This is a recipe I’ve made several times now and have tweaked it each time. Everyone ate it up this last time, even Aidan, who is my true measure of taste, as the boy hardly eats anything without a fight. I’m usually able to gauge when I’m about to perfect a recipe, so I had my camera and notepad ready to document for my second official recipe!
This recipe is a little higher in calories than I would like, coming in at 724 calories per serving, but it is so worth it! I started off with a basic beef and cabbage casserole (and I apologize that I don’t remember where I originally found it), but I know I didn’t like that in addition to using the microwave, and the stove, you also needed to finish it off in the oven. The total time from prep to table was over an hour and a half! That was just not going to work for me.
I googled beef and cabbage skillet dinners and it kept coming up with unstuffed cabbage roll recipes. I love a good cabbage roll, but it wasn’t the flavor profile I was trying to work with. However, they did at least have some tricks for completing the meal in the skillet instead of in the oven or a crock pot.
The original recipe mainly focused on the Cajun seasoning; unfortunately I have a hard time getting Aidan to eat anything that comes close to spicy, so I reduced the amount of Cajun seasoning the first time I made it. It was definitely a little flat in flavor. So the next time I added bacon. Because when in doubt, just add bacon! Even with bacon though, it was still missing something. The next time I tried, I increased the Cajun seasoning a little, as the sauce seems to help dilute the heat, and added mushrooms… almost there! This time… this time I knew I would have a home run. And it was such a simple thing, but it made all the difference… I added salt and pepper. Viola!
Edit: I was having trouble sleeping late last night (6/24), so I was scrolling through Facebook at 2am, like usual, and guess what popped up on my feed! The original recipe! It’s by Lisa over at Low Carb Yum. I should have known too, she comes up with a lot of delicious low carb recipes, definitely check out her site if you live the low carb lifestyle. I always try to give credit where credit is due, but I had been making (and tweaking) this recipe for so long that I hadn’t had to look up the recipe in a long time. When I wrote this post, I tried googling to find the original creator, but only unstuffed cabbage roll recipes kept popping up. I’m glad I saw Lisa’s recipe on my Facebook feed as it’s something that’s bothered me off and on, and I’m happy to link to her original version. Okay, back to the post!
Obviously, everything is subject to taste, so use your best judgement on the amount of spices, and enjoy!
If you want to skip the instructions with the pictures, and just want the written recipe, click here.
Creamy Beef and Bacon Cabbage
-2 lbs ground beef
-9 slices of bacon
-8 oz of button mushrooms, sliced
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
-1 medium head of green cabbage, shredded or chopped
-3 tbsp butter
For the sauce:
-1/4 cup butter
-1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
-1 cup water
-3 tsp garlic paste (or 3 medium cloves of garlic)
-1 tsp Morton’s Lite Salt
-1 tsp ground black pepper
-3 tsp Cajun/Creole seasoning
-1 tsp Xanthan Gum (or other low carb thickener)
For some reason I forgot to pull the mushrooms out for the picture, but as you’ll see below, they made it in the dish!
And some of you may have never heard of xanthan gum. I know I thought I had had a stroke and was reading gibberish when I first saw it called for in a recipe. Xanthan gum is a low carb thickening agent that can be used in place of flour or cornstarch. It does have carbs in it, but it has a dietary ratio of 1 g carb : 1 g fiber, so net carbs should always be 0. Other low carb alternatives to xanthan gum are: guar gum, psyllium husk fiber, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, gelatin, and agar agar (it’s really called agar agar, that’s not a mistype). I plan on writing separate posts on the benefits and uses of each of these, but at this time I’ve only used xanthan gum to thicken liquids. I’ve never tasted it in any of my recipes, and it has been great in all of my sauces and gravies so far.
A word of warning though, a little goes a long way! It’s typically 1 tsp to 1 cup of liquid; however, as you can see, I only used 1 tsp in the 2 1/2 cups of liquid I have in this sauce. You can play around with the measurements to see how thick you want your own sauce, but I recommend 5 – 10 minute wait times between adding additional increments. Also keep in mind that the sauce will thicken further upon standing.
1. Wash and shred the cabbage. Set aside in a large microwavable bowl.
2. Dice onion and set aside. Also, if needed, wash and slice mushrooms.
3. Cook bacon in a large skillet, and set aside on paper towels to cool. Drain most of the grease from the pan, but leave some in for browning the beef.
4. Add beef and onion to the skillet.
5. While the beef is cooking, thinly slice the 3 tbsp butter and place in the bowl of cabbage. Microwave, covered, on high for 10 minutes.
6. Once the beef is browned, add mushrooms to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes.
7. Drain the beef, onion, mushroom mixture and set aside.
8. Using the same skillet, melt the 1/4 cup of butter.
9. Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce: heavy whipping cream, water, garlic paste, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and Xanthum gum.
10. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
11. Roughly chop the bacon.
12. Add the cabbage, ground beef mixture, and bacon to the sauce.
13. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
We got 8 servings out of this, and nutritionally this came to about 724 calories, 4 gram net carbs, 26 grams of protein, and 66 grams of fat. I used the MyFitnessPal recipe creator to calculate nutritional information. Nutritional values may change based off the ingredient brands you use, and of course, the size/number of servings you make.
I hope everyone enjoys! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Please don’t mind the mess.
Creamy beef and bacon cabbage recipe minus the story:
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