Vegetable Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Marinara

I have to admit, my time in the kitchen has been slim to none the past few weeks. Boris and I were down to one car so that meant that I was driving him to work, driving myself to work, and then picking him up. We weren’t getting home until 8pm most nights! Of course, in my world this equated to…. “I guess we have to get chipotle tonight.” I try to make healthy food choices outside of the home but let’s be honest, when you’re faced with a $1.75 addition of guacamole and chips the choice is pretty clear… guac it is! When I’m eating at home, there is simply less room for temptation. Not to mention, I know the ingredients that go into my recipes. 

Naturally, when I got back into my kitchen I felt the need to go all out… and that’s not just because I was worried about my produce going bad. I had purchased a head of cabbage two weeks prior with good intentions of making classic stuffed cabbage, one of Boris’ favorites. The cabbage was still good but, of course, we had already used up the ground meat. So I had to get creative. I emptied out the remaining vegetables we had in the fridge, made some quinoa (which we always have on hand) and came up with this lovely veggie filled stuffed cabbage. The veggie mix was perfect! The zucchini and mushrooms gave the filling a perfect meaty bite. Rather than making a classic Hungarian sweet and sour sauce I thought an Italian sauce would pair nicely with the veggies. Boy, was I right! The sauce adds a garden fresh sparkle to the cabbage rolls that was perfect for a summer night. This recipe isn’t quick but it is definitely worth it!

Ingredients: Spicy Marinara 

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water 
  • ½ red onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 2 tsp basil 
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes 

Ingredients: Cabbage Rolls 

  • 1 large head of cabbage 
  • 1 medium sized zucchini/ squash 
  • ½ red onion 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (prepare the quinoa according to package directions) 
  • ½ pint mushrooms 


1.    Prepare the Sauce
Dice ½ of the onion and mince the garlic. In a medium sized pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil then add the onion and garlic. Sautee until fragrant and the onion is slightly translucent. Add the can of tomato sauce, can of diced tomato, 1 cup of water and the spices. Turn the heat on simmer and allow to cook for about 20 minutes. 
2.    Prepare the filling 
Grate the zucchini using a cheese grater. Finely dice ½ of an onion. Chop 1 cup of walnuts. Wash and chop ½ pint of mushrooms. Combine these ingredients with the quinoa and ½ cup of sauce.  
3.    Prepare the cabbage leaves 
Fill a large pot to the half point with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place the cabbage in the pot and allow to cook. As the leaves soften, use tongs to remove them from the head of cabbage. Set the leaves aside. 
4.    Fill the cabbage leaves 
Cut the core out of each from each leaf, as shown below. Place the filling in the center and roll it up while keeping the filling secure, inside. 
5.    Prepare the pan 
In a large pyrex pan, place a thin layer of sauce at the bottom. Cover the sauce with a thin layer of cabbage leaves. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls over the leaves and cover with a layer of sauce. Cook in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.   

Hearty, healthy and delicious! 

Hearty, healthy and delicious! 

Nutrition Content:

Serving Size: 1 stuffed cabbage roll     

  • Calories: 208 cal
  • Protein: 6.5 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 15.4 grams
    • Fiber: 4.1 grams