Mexican Cabbage Wraps

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Crunchy cabbage wrapped around Mexican flavors. Sooo good! 


Mexican Cabbage Wraps

The cabbage used for these wraps is napa and is uncooked, lending crunch and a mustardy flavor. The filling is some rice and beef and other Mexican toppings. A perfect light dinner or appetizer. Enjoy!



Mexican Cabbage Wraps

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings


Crunchy cabbage wrapped around Mexican flavors. Sooo good!


  • 1215 napa cabbage leaves (find out how to trim them below)
  • Pico de Gallo (recipe below)
  • Rice filling (recipe below)
  • to ½ cup light sour cream

Pico de Gallo

  • It’s best if the flavors have time to blend. Ideally, make it earlier in the day.
  • 1 and ½ cup diced tomatoes (4 plum-sized)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Rice Filling

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (I like Organic Texmati) or 3 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chile (from a can containing adobo sauce), minced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce (from your chipotle can)
  • 2 tsp hot mustard (English or Russian-style)


Napa Cabbage Leaves

  1. Rinse the leaves, shake off excess water and then pat dry with paper towel. From any really big leaves, trim an inch or two from the bottom (core) edge. From all leaves, cut the core away with two cuts that together form a V. Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to serve.
  2. (If you don’t like really crunchy cabbage, you can trim more of the core edge, right to the very tip of the core, thus not necessitating the V cuts.)

Rice Filling

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  2. Warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno. Cook until onion is just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the turkey, salt and adobo sauce. Stir to break up turkey and combine ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until turkey bits are no longer pink inside.
  5. Combine hot mustard with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Pour over the turkey and stir.
  6. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork to separate grains a bit. Add the rice to the turkey and stir gently to combine. (If using cold rice, turn heat down to medium and add 2 tablespoons warm water to the turkey when you add the rice so that the filling doesn’t dry out. Cook until heated through).
  7. Taste and add more salt if required.
  8. Serve like fajitas with the sour cream, cabbage leaves, pico de gallo and rice filling in separate serving dishes. Everyone spoons ¼ to ⅓ cup of rice mixture onto a cabbage leaf and then tops it with pico de gallo and sour cream.
  9. To eat: Fold the V ends up over the filling. Wrap the sides of the cabbage leaf over the filling (and over the V ends) and pick it up, so you can eat your holubtsi soft-taco style.
Updated 3/28/19.

3 Responses to “Mexican Cabbage Wraps”

  1. Xavier — May 1, 2015 @ 11:19 am (#)

    I love Mexikraxian food.  Gonna have to give these a try.  Sounds delicious.


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