I had a really great meal planned for dinner. I was going to make traditional cabbage rolls, something I hadn’t eaten for a long time, probably since my grandmother was alive. I’d found a really nice head of cabbage at the grocery store and had everything planned out for the meal – and then work got in the way. I love working from home, but sometimes work can get crazy with deadlines and tasks that need to be managed. So my wonderfully planned meal went out the window.
But I still had all the makings for cabbage rolls, just not all the time I needed. Cabbage rolls generally take about 2 hours to bake and about 30 minutes or so for the prep work. I was still hungry for the taste of a cabbage roll, so I decided to make unstuffed cabbage in a big skillet instead. It uses all the same ingredients, but dinner can be ready in about half an hour. Win-win for me!
I used Minute Rice in this recipe simply because I was pressed for time in getting something on the table for everyone to eat, but you can definitely use the long-grain rice of your choice. You’ll just need to extend the cooking time to allow the rice to cook. I also added a pint of homemade salsa to my skillet unstuffed cabbage. Salsa isn’t a usual ingredient in traditional cabbage rolls, but it adds a nice spicy flavor when you’re making it on the stove top.
1 pound ground beef
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 pint salsa (optional)
2 cups Minute Rice (or your favorite long-grain rice but add more cooking time)
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, brown ground beef with the onion until the beef is no longer pink. Drain. To the skillet, add the chopped cabbage, and stir to combine. Let it cook for a few minutes to let the cabbage wilt a bit (and make more room in the skillet). Add the tomato sauce, salsa if using, 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine everything.
Let cook over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the water and the cabbage is tender. If you’re using long-grain rice, the cooking time may be closer to 30 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid anything sticking in the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.