Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet
Yields 6-8 servings.


  • Olive oil for the pan
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound ground beef (may use half ground beef, half sausage)
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 – 2  1/4 pounds), cored and chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (I like long grain; see notes for brown rice substitution)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree or sauce (see notes)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (may substitute dried thyme leaves or Italian seasoning)
  • Optional toppings:  shredded cheese (Swiss, Italian blend, or mozzarella are all good choices), fresh parsley or dill for garnish


  1. On medium-high, heat about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a very large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. (If you don’t have a lidded skillet big enough to hold all of the ingredients–a 14-inch diameter works well–use a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot.) Add the onion to the pan, and sauté 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add the ground beef and cook until you see very little pink, breaking up as you go.
  2. Stir in the rice, broth, tomato puree and sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and dill.  Add the cabbage and toss to mix all of the ingredients.  Increase the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil.  Once the mixture reaches a boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes or until the rice is just tender.  Remove the skillet from the heat and let rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Check for seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese (1/4 – 1/2 cup–you may also sprinkle to taste on individual servings) and fresh herbs (about 1-2 tablespoons), if using.


  • On occasion, I have used brown rice in this recipe.  Because of its longer cooking time, however, the mixture will need to be simmered for approximately twice as long.  Stir occasionally and remove from heat, as above, when the rice is tender.
  • Homemade or your favorite jarred sauce may be substituted for the two cans of sauce and/or puree specified in the recipe. And as long as you have about three cups total, it doesn’t matter if you use all sauce or all puree.

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