Beef, Dinner, Food, Recipes, Video

Cabbage Roll Cooking Demo and Making Choices!

I remember when I first heard about the paleo diet and immediately I began thinking up a hundred excuses as to why I couldn’t eat paleo. My biggest excuse; I assumed that I simply did not have the time. In reality I did not yet have the DESIRE TO CHANGE. It took hitting my own personal rock bottom of being unhealthy in order to decide that I could “fit in” a healthy paleo lifestyle. In reality, cooking any type of meal, paleo or not does take some work. In order to fit cooking in general back into our lives, as a family we had to change some of our old habits that went hand in hand with being unhealthy. Today we do not watch a lot of TV, play a bunch of video games, or spend hours surfing the net or on-line shopping. We have made a commitment to not eat out during the week.  We plan ahead and use the weekend to shop and cook. Yes, I spend more time in the kitchen than I did during my pre-paleo days, but I have learned how to make delicious meals fast – thanks to my beloved pressure cooker, slow cooker, food processor, and my decisiveness to make this work! If you haven’t yet added the above items to your kitchen tools, I suggest you do so!  Being healthy is a CHOICE, not something that simply happens to you.

Here is a recipe and a cooking demo for Everyday Paleo Cabbage Rolls. Typically, cabbage rolls are made in a slow cooker, but yesterday we made them in the pressure cooker and after 10 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of cook time, we had an amazing feast!  We actually ended up taking the cabbage rolls with us to a Christmas Party – you’ll have to watch the demo to get the whole story.

Cabbage Rolls
Everyday Paleo Cabbage Rolls

Everyday Paleo Cabbage Rolls


1 can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon dried basil

Black pepper to taste

Cabbage Rolls

1 lb grass fed ground beef

2 cups diced fresh spinach

1 small apple, finely diced

½ red onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped

1 egg

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

12-15 cabbage leaves

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. Remove the core from a head of cabbage and place the cabbage leaves in your pressure cooker with one cup of water.  Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 30 seconds. Take the leaves out and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, mix together all filling ingredients. Depending on the size of your cabbage leaves, place approximately ¼ cup of filling on the bottom edge of each leaf. Fold in the two outside edges of the cabbage leaf and roll up the filling. Place each cabbage roll seam side down in your pressure cooker. Cover the rolls with the sauce. Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 12 minutes. Serve immediately and as always:


Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. These look really yummy! Can’t wait to make and try them! Do you have a recommendation for oven temperature if I’m not using a pressure cooker?

    Thanks for all of your hard work with your blog, cooking demos, book and now podcast!


    1. Hi Kara! I would suggest you cook them in a slow cooker rather than the oven if you have one. Directions are in my response to Ashley. Otherwise, I would bake them at 350 for about 45 minutes. Check to make sure they are done all the way through and cook longer if needed. I would also recommend covering your baking dish with aluminum foil to keep the cabbage rolls moist. : )

  2. As we have been cooking more at home, we have realized that it really doesn’t take anymore time than it does to get in the car, drive, and then sit in the restaurant waiting for your food either for carryout or dine in. Plus, working in the kitchen gives the kids and I time to work together and talk. Best of all, we are finally to a place where we prefer the food we make over restaurant food. Your blog definitely helps with that!

  3. sarena says:

    Awesome and ye I too no longer even eating out. I know I get better food, both taste-wise and quality-wise when I prepare it at home! These look yummy; I have made stuffed cabbage in the past without too much success. I think I will try these one day soon but omit the tomato sauce as I cant have nightshades. I will sub extra chicken broth.

    I made 2 large trays of chicken meatballs today! I sauteed some red onion, carrot and zucchini in coconut oil and mixed into the ground chicken (which I ground alone from gf chicken breasts) with chopped garlic, chopped celery leaves, a few eggs, salt and pepper. I baked the covered at 350 for about 50min. WOW, are they good.

  4. Ashley says:

    If you don’t have a pressure cooker and only a crock pot, how would you go about cooking them?

    I absolutely LOVE your website. I literally look at it every day. I’ve made so many recipes, and am more and more impressed with each one. It’s great to have support and inspiration from a fellow crossfitter. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Ashley! I would put the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to soften them up. Follow the same directions as with the pressure cooker but just cook in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. They will be awesome!! : )

  5. Peter says:

    Looks like a winner of a recipe. My Grandma used to make these with ground lamb, cooked on a bed of sauerkraut. I’ll be sure to try these soon though. One important point – don’t use an aluminum pressure cooker (or any other pot) if you are cooking anything acidic like tomatoes – the food will dissolve and absorb the aluminum.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Peter, Yes – you are so correct. It’s worth the extra money to purchase a stainless steel pressure cooker!! Thank you for pointing that out!

  6. I love, love, love your blog. I have been eating paleo for three weeks and I made it because of your wonderful recipes. I am still working to get my husband to eat paleo but he isn’t there yet. He is sweet to me and makes paleo food at home but he works as a fireman and eats at the station where he doesn’t do the cooking. He is taking good food to eat but struggles when dinner is served and it is anything but paleo. We are eating your stuffed peppers tonight and I can’t wait. I am very excited for your book and can’t wait until it is on the shelf!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks Amee!

  7. Manzura says:

    Cool recipe. I kind of make something similar. I make a batch of 12-16 and freeze them. Whenever I’m about to have a hectic day I just take them out and throw them in a slow cooker. Done and done! Love website and super excited about the book!

  8. I’ve been gluten free for years and paleo for the last 6 months or so. We’ve just discovered that my son is sensitive to gluten so we’re all going paleo – your blog is a wonderful resource and inspiration for how to cook for everyone. Thanks for your great good work!

  9. I used to make a variation of this in college. As my roommates would be cooking their frozen pizzas, I’d be busy rolling pork sausage in cabbage.

  10. Steve says:

    I’m just learning about paleo & am interested in the pressure cooker. I’ve never used one & was curious of what type/brand/model you recommend. Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Steve! My pressure cooker is a “Food Network” brand which I purchased at Kohl’s. When you buy a pressure cooker, make sure you buy a stainless steel one, not one that is aluminum. As Peter stated in a previous comment, when you cook certain foods in aluminum, it will absorb the aluminum and you do not want to be consuming the stuff (linked to all sorts of nasty like Alzheimer’s, etc…). A pressure cooker is great because it speeds up cooking time. For example, I can cook an entire winter squash in just few minutes compared to 1 hour in the oven. Hope that helps!

  11. I love this!! It’s so seasonal. And it’s great to see a version without rice!

    I am hosting a winter greens themed paleo food blogging event (it’s linked if you click on my name), I would love to include this if it’s alright with you?

    1. Hi Erica, I would love for you to include the recipe in your blog! Thank you!

  12. I made these last night, and they were awesome! It was the first time I used my pressure cooker, and I was totally impressed. Thanks again for all the work you do!

  13. My wife made this(somewhat) tonight and it was excellent. She just plopped the made up rolls in a 13×9, topped them with sauce, covered with foil and cooked for a little over an hour at 350. It was fabulous. The only thing we want to change next time is we would like the sauce to be a little thicker so that it might stick a little better as ours was runny. Thanks for the great recipe and inspiration.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Ray! Next time you make the rolls in the oven, use half the recommended sauce. In the pressure cooker, the liquid really cooks down so all that was left was mainly the chunks of tomatoes. Hope that helps and I’m glad you liked it!!

  14. hi – i just pre-ordered you book with high hopes that you will give further details about “We plan ahead and use the weekend to shop and cook.” I will start shopping around for a pressure cooker. Thanks for a great blog and what I am sure will be a great book too.

  15. Sarah,

    I was so inspired by this recipe that I have purchased my own pressure cooker (I was honestly surprised to find that people of my generation actually use a pressure cooker!) But, if you can do it, so can I! So far, I love the time saving aspect of it….after a moderate failure, I got it to work and made some lovely chicken breasts with turnips and carrots–in 8 minutes!.
    Could you tag recipes that use the pressure cooker, if you haven’t already….(you know, most of the recipes for these cookers are not paleo in the slightest– I found one for ham baked in coca-cola?!!)

    1. Hi HMK! Holy cow, ham baked in coca-cola?!?! Wow…. Pretty much any of my recipes that I make in the slow cooker can also be done in a pressure cooker. I’ll see if I can figure out a way to tag the pressure cooker recipes in their own category. : )

  16. I made the cabbage rolls last night and they were yummy! My mom even liked them and she is certainly not used to paleo eating.

  17. Since we do not have a pressure cooker, we have the cabbage rolls cooking in the crock pot as we speak. I can’t wait to taste them. We prepped them last night, so they were ready to go this morning. Love your blog, and hope to maybe get your book in my stocking from Santa. 😉 Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Karyn! Merry Christmas to you too!

  18. Hey there, just made these for dinner. I had been craving cabbGe rolls all day. I was going to bake them and then found your pressure cooker recipe. It came out delicious and saved me so much time :). Thanks for posting it.

  19. Not only do I feel a sense of accomplishment for making these – because it sounded so complicated until I actually got started – but they are yummy! I prepped them last night and put them in the crock part this morning. I had them for lunch and I’m resisting going back down to have more. You are turning me into a real cook by providing such simple and easy to follow recipes (I love the pictures and the tips).

    1. Sarah says:

      Yeah Erin!! : )

  20. My husband made these tonight, they were so yummy. I am sure we will be trying other recipes from your site!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Meghan, so glad you guys liked the recipe!!

  21. Yummy! Did this last night turned out great 😉 used slow cooker and it was all good.

  22. Sara Ross says:

    Sooo..we went to the farmers market, and bought “lettuce”. Turns out it was cabbage. Whoops! Who are the new kids at the farmers market? 🙂 So we needed to find something to do with that entire head of cabbage.

    Tried these tonight (used a slow cooker) – THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. So tasty, and we are so excited for the leftovers.

    I’ve said it before, but thank you thank you thank you for these recipes! You make it SO much easier for us to stick to this!

    1. I’m so glad your “accident” turned into a delicious meal! Hurray!! : )

  23. Jessica says:

    I made this recipe for the first time in late January. We didn’t have a pressure cooker, so I followed the directions in the comments for using a crock pot. I loved the recipe and knew immediately I would be making it again. We made it again yesterday for a couple of friends, only this time we borrowed our friends’ pressure cooker. I could not believe the difference! It was really good the first time around, but it is so much better when prepared in the pressure cooker. Thanks for helping to convince my husband we need one of our own!

  24. Amanda says:

    For the Cabbage Roll, can the be baked or boiled if you don’t have a pressure cooker?

  25. Dawn. says:

    I’m making these for the family tonight, we’re not 100% paleo yet but are working on it and this is another step to realizing we can do it! This looks great, thanks for sharing!

    1. Sarah says:

      You CAN do it DAwn, good for you!! So glad you liked the cabbage rolls!

      1. Dawn. says:

        Everyone loved it, I’m just heating up leftovers for lunch now. I’m also pricing pressure cookers, I’ve never used one before but I’m convinced we need one now.

  26. Gabriel Jessee says:

    I just stuck a batch of these in the crock pot. I am eagerly anticipating the results. I threw in a handful of chopped walnuts, the apple told me to do it.

    Thanks for recipe!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hoped they turned out well!!

  27. Heather says:

    OMG! I have been wanting to make these for weeks and today was the day. So worth the wait! Yummy textures, flavorful and satisfying on a cold, rainy day! I love your cookbook and was excited to see you have a blog. Keep ’em comin!

  28. Sara,

    I just have to tell you a big thank you! I am new to Paleo and have looked, at just about every Paleo recipe book out there. While some others are good – your is GREAT, and is making my family of 5’s transition to healthy eating much easier. I just purchased your book today after trying some recipe’s on here, and my boys and I have been salivating over the pictures

    This particular recipe was one of my favorites to eat as a child and I cannot wait to make it! Thank you again!

  29. My Husband and I are planning to go 100% Paleo for the new year. We have been approaching this way of life with a “one step at a time”attitude. I am in LOVE with your website and all the wonderful info you provide. I’m specifically looking forward to this dish because I want to try cabbage for the first time….fingers crossed…thank you so much for your dedication and inspiration.

    1. Best of luck to you and your hubby Mary and I’m so glad the website has been helpful. Let me know how I can help along your journey! Happy Holidays!

  30. Sophia says:

    These would be great with an Avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce.

  31. I just made a “deconstructed” version of this for dinner tonight with everything minus the egg. I already had some cooked ground beef and needed to use it up in something fast. I shredded the cabbage and added everything together in a pan. I plan to make the actual rolls when I have more time but this was a good alternative and was super yummy! Thank you! 🙂

    1. We make the deconstructed version of this dish quite often ourselves! Nice to have that alternative when you don’t have time to do the actual rolls themselves. So glad you enjoyed the dish!

  32. You said “remove the core from the head” and “place the leaves.” Did you mean the round head, or layer the leaves individually in the pressure cooker? I ask because I’ve seen boiling techniques that are either head-based (with the core removed), or individual leaves removed. I love my pressure cooker, but I don’t want to mess it up the first time. Thanks, and love the book and blog.

    1. Layer the leaves individually! : )

  33. Rhonda says:

    Hi, I am just starting my journey into paleo. One of favorite things is cabbage rolls. I was wondering how these are considering there is no rice, which I know is not on the list of foods for paleo. Could you finely chop coliflower to replace the rice?

    1. Sarah says:

      Sure! You could absolutely add finely chopped cauliflower to replace the rice! We loved them as is, which is why I posted this recipe, but adding the cauliflower is a great idea! : ) Let me know how they turn out!

  34. Elese says:

    Sarah, thank you so much for the great video and recipe. I made these cabba ge rolls and they were fabulous! I did them in the slow cooker though…but now, I have a pressure cooker, and I am SO excited to do these in a fraction of the time! Already falling in love with my pressure cooker…wondering how I ever got by without one. Here’s a question though…I had trouble peeling off the cabbage leaves after removing the core. They just tore into big pieces instead of coming off in a nice, whole leaf. Any suggestions? Thanks for all you do, and especially for inspiring me to start using a pressure cooker. Life changing! 🙂 It’s going to be a HUGE timesaver and I am so grateful for that.

    1. Laura W says:

      Rather than coring the cabbage I just trim the bottom & then the leaves separate easily, no peeling necessary. Just keep trimming slices off the bottom as you get to the inner leaves.

  35. Shelly says:

    Oh my!!! This was easy to make, not time consuming, and absolutely delicious!!! I definitely will be making this again for the family. Thanks Sarah!!!

  36. Isabel says:

    I cook this recipe last night and it was delicious, my whole family enjoy! They want me to make more!!!…thank you! !!

  37. If you dont have a pressure cooker, could I use a crockpot, or is there another alternative?

    Thank you 🙂

  38. Sharad says:

    Nice recipe.. I am Vegan. What could be replacement of Chicken broth, beef and eggs here?

  39. Rebecca says:

    ok girl, you have GOT to show me how you separated all those cabbage leaves without tearing them! I tore Every. Single. One. They were still useable and the dish ended up really yummy but it wasn’t pretty and they were falling open all over the place. Also, I cooked mine in a pressure cooker as well, but I ended up with a lot of liquid after it was cooked. ? Any reason why that may have happened? You must be some kind of ninja in the kitchen because it took me a lot longer to prep than 10 minutes. Another reason why you are the best! 😉 Thanks for the recipe.

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