I’ve tried making Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls several times in the past and I was never satisfied with the recipes I used. Either the taste was too bland, or it had too much tomato, or it had no flavor at all! As a result, I stopped making this dish altogether because it seemed that either I didn’t like it or it didn’t like me.
That was true until I went to the store today and cabbages were on sale for almost nothing! I felt like this dish was just asking me to give it another chance. So I decided to bring it up a notch using ingredients that I haven’t tried before. I wandered around the store for a little bit–I’ve got some extra time on my hands with it being Winter Break and all–and came up with a much more taste bud-approved recipe to share with you.
The first thing that I decided to change was to not only use ground turkey for the meat. I personally prefer ground turkey over ground beef, but sometimes I think ground turkey makes the flavors in recipes seem dull. Instead, I decided to pick up some ground pork to mix in with the ground turkey. The meat and beef stock combination smells and tastes so much more savory in this dish than in recipes that I have used previously.
Before I made this recipe, I always used canned tomatoes in my Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls, and their acidity would overtake the entire meal. Instead, I sought out a different vegetable that would enhance the savory flavor of the pork without diluting it–and to my happy surprise, peas seemed to do the trick!
If you’re on Whole30, you will need to leave out the mozzarella cheese. You also might need to substitute the beef stock with vegetable stock if you don’t have one that is Whole30 approved. This meal is so delicious, though, that I don’t think you will miss out on much even without those ingredients!
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1/2 cabbage head, chopped
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed (ignore if you’re on Whole30)
- salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large oven-safe skillet, heat EVOO and minced garlic over medium/high heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add chopped onion into skillet. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Use spatula to push chopped onion into outer rim of pan. Place ground pork and ground turkey into center of the pan. Cook the meat until all the pink is gone, stirring often to avoid burning.
- Once the meat is completely cooked, add in the chopped cabbage. Mix cabbage with meat and onions. Place lid on skillet for about 6 minutes. Stir mixture every 2 minutes.
- Mix in tomato sauce and beef broth. Cover with lid for another 10 minutes.
- Add peas and salt to the pan and mix throughout. Turn heat off stove.
- Garnish with parsley and cubed mozzarella pieces to the top of the pan. Cover with lid and place in oven for 10 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes