Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet with Sauerkraut is one of our favorite cold weather dishes! Based in the traditional Polish stuffed cabbage “Golabki”, this version is all done in one skillet or pot, with no stuffing or rolling required and we have replaced the traditional rice with cauliflower rice to make it low carb! Full of comforting, traditional flavors, this low carb and keto friendly Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet is a must have on your winter meal rotation!
When the Cowboy and I first got married, “golabki”, a Polish inspired “unstuffed” cabbage roll dish was one of the first things he made for me. His grandmother would often cook “golabki” or stuffed cabbage when he was going up. When she got older the tedious job of stuffing and rolling all the cabbage leaves was just too much and she started making a one pot unstuffed version that we all still call “golabki”…pronounced “gowompki”.
The Cowboy and I both grew up with Polish influence in our lives. The Cowboy’s grandmother, “Granny”, was from Poland, spoke Polish and was an amazing cook. She was an incredible woman who help raise him and his other cousins, tough him many life lessons, loved playing cards and dominos, craved smoked fish, cooked with bacon grease and drank whiskey in her coffee. She passed away a few months ago just shy of her 99th birthday.
In my case…well, it’s hard to ignore your Polish heritage when your maiden name is “Krzywosinski”…am I right!? My great grandparents were also raised in a Polish homes after their parents immigrated to Texas in the late 1890’s, as was my grandfather. I still remember all the smells of my great grandmas house. She was always canning something, and her house smelled a little funny. I like to think I got my love of pickled veggies and sauerkraut from her but as far as traditional Polish cooking…that came from Granny.
I’m honored that in the past 19 years that I knew her, she shared so many traditional Polish recipes with me like smoked fish, pierogi and her golabki!
As you may know, traditional cabbage rolls are baked in a tomato sauce but we don’t add any tomatoes or tomato sauce to this dish typically but that doesn’t mean you can’t if you prefer it that way. The addition of the sauerkraut adds great Polish flavor to the dish and my girls always loved it without the tomato sauce to that’s how we cook it. Paige can’t get enough of this dish and I say if your 9 year old can’t get enough of a dish with cabbage and sauerkraut, you’re doing something right!
Any ground meat will work here…we often use a blend of venison and pork because we tend to have it on hand. We also use beef when we have it…completely up to you! This recipe makes quite a bit but it’s even better left over the next day…so plan on leftovers!
Over the years, this version of unstuffed cabbage rolls has become a comfort food staple in our house…especially when cold weather hits! So simple, but so hearty and YUMMY. Ground meat browned with onions and garlic, combined with green cabbage and yummy sauerkraut…cooked together till the cabbage and kraut start to caramelize. Instead of the traditional rice, I add cauliflower rice just for some texture and to help soak up the yummy juices…nothing fancy, just wholesome goodness!
Looking for more easy weeknight meals , check these out!
- Chicken Verde Enchilada Soup
- Stuffed Zucchini with Ricotta & Spinach
- Spicy Italian Sausage & Kale Soup
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet with Sauerkraut
- 2 Tbsp. lard or bacon fat
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef or venison
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 28-32 oz. jar of sauerkraut about 2 pounds (we like Kuhne Barrell Sauerkraut)
- ½ cup water or beef stock if needed
- 1 small head of green cabbage washed, cored & chopped
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ Tbsp dried parsley
- 2 cups cauliflower rice frozen or fresh
- Salt & Pepper
- In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, melt bacon fat or lard over medium heat. Add onions with the ground meat, season with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper and cook till brown. Once meat is browned and golden, add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the undrained sauerkraut to the pan and stir to mix into the ground meat. Use the juice to scrape up any brown bits left on the bottom of the pan. If your kraut is dry and doesn’t have much liquid, add ½ cup water or beef stock and use this to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chopped cabbage, parsley and season with garlic powder, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. You may have to add more salt later depending on the saltiness of the sauerkraut your using. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 25 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring often.
- Increase heat to medium, uncover and add cauliflower rice and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or until cauliflower rice is tender, stirring often to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot and enjoy!
Nutrition facts are approximate and will vary depending on the ingredients used. Carbs from sugar alcohols have been excluded since they have shown to have no impact on blood sugar.