Stuffed Cabbage with Quinoa and Sweet Potato

Stuffed Cabbage with Quinoa and Sweet Potato is rich in protein and nutrients.  These healthy packets of cabbage were born out of a random box of vegetables.  I have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to me when the farmer’s markets are closed for the season or if my schedule is too hectic to find time to go the grocery.  I love being surprised with whatever assortment is in the box.  This week, my box included cabbage, sweet potatoes, fennel, celery, carrots and kale.  I wanted to come up with a recipe that included some of these ingredients.  I decided to make stuffed cabbage with quinoa (rich in protein) and sweet potatoes (rich in complex carbohydrates and the most nutritious vegetable).


This recipe also contains cinnamon, which lab studies have found may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects and fight bacteria.

While there seems to be a lot of steps to this dish, Stuffed Cabbage with Quinoa and Sweet Potato is a great meal to freeze; it tastes even better the next day.  This vegan recipe is also gluten-free.

Servings: 5


  • 1 cup water
  • ½  cup quinoa
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup diced fennel (about 1 large or 2 small bulbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 28 ounce tomato puree`
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (start with 1/8 teaspoon and taste before adding the rest)


Preheat oven 400F

  1. You may need to rinse the quinoa prior to cooking.  Follow the instructions on the package for cooking quinoa.  Quinoa is usually cooked by bringing the water to a boil, then adding the quinoa and bringing the water back to a boil.  Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, cut the core out of the cabbage.  The easiest way to remove the core is to cut an “x” through the core and then a circle around the core.  Then pry out a quarter of the core with your knife.  The remaining quarters should be easier to remove.  Place the cabbage, core facing up, in a pot boiling water.  Allow the water to fill the core.  This will help the cabbage to sink into the water.  Boil for 5 minutes covered.  Turn off heat and allow to sit for another 6-8 more minutes or until the outer leaf easily removed.  Remove cabbage and set aside to cool.
  3. Toss sweet potato and leeks in 2 tablespoons olive oil and pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Roast at 400F for 15-20 minutes until slightly caramelized and tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
  5. Toast pine nuts until lightly browned in pan over low/medium heat.  Watch them.  They will burn quickly.
  6. In a medium saucepan, add the tomatoes puree and vegetable broth.  Cook over medium heat.  Season with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  If you use good quality canned tomato puree, you should not need any additional seasoning or salt.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, combine quinoa, cooled roasted potatoes, roasted fennel and pine nuts.
  8. Pull off large cabbage leaves and cut out the large vein.   Cut out a “V” to remove part of the tough large vein on each leaf.  Fill with about 2 heaping spoonful of quinoa mixture and roll, tucking in the leaf on the side to create a sealed cabbage package.  Place in glass or ceramic casserole dish.  Cover with tomato puree.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.

I like to freeze a couple cabbage rolls in a small freezer bags.  Heat them up in your microwave for a ridiculously fast vegetarian meal.



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