Loaded Bolognese with Cabbage Noodles

To be honest I’m not much of a ‘pasta person’ but lately I’ve been craving a big bowl of warm, saucy, delicious spaghetti. Maybe it’s the cold weather, or my hormones, or the fact that I recently had a slightly disappointing pasta experience at a restaurant. Whatever the reason, it has inspired this dish!

Now I know this isn’t a traditional Bolognese by any means but I like the name so thats what I’m calling it! If you’re offended by that just call this dish a deconstructed cabbage roll like my boyfriend did! Pasta sauce is an excellent place to add in MORE veggies into a dish! You can really choose any vegetable here. Don’t like arugula? Replace it with spinach. Couldn’t find zucchini? Throw in broccoli!

Make this dish vegan by leaving out the meat and adding in beans or crumbled tempeh!

If you’re not into cabbage, don’t get upset. Serve the Bolognese on zucchini ‘nooddles’ or brown rice.


Recipe makes 4-6 servings.


What you’ll need…


1/2 medium sized red pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 small zucchini, sliced

5 tomatoes, diced

Handful of arugula roughly chopped (approx. 2 cups)

1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup liquid such as red wine or stock

1 tbsp salt free organic tomato paste

1 lb of lean ground beef

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 bay leaves

2 tsp organic butter or coconut oil

Cabbage noodles:

1 small green cabbage finely sliced (make sure to remove core from middle)

1/2 tsp good quality olive oil

pinch of sea salt

How to do it…


  1. Before getting started, get organized! Make sure all of your veggies are washed, cut and ready to throw into the pan. This will ensure cooking time to be quick and efficient. Have your spices measured out and all together in a dish. Take your ground beef out of the fridge a couple of minutes before cooking. Now you’re ready 🙂
  2. Place a large, deep pan over medium heat and throw your onions in. Once you hear the onions start to cook then put your oil or butter in the pan (I learned this from my grandmother, no need to overheat the oil/butter prior to cooking). Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Next add your carrots and celery and allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Make sure to stir so nothing sticks to the pan.
  4. Now add your garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, make a space in the middle of the pan by pushing the veggies to the side. Place your tomato paste in that space and allow to cook for about 1 minute.
  6. Tomato time! Throw your tomatoes and spices in and stir all of the pans contents together.
  7. Also at this time add in your cooking liquid and allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. We are almost done, I swear! Add your beef, zucchini and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Add in arugula and cook for 2-3 more.
  10. Just before taking your pan off the heat, throw in parsley and you’re done! I bet your kitchen smells amaaaazing right now!

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Cabbage noodles:

  1. This part is easy! Fill a medium sized pot (leave 1 inch from top) with water and place over high heat.
  2. When water is boiling, place your sliced cabbage in and reduce heat slightly so water doesn’t boil over but maintains a soft boil.
  3. Cook for 8-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s finished by 1. tasting a piece and it’s no longer hard 2. pieces will look more translucent.
  4. Strain and rinse with COLD water for 10 seconds to stop cooking.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, toss with olive oil and salt and thats it!

To serve, grab a big beautiful plate or bowl. Place a small handful of cabbage noodles on the dish and then a big scoop of Bolognese on top. Garnish with hemp hearts, nutritional yeast or chili flakes.



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