This recipe for Mexican Cabbage Rolls give the traditional casserole a new twist! These cabbage rolls are filled with spicy beef, drenched with a spicy tomato salsa and covered with melted cheese. This recipe can be part of a keto, low-carb, diabetic, or gluten-free lifestyle.
The recipe for Mexican Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
While I think of cabbage rolls, I think of them as being part of Polish, German, or other European country. Wikipedia even talks of them being part of Asian and African cuisine. They barely mention Mexico and their cabbage roll variation called Niños Envueltos.
While Mexican cuisine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when many people think of cabbage rolls, I didn’t let this stop me from creating this kid-friendly casserole.
After all, cabbage leaves make a perfect low-carb and keto-friendly wrapper. I think of these cabbage rolls like little burritos all lined up in a row.
Inside each cabbage roll is ground beef with taco seasoning. I add riced cauliflower to the beef mixture to keep it moist and tender. An egg helps hold everything together.
The sauce I use for this recipe is a combination of prepared salsa and canned diced tomatoes. I add a bit of cumin and salt to round out the flavor a bit. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you could used tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. This will add to the carb content of the recipe.
The crowning glory of this recipe is a layer of cheese. I sprinkle on few bits of green onion add color and flavor.
This recipe for Mexican Stuffed cabbage leaves may look complicated, but it’s actually very easy to put together. Using purchased salsa and taco seasoning is a real timesaver. This a casserole the whole family will enjoy–even the cook.
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Now that I have literally hundreds of recipes on the blog, I’ve been trying to fill in the missing pieces. I realized that I didn’t have a single recipe that uses cabbage on the blog.
I do want to give credit to this recipe for burrito stuffed cabbage rolls from the Kitchn. While this recipe isn’t keto-friendly, it did help shape my idea for these Mexican Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.
How to peel cabbage leaves without breaking them
Peeling off the cabbage leaves may seem challenging, but when you know the trick, it’s very easy. There are actually a few ways to separate the leaves from the head of cabbage. Both work well.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a simmer.
- Core your cabbage.
- Place the entire cabbage in the pot of water. Cover
- Peel off the leaves. After about a minute, the leaves will begin to soften. As they do, gently remove them using tongs.
- Cover and repeat. After removing the first set of cabbage leaves, cover the pot until the next leaves loosen. Carefully remove them and repeat this process until you have enough leaves for your recipe.
- Put an inch or two of water in the bottom of a steamer pot.
- Bring water to a simmer.
- Core the cabbage and place in the steamer basket.
- Place steamer basket over the simmering water. Cover.
- Remove the first set of leaves. After a minute or two, the outer leaves will soften. Remove them using tongs.
- Place the cabbage back in the steamer basket and cover.
- When the next set of leaves are soft, remove them. Repeat until you have enough leaves for the recipe.
This post from the Spruce Eats shares how to remove cabbage leaves by freezing them. They also discuss how to remove the leaves using a microwave.
Preparing cabbage leaves for stuffing.
After the leaves have been removed from the cabbage, they need to be soft and pliable in order to fold them. You will need to boil or steam the leaves for a few more minutes if they aren’t tender enough for folding.
After the leaves are tender, use a paring knife to trim the hard triangular rib from the bottom of the leaf. Removing this piece will make the leaves easier to roll.
How to stuff cabbage rolls
While stuffing cabbage rolls might look complicated, it’s really very easy–just pretend you’re wrapping a burrito.
- First place the filling on the leaf.
- Next, fold the sides of the leaf over the filling.
- Now, fold one long side over the top of the filling.
- Finally, fold the remaining side over the top and tuck it underneath.
- Place the cabbage roll in the baking dish with the seam side down. Keeping the seam down helps hold the rolls together while they bake.
What to serve with Mexican Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
These cabbage leaves taste good by themselves, but you can also top them like a burrito. Sour cream, guacamole, green onions, chopped jalapeños, and shredded cheese are all great options.
As a side, I like a simple salad. If you want to add something crunchy, our low-carb tortilla chips would be perfect for scooping up extra sauce.
What to do with the cabbage left over after I have enough leaves?
Don’t throw away any leftover cabbage leaves. You can add it to soup, sauté it in butter and avocado oil and serve as a veggie, or use it in one of the following recipes:
- Skillet Cabbage and Sausage from Keto Cooking Wins
- Low-Carb Cabbage Soup from Stylish Cravings
- Vegetable Beef Soup with Cabbage from Low Carb Africa
- Cheesy Low Carb Cabbage from My Productive Backyard
Final words on our recipe for keto Mexican Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
This recipe for Mexican stuffed cabbage rolls is a main dish that the entire family will love. It’s also a delicious way to get kids to eat cauliflower and cabbage. Enjoy!
Mexican Cabbage Rolls (Keto | Low Carb)
These recipe for Mexican Cabbage Rolls give the traditional casserole a new twist! These cabbage rolls are filled with spicy beef, drenched with a spicy tomato salsa and covered with melted cheese. This recipe can be part of a keto, low-carb, diabetic, or gluten-free lifestyle.
- coconut oil spray to spray pan.
- 6 cabbage leaves
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes unsalted
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning (or enough homemade for 1 pound of beef-about 2 tablespoons)*
- 1½ cup riced cauliflower defrosted
- 1 large egg slightly beaten.
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon sliced green onion
Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Steam or blanche cabbage leaves until tender and pliable.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the salsa, diced tomatoes, cumin, and sea salt.
Transfer one cup of the tomato mixture to the prepared pan. Spread evenly. Reserve the rest of the sauce for later in the recipe.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, taco seasoning, riced cauliflower, and egg.
Divide the ground beef mixture into six equal portions.
Place one portion of the beef mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf. Fold over the leaf on the short sides of the roll.
Fold one long side over the roll, then fold the other long side over and tuck underneath the roll. Place in the baking dish with the seam side down.
Repeat the filling procedure for the rest of the cabbage leaves.
Spoon the reserved sauce over the rolls and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Sprinkle the green onion slices over the top to garnish
*If you are using taco seasoning that does not contain salt, you might want to add about 3/4 teaspoon salt to the meat mixture.
I love cabbage rolls so much! Can’t wait to try your version – love the step by step photos too 🙂
Those look and sound tasty, and the tips for peeling cabbage leaves are helpful as well.
These sound so flavourful and delicious! Love that its a low carb dish too!
This is everything a gourmet meal should be, and then some! Easily, a new family favorite recipe, indeed!
What a delicious way to use cabbage! I know my family would gobble these up before learning they are being healthy!
I made these for dinner and they are excellent. They freeze well for leftovers also.
Woohoo! Glad they were a hit!
I love stuffed cabbage and other cabbage meals;