Easy Keto Cabbage Rolls Better Than My Russian Grandmother’s!

Easy Keto Cabbage Rolls. Budget friendly low carb dinner.

A plate of cabbage rolls sitting on top of a sign

Easy Keto Cabbage Rolls Better Than My Russian Grandmother’s!

This year for New Year’s Eve dinner I decided to make Russian cabbage rolls just like my mom made them and just like her mom made them. And oh my, a super simple hack even fooled my Mom and she loved them!

My Mom has Alzheimers and is living in a suite in my house. She can no longer cook and has no short term memory, but she knows her food. This meal made her so happy and I’m sure she thought it was her own cooking!

Both my Mom and my Grandmother showed love by making food. I grew up on these easy healthy cabbage rolls and even as an adult I especially loved going to Mom’s for dinner when she made her special stuffed cabbage recipe. There was something about the sauce that made them super delicious!

The really great thing is that they never used rice in their cabbage rolls! So I did not have to do much to turn this recipe into Keto cabbage rolls!

Easy Low Carb Cabbage Rolls Keto comfort food

What Ingredients Do I Need for Low Carb Cabbage Rolls?

There is a recipe card below but here is what you will need:

Cabbage for Keto cabbage rolls
Peeling off the cabbage leaves (see recipe notes)
  • 1 large head cabbage or 2 smaller heads
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large cans tomato puree(28 oz) or a couple jars low carb tomato sauce. You can also put canned tomatoes in the blender. You want to end up with about 4-5 cups liquid sauce.
  • erythritol sweetener
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • large roasting pan

My Simple Hack on Mom’s Special Russian Cabbage Roll Ingredient

Ok, so this was crazy when I found out their special ingredient to make these cabbage rolls super tasty was that  they added a can of Campbells Tomato Soup! Well, not very keto friendly. But after a little experimenting, I came to realize it was the sweetness in that soup that did the trick.

So our hack is simply adding 2-3 tbsp erythritol/stevia blend sweetener to the tomato puree! Once the cabbage rolls have cooked the sauce tastes just like I remember it! And we have kept it low carb and keto!

You can use any sweetener you have but the reason I now use the erythritol/stevia blend is that I think it tastes the best and it has no impact on blood sugar (my Mom is diabetic). My favorite brand is So Nourished sweetener.

The other thing I love about this recipe is that it makes enough leftovers for days and these low carb cabbage rolls only taste better after a couple days! Plus you can freeze them.

These are super keto budget friendly! For other money saving tips and hacks, check out my very popular Keto on a budget article.

How Long Do I Cook Cabbage Rolls in the Oven?

Ok, so making dishes like this when I was growing up was more of an art than a science. Technically, you can place this in the oven at 350 for about an hour and they should be done.

You can also use your Instant Pot to make cabbage rolls. Place alternating layers of sauce, rolls, sauce into the Instant Pot until no more than 2/3 full. Cook using the meat/stew setting and allow it Natural Release for 15 minutes.

Slow Cooker instructions. Alternating layers of sauce, cabbage rolls, sauce until almost full. Put the lid on and let it cook on low all day!

But my mom preferred the all morning slow oven bake. On a Sunday morning, those cabbage rolls simmered on a low oven from morning until we got back from church at noon. (And no I don’t recommend leaving an oven unattended like that, but hey it was a different era). 

But if you are going to be home, try this. Cover the pan with foil. Bake the cabbage rolls at 375 for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 and let them bake for a couple hours. Pure Keto Comfort Food!

What do I serve with Cabbage Rolls?

As I mentioned, the Russian Cabbage rolls I grew up with had no rice in them. My Mom served them over mashed potatoes. Talk about comfort food! Since we are keto and low carb, we have them over cauliflower mash which is just as delicious!

Make my mashed cauliflower recipe here

I hope you love my take on these low carb cabbage rolls!

Easy Keto Low Carb Russian Cabbage Rolls

Easy Keto Cabbage Rolls Better Than My Russian Grandmother's!

Yield: 24

My Grandmothers cabbage rolls are the best comfort food! They are grain free, keto, low carb and warm your soul! Serve over cauli mash. Be sure to read my post for all the extra tips and tricks!


Cabbage Roll Filling

  • 1 large head cabbage or 2 smaller heads
  • Filling:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 egg
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 large cans tomato puree (28 oz cans) or a couple jars low carb tomato sauce.  You can also put canned tomatoes in the blender
  • 2-3 tbsp erythritol sweetener (or to taste)
  • large roasting pan


  1. Slice off the bottom inch or so from the cabbage head. Cook the cabbages until all the leaves are wilted. I usually take them out, peel off the top layer of cooked leaves and place the inner cabbage head back in and keep simmering. (see photo in post).
  2. Prepare the sauce by blending the tomatoes and erythritol sweetener together. Feel free to add other spices such as a tbsp oregano for more flavor.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the baking pan(s)
  4. In a large mixing bowl add the beef, pork, egg and spices.
  5. Fill each cabbage leaf with 2-3 tbsp filling. Roll it up, then tuck the leaves in at the sides, then place in the pan seam side down.
  6. Repeat until pan is full. Depending on size of pan, this could make 2 pans. I generally use 2 (9 x 13) pans.
  7. Once you have filled the pan, you can place any remaining cabbage leaves over top of the rolls.
  8. Pour the rest of the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover with foil.
  9. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 300 and bake 2 hours. See my notes in the post about baking time and temperature.


Tip: I like to cook the cabbages the day before. Once they have simmered for about an hour, take the cabbage head (s) out and let them cool down. Apply pressure to the bottom gently and you can pop off the top layer of cooked leaves. Put the inner head back in the pot for more cooking. (see image in post)

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram! @ketogenic.woman. Follow me on Pinterest by clicking the Pinterest button to the left!

cabbage rolls on top of a sign

cabbage rolls sitting on top of a table

A close up of cabbage rolls


Cabbage roll in a bowl

A bowl of food on a table, with Cabbage roll

Easy Cabbage Rolls that are Keto, Low Carb and have no rice! Keto budget friendly comfort food recipe adapted from my Russian grandmother!

32 thoughts on “Easy Keto Cabbage Rolls Better Than My Russian Grandmother’s!”

  1. I make mine not rolled up but more like a stirfry in a crockpot. So I partially boil the cabbage and then throw in the rest of the ingredients and cook until done.

  2. Samantha Churchill

    These were delicious! It was actually my first time making cabbage rolls and they turn out wonderfully. My husband who is a cabbage roll connoisseur gobbled them up. Thank you for this great recipe. Will make again!!!

    1. ok, here is my advice on this recipe. When I made it for this recipe card, I ended up with 24 cabbage rolls. Because everyone is going to have different sized cabbages and everyone is going to stuff a different amount into each cabbage leaf, take the nutrition given and multiply it by 24 to get the macros for the entire recipe. Then when you make it, count how many cabbage rolls you end up with and divide the total by that number. If accuracy is what you are after, that is the only way to do it! I hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for posting your recipe! I’ve always used Kasha (buckwheat) and raw egg with the beef/pork mixture. Since going Keto, I’ll try it your way, but I’ll still probably add the egg with the meat mixture.

    1. They pretty much come in 2 sizes here, small (14 oz) and large (28 oz). I’ll add that info to the recipe, thanks for asking about it!

  4. Looks great, I am making it today! But can you explain how to cook (prepare) the cabbage leaves for this recipe? I’m a newbie and have never made this before. I saw the “freezer method” post, but what is the traditional method? Do I submerge the entire head in boiling water? Steam? Simmer is a few inches of water? Thanks!

    1. You could actually use any of those methods, whatever works best for you to make the cabbage lease soft. I typically cut as much of the core out as possible and place the whole head in a large pot and let it simmer until the leaves are soft. Put in lots of water so it doesn’t boil dry or check it often!

      1. Thanks! I guess I am still unclear, are you filling the pot all the way in order to fully submerge the cabbage, or just filling a few inches?

        1. I fill it up as much as I can. But you CAN cook with it partway submerged, you just have to be careful to watch that it doesn’t boil dry.

  5. I got these in the oven and can’t wait to try them.Have loved cabbage rolls since I was a kid and my Mom used to have someone to make them for me for my birthday every year. So now I got a low carb recipe of my own. Thank You!

  6. I. Just used this recipe for supper tonight. OMG they were these best I have tasted. I only had 1 can of tomatoes so I used a jar of marinara. Worked perfect. Also added some onion. It was amazing.

  7. dirty little rotter

    I love food that makes me giggle, makes me light in the loafers, makes me talk dirty, make me wanna grab the old lady by the hair and push her head into the counter while I down a couple of these glorious cabbage rolls. Mildred Pearce rolled up one afternoon dressed a la carte Gilf, try these she said automatically I went for her boobs. “Not those” “these” Mildred offered me a container with three of your Cabbage Rolls, thank you I mumbled I’ll try them later. Cabbage Rolls are like the family jewels every-one has a receipe when placed in front of me I respond oh wow cabbage rolls. I have never made cabbage rolls. I believe every cabbage roll I have ever had placed in front of me looked like the one I had in Nippiwin, Glace Bay, Saskatoon, Lac La Biche, Rocky, Mtn House. Trail. cabbage leaves were unravelling, sad colour, meat to rice ration wrong, and it fell apart. I was alway’s Great full. Now try making these Cabbage Rolls. Get these in yah, done right like borsch great colour, cabbage leaves stay closed great colour, smell, firm to the touch, TASTE, well hello there gosh and talk about filling really. definetly great food, not for sharing. Mildred the Gilf Pearce will be heading over to the Ketogenic Womans Wellness Centre for Creation, Family Food dogs, cats, birds, Spreading the Positive of want and love. Aging has not been kind to those around me, Mentally I cannot keep my clothes on, wandering hands and other body parts deem me not the best communicator around a group of people, then their is the light tourettes I have, kinda spoils the mood, aliens kinda set me off. Try the Cabbage Roll, you may end up streaking or talking dirty hopefully to a priest they love that stuff.

  8. Hi..I used to boil the cabbage, peeling off leaves as they wilted, but now I put the whole head of cabbage into the freezer for at least 24hrs. When taken out and thawed, the leaves are soft and pliable and no more slaving over a pot of boiling water! :)

    1. wow, that is an amazing tip! Thank you so much for sharing it, I’m going to try that next time I make the cabbage rolls!

  9. Made these in slow cooker again today, but this time I just used pork mince, with chopped green and black olives, mixed herbs, garlic, crushed coriander seed, and a few chopped capers. Different taste to last time, but just as good! Also added some grated cheese on top before serving, for added Keto joy!
    So easy to make too, I love this recipe.

    1. oh my goodness! I love that idea of the olives! These are so basic (and I wanted to keep them plain for my Mom), but I was thinking of doing them with cumin/coriander blend.

    2. I don’t understand the freezer comment above,

      Does this mean:

      1. No cooking of the cabbage till making the rolls?

      2. Freeze head of cabbage.

      3. Thaw cabbage head.

      4. Peel away thawed leaves.

      5. Make and bake filled cabbage leaves?

      If so, trying this method today!

  10. Made these today. I stripped the leaves from the cabbage and steamed them for 15 minutes.
    Then proceeded as per your recipe, but I cooked them in the slow cooker all afternoon.
    Yum! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes they are also excellent in the slowcooker! I use roasting pans mainly because I make way too many to fit into my crockpot! Thanks for your comments!

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