Cabbage Dolmas


cabbage dolmas mediterranean paleo -

These adorable little cabbage dolmas are stuffed with spiced ground beef and then simmered in a flavorful beef curry. This delicious and meaty dish is just one of more than 150 recipes in my friend Caitlin’s new cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking.

You may already know that Caitlin of Grass Fed Girl is a certified nutrition consultant (she’s also the author of this excellent Gelatin Treats ebook). Her other half, Nabil, happens to be a classically trained chef who grew up eating traditional North African food. I LOVE learning about food and through Nabil’s words, I’ve learned so much about Mediterranean cuisine. For example, these dolmas… I always assumed that dolmas were made with grape leaves. But as Nabil writes, “In the Middle East, dolma refers to a grape leaf stuffed with meat and rice, but in North Africa, it refers to a vegetable stuffed with beef and then slowly simmered in broth. Cabbage dolmas are a common savory dish in Algeria, as are dolmas made with zucchini and bell peppers.” See, now you know a little more about dolmas than you did before reading this! I could learn about different cuisines all day and not get bored.

mediterannean-paleo-cookbookCaitlin and Nabil decided to team up with Diane Sanflippo to bring this book to another level. Together, these three Paleo wizards created a cookbook that is useful for everyone, regardless of food restrictions. It includes meal plans for those on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol as well was recipe modifications for most recipes. Those on special diets (AIP, GAPS, SCD, low-carb, nut-free, egg-free) will have plenty of recipes to choose from; the hardest part will be choosing what to make first!

If you haven’t yet, you can buy your copy of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking here.


Cabbage Dolmas

cabbage dolmas mediterranean paleo -

Cabbage Dolmas

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Servings 4 to 6
Prep Time 15 mins


  • 12 large cabbage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

For the Stuffing

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • Boil 3 cups of water in a steamer pot over medium heat. Steam the cabbage leaves for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft, and set them aside.
  • In a large saute pan, melt the fat over medium heat. Add the stew meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, cinnamon sticks, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  • Cover the mixture with the beef broth and bring to a boil with the lid on. Remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While the stew meat is cooking, mix the stuffing ingredients together in a large bowl. Place ¼ cup of the stuffing mixture in the middle of a steamed cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf halfway, then tuck in the sides and finish rolling. Place the rolled leaf aside on a plate, seam side down. Repeat until all of the stuffing is used up.
  • Using tongs, carefully add the stuffed cabbage leaves to the saute pan. Cover and simmer the cabbage rolls for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and top the dish with fresh cilantro to serve.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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    • Annette says

      When I left my previous comment, there was no recipe showing, so I was commenting based on the photo. But after I submitted my comment, the recipe appeared. Anyway, the recipe looks fabulous. I make a chicken recipe that has cumin and cinnamon (like this one), along with other spices – wow it’s such a delicious flavor combination and so fragrant. I imagine this dolmas recipe is one fantastic feast.

  1. Kelly Minyard says

    Cabbage is our budget-easy-healthy go to, and I am always looking for ways to “spice it up”! Can’t wait to try this!

  2. Heather Gaillot says

    Well, I’ve never been a huge fan of dolmas, but that was before I liked cabbage, which now I do since going paleo so…I’d try ’em! Lots of things in this book look great! Thanks!

  3. myste says

    delicious! this recipe is especially exciting since the season is closing on being able to pluck fresh grape leaves from my vines but cabbage season has a long way to go!

  4. Jessica says

    Definitely trying this! My mom and I are starting our Whole30 soon, so this looks like a delicious and easy recipe 🙂

  5. Delaina says

    These look yummy. I was just thinking the other day about what I could do to change my stuffed cabbage rolls(to avoid the tomato sauce.)

  6. Julie Ann says

    Finished making this wonderful dish. With the cinnamon, my family thought I was making an apple pie. I feel another spice is needed but not sure which one. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good delicious meal!!

  7. Lisa B says

    Looks positively scrumptious! Love Dolmas, will have to give this a run when I have fresh grape leaves in the Spring. Would love to get the book! 🙂

  8. Glenys says

    Every single recipe of yours that I have tried is wonderful and so full of flavour so I can’t wait to try this one. It sounds so yummy!

  9. Albera.A says

    this looks so delish! I love stuffed cabbage and Grape leaves. I’m defiantly going to try this as a new healthy way then my Mothers traditional Assyrian recipe. 😉

  10. Cindy Morrison says

    I just love your recipes! This one looks so good. I just started following on Facebook and the first recipe I tried was the Naan bread. Would love to get your book!

  11. Joanne says

    I love Mediterranean cooking and this book looks wonderful!! I hope I win but even if i do i will be buying some as Christmas gifts as well!! Fingers are crossed!!

  12. Susan from Scottsdale says

    WOW! I would never touch stuffed cabbage before but YOURS looks so good I wanted to eat the photo off the screen so therefore I definitely want to make it. I love cooking with beef and making big stews that the week. Thank you for your recipe. Happy Cooking, Ashley!

  13. Linda C says

    I heart Indian food and your recipes have been so yummy. These African style cabbages look so good, just my style. Entered your giveaway(correctly I hope)!

  14. Heather says

    Looks good! My husband and I were wanting to make cabbage rolls this week – this recipe looks like it’ll do the trick!

  15. Courtney says

    These cabbage rolls look so delicious! I love warm fall/winter flavors like cinnamon in my stews. It creates so much richness and depth. This cookbook looks so fantastic!

  16. Nick Cole aka nickcolelamb aka nicknamenic says

    Recipe looks amazing. I love cabbage! Have pinned on pinterest to try on my next grocery trip! Thank you.

  17. Samantha says

    I’ve always loved Lebanese stuffed Grape leaves and my mom always made Germany stuffed cabbage rolls growing up so I’m sure this recipe would be amazing. Can’t wait to try these.

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