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Mexican Cabbage Roll

Our Restaurant-Quality Mexican Cabbage Rolls! combines the comfort of classic cabbage rolls with the bold, vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine – If you’re a busy bee craving a delicious, budget-friendly meal that doesn’t compromise on taste, you’re in for a treat. Picture this: tender cabbage leaves cradling a savory mixture of lean ground beef, sautéed red onions, and a symphony of spices, all enveloped in a zesty tomato embrace with a hint of chiles. This twist not only elevates the traditional cabbage roll experience to restaurant-quality levels but also offers a lower-carb alternative, making it perfect for those on a health-conscious journey.

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Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 976mg | Potassium: 1060mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1469IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 5mg
round plate with mexican cabbage roll topped with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and corn

Why This Recipe Is Meal Prep Worthy

  • Restaurant-Quality Flavors: Our Mexican Cabbage Rolls bring a burst of restaurant-quality flavors to your table. The combination of lean ground beef seasoned with paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder, paired with the spicy kick from diced tomatoes with chiles, creates a symphony of tastes that will transport you straight to your favorite Mexican eatery. It’s a culinary adventure without leaving the comfort of your home.
  • Lower-Carb Delight: For those watching their carb intake, these rolls are a dream come true. It’s a fantastic option for individuals following a low-carb or keto lifestyle without sacrificing the comforting satisfaction of a well-made, hearty meal.
  • Budget-Friendly Brilliance: Eating delicious, wholesome meals shouldn’t break the bank, and our Mexican Cabbage Rolls are a shining example of budget-friendly brilliance. Cabbage is an economical vegetable, and the recipe utilizes lean ground beef, a cost-effective protein source. With pantry staples like canned tomatoes and spices, you’re creating a gourmet experience without the gourmet price tag. It’s a win-win for your taste buds and your wallet.
  • Meal Prep Magic: We understand the hustle of busy lives, and that’s why these Mexican Cabbage Rolls are perfect for meal prep enthusiasts. The recipe is designed to be made in batches, making it easy to prepare several servings at once. Once rolled and baked, these rolls freeze beautifully, ensuring you have a supply of tasty, homemade meals ready to go whenever you need them. It’s meal prep magic that takes the stress out of mealtime.
  • Versatility for All Occasions: Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or enjoying a quiet night in, these rolls are a versatile choice. Their elegant presentation and bold flavors make them a standout dish for special occasions, while their simplicity and practicality make them an excellent option for everyday meals. From family dinners to potlucks, these Mexican Cabbage Rolls are a crowd-pleaser that fits any occasion.

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Ingredients & Swaps

  • Cabbage: Cabbage is not only affordable but also a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with vitamins and fiber, it’s the star of our show. When boiling, make sure not to overcook it; we want those leaves tender but still with a bit of bite. For a twist, try using savoy cabbage or even large collard greens for a heartier cabbage roll.
  • Lean Ground Beef: Opting for lean ground beef keeps the dish healthy without compromising on flavor. You can also switch it up with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter alternative.
  • Red Onions: Red onions add a sweet and savory kick to the filling. If you’re not a fan, yellow or white onions work just as well. Shallots can be a sophisticated swap too!
  • Corn: Corn brings a burst of sweetness and texture. Fresh corn off the cob is fantastic, but frozen or canned options are convenient. If you’re feeling adventurous, try black beans or diced zucchini for an extra veggie boost.
  • Orange Bell Pepper: The orange bell pepper adds vibrancy and a slightly sweet flavor. Feel free to experiment with different colored peppers for a visually stunning dish. For a smoky twist, use roasted red peppers from a jar.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes with Chiles: These tomatoes bring the heat! The canned variety with chiles adds a spicy kick, but you can control the heat by choosing mild or hot versions. Diced tomatoes with jalapeños are a great alternative. Fresh diced tomatoes work too, especially if you want to control the spice level completely.
  • Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce binds everything together. Choose a low-sodium version to keep things on the healthier side. If you prefer a different texture, crushed tomatoes or tomato puree are excellent substitutes. Add a pinch of sugar to balance acidity if needed.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Cheddar cheese brings a gooey, melty goodness to the party. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses like Monterey Jack or pepper jack for added flavor.
  • Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt: This quartet of spices is the secret behind the flavorful meat mixture. Adjust the quantities based on your taste preferences. Smoked paprika can add depth, and for an extra kick, consider using cayenne pepper or chipotle powder. Fresh garlic is a fantastic swap for garlic powder if you have it on hand.
round plate with mexican cabbage roll topped with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and corn

Simple Steps to Meal Prep This Cabbage Roll

  1. Boil a pot of water and toss in the half head of cabbage. Let it dance in the boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes until the leaves become tender and can easily separate from the core. Once it’s all tender, rescue the cabbage and let it cool before you start pulling those leaves apart. It’s cabbage roll time!
  2. In a sauté pan on medium-high heat, add a dash of oil and sauté those red onions until they’re feeling soft and translucent.
  3. Introduce the lean ground beef to the party and sprinkle in the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Break up that beef into bite-sized pieces and let it groove until fully cooked (about 6 to 7 minutes). Now, pour in the tomato sauce and give it a good stir. Let those flavors mingle and dance together.
  4. Take 2 to 3 cabbage leaves and stack them on top of each other for each roll. Scoop 1/3 cup of the seasoned meat mixture into the center of the cabbage leaves. Roll ’em up like a burrito, tucking in the sides as you go. It’s like you’re wrapping up a little gift of goodness!
  5. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place your beautiful cabbage rolls in a baking dish and pour over the diced tomatoes with chiles. Oh, the aroma! Sprinkle that shredded cheddar cheese on top, and into the oven they go for 15 minutes. Watch that cheese melt into a gooey perfection!

Reference the recipe card below for detailed instructions.

glass meal prep containers with mexican cabbage roll topped with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and corn

Meal Prep Tips for Mexican Cabbage Soup

  • Fresh Greens Galore: Serve the Mexican Cabbage Rolls alongside a crisp, refreshing green salad. The acidity of a lime vinaigrette can complement the richness of the rolls beautifully.
  • Cilantro Sensation: Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro for a burst of freshness. The herb’s citrusy notes enhance the overall flavor profile.
  • Mexican Rice Marvel: Accompany the rolls with a side of fluffy Mexican rice for a complete and satisfying meal. The rice can soak up the flavorful juices from the rolls.
  • Taco Tuesday Remix: Unroll the cabbage leaves and use the seasoned ground beef as a taco filling. Top with your favorite taco fixings like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for a new twist.
  • Soup of the Day: Dice the leftover cabbage leaves and mix them into a hearty tomato-based soup. Add the remaining meat mixture for a comforting Mexican-inspired soup that’s perfect for chilly days.
glass meal prep containers with mexican cabbage roll topped with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and corn
Plate of cabbage rolls topped with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes.

Mexican Cabbage Roll

Experience a budget-friendly fiesta with our Restaurant-Quality Mexican Cabbage Rolls, combining lean ground beef, vibrant spices, and zesty tomatoes, all wrapped in tender cabbage leaves for a lower-carb twist that's perfect for meal prep and bursting with bold, savory flavors.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 2
Calories 308 kcal


  • knife
  • cutting board
  • boiling pot
  • saute pan
  • baking dish
  • oven


  • 1 half head of cabbage
  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup red onions (diced)
  • 1/2 cup corn (fresh, frozen, canned)
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper (diced)
  • 12 oz canned diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Boil a pot of water. Place the cabbage in the pot and boil for 7 to 8 minutes until the leaves are tender and can easily separate from the core. Once the cabbage is tender, remove it from the water and let it cool before pulling the leaves apart.
  • Meanwhile, add oil to a saute pan on medium-high heat and saute the red onions until they soften. Add the ground beef and sprinkle in the seasonings. Break it up into smaller pieces and continue to stir the beef around until it fully cooks (about 6 to 7 minutes). Then, add the tomato sauce and stir it into the meat mixture.
  • Layer 2 to 3 cabbage leaves on top of each other for each roll. Scoop 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into the center of the cabbage leaves. Wrap the leaves like a burrito tucking in the sides as you go.
  • Place the rolls in a baking dish and pour over the diced tomatoes. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.


Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used. Please consult with your healthcare provider for specific dietary needs. To gain a better understanding, explore our nutrition disclaimer here


Calories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 31gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 976mgPotassium: 1060mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1469IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 180mgIron: 5mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there alternatives to cabbage for wrapping the rolls?

Yes, indeed! While cabbage leaves are traditional, you can experiment with other leafy greens like collard greens or even large Swiss chard leaves for a unique twist.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Absolutely! Swap the ground beef for plant-based crumbles or a mix of quinoa and black beans for a delicious vegetarian version. Adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Can I customize the filling with additional vegetables?

Of course! Feel free to add your favorite veggies to the meat mixture. Diced zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach can be wonderful additions, adding both flavor and nutrients.

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