Grain Free One Pan Spaghetti Recipe (Over Cabbage)

One-pan grain free gluten free spaghetti recipi

This isn’t one of the most visually appealing recipes to emerge from my kitchen, but one of the simplest! It’s a quick and easy take on spaghetti without the grains. It even got an un-prompted  “This is actually pretty good,” from my Italian husband!

how to make paleo primal grain free pasta

My favorite part… it only takes one (oven-safe) pan to make from start to finish and the kids all ate it!

Grain Free Spaghetti Recipe

This recipe uses shredded cabbage in place of spaghetti noodles for a nutrient rich substitution that is grain-free and gluten-free. Sounds strange but tastes great!

One-pan grain free gluten free spaghetti recipi

2 votes


One Pan Spaghetti Recipe Over Cabbage Noodles (Grain Free!)




Yield 4 -6

A grain free, cabbage based spaghetti recipe that packs extra nutrition from the vegetables while maintaining the delicious taste of spaghetti.


  • 1 (or more) pounds of ground beef (grass fed if possible)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 24 ounces (about three cups) of spaghetti sauce (I make my own, but there are a few good store-bought brands. Look for a glass jar with no added sugars or chemicals)
  • Extra spices to taste (basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, etc)
  • 1-2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (optional)


  1. Brown the meat in a large oven safe skillet (like cast iron). If using grass fed, it will be lean, so add a few tablespoons of tallow or olive oil to make sure it has a little oil and doesn't stick.
  2. While meat is browning, peel onions, cut in half and thinly slice. When meat is almost browned, add the onions and cook until meat is done.
  3. While onions/meat are finishing, thinly slice cabbage into "noodle" thin pieces as you would for sauerkraut.
  4. Add cabbage (may have to add in several batches as it cooks down, depending on the size of your skillet)
  5. Add any spices at this point to taste.
  6. When cabbage is cooked until soft and it is spiced to your taste, add the sauce and stir well.
  7. If adding cheese, put on top and put into oven on broil to melt cheese.
  8. Remove and serve (with salad and a garlic version of Coconut Flour Biscuits)
  9. Salut!

Courses Main

Cuisine Italian

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Do you miss pasta? Ready to try a healthier alternative?

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Reader Comments

  1. I actually DON’T miss pasta (I’m almost 1 year primal-style now), which is shocking to everyone, me most of all. I like to use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles as a pasta substitute. I haven’t tried to do cabbage yet, but your recipe looks fantastic!

  2. I don’t miss pasta, really.  Cookies, yes, pasta…nah. 😉 But this recipe looks SO so so good…we’ll def have to try this one.  Would you be willing to share your spaghetti sauce recipe?

  3. My family has only been grain-free for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been trying to think of pasta substitutes, especially for my son – recipes like this one are really what I miss about pasta, they’re so simple, comforting and homey!
    I would  never have thought of using cabbage, but I’ve got half a head of it sitting in my fridge waiting for inspiration, and now I’ve found it 🙂

  4. I am on a low glycemic diet and this looks like I can eat this with no problem!! Thank you!!!

  5. Um… Thank you for bringing spaghetti back into my life. Made it tonight. Can easily see this staying.

  6. Thanks for this delicious recipe. We made it last night and it was great!!!

  7. I made this tonight and I almost ate the whole batch! That’s how good it was! I added italian sausage and I am full and…sleepy! LOL!!

  8. i made this last night for the first time. it turned out great. my husband ate three plates. he never even mentioned that it was made with cabbage. i was quite amazed! thanks!!!

  9. About two yrs. ago I started eating my spagetti sauce over half rice noodles and half whole green beans in an attempt to at a more gluten-free diet. As I’ve become more grain-free I cut out the rice noodles and I actually enjoy my spagetti sauce over just the whole green beans. No gut-ache or sluggish slump after spagetti dinner for me anymore! Now I’m curious and excited about trying out the cabbage thing too ;D

  10. I’ve made “lasagna” using steamed red cabbage leaves as noodles (well – I’m still sensitive to lactose, so it ended up with very little cheese and more like a ratatouille).  The thicker parts of the cabbage made great “noodles” to eat on the side, but I didn’t think about making a whole dish that way.

    • Thank you for the idea of using cabbage for lasagna. I made it the other night with cauliflower and didn’t like it at all, my husband did though. I’m excited to try this spaghetti reciepe.

  11. I am slowly trying to incorporate primal eating into our family, even though they don’t know it.  I made this last night for our family’s dinner.  They loved it!  I also made the biscuits and I know I will be making those weekly, if not more, for my little boys.  Thank you.

  12. That looks delicious! I’m totally going to try it!

    • I just tried this tonight and it is SO GOOD. I like it better than regular spaghetti (I wasn’t the biggest fan of spaghetti to begin with). It’s got so much more flavor.

      If anyone is interested, I broke down the nutrition facts based on the ingredients I used (93% lean ground beef, 6 oz. part-skim mozzarella, 1 whole medium head of cabbage, 24 oz. Classico Tomato Basil marinara sauce, 1 whole medium onion, and 1 tbs. added grapeseed oil to brown the meat)

      If you divide the recipe into 4 equal servings, each serving has 444 calories, 19.4g of fat, 7.75g Saturated fat, 88mg Cholesterol, 1278mg Sodium, 29g Carbohydrates, 9g Fiber, 16.5g Sugar, and 39.5g protein.

      I’m surprised at how low calorie it is. I am stuffed and only ate one serving.

  13. Hi Wellness Mama – this recipe looks great and I hope to try it soon. Question about using a cast iron pan: is that not recommended with this, due to cast iron’s reaction with tomato products? It looks like you used a cast iron pan, though, so I’m a bit confused. Thanks!

    • Typically, it isn’t recommended, but I just used it to heat the tomato briefly so it was fine… You can also transfer to a casserole dish instead

      • Good to know – thanks for clarifying!

  14. Don’t miss pasta…I’ve tried spinach as a sub, but not cabbage. Must try.

  15. Looks yummy! I’m going to try it this week, but leave out the meat as we eat kosher (so no meat and dairy mixed). Hope it will work!

  16. I just tried this last night with my family and it was a hit!!! My husband said it was definitely a keeper!!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

  17. Yum! I am new to the site and this was my first attempt at one of your recipes. It was easy and delicious! I’ve been using the site to explore topics for pregnant women. Thanks for the plethora of information and delicious recipes!

  18. This dish sounds delish. Going to make it tomorrow for supper.

    I did read up on cast iron and tomatoes and got the following from the Lodge website:

    Are there foods that I shouldn’t cook in Cast Iron?
    Foods which are very acidic (i.e. beans, tomatoes, citrus juices, etc.) should not be cooked in Seasoned Cast Iron until the cookware is highly seasoned. The high acidity of these foods will strip the seasoning and result in discoloration and metallic tasting food. Wait until cast iron is better seasoned to cook these types of foods.
    Lodge Enameled Cast Iron is not affected by acidity and can be used with all foods.

  19. This recipe was great, made it last night. My vegetable picky toddler was not a fan of the cabbage but she worked her way around it. My husband loved it and we both agreed that although it was satisfying like Lasagna we didn’t have the bloated too full feeling we both get after eating traditional Lasagna with garlic bread. Thank you!

  20. As a long-time wellness mama reader and fan, I’m ashamed to say that after reading this recipe, I wasn’t impressed and actually scrolled down to the comments, cynically expecting to see lots of bad results from making this… So far everyone is in love with it, even husbands… Guess I’ll have to try it! LOL