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Skinny Cabbage Rolls with Quinoa

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  • Prep 45 min
  • Total 1 hr 30 min
  • Servings 12
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Quinoa, lean turkey, and spices stuffed and baked inside cabbage rolls. The perfect healthy way to kick off your new year!
by: Macheesmo
Updated Mar 8, 2017
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  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 12 large green cabbage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 large red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Lemons, for garnish


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Measure out one cup of cooked quinoa and let cool.
  • 2
    To prepare cabbage leaves, carefully separate 12 leaves. Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add leaves to water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain cabbage leaves and let leaves cool.
  • 3
    In a large bowl, stir together cooked quinoa, ground turkey, red onions, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon black pepper, egg, and milk. Season mixture with a pinch of salt.
  • 4
    In a second bowl, stir together diced tomatoes, chicken stock, dried parsley, dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar.
  • 5
    To make rolls, lay out one steamed cabbage leaf and add a heaping spoonful of turkey filling to the center of the roll. Carefully wrap the roll around the filling. It's okay if it rips a bit.
  • 6
    Place rolled cabbage in a 9x13 baking dish and repeat until all the rolls are made. You should get 12 rolls.
  • 7
    Pour tomato sauce over rolls and bake the rolls at 400°F for about 40 minutes until turkey filling is cooked through.
  • 8
    Remove cabbage rolls from the dish and pour the thin tomato sauce into a medium pot. In a separate small bowl, whisk together corn starch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the corn-starch slurry into the tomato sauce and bring to a slight simmer to thicken sauce.
  • 9
    Serve cabbage rolls immediately while warm with thickened tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Trying to eat healthier this new year? We'll help with this great recipe for cabbage rolls filled with lean turkey and quinoa. Losing weight and eating healthier are probably the most common New Year's resolutions out there, and that’s very admirable. The first way to fail immediately at these goals, though, is to restrict yourself to bland, boring dishes – thinking that is the only way to stay within the healthy lines. These skinny quinoa cabbage rolls are not only filling and about as healthy as you can get, but they also pack a spicy punch that makes the flavors the opposite of boring. There are a few different pieces to these rolls. For starters, you need a good filling. Cook up a small batch of quinoa and then let it cool a bit. If you have any leftover quinoa, you can definitely use that – or you could even use something like rice or any other grain as a substitution. Now let’s deal with the cabbage. This might look difficult, but trust us, it’s doable. The key thing to remember is that cabbage leaves are pretty sturdy. Also, if they do rip a bit or fall apart, that’s totally okay. The leaves don’t have to be perfect to work. You need 12 big leaves for this recipe. To make them flexible, just boil them in simmering, salted water for about three minutes. Then drain them and let them cool so you can work with them. Serve the cabbage rolls with the thickened sauce over the top and garnish each serving with fresh parsley and lemon wedges. If you're a fan of cabbage rolls, you have to give this a shot!
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