Delicious grain-free unstuffed cabbage casserole is made with ground turkey, cabbage, cauliflower rice and a savory Italian tomato sauce. This healthy casserole makes a wonderful, hearty dinner during the winter months and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
I can honestly say that this casserole is my newest favorite comfort food recipe. It smells like pizza when it’s baking and has an irresistable tomato-rich flavor. In the mix, there’s ground turkey (ground beef works as well), cabbage, onion, garlic, celery, cauliflower rice and an Italian-spiced tomato sauce. To make it extra tasty, top with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, if tolerated.
Besides the wonderful flavor, another thing I love about this casserole is that the cabbage takes on a noodle-like texture. The way it wilts down and mixes with the sauce makes it seem kinda noodley, which seems very fitting for this Italian-seasoned dish. This could be beneficial to anyone who doesn’t care for cabbage (or maybe not!), but personally, I love cabbage all the same. I’m a huge cabbage fan!
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this veggie-loaded cabbage casserole as much as I do. It’s hearty (but not heavy), loaded with flavor and a great dish to add into the weekly rotation during the colder months. Serve on its own, with a starter salad or alongside your favorite grain-free or gluten-free rolls.
Interested in other healthy comfort food recipes? Check out my spaghetti squash sloppy joe casserole and healthy bean-free white chicken chili.
Cheers and enjoy!
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Grain-Free Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole
- 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp avocado oil, separated, plus a little extra for greasing pan
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lb lean ground turkey or ground beef
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 large head cabbage, roughly chopped into 1-2" pieces
- 16-20 oz frozen cauliflower rice
- 1.5 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste, if needed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste, if needed
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast for topping, optional (or good-quality grated Parmesean, if tolerated)
- Fresh parsley for serving, optional
- Grease a 9x13 pan with a little avocado oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add 2 Tbsp avocado oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, celery and garlic, and saute 2-3 minutes. Then, add the ground turkey (or ground beef) and season with a little sea salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to cook for several minutes or until browned, breaking up the meat as needed.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, coconut aminos, Italian seasoning, sea salt and black pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then, reduce heat to medium low and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While meat mixture is cooking, prepare the cabbage. Add remaining 1 Tbsp avocado oil to a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper to taste. Saute cabbage for a few minutes and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and let steam/wilt slightly for about 5-8 minutes. Then, remove lid and set aside.
- Once meat mixture is done simmering, taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Then, add the frozen cauliflower rice and stir. Break up the chunks of cauliflower rice as it thaws and conitnue to stir. Remove from heat and stir in cabbage.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Top with nutritional yeast, if using (or Parmesean) and bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes. Mixture will be bubbly and browned in spots when done.
- Once done, allow to cool slightly in pan for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.