Mexican Cabbage Rolls

These savory rolls of rice, beans, and vegetables are baked with enchilada sauce and topped with pico de gallo to make a symphony of Mexican flavors that will dazzle your taste buds!

There is something I find so satisfying about food that is wrapped in some form or another.  It’s comforting to think of tasty ingredients all tucked in and ready to delight at every bite.  Since I’ve gone gluten-free, and gave up my beloved flour tortillas, I have branched out, wrapping food in new ways.  One day, it occurred to me to attempt wrapping my favorite wet burrito ingredients in cabbage leaves and serving them as Mexican cabbage rolls.  What I got was a delectable mash-up that falls somewhere between burritos and a casserole!  That’s double comfort food!  Yum!

mex cabbage rolls filling

The only part of this recipe that is slightly tricky is the rolling.  So, I took some pics to break it down for you.  Once you get the hang of it, it is a piece of cake!.. Or rather, a piece of cabbage!

Mex cabbage roll guide

mex cabbage rolls pan

Top with fresh pico to add a burst of bright flavor to each savory bite!  Enjoy!

Mex Cabbage Rolls

Mexican Cabbage Rolls

  • Servings: 6
  • Print


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 large sweet white onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded
  • 2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (one lemon’s worth)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice (one lime’s worth)
  • 1 batch Spanish rice
  • 14.5 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 c cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt-free seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 28 oz enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups spicy pico de gallo
  • 1 cup salsa verde (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Chop off the bottom inch and a half of the head of cabbage and steam. As the leaves loosen, use a pear of tongs to gently pull leaves off one at a time and set them aside on a plate to cool. Replace lid and continue steaming. Check every couple of minutes to see if top leaves are ready to be pulled off, until you have 15-16 large leaves and set aside.
3. Chop the bell peppers, onion, and jalapenos and place in a large pot (5 qt) along with minced garlic and lemon and lime juices. Heat over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain off any excess liquid.
4. In the pot, add rice, beans, cilantro, nutritional yeast, diced green chilies, and seasonings.  Stir to combine.
5. Time to roll: Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Spread a small amount of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan. Use a small, sharp knife to shave off the thicker part of the cabbage leaf spines. Place a leaf in the baking pan. Add several spoonfuls of filling in the center, roll, and arrange in the pan (see pictures above). Continue until pan is full. Cover rolls with remaining enchilada sauce and use a spoon to spread sauce around so that all cabbage leaves are covered with a thin layer of sauce. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Serve warm and top with pico de gallo and salsa verde as desired.

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