Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet

4.78 from 9 votes
50 minutes
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Here’s the easy way to enjoy all the comfort of traditional cabbage rolls without all the work. Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet is a kicked-up Southwestern-inspired version made more flavorful with chorizo sausage and your favorite salsa! Best of all, it’s ready in under an hour!

Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet on beige surface garnished with parsley.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Even though cabbage rolls are one of my favorite dishes EVER because they’re part of my very Polish heritage in the form of Golumpki, I’m not a huge fan of all the work.

This simple Southwestern-inspired skillet version is one you’re going to want to put on repeat! It’s got tons of flavor, but best of all, it’s budget-friendly and uses a lot of pantry and simple ingredients you may already have!

More reasons to love Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet:

  • It’s ready in under an hour
  • Leftovers reheat beautifully
  • It’s freezer-friendly!
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet being served from white enamel skillet.

What is chorizo?

Chorizo is a highly seasoned sausage popular in Mexican and Spanish cooking. True chorizo is made with pork, although it’s now possible to buy chicken and soy versions.

There are two varieties and they’re not interchangeable.

  • Mexican chorizo is fresh, raw and available in links, 1-pound tubes or bulk.
  • Spanish chorizo is cured and dried. It is best served as part of something like a charcuterie board or tapas menu.

Here’s everything you need to know about chorizo from Epicurious.

How to make Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cabbage roll recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Chorizo: You’ll want to use fresh, raw Mexican chorizo for this recipe. If you can’t find or don’t wish to buy chorizo, ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork may be substituted. However, you may want to add a little chili powder or paprika to bump up the flavor.
  • Converted White Rice: Converted white rice is simply rice that has been parboiled and dried. The process actually allows for more nutrient-retention than plain white rice but it has less than brown rice. You can use brown rice, but keep in mind it will take much longer to cook and you’ll need more liquid.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Can use regular diced, fire-roasted diced or petite diced tomatoes.
  • Salsa: Use your favorite salsa.
  • Beef Broth: Can also use stock. If using a protein other than chorizo such as turkey or chicken, you’ll want to substitute chicken or turkey broth/stock.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften.
  • Add the green pepper, cook then add garlic and cook briefly.
Photo of cooked onion and pepper in white enamel skillet.
  • Add the raw chorizo and cook until it’s nicely browned and cooked through.
  • Drain off any excess grease.
  • Stir in the converted white rice.
Photo of cooked onion, pepper and chorizo in white enamel skillet with uncooked rice added.
  • Add the liquid ingredients (broth, canned tomatoes and salsa).
  • Bring to a boil.
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet with liquid ingredients added.
  • Add the cabbage by the handful, stirring after each addition.
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet with raw cabbage added.
  • Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked and the cabbage has wilted.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a nice shot of green freshness!
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet on beige surface with beige napkin.

That’s it! Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet is a delicious, healthy, super-flavorful easy skillet dinner with all the elements of cabbage rolls but without all the work!

Close-up photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet with serving fork garnished with parsley.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Struggle with tears when chopping onions? Meee tooo. Set a small fan near your cutting board to blow the noxious compound that makes you cry away in the opposite direction. You can also buy goggles but I find they distort my vision enough to where cutting myself is possible.
  • Use coleslaw mix to save time. You’ll even add an extra veggie that’s in the mix: Carrots.
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet in two serving bowls with some served up from white enamel skillet.
Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet being served from white enamel skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use brown rice?

Yes, but brown rice will take much longer to cook. I would advise using leftover cooked brown rice if you’re in a hurry. You’ll also want to have additional broth on hand because of the additional cooking time and wait longer before adding the cabbage so it retains some texture.

What substitutions can I make?

–If you’re not a fan of chorizo, can’t find or don’t wish to buy, use plain ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork.
–Savoy cabbage can be substituted for the plain green variety.

Make it a meal with:

More great cabbage recipes:

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Photo of Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet on beige surface with beige napkin.

Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet

4.78 from 9 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Here’s the easy way to enjoy all the comfort of traditional cabbage rolls without all the work. Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet is a kicked-up Southwestern-inspired version made more flavorful with chorizo sausage and your favorite salsa! Best of all, it’s ready in under an hour!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course / Entrees
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 337 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage - fresh Mexican-style, casings removed if using links
  • 1 cup converted white rice - (also known as parboiled white rice) uncooked
  • 2 cups beef broth - or as needed
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) petite diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 large head green cabbage - cut into 4 wedges and sliced (5-6 loosely packed cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Chopped parsley - for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often until beginning to soften. Adjust the heat as necessary so the onion doesn’t burn.
  • Add the green bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often until beginning to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook briefly, 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the chorizo sausage and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often and breaking up the sausage until it is evenly browned. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice then add the broth, petite diced tomatoes and salsa. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the cabbage by the handful, stirring to distribute and wilt it until all the cabbage is added.
  • Cover and cook 10-12 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add extra beef broth if you like it saucier.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  Use ground beef, turkey or chicken in place of chorizo.  Add chili powder or paprika to bump up the flavor.
REHEATING LEFTOVERS:  Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool completely and freeze in airtight containers as desired for 1-2 months.  Thaw in the microwave or refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1738mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Can you use regular white rice? This sounds so good! I’m going to sub vegan chorizo and vegan beef broth. I love that it is easily adaptable to make it vegetarian! Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi, Gena, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you absolutely can. Converted rice won’t take as long to cook, so you may need to add additional cooking time. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  2. Carol, you are a chef. Could you please include the weights of the ingredients? It can be difficult to pare down the recipe otherwise. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Cynthia, Thanks so much for your suggestion. Not sure where you’re located, but most of my audience is in the U.S. so that’s how I write my recipes. If you want to cut the recipe in half, just use 1 tablespoon oil, 1 medium or small onion, 1 small or half a medium green bell pepper, etc., etc. This recipe is pretty forgiving. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    I know I shouldn’t leave a rating as I haven’t made this recipe yet, BUT this is right up my alley and I know from past experience that Carol’s recipes NEVER let me down. I have learned to be a better cook thanks to her wonderful recipes and easy to follow instructions. This is my absolute favorite cooking blog (and there’s a lot of them out there!). I can’t wait to make this one. Thanks for sharing, Carol.

    1. Hi, Cheryl, Wow, you absolutely made my day!! Thank you so very much and I appreciate hearing that more than you know. I try and I do put a lot of effort into my recipes. I don’t share them unless I love them and they work. Thanks again and I appreciate you!!

  4. 5 stars
    My family loved this dish. I substituted red pepper for green and quinoa for rice (needed more time to finish). We added some grated Parmesan to enhance the flavor and some frozen green peas for color.

    1. Hi, Carolyn, Thanks so very much and so happy everyone enjoyed! Glad you were able to make suitable substitutions and love the idea of adding some peas. Thanks again!

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I used olive oil and parboiled rice (same thing as converted?), and it is so good. I have made it twice, second time didn’t have green pepper but was still good. I will make again and again.

    1. Hi, Belinda, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! Yes, parboiled and “converted” rice are the same thing. Thanks for pointing that out; I will make a note in the post and in the recipe.