Keto related if possible. 🙂

    Reply

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