Ground Beef Cabbage Wraps: My Favorite 20-Minute Recipe

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Ground beef cabbage roll ups

We all have them.  Those as-quick-as-possible recipes that we can whip up in twenty minutes or less.  Of course, the real challenge is coming up with twenty-minutes or less recipes that are actually healthy and don’t come in boxes and cans.

Today I want to share with you my personal favorite – ground beef cabbage roll ups.  This is my go-to recipe when I’m in a pinch and don’t have anything else prepared.  The always magical combination of ginger, garlic and soy sauce gives this recipe a wonderful Asian twist.

The only moderately time-consuming task is chopping the onions, garlic and ginger but any ol’ food processor will take care of that in a matter of minutes.

From start to finish, I can have this meal ready in twenty minutes tops.  Not bad for a perfectly healthy from-scratch recipe!


  • One pound ground beef
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small-medium red or white onion, minced
  • 1 TBSP organic, brown sugar (optional)
  • 2-3 TBSP wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 TBSP sesame oil
  • Cabbage leaves


1. Heat oil over medium heat.   Add garlic, ginger and onion and saute for a few minutes

2. Add ground beef, stirring until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.  Add more oil if necessary.

3. Add soy sauce and optional brown sugar.

4. For cabbage rolls, steam or boil cabbage leaves until pliable but not too wet.

5.  Lay leaves flat and fill with about 2 heaping TBSP ground beef mixture toward edge of roll.  Fold edges in and roll.

Serve with a side of fermented vegetables like kimchi, pickled onions (both pictured above) or pickled beets.

Notes and Variations

1. I rarely get the cabbage leaves to roll neatly.  Admittedly, it’s often a bit of a mess.  But I don’t really care.  It still tastes delicious and that’s the most important thing.  

2.  Instead of whole cabbage leaves as roll ups, dice a quarter of a cabbage and saute it with the onions, ginger and garlic for more of a beef-cabbage stir fry. 

3.  Substitute ground pork for beef and add some mint leaves, fish sauce and lime for a southeast Asian version.


What’s your favorite healthy twenty-minutes-or-less go-to recipes?  Share in the comments below!

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  1. This, I’m going to have to try. Thanks.

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