These Healthier Napa Cabbage Rolls are made with ground turkey, quinoa and a homemade tomato sauce that's hearty and delicious it's the ultimate comfort food!Jump to Recipe
Ingredients in stuffed cabbage rolls
Cabbage Rolls are something I've always wanted to try, but never quite got around to making. When I was recently invited to a fall potluck at a friend's house and learned that one invitee couldn't eat gluten, I decided to experiment and make them with quinoa!
Obviously with that healthier step taken, I couldn't resist using ground chicken as the main protein instead of the higher calorie ground beef. The result, though quite unusual for cabbage rolls, was a tasty, much healthier version of everyone's favourite fall comfort food dish!
How to make cabbage rolls
These Healthier Napa Cabbage Rolls are baked in the oven with a simple, homemade tomato sauce, and are a rich, satisfying meal perfect for family gatherings, potlucks and more.
Rolling cabbage leaves
I used Napa cabbage because I've heard it's easier to roll since it is more delicate, but that's also something you should watch out for: make sure that you aren't cooking the cabbage for too long or the leaves will fall apart. Just a couple of seconds submerged in boiling water then in ice water should do the trick!
What type of sauce to use
After you soften the cabbage leaves, you'll put the chicken and quinoa mixture in each leaf and roll it up, placing in a large oven safe casserole dish. The trick to amazing homemade tomato sauce believe it or not is brown sugar! Add a pinch to your crushed tomatoes along with some shallots and sauted garlic, and you've got one hell of a sauce!
Storing and reheating
Can you freeze cabbage rolls?
More healthy fall recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab someglass meal prep bowlsif you plan on turning these cabbage rolls into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range ground turkey from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Meal prep challenge
If you'd like some more help with meal planning, then you'll love my free 5-day meal prep challenge! It's basically a free course that will teach you how to meal prep and cook healthy meals at home with some PDF bonus materials. Sign up for free below:
Healthier Napa Cabbage Rolls
These Healthier Napa Cabbage Rolls are made with ground turkey, quinoa and a homemade tomato sauce that's hearty and delicious it's the ultimate comfort food!
- 1 head Napa cabbage
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey ( or ground chicken)
- 1 yellow onion (finely diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 red pepper (finely diced)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (680mL) jar marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine ground turkey, garlic, onion, red pepper, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions on the stove, or in a rice cooker.
Heat olive oil in frying pan on high, and cook meat mixture, breaking up with spoon. Saute for about 7-8 minutes until meat is fully cooked. Add cooked quinoa, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water and using tongs, insert each individual cabbage leaf and submerge in water for a couple of seconds before quickly removing.
Add about 1-2 tbsp of meat mixture inside flattened out, softened cabbage leaf and roll up, placing in a large oven safe casserole dish. Repeat this until you fit about 18 cabbage rolls inside.
Pour marinara sauce over cabbage rolls, then cook for 15 minutes in the oven. Serve and enjoy!
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