cabbage casserole with cheese, diced tomatoes and ground beef

CABBAGE CASSEROLE (LOW CARB/KETO FRIENDLY)

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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?!?!?!

cabbage casserole with cheese and parsley

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. NO. ROLLING. REQUIRED. As IFFFFFF 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

ingredients for cabbage casserole - cabbage, ground beef, jack cheese, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, green pepper, italian seasoning
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

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, ground pork, or ground chicken are all 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 have on hand or 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. But, you can use fresh diced tomatoes instead, if you prefer.

  • 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 cheese 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.
cabbage casserole in the front, two plates with some on it in the back

HOW TO MAKE A LOW CARB CABBAGE CASSEROLE (KEY TIPS)

wooden spatula holding a piece of cabbage casserole over a dish and plates of the rest

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 don’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!
slice of cabbage casserole on a plate, the actual casserole in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS CABBAGE GOOD FOR KETO DIET?

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.

HOW MANY CARBS DOES CABBAGE CASSEROLE HAVE?

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.

WHAT GOES GOOD WITH CABBAGE CASSEROLE?

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.

HOW LONG DOES CABBAGE CASSEROLE LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

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.

CAN I FREEZE CABBAGE CASSEROLE?

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.

cabbage casserole next to two plates with slices of it

MORE KETO FRIENDLY DINNER IDEAS

RESTAURANT STYLE RIBEYE STEAK

20 MINUTE PORK AND BROCCOLI STIR FRY

GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS

GLUTEN FREE SAUSAGE BALLS

GREEK SHRIMP BAKE WITH FETA AND TOMATOES

CHEESY SAUSAGE CASSEROLE WITH ZUCCHINI

PAN SEARED SALMON WITH LEMON CAPER BUTTER SAUCE

LOVE THIS RECIPE? PIN IT FOR LATER!

PIN FOR CABBAGE CASSEROLE
cabbage casserole with cheese, diced tomatoes and ground beef

CABBAGE CASSEROLE

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large skillet or pot, brown the ground beef in the olive oil over medium heat. Drain any excess fat.
    browned ground beef in a pot
  3. Add the diced onions, bell pepper and minced garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
    browned ground beef, diced green peppers and diced onions in a pot
  4. 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.
    cooked ground beef and cabbage in a pot
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes.
    green cabbage, spices and diced tomatoes in a pot
  6. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish* and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.
    green cabbage, diced tomatoes, bell pepper and ground beef in a rectangular casserole dish
    shredded unmelted white and orange cheese on a casserole dish
  7. 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.
    cheesy cabbage casserole in a rectangular dish

Notes

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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21 Comments

  1. Can you prepare this up to step 6 ahead of time then stick it in the fridge and bake it the next day?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. This is amazing, all the flavor but no rolling the cabbage. Is there any way to print out this recipe? Would love to make it tonight! Thanjs

  3. Hi Renée!
    There is a print button located at the top of the recipe card (where the formal recipe begins). It’s right underneath the star ratings.
    Thanks so much for making my recipe – I hope you love this one as much as I do 🙂

  4. Hi there,

    Not sure how much easier it can get. There’s a button at the top of the page that says “jump to recipe” – if you click it, it takes you directly to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. If you still can’t find it that way, scroll down to the bottom of the page before the comments and there it will be – with photos and all – in a huge recipe card with the title “cabbage casserole.”

    I’m sorry you missed it and apologies if you still can’t find it but I really couldn’t make it any easier even if I tried.

  5. A friend & I also can’t find the print button. We’ve scrolled up-&-down the article/recipe & it’s not there.

  6. Hi Gia,

    Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. I can see the print button on my end but have looked at it through a different person’s device and realize they don’t have it either. I’m not sure why it’s showing up differently for different people but am going to have to try and figure out how to rectify it ASAP. If I could – are you on a desktop or mobile?

  7. This recepie is SPOT ON! Delicious. I put smoked paprika since we love it. Ground turkey with 2 different cheeses. Left overs r great

  8. I’m on a mobile too and I couldn’t find any star rating or print button either. So what I did is I opened page up in chrome. Then I downloaded the file. I then clicked on the share button and on my device I was given an option to print. Hope that helps

  9. I think the key to finding it is that you have to hit the link that says jump to recipe, because at first I couldn’t find it either and then when I hit that I found it. For some reason it doesn’t show up if you don’t hit that. Hope that helps somebody. Definitely going to try this if it sounds delicious, love cabbage!

  10. Thanks for this!! I really have no idea what is going on. Hope to fix it soon!

  11. Thanks for this Rebecca! This is a super frustrating issue for me and I’m wracking my brain trying to resolve it. Hope you love my recipe!

  12. Hello to the confused people. If you simply click READ FULL ARTICLE BOX. Then you will find the recipe and instructions there for you. I am using mobile. Just a little more time and actually reading would have solved so many issues. I loved the recipe I made it today and will have to add it to my meal rotation. Thank you very much for sharing. I look forward to trying more recipes in the future

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