Recipe Box: Unstuffed Cabbage (Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly)

Sauteed ground pork with cabbage has been a staple dish when I was growing up. Depending on the mood of my grandmother (who was an amazing cook) and the availability of fresh ingredients that caught her attention, she would make some variations to the dish. Funny thing was she never gave any names for it. For us, it’s just cabbage for dinner or lunch.

Following that tradition, my children grew up eating stews made with ground meat and cabbage served over steamed rice. Not only is this type of meal super easy to prepare, it also feeds an army for less than ten dollars. Yay!

Then one time, my youngest asked me if I can cook “unstuffed cabbage”. He said a couple of his friends’ moms started to make it. I am very much familiar with the stuffed one but “unstuffed”?, well, I was clueless. So, I headed to my favorite gadget for information (my laptop) and looked for a recipe.

Lo and behold! It’s just sauteed cabbage in red sauce. I can’t believe that such a thing has a fancy name. When I told my friend (she’s Chinese) about it, she too can’t stop laughing.

Anyway, since I don’t like to disappoint my child who’s extra picky with vegetables, I put together this dish. Oh and it now has a cool name too.

Since then, it has been a hit with the kids for both dinner and school lunch. Yes, they bring it to school in their canister that keeps food warm. By eating this dish without rice, it became a really handy, delicious and healthy meal when I did my Keto Challenge too.

Do you have any childhood dish that you wanted to make gluten free and allergy friendly? Let me know, I’m up for the challenge.


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  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium sized cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 jar (24 oz) tomato based sauce (I used Rao’s Arrabiata Sauce )
  • 1 Tbs. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. In a big pot, saute’ the garlic and onions in olive oil until the onions become translucent.
  2. Add the ground pork and cook until the color changes to light brown.
  3. Add the cabbage and tomato sauce. Mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer until the cabbage is cooked and soft enough to your liking. My kids like their cabbage on the soft side so I let it cook for about 20 – 25 minutes. If you like yours a bit crunchy, check around 10 -15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.


  1. Stuffed cabbage is a great meal. I think this un-stuffed version is even better! Quick and easy is my jam. We eat a lot of rice, so this will probably be eaten over rice.

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