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Gluten-Free Cabbage Rolls

My family and I love these gluten-free cabbage rolls — little bundles of seasoned beef and rice wrapped in translucent cabbage, simmered with tomato until the flavors blend into a favorite gluten-free main dish for any time of year.  Some earlier versions that I tried had more seasoning than worked for my family, but since I toned those down, we have enjoyed these immensely.

Gluten-Free Cabbage Rolls

Gluten-Free Cabbage Rolls


Before I get to the recipe, though, I want to mention that May is National Celiac Awareness Month, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is promoting awareness with KISS – Keep It Simple and Safe.  Their guest bloggers are offering 4 weeks of advice from baking with gluten-free mixes to starting your own gluten-sensitive dining group.  Guest blogs will be posted on Celiac Central: Bits & Bites Monday-Friday during the month, with a different focus each day of the week.  Stop by there for some tips from some of your favorite bloggers.

Keeping my gluten-free diet simple and safe is not always easy, but a one-pot meal like these Cabbage Rolls is one way to share a crowd-pleasing dish with everyone, gluten-free or not.

Tonight, although it’s not Hungarian (isn’t that where Cabbage Rolls are from?)… I’m making Cheese Enchiladas (Mexican, I know) with rice on the side for my husband.  My husband asked for the same kind of hamburger and rice mix as are in the Cabbage Rolls, so you know he likes it.

I hope you enjoy them, too!


Gluten-Free Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes 6 cabbage rolls

Serving Size: 2 cabbage rolls


  • 6 Large Cabbage Leaves
  • 1/2 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce, Lea & Perrins, optional
  • 1 Cup Cooked Rice
  • 2 Teaspoons Honey, optional
  • 16 Ounces Diced Tomato, with juice — or Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock or Broth, or more as needed to cover

Optional Seasonings to Add (as Always, Make Sure These Are Gluten-free):


Wash the cabbage leaves. With a paring knife, trim any thick stem or vein parts that might not cook tender.  Steam in a covered saucepot or in microwave until just tender, 8-10 minutes. You want them to be bendable.

Brown the ground meat in a medium skillet. As soon as there’s no pink remaining, stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic.

Cook until the onion is becoming transparent, then add the salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Stir in the cooked rice and cover; simmer on low for a few minutes.

Drain the cabbage leaves.

On a plate or a salad bowl, spread out one leaf and sprinkle with salt.

Spoon 1/6th of the filling mixture onto the leaf near the thickest part of the stem.

Roll the edge of the cabbage leaf over the filling.

Fold each of the sides over so you can roll the filled part towards the opposite end of the leaf, making as neat a little package as possible. The cabbage doesn’t always fully cooperate, but do the best you can.

Lay the cabbage roll seam-side down in a medium saucepot with a lid.

Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and filling. You can fasten them with string or toothpicks if you want, but they won’t be going anywhere far, so that may not be necessary.

Stir together the honey, diced tomato (or sauce) and beef stock. Pour it over the cabbage rolls to just barely cover them. You can add more stock or water as needed.

Simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes, or longer.

Makes 6 cabbage rolls, or about 3 average servings. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for larger crowds.


Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays is featuring eggs for the month of May.  I’ll link these Cabbage Rolls there even though they’re egg-free and try to enter an egg recipe later this month.


Also linked to:

Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday


For more gluten-free ground beef recipes:

Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce – Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Chili with Tomatoes

Gluten-Free Tamale Pie

Lasagne with Spinach, Gluten-Free

Stuffed Peppers, Gluten-Free