Easy, Low Calorie, Sweet and Sour Cabbage Roll Skillet

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Get all the fabulous flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage but without all the rolling! This one pan wonder is so delicious and super quick to make. I’ve made it skinny by using extra lean, ground beef and brown Basmati rice instead of the usual white. Delight in the fact that 1 serving has 199 calories, 3 grams of fat and 7 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. All you’ll need to serve this dish with is a simple salad. Freeze any leftovers for future meals, if you even have any. My family ate it 2 days in a row. It’s that good!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes (includes cooking rice)


½ cup uncooked brown rice, I like Basmati brown rice, see shopping tips

1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tips

1 cup chopped onions, chopped

¾ cup finely celery, chopped

¼ teaspoon seasoned salt or regular salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 egg whites

1 egg, well beaten, I like Eggland’s Best eggs

1 (16-oz) pkg. coleslaw blend or shredded cabbage (4 cups)

1½ cups (12-oz) tomato sauce or marinara sauce, I used Classico Tomato and Basil or Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce

⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar

4½ tablespoons cider vinegar


1. Cook rice as directed on package (½ cup uncooked is about 2 cups cooked).

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, beef, onions, celery, seasoned salt, pepper and eggs; mix well.

3. Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet or pan with cooking spray.  Add 3 cups of coleslaw blend; spread evenly to cover bottom of skillet.  Spoon beef mixture evenly over coleslaw blend; spread out and press lightly with fork or back of spoon. Top with remaining coleslaw blend.

4. In small bowl, combine tomato sauce, brown sugar and vinegar; blend well. Spoon over beef mixture in skillet. Cover; cook over medium heat for 12 minutes. Uncover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook an additional 11 minutes or until beef mixture is thoroughly cooked.

5. Remove skillet from heat. With cover partially on skillet, carefully drain off liquid. Let sit for 10 minutes to set.

6. Cut into 8 wedges.

Makes 8 servings (1 wedge per serving)

Food Fact

Traditional stuffed cabbage is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. It is common to the ethnic cuisines of the Balkans and parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as Finland and Sweden.
Traditional among European Jews, stuffed cabbage entered Jewish cooking some 2,000 years ago.

Healthy Benefits

Cabbage is a nutrient dense, low calorie, food that provides an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, B6, biotin, calcium and a respectable amount of fiber. In addition, studies have shown cabbage has anticancer benefits.
Using extra lean ground beef for this recipe is a terrific, healthy choice.  The fat is cut down further due to draining the liquid after the dish is fully cooked.

Cider vinegar adds zip to food with practically no sodium, fat, cholesterol or calories.

Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, which helps to maintain proper blood pressure.  It also contains a fair amount of fiber, iron, niacin, thiamine and vitamin B6.

Shopping Tips

I used Trader Joe’s (96/4) extra lean ground beef.  It contains 130 calories and 4 grams of fat for 4 ounces. Happily most supermarkets sell some type of extra lean ground beef!

Basmati brown rice can be found in most supermarkets either in the rice aisle or health food aisle. I bought it at Trader Joe’s.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
Weight Watchers
(old points) 4

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
199 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 52mg chol, 15g protein, 32g carbs, 2g fiber, 265mg sodium, 17g sugar

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10 Responses to “Easy, Low Calorie, Sweet and Sour Cabbage Roll Skillet”

  1. leanonlife Says:

    Great post the flavors of each ingredients enhances the dish & explaining the importance & benefits of the dish makes post more readable. Keep posting..


  2. suzie Says:

    For some reason, I can never get your recipes to print.
    What’s the deal??

  3. admin Says:

    Sorry Suzie. I’m not sure what the problem is. I’ll check it out!

  4. Diane Says:

    I made this recipe on Sunday for my week’s lunches. It is delicious. I will definitely make this again!

  5. admin Says:

    Wonderful Diane. Thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂

  6. joanne gregory Says:

    I can’t ever print out your recipes. Bummer!

  7. admin Says:

    Sorry Joanne. I’ll need to have my tech guy check it.
    Stay tuned.
    My best,

  8. admin Says:

    Actually Joanne, I just checked my print button and was able to print this recipe out without any problems.
    You might want to read my post about using the print button. Hopefully it will be useful. http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/how-skinny-kitchens-print-button-works/
    My best,

  9. Kristi Says:

    I’ve made this before and loved it! I was wondering this time though, if it would be possible to bake it in the oven rather than cooking it in a skillet on the stove? If so, what temperature and for how long? Thank you 🙂

  10. admin Says:

    Kristi, I’ve never baked this recipe in the oven. That said, I’d preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes until the meat is cooked.
    Good luck. I’d love to hear how it turned out!
    My best,

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