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Do you ever have a night where you just really don’t feel like cooking dinner? I do. All the time. This easy vegan keto cabbage roll skillet is one of the meals I lean on most often when trying to get in and out of the kitchen in less than 20 minutes. It’s protein-dense, nutrient-dense, filling, low-carb and really tasty. As a bonus, it’s completely gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, coconut-free, peanut-free, grain-free, added-sugar-free and also free of the top-8 allergens. So, pretty much everyone should be able to enjoy this simple hearty meal!
The inspiration for this skillet is a dish from my childhood: cabbage rolls, or gołabki as we called them in Polish. Cabbage rolls are traditionally comprised of a filling of rice and ground meat or mushrooms rolled in softened cabbage leaves and then covered in a tomato sauce and baked. I love this dish and even have a vegan keto version in my first cookbook! Preparing the cabbage leaves and making the rolls isn’t exactly a speedy process, though, so I started making a skillet version of those low carb cabbage rolls to make on nights when I just don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen (which is realistically, most nights).
How Is This Cabbage Roll Skillet Vegan and Low-Carb?
Great question! As you probably noted in the ingredients above, ground meat isn’t exactly vegan and rice is far from keto-friendly. Fortunately, there are some easy enough swaps, namely mock meat crumbles and riced cauliflower. In the interest of keeping this dish super easy, I just used frozen riced cauliflower and Meatless Hearty Starters from Deeply Rooted Farms (I don’t have an affiliate discount link/code, but they are on sale as of writing this post!).
In the interest of full disclosure, the initial crumbles were sent to me by the company’s founder, however I have since bought 2 bundles on my own because I was so pleased with them. These crumbles are gluten-free, soy-free, very low carb and have really clean ingredients. Plus, they’re shelf-stable and ready in just a few minutes, which is a huge plus. I like having shelf-stable options that I can keep in my pantry long-term and bring on camping trips. I had tried similar products before, but these crumbles from Deeply Rooted Farms are definitely the winner. I’ve been sent crumbles by other brands before, and there’s a reason these are the first I’ve posted about. The flavors are lovely, and the texture is fantastic – no tiny crumbles that just get lost in the dish. These are actually hearty! But moving on to the actual recipe…
Notes on Making 15-Minute Easy Vegan Cabbage Roll Skillet
- Does this really take 15 minutes? It does, so long as you don’t count cleanup. 🙂
- Can I use another brand of crumbles? Yes, totally. There are several brands out there that would work just fine. The crumbles from Deeply Rooted Farms just so happen to be my favorite.
- If you would like to use a refrigerated or frozen crumble like those from Beyond Meat, Impossible or Gardein (plus many other brands), just eliminate the water in the step where you add the crumbles in. This may increase your cooking time if the crumbles are frozen. You will also likely need to increase the seasoning, depending on which brand you use, as the crumbles used in this recipe are already seasoned.
- I use Rao’s tomato sauce because it is absolutely delicious and very low sugar. It’s a bit spendy, but worth it in my opinion (especially when you get it on sale!). If you’d rather use another brand, just be sure to check the label for sugar content!
- Keep in mind that the flavor in this recipe will be modified by whatever sauce you choose. I tend to use either a basic marinara or mushroom sauce.
- The nutrition is calculated based on the specific brands used. If you use other brands or varieties, your nutritional information will vary!
15-Minute Easy Vegan Cabbage Roll Skillet (gluten-free, soy-free, keto-friendly)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage (140g)
- 12 ounces frozen riced cauliflower (340g)
- 1 package Deeply Rooted Meatless Healthy Starters in Zesty Italian or preferred brand
- 2 1/4 cups water (540ml)
- 1 cup Rao's marinara sauce (240ml)
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried marjoram optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large lidded skillet or dutch oven on low-medium heat. Add the cauliflower rice and cabbage to the pan and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and cauliflower have softened.
- Add the plant-based crumbles, sauce, water, dried onion, paprika and marjoram to the pot and stir to mix everything. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from the heat, mix everything completely and let stand for a few minutes to let the rest of the water absorb and the food cool down a bit. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper, per your taste. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!