Ukrainian Sour Cabbage Rolls with Bacon (Keto)

ukrainian-sour-cabbage-rolls

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These Keto Cabbage Rolls are a twist on the popular traditional Ukrainian stuffed cabbage known as “Holubtsi”. Where I live here in Canada, we have a large Ukrainian population. Many Ukrainian immigrants moved to Canada in the late 1800s and after the Second World War. As a result, we have a strong Ukrainian culture and almost everyone loves traditional Ukrainian foods such as cabbage rolls, borscht, and pierogies. Kielbasa is equally as popular here but this is traditionally part of Polish cuisine. 

These style of cabbage rolls are popular in my area and are typically made with sour cabbage, bacon, rice and dill. For these Keto Sour Cabbage Rolls, we substitute the rice with cauliflower rice. Trust me on this, you can’t taste the difference!  My husband is Ukrainian and his family immigrated from Estonia in the early 90s. They make traditional cabbage rolls made with tomato sauce, rice and pork. As far as I know, they have never made these style of cabbage rolls or have heard of them. This recipe might have come together over the decades through blending different cultures. If you know anything about these sour cabbage rolls with bacon, let me know in the comments below!

Cabbage:

As mentioned above, these cabbage rolls use a head of Sour Cabbage. You should be able to easily find this at your local grocery store. You can use regular cabbage, but I don’t recommend it. Sour cabbage is what makes this recipe unique! If you want to use regular cabbage, I’ll have a recipe on this shortly (made with tomato sauce and ground pork).

Filling:

To prepare the filling heat some of the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and chopped bacon to the pan and cook until bacon is soft and the onions are translucent. Once done cooking, remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl add cauliflower rice, dill, salt, pepper, cooked onion and bacon. Mix until thoroughly combined. 

cabbage-rolls-filling

 

Rolling Technique:

 

  1. Large Leaves: Cut the leaf in half and remove the tough center stem. 
  2. Small Leaves: With a knife, slice off the raised center stem of the cabbage leaf. This will flatten the leaf and make it easier to roll.
  3. How to Roll: Once the filling is placed onto the cabbage leaf(about 1 tbsp), tightly roll into a cone. Once rolled, use your thumb to push in the sides (this might take some practice, but don’t worry it will work!). You can also secure the roll with a toothpick if your roll isn’t secure enough, but this isn’t necessary.

Remove the tough center stem.

Cut the cabbage leaf in half.

cabbage-roll

Tightly roll the cabbage into a cone and push in the sides.

 

Cooking Method:

For these Keto Cabbage Rolls, we use the instant pot for a faster cooking method. Just like our Keto Greek Dolmades, you’ll want to place the cabbage rolls tightly in the Instant Pot to help secure them. We like to place uncooked bacon on top of the cabbage rolls for extra flavor. 

If using a casserole dish or dutch oven, cover and bake at 375°F for 1 1/2 hours. 

Serving:

These cabbage rolls are best served with sour cream and onions fried in butter! Serve with other low carb foods such as Kielbasa  (Polish Sausage). 

To Freeze:

These are great to make ahead and freeze! Once cooked, allow the cabbage rolls to come to room temperature and divide them into freezer safe containers. To reheat, allow to thaw completely and warm them in a skillet or preheated oven. 

 

Sour Cabbage Rolls

Keto Ukrainian Sour Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine Ukrainian
Servings 8
Calories 44 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Head of Sour Cabbage Can be purchased whole from the grocery store. See images above.
  • 100 grams White Onion Diced.
  • 10 Slices of Bacon Chopped, Diced, Uncooked.
  • 1 tbsp Dried Dill Or 2-3 Tsp of Chopped Fresh Dill.
  • 2 cups Cauliflower Rice Uncooked.
  • 1 Egg Optional, this will help the filling stick together.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt To Taste.
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2-3 cups Chicken Broth Or Water.
  • 3-4 Slices of Bacon Optional. To put on top of the cabbage rolls when cooking. Uncooked.

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the filling heat some of the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and chopped bacon to the pan and cook until bacon is soft and the onions are translucent. Once done cooking, remove from heat and set aside. 
  • Mix the cauliflower rice, cooked bacon, onion, dill, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Remove the core from the cabbage and separate the leaves.
  • For the larger cabbage leaves, cut the leaf in half and remove the tough stem. For the smaller leaves, carefully slice the raised surface of the stem (keeping the leaf intact).
  • Depending on the size of your leaf, place approx. 1 tbsp of filling into the cabbage leaf and roll into a cone. Once rolled, use your thumb to push in the sides (this might take some practice, but don't worry it will work!). You can also secure the roll with a toothpick if your roll isn't secure enough.
  • Repeat until all of the filling and cabbage leaves are used up. This makes approx. 30-35 cabbage rolls. Save the too small or broken cabbage leaves to layer on the bottom of the instant pot.
  • Using some of the oil and grease the inside if your instant pot.
  • Use the remaining small or broken cabbage leaves to layer the bottom of the instant pot.
  • Tightly place all of the cabbage rolls into the instant pot. For the second layer, place the cabbage rolls in the alternate direction (this will help keep the cabbage rolls secure during the cooking process).
  • Once the cabbage rolls are placed in the instant pot, pour chicken broth or water over the rolls, along with the leftover olive oil.
  • Place 3-4 full slices of bacon over the cabbage rolls. Optional, but this will add extra flavor!
  • Add a plate on top of the cabbage rolls to secure them in place during the cooking process.
  • Lock the lid in place and select high pressure for 20 minutes. Once done cooking, turn to value to a quick release.
  • Holding the plate tightly to the cabbage rolls. strain the liquid from the pot, being careful to not drop any cabbage rolls. This step is optional but removing them from the liquid helps the cabbage rolls to set. You could alternatively just remove the cabbage rolls carefully with tongs.
  • Let the cabbage rolls cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with sour cream, optional fried onions and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Information: Per Cabbage Roll (Makes Approx. 30 Cabbage Rolls)
  • 44 Calories 
  • 3.4g Carbohydrates
  • 1.3g Fiber
  • 3g Fat
  • 2.1g Protein 
Net Carb: 2.1g / Cabbage Roll 

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve tried our Keto Sour Cabbage Rolls! If you’re looking for more keto recipes, visit our recipe page!

1 thought on “Ukrainian Sour Cabbage Rolls with Bacon (Keto)”

  1. Pingback: Middle Eastern Keto Stuffed Onions (Dolma) - with Cauliflower Rice!

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