The adjustment to eating real food can be a shock to the food bill, but this recipe is the exception. This is one of my go-to recipes because it is fast and inexpensive to make. Even my one year-old will eat cabbage when I make it this way!
I love this beef and cabbage stir-fry recipe because it comes together quickly and easily and only gets one pan dirty! It is a healthy version of Hamburger Helper and it packs a delicious punch of nutrition.
TIP: Let the children help prepare this stir-fry by letting them cut the vegetables. Even really little ones can use a crinkle cutter to safely cut veggies. I find that my kids are more likely to eat a recipe if they help prepare it and it keeps them busy and happy while I cook. (This is the crinkle cutter we have)
There are also a lot of variations to this recipe:
- Add cumin, chili powder, and salsa to make a Mexican version
- Add fermented soy sauce or coconut aminos and ginger to make a Chinese variation
- Add a dozen eggs after it is cooked and bake to make a casserole
Another simple one-pan recipe that is a favorite at our house is Pakistani kima, which also uses ground beef as well as sweet potato and green beans as the vegetables and seasons with a hint of curry.
The herbs and spices I use for this recipe and many others can be found on my resources page.
Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry Recipe
For the sauce:
- ½ cup coconut aminos (or tamari)
- ⅓ cup water
- 1½ TBSP coconut sugar
- 1½ TBSP cornstarch
- 2 TBSP rice vinegar
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ tsp sesame oil
For the stir fry:
- 1 lb ground beef (or turkey, venison, etc.)
- 2 small onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 medium carrots (grated)
- 1 small head cabbage (chopped)
- Green onion (sliced)
- Sesame seeds
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, brown the ground beef.
- When the meat is almost completely browned, add the sliced onions.
- When the onions are starting to soften, mix in the carrots and cabbage.
- Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring often until the cabbage starts to soften.
- Stir in the sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Top with green onion and sesame seeds and enjoy on its own or over rice.
- Add cumin, chili powder, and salsa to make a Mexican version.
- Add Italian seasoning for an Italian version.
- Add a dozen eggs after it is cooked and bake to make a casserole.
What is your best quick go-to dinner recipe? Share below!
Discussion (102 Comments)
This is extremely delicious and so simple! I omitted the carrots and smothered the whole thing with my favorite tomato sauce. Yum!
My dad use to make this on the grill. We called them hobo burgers. He layered cabbage, onions, hamburger and chunks of potaoes. Now one of my families favorite meals. So…I add potatoes and have tried in the skillet. Wonderful. Grill in the summer…skillet in the winter.
This went over well with the husband and kids! I added fajita seasoning from Wild Tree, added some cheddar, and topped with salsa. I called it fajita salad…perfecto!
Had to pair this one with some Guinness. Very yummy!
Does all soy sauce come from the soy bean? I see soy on different labels but I am not sure which ones are ok to consume.
Lois, 2 of my 4 kids can’t do soy (currently BF one so I can’t do it either). There is a product called Coconut Aminos which is like soy sauce but made from Coconuts instead. A good soy sauce (preferably one without wheat) is hard to find. You should check it out.
I have used coconut aminos as well and i think it tastes just like soy sauce. You can also buy “tamari” which is traditionally fermented soy sauce that doesn’t use wheat. Just stay away from the ones that say “hydrolyzed soy protein” even if it’s gluten free.
OK….YUM!!! I did this last night with asian spices like a few drops of sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, and garlic. It was so delicious, I just kept eating and eating! The kids liked it as well as my husband. Thank you! It also reminds me of a recipe that my family loves that we call Joe’s special. It is ground beef with spinach (frozen or fresh, chopped), parm cheese, and a couple of eggs scrambled in.
This was great! Before I made it, my husband suggested broccoli instead of the cabbage, but I stayed with the cabbage, although i only used half a head. He really liked it, as did my 2.5 year old. I served it with cauliflower “rice.” I used 1/2 tsp of each suggested spice and then 1 tsp garlic. Definitely going into the meal rotation! Thanks for the recipe!
I am still in shock that 6 of my 7 kids who had this tonight actually ate it and liked it. THe 7th ate most of it, but didn’t like the cabbage. I have never served cabbage because I have always hated it. Thanks for encouraging me to branch out. This was delicious, and the whole family came back for at least seconds! My 13 y.o. told me I’m a good cook, and my 7 y.o. kept thanking me for dinner. I can’t wait to make this again! 🙂
Yum. Made it tonight!
I saw this post on facebook and decided to make it for dinner tonight. I had a cabbage head that I didn’t know what to do with yet. I’m smelling the aromas now as it is finishing up..Thanks for sharing.
do you think you could freeze this
I have never been able to freeze any thing with cabbage with great results. Could be because of the water content of the cabbage? It does refrigerate for 3 or 4 days quite well, however. Cabbage is a little limp, but still very tasty.