Unstuffed Cabbage

Raphia Trenkle


My WONDERFUL Mom, Grace Lapelosa Trenkle, used to make this dish by request and I remember coming home from school as a kid and yell "HI MOM! What's For Dinner?!" KNOWING I was smelling Cabbage cooking! She would yell back, "Hamburger Rice and Cabbage!" Oh.. BLISS! I miss her terribly, she passed away 15 years ago, was the most wonderful cook, and our big Italian,(Mom)/German-Irish,(Dad) family and many friends and even "strangers - repairmen" were always welcome and urged to EAT! EAT! And this happened OFTEN! This recipe is one of our many favorites. Enjoy!


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

25 Min
35 Min


  • 2 lb
    ground beef, (lean, i use 93%)
  • 1lb
    jimmy dean original sausage
  • 1 large
    or 2 med. cabbage heads
  • 1 large
    onion - chopped
  • 1 tsp
    sage (dried) or tyme leaves and 1/3 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups
    part cooked white rice, uncle ben's holds up very well
  • To taste
    lawry's garlic salt, sea salt and black pepper.

How to Make Unstuffed Cabbage


  1. Wash & Drain Cabbage. Core heart out and dispose. Slice or chop into chunks and set aside.
    Start steaming your rice according to the directions and undercook it by 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large Skillet brown Lean Ground Beef, Jimmy Dean Sausage and chopped onion. Chop up the meat and keep tossing. Add about 1/2 tsp. sea salt, sprinkle black pepper to taste and about 1/3 tsp. garlic powder, toss around and get those flavors mingling together, meat mix will have juices and fat settling to the bottom don't drain. Both 93% ground beef and Jimmy Dean Sausage is fairly lean. Remove from heat. Add the part cooked rice and mix it into your meat mixture.
  3. I use an open veggie steamer in the bottom of my largest pot (prevents scorching the cabbage,) and I add about 1 1/2 - 2 inches of water to the bottom of my pot under the steamer. Layering begins. Start with 1/3 of the raw chopped or sliced cabbage to form a nice bed on the bottom of the steamer. Sprinkle Lawry's garlic salt over the chopped - sliced cabbage, (any brand of garlic salt will work.) Add 1/2 of the meat-rice mix right on top of the raw cabbage, spread it all over the top. Repeat with cabbage layer on top of the meat mix, Garlic salt the top layer of cabbage again and add the rest of the meat-rice mix. The end is topped with chopped - sliced Cabbage, again sprinkle the garlic salt. Cover the pot and onto the stove.. set the burner on High until the water starts to boil and steaming begins. Then I turn the heat down to #7 or medium. At about 20 minutes start checking the top cabbage layer for doneness. We like ours cooked very soft and I start adding 5 - 10 minutes until it is just right. I also keep a kettle of boiling water handy in case the water level gets too low. If you need to add boiling water, do it on the very edge of the inside of the pot so it won't rinse off the garlic salt on the top layer of cabbage.
  4. I personally make this dish with double the entire recipe. I use a slotted spatula with the meat-rice layering, no need to drain meat mix, meat fat drains down to the bottom of the pot. Personally, I make my bottom of the pot cabbage layer larger cut because it's closest to the steam and cooks faster. Smaller as I go up. It all works well as long as there is water and steam. Leftovers are even better the next day AND we are a family of 12. I'm smiling thinking "They just fell off their chair!" Just a bit of humor and a lot of truth. I Hope you enjoy! God Bless!

Printable Recipe Card

About Unstuffed Cabbage

Course/Dish: Beef, Pork, Casseroles
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: German
Hashtag: #fall winter

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