Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

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cabbage stir fry
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Switching to real food can be a shock to the food bill. This beef and cabbage stir fry though is the exception. It’s one of my go-to easy recipes since it’s 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. This is a one-pan main dish and packs a delicious punch of nutrition. It’s like Hamburger Helper’s healthy cousin.

Cabbage Stir Fry Ingredients

Our family loves the Asian flavors of this dish and the umami flavor of the coconut aminos. It tastes like regular or low-sodium soy sauce but without the soy. Served over cauliflower fried rice it’s also a great low-carb meal. We like it over white rice too.

I use onions, carrots, and cabbage as the vegetables in this. You could add or sub other ingredients too, like napa cabbage or bell peppers. And if you want a side dish instead of a main meal, leave out the beef.

There are a lot of variations to this recipe that you can try. Instead of using the Asian-inspired sauce use different spices mixed into the stir fry:

  • Add cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and salsa to make a Mexican version
  • Add a dozen eggs after it’s cooked and bake to make a casserole
  • Add Italian seasoning for an Italian version

Get the Kids Involved

Let the kids help prepare this cabbage stir-fry by letting them cut the vegetables. Even really little ones can use a crinkle cutter to safely cut veggies. I find my kids are more likely to eat a recipe if they help prepare it. Plus it keeps them busy and happy while I cook. (This is the crinkle cutter we have)

You can take it a step further and get the kids involved with helping grow the veggies for the cabbage stir fry! Gardening is a therapy of its own and I make time every summer for one. When kids help make their own food, or better yet grow it, they’re more willing to try new recipes.

How to Make Cabbage Stir Fry

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make! While the ingredients list may seem a little long, it really pulls together fast. If you’re in a really big hurry you could even use a pre-made sauce or seasoning mix for the Asian version. Something like this sesame ginger vinaigrette made with avocado oil would be a tasty option.

Once you’ve chopped your veggies (or let the kids do it!), it’s just a matter of cooking them until soft. Add the cooked ground beef and simmer it all in the stir-fry sauce. I like cooking everything until it’s soft, not mushy, but some may prefer their veggies with a bit more crunch to them.

My original version of this recipe has more of an Italian flavor to it. But the Asian-flavored stir fry is just as good too!

cabbage stir fry

Original Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

Beef and cabbage stir fry that's fast and simple to make. Flavor variations make this recipe versatile and kid-approved.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Calories 241kcal
Author Katie Wells


4 servings




  • In a large skillet or wok, brown the ground beef.
  • When the beef is almost completely browned, add the sliced onions and grated carrots.
  • When onions and carrots are starting to soften, mix in the cabbage and all the spices.
  • Cook about 10 more minutes, stirring often until cabbage starts to soften.
  • Top with salsa or sour cream if desired and enjoy.


Nutrition Facts
Original Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 925mg40%
Potassium 952mg27%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 5440IU109%
Vitamin C 70mg85%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


There are a lot of variations to this recipe that you can try:
  • Add cuminchili powder, and salsa to make a Mexican version
  • Try the Asian version below!
cabbage stir fry

Asian Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

This Chinese takeout-inspired beef and cabbage stir-fry is fast and simple to make.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Calories 294kcal
Author Katie Wells


4 people



For the sauce:

For the stir fry:

  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey, venison, etc.)
  • 2 small onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium carrots (grated)
  • 1 small head green cabbage (or any kind, chopped)

For topping:


  • 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 over medium-high heat.
  • 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 until the veggies are no longer crunchy.
  • Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds and enjoy on its own or over rice.


Nutrition Facts
Asian Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 823mg36%
Potassium 864mg25%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 5347IU107%
Vitamin C 70mg85%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


This reheats well on the stovetop for a yummy weeknight dinner.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

More One Pan Meals

Need a few more easy dinner options in your meal plan?

What’s your family’s favorite go-to weeknight meal? Share in the comments below!

Beef and cabbage stir fry comes together in minutes and only needs one pan for a delicious, fast and healthy meal. Healthy alternative to hamburger helpers.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


106 responses to “Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry”

  1. Alexzander Avatar

    How much Cumin and Chili Powder would be appropriate to put in?

  2. Kly Avatar

    5 stars
    This is one of our go-to’s. Make sure you make lots! Thanks so much for your recipes!

  3. Sam K Avatar

    Thank you for this, it gave me hope. It’s the first AIP recipe I’ve done, and it’s delicious. Grateful for you providing this information. It can be overwhelming to learn about one’s autoimmune disorders and then change their lifestyle, especially when you were already pretty darn “healthy”.

  4. Tom Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was soooo good. I used ground chicken and only part of a giant head of cabbage I bought. I used taco type seasonings and I had to add quite a bit of sea salt to get the flavor to perk up, but I got there. Then I topped it with ranch dressing. Wow, it is really delicious and so easy! Thank you!

  5. Randy Avatar

    You mention the dish being healthy but I didn’t read about draining the ground beef after it was browned? Should I have assumed that or do you leave the drippings for flavor?

  6. Caroline Avatar

    5 stars
    this was really good, I made it in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker), Mexican-style with the salsa and different spices, you gotta up the spices quite a bit. I will use more than 1 tsp of each next time.
    When the beef/onions were done, I threw in the cabbage and carrots, stirred in the salsa and maybe 1/2 cup of water then did 2 minutes at pressure. Let it come down naturally for 3-4 minutes then did quick release. I like my cabbage on the softer side, so if you like yours crunchier then I would maybe do the QR right after the 2 minutes are up.
    So simple and nourishing, but tasty! I served it with some brown basmati rice and sour cream on top.
    I think the leftovers were even better!

  7. Jay Avatar

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe it looks yummy. I just want to know if I can add this recipe to my diet plan. Thanks.

  8. Charmie Avatar

    This recipe is very similar to a family favorite. The ground beef, onions, carrots, and back then, potatoes as well. However, to make a version that suited our dietary needs, we swapped out a few things and added a few other. For a medium head of cabbage shredded, I use one large sweet onion diced, 1or 2 Sicilian Chicken Sausages (I use Trader Joe’s uncooked, but use what you like) 1 sm. or 1/2 of a med. sweet potato/yam diced, 1 small zucchini diced, 1 sm. red bell pepper (any will do) diced. Optional, but makes for a hearty, healthy serving, add a cup or more of cauliflower and one of broccoli, and a few handfuls of any greens you like (kale, spinach, etc Any of your favorite veggies would be great here.). Over medium heat, caramelize the onions in about 3 T of coconut or other healthy oil, add meat (remove casings if using sausages… if using other meat, be sure to season to taste), separate meat as you brown. Add bell pepper and sweet potato/yam, as well as broccoli and cauliflower (if using) , and cook for a minute or two. Add cabbage, zucchini and other greens. Salt (not idolized) & pepper to taste, stir to incorporate all of the ingredients, cover and simmer on reduced heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If over-cooked, still tasty, just limp.) Remove from heat immediately when done and serve placing leftovers in an open container to prevent from further cooking. We top our servings with a bit of grass fed butter or goat butter. Love this in winter!

  9. Maria Avatar

    5 stars
    This recipe has made me famous ; ) no worries though, I always give due credit to the wellnessmama.

    I make it “sweet and sour” by adding fresh squeezed OJ, orange zest, apple cider vinegar, fresh garlic and coconut sugar. Heaven!!!

      1. Maria Avatar

        Hi! I usually add “to taste”. If I had to guess how much, I’d say:
        -Juice and zest of 1 organic Orange
        (Half added to beef after browned and half when cabbage is added)
        – 1/8c of ACV (when cabbage is added and a drizzle upon serving)
        – 1-2 Tblsp of Coconut Sugar (half added to browned beef, half when cabbage is added)
        – 2-3 cloves of grated garlic (added to raw beef)

        I hope this helps and I hope you LOVE it as much as we do!!

  10. Marie Avatar

    3 stars
    I made this tonight and added salt, pepper, dried basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram and used about 2 teaspoons of each. I also added a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and Mrs. Dash salt-free original blend and a squeeze of lemon. I enjoyed the combination of all those flavors, and the cabbage added a touch of sweetness, and there were so many herbs that made it very savory.

  11. Stacey Avatar

    5 stars
    Loved it! Kids age 9, 6, and 3 plus hubby and I all wolfed it down. We only had 1 lb of beef and had to use a little less cabbage because a little bit of ours had started to go bad (had to cut it off). When I looked at the skillet while it was all cooking, I knew it wouldn’t be quite enough. So I roasted some yukon gold potato chunks in the oven while this finished in the skillet. Was perfect together. A great way to stretch an already economical dish! I took care not to mention that it was a cabbage dish, and I also took care to cook until the cabbage was very soft and the flavor was no longer too strong. I love cabbage in any range of raw to cooked, but the kids can get turned off if the cabbage is too strong. I would have never thought of using the Italian seasonings as suggested, but I think that really helped it become a crowd pleaser. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Kay Avatar

    5 stars
    I tried this one a while back and it is an excellent dish! I plan on making it again soon! The cabbage gives a wonderful flavor! My husband loved it, too! Best of all, it is quick and simple!

  13. Kelly Avatar

    I know grass-fed beef is great, but flax-fed beef is a little cheaper. Could you write an article or let me know what you think about flax-fed beef?

  14. Mindy Avatar

    4 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! Thought I might miss rice or something else with it- not at all! So flavorful and versatile!

  15. Sam Avatar

    I made this for our dinner last week – we all absolutely loved it! I’ve never seen my 11 yr old son enjoy eating any cooked cabbage and onion before this meal. He also said that it was the best dish I’d ever made! So thank you Katie – looks like I’ll be trying many more of your recipes….:-)

  16. Amanda Avatar

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! Added the cummin and chili powder then added tomatoes with green chilies. Tossed it in tortilla shells and added sour cream. Even my picky one ate two of them!! This is so getting added to the recipe book. Thank you so much!

  17. Lenah Avatar

    I made this for the second time, with Ground Chuck, Head Frozen Cabbage (defrosted with Hot water and pulled the leaves off gradually) and 4 carrots vegetables all ground in by food processor, all spices you mentioned on original recipe…so browned meat added spices and onion and garlic, then Cabbage and carrots, let it simmer together for a while, served w few slices Colby cheese, but it tasted bland then kinda yuck sweet,,,I’ve made it b4 and liked it but tonight I just ate a few bites of meat, and slices of Colby cheese, and through the rest away,,,where did I go wrong 🙁

    1. Debra Avatar

      I usually add a cup of medium salsa when cooking this. Other times, I have given a spicy Asian flavor by adding red pepper flakes and about a third cup of stir-fry sauce (this stuff is high in sodium, so I don’t use nearly as much as I would the salsa). The red pepper flakes are what adds the heat.

      I have never tried freezing cabbage.

  18. Kristina Avatar

    Hi Katie!
    What kind of pan do you use to make this? I’m looking for a nice large family-sized pan for recipes like this one 🙂

    LOVE this recipe by the way, I now make it all the time. Thanks for all you do!

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