Cabbage rolls make winter better! They’re comfort food that warms you up but traditional recipes can be high in calories. In these Low Carb Turkey Cabbage Rolls I’ve left out the rice and swapped out the beef and pork for lean turkey. These delicious cabbage rolls are perfect for paleo and ketogenic diets and for anyone looking for a hearty meal under 300 calories!
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They’re Gołąbki in Polish, Golubtsi in Ukranian or Töltött Káposzta in Romanian. I’ll let you guys fight it out over who owns the recipe!
Traditional cabbage rolls are usually made with pork and beef mixed with rice or barley which is then wrapped in steamed cabbage leaves. Try this lightened up version with extra vegetables and protein, no “fast carbs” and loaded with flavor!
How to Steam Cabbage to Make Cabbage Rolls
It’s easier than you think! Flip your cabbage over and take a look at the core at the bottom. Cut a deep square around it and then cross through that square with an X. Then use those hard-earned muscles and pull out the core.
Boil up a big pot of water and put in your cabbage core-side down. Steam for about 6 minutes and you’re good to go!
I like to have a metal colander ready in the sink so you can put your cabbage there to drain and cool once its boiled.
Cabbage Rolls are All About the Filling!
How do you make a delicious cabbage roll? It’s what’s inside that counts!
I like going for classic veggies such as onion, carrots and celery. Mirepoix! It’s classic for a reason: it tastes amazing!
Using bottled crushed tomatoes is a great way to cut the added sugars out of this recipe. Storebought tomato sauce is loaded with added sugars you don’t need… not to mention tons of sodium. Add your own herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper to some crushed tomatoes and you have a way healthier sauce for a budget-friendly price!
Have you ever rolled a taco or fajita? Then you know how to roll a cabbage roll!
Health Benefits of Cabbage
- Cabbage and Cancer: Cabbage may be a secret weapon in helping prevent prostate cancer. In one study, men who ate 3 or more servings (1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked) of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale a week had a 41% lower risk of prostate cancer compared to men who ate less than 1 serving of these vegetables a week. Red cabbage is rich in anthocyanins which help to lower inflammation, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
- Cabbage and Brain Health: Looking for a brain boost? Including green vegetables such as cabbage in your diet can also help boost brain function. The powerful antioxidants in green vegetables may help preserve your memory and problem-solving skills as you age.
- Cabbage and Fighting Fatigue: Cabbage is an excellent source of folate. Folate plays a role in cell division and replication and is needed to prevent anemia. In the type of anemia caused by not getting enough folate, the red blood cells are too large and do not carry oxygen effectively. This can leave you feeling short of breath and fatigued.
- Cabbage and Bone Health: Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient that plays a role in wound healing, blood clotting, and bone health. Getting enough vitamin K may help reduce the risk of bone fractures.
All this for less than 300 calories? Yes please!
Low Carb Turkey Cabbage Rolls – Paleo and Keto!
Ready for some toasty warm comfort food that just happens to be packed with cancer-fighting nutrients and filling protein and fiber? Dig right in!
What’s your favorite cold weather recipe? Share in the comments below!
Cabbage rolls make winter better! They're comfort food that warms you up but traditional recipes can be high in calories. In these Low Carb Turkey Cabbage Rolls I've left out the rice and swapped out the beef and pork for lean turkey. These delicious cabbage rolls are perfect for paleo and ketogenic diets and for anyone looking for a hearty meal under 300 calories!
- 1 large green cabbage
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground turkey (453 grams)
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 celery stalks chopped into 1/2" pieces
- 3/4 cup baby carrots chopped into 1/2" pieces
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 large bottle crushed tomatoes (52 oz)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a square into the bottom of your cabbage and then cut an X into it. Pull out the core and discard.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the cabbage core-side down into the water and cover. Boil for 6 minutes.
- While the cabbage is boiling, put a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and let it brown. Push the turkey over to the side and add the onions and garlic until they start to develop some color. Add the celery and carrots and the herbs. Saute for 3 minutes and then add half of the crushed tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- When the cabbage is done boiling, use tongs to put the cabbage in a colander in the sink to cool. Using the tongs, peel off the outer leaves and place onto a plate. Once you start to notice the remaining inside leaves are still a bit raw, place the cabbage back into the boiling water for another 2 minutes. Put back in the colander to cool and remove the remaining leaves to add to your plate.
- In a glass or ceramic baking dish, pour a thin layer of crushed tomatoes on the bottom. Put a cabbage leaf on a large plate and cut out the thick stem. Fill the middle of the leaf with about 3/4 cup of filling. Fold in 3 sides and then roll like a burrito, tucking the end underneath. Place in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
- Once your casserole dish is full of cabbage rolls, pour the rest of the crushed tomatoes over them. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
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