Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Dice the onion and red pepper and add them to the pot once the oil is hot. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent. Mince or press the garlic and add to the saucepan with the black pepper, spicy spaghetti seasoning and ground beef.
Cook until the beef is no longer pink, drain the excess grease and put back on the stove. Stir in the pasta sauce, cottage cheese and bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid burning. The sauce should be very thick once done. You can skim the grease off of the sauce during the cooking process. (I keep a little bowl and a spoon beside the pot and skim every time I stir)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Don't skip the salt, it helps to take moisture out of the cabbage leaves.
Cut the core from the cabbage. I do this by carefully cutting around the core on an angle with a knife so that you end up with an empty space running halfway into the cabbage where the core used to be. This makes it easy for the leaves to peel away from the cabbage during the boiling process.
Using a pair of tongs (no, don't just toss it in the pot and run like the wind) carefully place the cabbage into the boiling water.
After about five minutes the leaves will start to peel away from the head. You can gently help them if you wish, but you will want to leave each leaf inside the boiling pot of water until they become super soft.
Using the tongs remove each leaf from the pot as they become ready, rinse with water to help remove some of the salt and place on paper towel or clean kitchen towels to dry. It will take about 20/30 minutes to cook the whole head; you will want about 12-15 leaves.
Heat your oven to 350°. Thinly slice the basil, and grate the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Combine the cheeses in a medium bowl, mix the basil into the meat sauce and spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Spread the sauce with a spoon to ensure even coverage then sprinkle 1/2c cheese over the sauce and cover evenly with 4 or 5 cabbage leaves.
* I like to cut the ribs from the cabbage before building the lasagna because I don't like their texture, however may husband has no problem with the ribs. Totally a personal preference and because I'm the one who makes it, I remove the ribs :P
Sprinkle just under 1c cheese over the cabbage then half of the remaining meat sauce. Spread evenly with a spoon then add 1/2c cheese mixture and 4 or 5 more cabbage leaves ( ribs removed if you like )
Cover the cabbage with just under 1c cheese, then spread the remainder of the meat sauce over the cheese. Add 1/2c cheese, 4 or 5 cabbage leaves and then top with the remaining cheese mix.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and turn the oven to broil. Broil the lasagna until the cheese is bubbly. Divide the lasagna into 12 and serve hot!
One of the biggest issues you will come across with cabbage lasagna is too much liquid. I have included a few tricks on how to make sure you don’t have this issue!
Don’t forget the salt while boiling the cabbage leaves. Salt helps to remove liquid from the cabbage leaves to avoid a soupy lasagna.
Find the time to allow your sauce to simmer properly. If you increase the temperature to a high simmer you could end up burning your sauce and if you don’t simmer it long enough there could be too much liquid left and you could end up with a soup rather than a lasagna. The length of time it will need to simmer for depends on how liquidy the pasta sauce is that you choose. I've had times where it took 1 hour, and other times it took 2 hours.
Replace the ground beef for ground turkey for a yummy spin on this Low Carb Cabbage Lasagna.
Don't forget to rinse the cabbage leaves with water after they have been boiled - this step helps to remove some of the salt from the dish.
I like to cut the ribs from the cabbage before building the lasagna because I don’t like their texture, however my husband has no problem with the ribs. Totally a personal preference and because I’m the one who makes it, I remove the ribs.
Be careful when broiling the melted cheese. Check in on it every minute because the cheese will burn quickly!
Nutrition FactsNutrition facts are an estimate only! The ingredients you choose could have different nutritional values than the ingredients I have used. * Net carb count excludes both fibre and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people.Deduct fibre from total carbs to get 8 g net carbs per slice.