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Jackie Bea’s Unrolled Cabbage Rolls

The brightness of the romesco sauce plays well off of the deep earthiness of the cabbage (Kayte Young/WFIU)

In this recipe, Jackie Bea Howard takes the components of a cabbage roll and prepares them simply as a ground turkey and cabbage sautee, topped with a powerful romesco sauce.

Her method plays with the traditional flavors of a cabbage roll, and saves time by slicing the cabbage and incorporating it, rather than crafting individual rolls.

Jackie mixes everything together and portions it for meal-prepping. For a more elegant plating style, you could serve it “deconstructed” and offer the bright red-orange romesco sauce on top, or as a bed for the turkey-cabbage “filling.” Either way, a dollop of sour cream is a must.

You can hear Jackie walk through the steps on this episode of Earth Eats.

Jackie Bea’s Unrolled Cabbage Rolls


  • For the "filling"
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 head green cabbage, sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more when you add the cabbage)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Romesco Sauce
  • 1 12oz. jar of roasted red peppers in olive oil (if you roast and peel your own, use about 4 large peppers)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more, to taste) smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons (or more, to taste) sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds


  1. Heat the oil in dutch oven or heavy skillet. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat.
  2. Add the cabbage (you may need to do this in stages if your pot is not big enough to hold it.
  3. While the cabbage cooks down, make your sauce.
  4. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt paprika or sherry vinegar.
  5. Add the sauce to the pot of turkey and cabbage, or serve the sauce as a topping, along with a dollop of sour cream.

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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