Home » Keto Stuffed Cabbage (Holubtsi)

Keto Stuffed Cabbage (Holubtsi)

Watch out baba; this Keto Stuffed Cabbage Rolls might be a new favorite in the family….


To all the Polish and Ukrainian Grandmas and Moms out there, please don’t get offended about the heading. Although, I don’t think they are reading my blog anyway.

I grew up in a Ukrainian household, and Holubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls) was a staple. My mom made it; my mom’s mom made it, my dad (didn’t make it), my dad’s mom made it. You get the point.

I consumed a lot of stuffed cabbage rolls throughout my childhood. I eventually got sick of eating it and wasn’t as impressed with it anymore.

Also, like with any other European recipe, every mom and grandma makes it their way, and none of them taste the same. I can’t tell you whose was the best, but if I had to take guess, it would be my mom’s mom- Anna.

It’s ironic that I am writing this post at this time because March 17th marks 20 years since Baba Anna passed away. God rest her soul.

Old photo of my baba
How gorgeous was she though?!

She was an AMAZING cook and baker. As I am writing this post, I am getting teary-eyed because all of the memories of her are flushing through my head.

Baba Anna, my mom, and my older sister, Maryana
Baba Anna, my mom, and my older sister, Maryana

She was a spitfire. She was short, with dark hair and olive skin, and she was feisty. But man, did that lady have a heart of Gold.

My mom was the only child, and her dad died when she was very young, so it was just her and my Grandma Anna. They were best friends.

Baba Anna and my mom
Baba Anna and my mom

When my family migrated to the States in 1990, she came with us and helped us out a lot.

My parents were both in school, trying to make a living, learn the English language, and barely get by.

Hiring child care for my older sister, and I would have cost them so much money, and if it wasn’t for my Baba Anna, I don’t know how we would have made it.

Now that I have two children of my own, I appreciate any help I can get.

My fondest memories of Baba Anna are when she would make perogies and fresh bread.

Let me tell you, her perogies and bread were worth the carb hangovers times 1000. The smell in her little apartment in Parma, while the food was baking in the oven, was so pleasant. It’s like I can smell it right now.

Her bread was golden and crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.

Oh, but the perogies. The dough was perfect, not too thin, not too thick, and just the right amount of potato filling.

She would boil them fresh and make you eat them right away because that’s when they are the best, she would say.

Ah, I know, this is a Ketogenic based blog, and I am telling you about Bread and Perogies. I miss her so much. I wonder what her thoughts would be on my recent diet change, though. Maybe she would think I was crazy because, after all, “Bread is Life.”

On the other hand, I do remember her telling me once that she stopped eating bread and lost 10 lbs. I was so shocked. I looked at her and said, “How in the world can you just stop eating bread?”

Little did I know…

Anyways, this recipe is in the honor of my Dear Baba Anna; please don’t be mad that I used cauliflower instead of rice.

I wish you were alive today so you could have a few rolls, with lots of sour creams, of course.

My mom, me, my sister and Baba Anna at the mall in 1991
My mom, me, my sister and Baba Anna at the mall in 1991

Now that my eyes are swollen with tears, let me show you step-by-step how to make these Keto Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

How to make Keto Stuffed Cabbage ROLLS:

Gather thy ingredients


Remove the core from the cabbage leaf


Boil or steam said cabbage leaf until leaves are tender

boiled  cabbage

Process garlic and onions in a food processor


Add parsley and process until combined

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Add parsley mixture, meat, tomatoes, tomato paste, egg and cauliflower rice into a large bowl

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Mix well until fully incorporated

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Remove leaves from cabbage gently

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Cut a “V” into each leaf and place 1/4 cup of filling in the middle

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Roll bottom ends up

Keto Stuffed Cabbage
Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Roll the sides in and up like a burrito

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Ladle tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Layer rolls into dish, side by side

Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Ladle the remainder of the sauce on top and bake

Keto Stuffed Cabbage
Keto Stuffed Cabbage
Keto Stuffed Cabbage

Keto Stuffed Cabbage (Holubtsi)

Yield: 8
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours



  1. Remove the core and outer leaves of the cabbage.
  2. Fill a large pot with 2" water and bring to a boil, then place cabbage inside. Cover and steam cabbage until the outer layer of leaves are translucent and pliable.
  3. Remove cabbage and place in a large colander. Remove leaves carefully and let them dry while you make the filling. 


  1. In a food processor, add garlic, onion, and parsley. Pulse until finely chopped. 
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and add in the 1/4 cup of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, ground pork or ground beef, egg, cauliflower rice, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Mix gently with hands until well combined. 

To assemble rolls:

  1. Cut a  V-shape into the base of each leaf (look at the process pictures in the post). 
  2. Using a 1/4  measuring cup, portion out the filling into the centers of the leaves.
  3. Starting at the base where you cut the V, fold in the leaf over the filling and then fold in the sides, roll like a burrito until you reach the end. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Ladle 1/4 cup of tomato sauce on a 13x9 casserole dish and lay down the cabbage rolls side by side. Repeat a second layer and ladle the remainder of the sauce on top. 
  5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cabbage leaves are fork-tender. 
  6. Serve with sour cream.
Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 296Total Fat 16gCarbohydrates 12gFiber 5gProtein 27g

Did you make this recipe?

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Keto Stuffed Cabbage
Keto Stuffed Cabbage

21 thoughts on “Keto Stuffed Cabbage (Holubtsi)”

  1. I love stuffed cabbage! I grew up eating it all the time too and was kinda bummed out when I switched to keto since I don’t eat rice anymore, so I am sooo happy that I found your recipe! I can’t wait to try these! Thank you for the step-by-step pictures! They make it so much easier for someone like me who doesn’t cook that well.

  2. I made this last night and it was a hit! Absolutely delicious. I invited my friend over that is of Ukrainian decent and she even took a couple home with her. My rolls were not as tight as you made so I have enough ingredients left over to make unstuffed cabbage today! THANK YOU!

  3. I must have misread something. I didn’t have any left over. But I do have about 1lb of meat left. Not sure what to do. My cabbage had was the largest they had.

  4. Welp! It’s what’s for dinner. I’ll use the rest of the rest of the meat for veggie lasagna tomorrow. Thanks! I’ll return to this recipe again to redeem myself.

  5. Hi!

    As a russian, I really appreciate this recipe :D. I am new to keto and already love your blog (although I found it just today). I will definitely try these! I have not found a lot of european/slavic keto recipes yet

  6. Definitely one if my favorites!
    I made a few changes: left out the egg, used more cauliflower rice, & added 3 kg diced mushrooms.
    In the past I experienced the filling to be too👍❤ solid.
    For me this was perfect. Also I topped w the rest of the canned tomatoes….. thank you for sharing.

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