This Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole makes the perfect low carb dinner any night of the week! It’s loaded with cheese, packed full of veggies and is an absolute breeze to throw together.
So, you’re on a Low Carb or Keto diet and you’re just about to kiss your grandma’s famous cabbage rolls goodbye. You curse yourself again as you wonder why on Earth you always do this to yourself. Dieting. It’s not fun. I get it. BUT HEY. Listen here, you! There’s gonna be no kissing ANYTHING you love goodbye, at least not on my watch. What if I told you that with a few tweaks and shuffling around you actually CAN still have g-ma’s cabbage rolls. Yep. That’s right. No keto or low carb diet is gonna take those cabbage rolls away from US. AM I RIGHT?!?!?!
Ok, ok. So these babies might not be exactly what you remember about grandma’s famous rolls. As a matter of fact, this cabbage casserole is not rolled at all. You see… if there’s one thing I remember about my Nonna’s rolls in particular is that it took her all day to make them. And while I can’t argue that they were downright delicious and worth every single second, sometimes (and I’ll be the first to admit) AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.
So, yes. Not only do I have you covered by making it my mission for you to never have to say goodbye to foods you know and love while dieting. But I also give you everything you love about your grandma’s famous cabbage rolls in no time at all. As IF being able to eat ’em on a low carb or keto diet alone isn’t good enough!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS KETO FRIENDLY CABBAGE CASSEROLE
Now, at first glance, you may actually believe that we are making cabbage rolls. Because, well, the ingredients are pretty darn similar. But this unstuffed cabbage casserole is way easier to throw together and takes way less effort. Let’s discuss exactly what you’ll need to make it in a little bit more detail down below:
- Ground Beef: The main protein source of the casserole and really beefs it up 😉 See what I did there? However, feel free to use a different ground meat instead, if you prefer. Ground turkey or ground chicken are great alternatives.
- Cabbage: Well, you can’t make cabbage rolls (or a cabbage roll casserole!) without cabbage. This low calorie, low carb vegetable is great for the keto diet. It adds crunch, freshness and stamina to the dish. Green cabbage works best in this recipe.
- Bell Pepper: Adds colour, flavour and additional nutrients to the casserole. I went with a green one. However, you can choose any colour you prefer.
- Onion: Provides flavour and texture to the casserole. Onions add a sweet and savoury element to the dish. Yellow or white onions work best in this recipe.
- Garlic: Adds a rich, savoury flavour to the casserole. Fresh minced garlic works best in this recipe.
- Diced Tomatoes: Add a tangy and juicy element to the casserole. To save on time and for convenience, I used canned diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings.
- Italian Seasoning: A blend of herbs like oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary that enhances the overall flavour of the casserole. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own homemade Italian seasoning from scratch following this easy recipe.
- Salt and Pepper: Ties all the ingredients together and ensures that the casserole doesn’t turn out bland.
- Cheese: Adds richness and a satisfying texture to the casserole. I like using either cheddar or monterey jack cheese, or a blend of both, for a cheesy topping. However, feel free to use your favourite kind of melty cheese! Mozzarella is a good alternative for this dish.
- Olive Oil: Adds flavour and helps brown the ground beef without it sticking to the pan. You can use a different kind of oil instead, such as avocado, if you prefer.
- Fresh Parsley (not pictured): Optional but adds a herby freshness and a vibrant pop of colour to the final dish. Fresh parsley works best in this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE A LOW CARB CABBAGE CASSEROLE (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this unstuffed cabbage casserole in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- The stove top part of this casserole dish moves a bit quickly. Having your ingredients prepared in advance makes the cooking process smoother and more efficient. Chop, dice, and shred all the vegetables and other ingredients before you start cooking.
- Brown the ground beef before adding the veggies or other ingredients. This enhances the flavour of the meat and adds depth to the casserole. EXTRA TIP: Drain the fat from the beef, if any, before adding the veggies or the casserole will turn out oily.
- This is kind of a watery casserole thanks to the diced tomatoes. I personally don’t mind it as most of the liquid can be drained off during serving. However, if you prefer a less watery casserole right from the get-go feel free to drain the diced tomatoes before adding them to the casserole in order to control the moisture.
- Make sure you mix the ingredients well before putting them into the casserole dish. This helps every bite to be well-balanced with the different components. And trust me, you want all of those flavours to mingle in one bite!
- Taste the mixture before baking and adjust the seasonings accordingly. It’s going to be a lot harder to adjust the seasonings after there is cheese melted all over it.
- Choose the right cheese. Select a cheese that melts well, such as cheddar, monterey jack or mozzarella. The melted cheese will create a delicious, gooey topping for the casserole. EXTRA TIP: Go for a cheese that you have to grate yourself instead of the pregrated ones you can find in the packages at the grocery store. They have an anti-caking agent that keeps the shreds from sticking together in the package and in turn doesn’t melt well.
- Keep an eye on the casserole while it’s baking to prevent overcooking. You want the cheese to be melted and bubbly, but not burned.
- Let it rest before slicing and serving. Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the flavours to meld and it makes it easier to cut and serve without falling apart.
- Not feeding a large crowd? You can always split the casserole among two smaller dishes and freeze one for later!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, cabbage is an excellent vegetable choice for a keto diet. It is low in carbohydrates and calories while being rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cabbage is versatile and can be used in various keto-friendly recipes. When incorporating cabbage into your keto diet, consider various preparations such as sautéing, roasting, or (my favourite!) using it as a wrap substitute.
All recipes for cabbage casserole vary slightly. According to the nutrition calculator, this particular recipe for cabbage casserole has about 5 net grams of carbs per serving.
Several side dishes compliment cabbage casserole well, providing a balanced and satisfying meal. Here are some ideas for what to serve with it: a simple salad such as a tomato salad or a cucumber salad, cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower, steamed vegetables such as broccoli or sautéed vegetables such as spinach or zucchini or creamy or tangy coleslaw.
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. They’ll be good for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply do so in 350° oven until the cheese is melty and the casserole heated through.
YES! That’s the beauty of this delicious casserole! To do so, allow the cabbage casserole to cool completely at room temperature after cooking. Divide the casserole into portion-sized servings or store the entire dish in a freezer-safe container. It’ll keep for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it in the oven.
You can also freeze the casserole without baking it first.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 small Green Cabbage, chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 White Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 (26 oz.) can Diced Tomatoes*
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Cheese, grated (I like a blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
- Fresh Parsley, chopped, optional, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large skillet or pot, brown the ground beef in the olive oil over medium heat. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the diced onions, bell pepper and minced garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the cabbage and cook until it softens and becomes tender, stirring frequently. Depending on how crunchy you want the cabbage to be in the casserole, this can take anywhere between 10-20 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish* and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. For best results, let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
If you're feeling adventurous, try making your own homemade Italian seasoning from scratch following this easy recipe.
This is kind of a watery casserole thanks to the diced tomatoes. I personally don't mind it as most of the liquid can be drained off during serving. However, if you prefer a less watery casserole right from the get-go feel free to drain the diced tomatoes before adding them to the casserole in order to control the moisture.
You can always split the casserole among two smaller dishes and freeze one for later.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 425mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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