However, I am definitely not fond of the extra work of filling and rolling individual cabbage leaves that's called for in traditional stuffed cabbage recipes, so this variation is a great alternative. It's every bit as tasty, with substantially less work and time involved. You can have it on the table in a very short time without breaking a sweat.
It’s a very simple one-pot meal that you can cook on the stovetop - my absolute favorite type of meal. And although I’ve never done it, I’m betting that it would make a great choice for a slow cooker meal. It's also quite economical, even though it contains meat, one of the most expensive sources of protein there is.
I can typically get ground turkey on sale for $1.50-$2.00 per pound. It can easily be twice that amount if you buy it at the regular price. Those sale prices represent some substantial savings.
It's easy to double or triple this recipe, and it's terrific as leftovers. We typically get a few meals out of it, including some lunches to bring to work. Using the quantities listed below, you will get 6-8 hearty servings.
The recipe as described costs $9 or so - so about $1.15 per serving. It can cost even less if you use regular pasta instead of whole grain. As always, go with the option you can afford, but whole grain pasta is the better choice from a health point of view. At the very minimum, it offers more fiber, along with certain minerals, and often has higher protein content as well.
In usual, I suggest that you serve the dish with a nice tossed salad of greens and cut up vegetables, lightly dressed in your own vinaigrette. That provides you with a meal that offers at least 2-3 servings of vegetables -- a step in the right direction toward getting the recommended 5-9 daily. With the salad, the total cost of the meal comes to about $10, so about $1.25 per serving.
Prep time for this recipe is only about 15 minutes. Cook time is about 30 minutes. Total start to finish time is about 45 minutes.
Here's the recipe:
Makes 8-10 servings
Recipe prep time – approximately 15 minutes
Start to finish meal prep time – Approximately 45 minutes
Total recipe cost – Approximately $9
Total per person meal cost with tossed green salad – approximately $1.50
2 pounds ground turkey
2½ cups whole grain elbows, rotini, or similar small pasta
3 tablespoons oil
2 medium-large onions
4 garlic cloves
1 small to medium head of cabbage (approximately 2 pounds)
1 28-32-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 cans (6 ounce size) tomato paste
3 cups of water
1½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Recipe continues after photos