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When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing we crave more than the comfort foods of our youth. From mom’s chicken adobo to dad’s “Hungarian” goulash recipe that inexplicably included frozen french fries, these are the meals that warm us from the inside out, but sometimes when we look back we realize that the ingredients could use a little updating. Swap out a can of condensed cream-of-soup here, a family-sized pack of cube steak there, and it’s easy to give these classic recipes a makeover that’s both more flavorful, and often quite a bit healthier than the recipes we grew up. So when we saw Valerie Bertinelli’s updated twist on classic stuffed cabbage rolls, we knew we’d have to try it.
While Bertinelli’s recipe captures all of the cozy, nostalgic flavor of the stuffed cabbage rolls so many of us grew up eating, she makes things a little lighter in carbs and fat by swapping ground beef for ground turkey, and swapping regular rice for cauliflower rice. And lest you worry you’ll have to haul out your food processor for the latter, never fear — Bertinelli herself uses pre-made cauliflower rice. We like the raw kind you can get at Trader Joe’s, though frozen cauliflower rice will work, too.
As for the tomato sauce, you won’t find any cans of condensed tomato soup here. Instead, Bertinelli keeps things simple, calling for diced tomatoes and tomato puree. She seasons the sauce with onion powder, garlic, and salt, and as the turkey and cauliflower-stuffed cabbage rolls cook in the sauce, it becomes infused with their flavor.
The result is a totally nostalgic, delicious, belly-warming dish that’s got the flavors you and your family love, but with extra veggies and a leaner protein. It’s the kind of recipe everyone from great-grandma to the kids will love, making it a must-try.
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