Thai Quinoa Cabbage Rolls (Vegetarian)

I somehow ended up with 3 heads of cabbage in my fridge. Not my fault. I like cabbage just as much as the next person, but I don’t have a ton of go-to cabbaged based recipes. I mean, I have a few, but not enough for 3 heads of it! But I have never let that stop me.

So I looked up cabbage recipe on Pinterest and saw tons of recipes for cabbage rolls. As I looked closer, I noticed that most of them were stuffed with ground beef and require a long baking time. I decided to completely reconstruct the idea and fill it with veggies, quinoa, and peanut sauce and shorten the whole process.

Most traditional cabbage roll recipes have you boil the whole head of cabbage, then pull off the leaves, then cut out the thick stem. I made it faster and simpler by peeling off the leaves before boiling to reduce boiling time and skipping the trimming all together. I felt like the rolls held together better when the stem part was still attached and still tasted great. And because there is no meat, they do not need to be baked for as long. I just throw mine in the oven until they are hot. You could skip the baking step completely if you don’t care if they are piping hot or not.

To make dinner time a breeze, make the filling ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge.


  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1 C. uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 C. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 1 C. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 C. green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 C. cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C. frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 mango, diced into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 TBSP. soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP. rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP. honey
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 1/4 C. creamy natural peanut butter
  • salt to taste
  • sauce of your choice for serving


1. Start cooking the quinoa by combining it with the vegetable broth and 1/2 C. water. I always throw quinoa in the rice cooker and let it go until the automatic timer goes off. To cook it on the stove, just combine the quinoa, water, and broth and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the little beige tails pop out of the grains. You can do this step ahead of time to make dinner prep easier.

2. Set a large pot of water on the stove over medium high heat. Wash the cabbage and carefully peel back the whole leaves until you have between 10 and 12 large leaves. Once the water is boiling drop the leaves in and let them cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender, but not falling apart.

3. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves with tongs and set them on a drying rack to let the excess water drain. Gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Give the cabbage a generous sprinkle of salt.

4. While the cabbage is boiling, work on the filling. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, shredded carrots, green onions, cilantro, edamame, and mango. Stir to combine.

5. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ginger, 1/4 C. water, and the peanut butter. Pour the sauce over the quinoa mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or soy sauceas needed. You want it slightly saltier than if you were eating it on its own because it will be wrapped inside the cabbage leaves.

6. Take one of your cabbage leaves and lay it out in front of you on a plate. Scoop 1/4 C.  to 1/3 C. of the filling onto the cabbage near the base of the leaf. How much filling will depend on how big your cabbage leaves are, so just eyeball it and adjust accordingly.

7. Roll the base of the cabbage up around the filling.

8. Before you roll it all the way, tuck the sides of the leaf in.

9. Then finish rolling it all the way with the seam on the bottom. It should look like a cute little cabbage burrito. Sprinkle the cabbage rolls with salt to taste.

10. At this point you can eat them as is, but I prefer to place them in an oven safe dish a bake for 15-20 minutes at 375. Really just until they are hot. Dip in (or drizzle on top) soy sauce, sweet thai chilli sauce, peanut sauce, or sriracha sauce.

By Edible Experiments