If you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying dinner that’s free of grains and bursting with flavor, then your search is over.
This Stuffed Cabbage has it all—from the ground meat and cauliflower rice mixture wrapped inside tender cabbage, to the homemade savory sauce on top—you’ll never want it to end! What I love most about this dish is how the flavors intensify overnight, and how refreshing it is eaten cold, as a quick lunch or dinner the next day.
Note: Stuffed Cabbage freezes very well, so it’s a great idea to make a double batch and, once it cools, place it in a freezer bag with some extra red sauce. To reheat, simply remove from the bag and heat in the oven or in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
2 heads savoy cabbage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower, shredded
2½ cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons black raisins
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef
½ pound loose mild Italian sausage
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces pancetta, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Separate 15 large cabbage leaves (reserve the leftover smaller leaves) and wash. Boil the leaves for 3 minutes, drain, and let them cool on dish towels. Chop 1 cup of the reserved smaller cabbage leaves. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded cauliflower and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and the raisins. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes, or until the broth has been absorbed, then remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the cauliflower rice mixture to a very large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and sausage, breaking it up with a large spoon or spatula as it browns. Drain off any liquid and add half of the onion and half of the garlic. Stir in the sage, nutmeg, and reserved chopped cabbage. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the meat mixture to the bowl of cauliflower rice. Wipe out the skillet.
Put the minced pancetta in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes longer, or until tender. Add the remaining 11/2 cups chicken broth, the diced tomatoes, and the tomato sauce. Season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 × 13-inch casserole pan with olive oil and spread /2 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the pan.
Add the pecans, parsley, nutritional yeast, egg, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce to the bowl of rice and meat. Mix well and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place a generous spoonful of the mixture at the center of each cabbage leaf and roll it up like a burrito, tucking in the sides as you roll. Place each stuffed cabbage leaf seam side down in the casserole pan. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.