Paleo Cabbage Rolls – Dim Sum Style (AIP-friendly, Whole30)

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars

Paleo Cabbage Rolls ARE HERE just in time to celebrate The Lunar New Year – Dim Sum style, baby. Living in Queens, NYC – my hubby, friends, and I always would go get some soup dumplings around this time of year and I’ve been missing it! Well as it turns out, steamed cabbage leaves are basically nature’s gluten-free dumplings… so that’s GOOD NEWS. The even better news? THEY’RE SO EASY AND TASTY. On top of being low-carb, Whole30 & AIP-friendly, this stuffed cabbage rolls recipe will be your new favorite and you can stuff them with anything your heart desires… but do give this stuffing a try, because it’s mega flavorful.

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars

Flash boiling a HEAD of cabbage (yes the whole head!) and then peeling back each leaf is a breeze… they’re so sturdy and hold A TON of goodies inside. I’m so excited to do more with them… but this simple boiled and then steamed recipe is such a fresh and nutrient-dense way to get those veggies and protein in (in the most fun way).

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars

Bonus: Download The 20-minute AIP/Paleo Meal Prep System: Flexible Meals Everyone Will Love (Even The Picky Eaters)

The Filling

I mixed 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 ground pork with scallions, carrots, cilantro… and extra flavor… that honestly you don’t really need a sauce, but we need something to dip in for Dim Sum!! And it really kicks it up a notch.

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars

Need more grain-free swap ideas? THERE ARE SO MANY VEGGIES OUT THERE THAT DO THE JOB! Check out my post of best grain-free alternatives.

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars

The Dipping Sauce

Coconut aminos, toasted sesame oil (skip for AIP), and honey (skip for Whole30) with lots of lime juice is a tangy and rich dip with all the UMAMI. Just to get fancy with it, I tossed some seaweed flakes mixed with sesame on top.

Paleo Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Paleo Cabbage Rolls - Dim Sum Style
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

A Paleo stuffed cabbage rolls recipe that uses steamed cabbage leaves = nature's gluten-free dumplings!! Dip these in my tasty soy-free sauce for all the UMAMI power, Dim Sum style.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: cabbage rolls, dim sum, paleo, stuffed cabbage rolls
Servings: 4
Author: Alison Marras
For cabbage rolls:
  • 1 Tbsp ghee (sub olive oil or coconut oil for AIP)
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey chicken or pork (I did 1/2 turkey and 1/2 pork since it’s the year of the pig!)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • water for boiling
For dipping sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (sub olive oil or coconut oil for AIP)
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 tsp honey (I used Mike's Hot Honey which has a bit of chili in it for heat!) (skip for Whole30, plain honey for AIP)
  1. Bring a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water to boil (enough water to cover the cabbage). Use a pot that can accommodate a steam basket on the top. Cover and let boil while you make the filling.

  2. Melt ghee over medium heat in a skillet on the stove. Add sliced shallots and cook, stirring occasionally for just a few minutes until soft. 

  3. Add ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt, ginger, and garlic powders. Cook meat until no pink remains and the liquid is starting to absorb, approx. 5-6 minutes.

  4. Add shredded carrot, fish sauce, and coconut aminos. Stir into the meat mixture and continue to cook until the sauces absorb for a minute or so.

  5. Mix in the freshly chopped scallions and cilantro and remove from heat. Let rest and come to room temperature way from the stove.

  6. Meanwhile, the water should be boiling. Prep an ice bath in a large bowl with ice and cold water next to the stove. 

  7. Using tongs, lower the whole head of cabbage into the boiling water and let it boil for approx. 1-1.5 minutes. Remove the head of cabbage carefully with a large spoon and tongs (it will be heavier now, carrying water). Keep the water on a low boil - you'll need it again.

  8. Add the cabbage to a large bowl, and carefully peel back the soft leaves, placing in the ice bath to stop cooking.

  9. Repeat this process until you have at least 8 good leaves to use for rolling. Dry each blanched leaf well with a paper towel after the ice bath and lay the cabbage leaves in front of you with the core facing you.

  10. Prep a steam basket next to you with one additional cabbage leaf lining the bottom of it. You'll add the rolls to the steam basket one by one.

  11. Prep your work station and add approx. 3 Tbsp of your meat mixture to the bottom of the cabbage leaf towards the core, fold the sides in, and then fold the bottom away from you to the top of the leaf. Keep the edge tucked underneath.

  12. Add each stuffed cabbage roll to your steam basket with the folded edge on the bottom. Return the steam basket to the top of the pot with boiling water. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes on a low boil to steam.

  13. Remove steam basket and turn off heat. Using tongs, plate each cabbage roll with dipping sauce on the side, serve! This also stores well in the fridge.

For the dipping sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.

paleo stuffed cabbage rolls - dim sum style (gluten-free, AIP, whole30) via Food by Mars


Hope you enjoy!
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Recipe Rating

  • Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #254February 15, 2019 - 4:22 pm

    […] Cabbage Rolls from Food by Mars *Find yourself wanting some Dim Sum? These cabbage rolls will fill that craving! […]ReplyCancel

  • MelonyFebruary 23, 2019 - 5:37 am

    omg these look amazing, exactly what i was looking for, wonderful pictures too like i can grab it and eat itReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasFebruary 23, 2019 - 11:21 pm

      YAY! So happy you found it 🙂ReplyCancel

  • JoanApril 13, 2019 - 7:49 pm

    Oh myyyy word!!! Sooooo good!ReplyCancel

  • JoanApril 13, 2019 - 7:51 pm

    Oh myyyy goodness!!!  Just made them, and they are amazing ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 14, 2019 - 3:57 pm

      YAY! So happy you enjoyed.ReplyCancel

  • KanaNovember 10, 2019 - 4:10 pm

    This looks great! Do you have a suggestion for a way to do this that is pescatarian/ vegetarian friendly ? ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasDecember 10, 2019 - 1:18 am

      Sure thing! Perhaps trying some cauliflower rice and diced shrimp instead of the meat!ReplyCancel

    • Holly RobyJune 28, 2020 - 2:53 am

      I added mushrooms and it turned out great so you could possibly substitute mushrooms for the meat. ReplyCancel

      • Alison MarrasJuly 2, 2020 - 5:31 pm

        Great tip!ReplyCancel

  • ShayeApril 12, 2020 - 4:33 pm

    Absolutely Amazing! AIP can be a challenging diet but recipes like this bring light. Super easy to make and FULL of flavor. Thank you 🙂 ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 13, 2020 - 2:00 pm

      Absolutely agree, Shaye! I’m so happy you loved this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • AysegulMay 14, 2020 - 6:42 pm

    Just wow! This is by far the best AIP recipe I have tried (I am a newbie but still! ). Amazingly delicious! Thank you so much! I did not have a steamer so I used a big pot of boiling water and put a strainer on top of it. It worked beautifully! Do you think I could freeze these? It takes quiet some time to cook so maybe I could cook a big batch and save it for other days? ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMay 15, 2020 - 5:20 pm

      Wow is right, what a compliment!! Thanks so much, I’m over the moon you enjoyed them 🙂 They’d freeze beautifully – go for it!ReplyCancel

  • […] recipe was adapted from Food By Mars, and it is so freaking […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Paleo Cabbage Rolls […]ReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.