Chicken Quinoa Cabbage Rolls

Are brussel sprouts not just mini cabbages?!? I say yes! But the hubbs, well he thinks differently and despises those cute, mini cabbages, but for some reason he LOVES cabbage rolls!?  Très weird.  Alas, we agree to disagree.  So, to make the him happy I made a batch of these rolled up goodies. Not gonna lie, this takes a bit of time; it would make a great Sunday dinner 🙂

I tweaked the traditional cabbage roll and made these with ground chicken and quinoa instead of beef and rice, so feel free to add your fav meat (could use turkey too!) or rice instead.cabbage rolls

Chicken Quinoa Cabbage Rolls
Serves 6
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  1. 1 large head of cabbage
  2. 1 lb ground chicken (could use turkey or beef)
  3. 2 cups organic tomato sauce
  4. 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed (equals one cup cooked)
  5. 1.5 cups low sodium, organic vegetable broth
  6. 1 small onion, diced
  7. 3 cloves garlic
  8. 3 medium carrots, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup xylitol brown sugar (or regular brown sugar)
  10. 1/4 cup white vinegar
  11. 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook your quinoa first so it will have time to cool.
  2. In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil and add the rinsed quinoa. (You could also cook the quinoa in water but the broth adds more flavour.)
  3. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  5. Fill a large pot (big enough to hold the entire head of cabbage) with water and bring to a boil.
  6. Once the water is boiling, drop your cabbage in (carefully! use tongs if you can) stem side down, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine raw ground chicken, cooked quinoa, 1 cup of tomato sauce, garlic, diced onion, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and mix with hands until combined.
  8. To make the sauce that will go on top of the cabbage rolls, in a medium bowl, combine the other cup of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, remaining 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and whisk until combined, set aside.
  9. Once the cabbage is cooked, carefully remove from the pot and rinse under cold water until it is cool enough to touch.
  10. Next you want to carefully peel off the leaves, you will need 12. You can cut the stem off to remove the leaves easier. Don't be discouraged if it tears a bit, you can probably still use it or just move on to the next one. Check to make sure the thick part of the stem is softened so you will be able to roll it, if it is not, put the cabbage back into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. You want it to be pliable so you can roll them. As you are separating your leaves, pat them dry with paper towel. Continue until you have 12 leaves.
  11. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick spray. Chop whatever cabbage is leftover after you have your 12 leaves, sprinkle on the bottom of the pan, and add the chopped carrots.
  12. Now, we're ready to roll! Divide the chicken mixture into 12 servings, place the mixture at the base of the leaf , tuck in the sides and roll (you all know how to tuck and roll, right?!) Place seam side down in the baking dish, on top of the remaining chopped cabbage and carrots.
  13. Continue until all 12 are rolled.
  14. Pour the sauce on top, cover with foil and bake for one hour.
  15. Remove from oven and enjoy!
  1. These freeze well too!
Nutritional Info per serving
  1. 250 Calories, 31g Carbs, 6g Fat, 20g Protein, 12g Sugar, 811mg Sodium
  2. Nutritional info is gathered from MyFitnessPal and may vary depending on your ingredients. Therefore, it is not always 100% accurate and meant to be used as a reference only.
The Happy Health Freak

This should have the stem-side down! Ooops!







  • Vinny Grette April 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

    So tempting and healthy, too! I wonder if your husband would like the recipe I have up this week? It combines Brussels sprouts with sauerkraut and other tasty things – all done on the stove top, so easy. People who love cabbage like this one, including the sprouts!

    • thehappyhealthfreak April 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Oh thanks! I will have to check it out. I’m always trying to convince him to try new things…he’s usually a good sport, but brussel sprouts are a tough sell 🙂

      • Vinny Grette April 18, 2013 at 11:23 am

        My daughter is the same – but she said she was surprised she liked this one! Yay! I also like to roast brussels sprouts with bacon – yes, bacon. But just a little…

        • thehappyhealthfreak April 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

          I’ve seen that! Jamie Oliver had a good recipe 🙂 I’m sure if I added bacon he’d eat it!

  • Laura April 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Ahh these look really good!! I’ve tried quinoa three times now in different recipes and ugh. I haven’t been a fan. Maybe *this* will be the one to change my mind lol

    • thehappyhealthfreak April 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Oh I hope! Do you rinse it every time? That makes a difference, also I like to cook it in soup broth for more flavour. If all else fails, you can sub in rice 🙂

  • I’d like to thank the academy | Serif and Spice April 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

    […] her healthy journey of eating mostly gluten free and dairy free. She posted a recipe last week for Chicken Quinoa Cabbage Rolls that are now on my “must try” […]


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