These Vegan Chorizo Cabbage Rolls are a nutritious plant-based meal that satisfies like decadent comfort food! Ready in less than an hour, they're filled with plant-based chorizo, onion, brown rice, and topped with an irresistible 5-minute cashew cheese plus plenty of salsa!
These mouthwatering vegan cabbage rolls combine the goodness of cabbage leaves and brown rice with the savory, spicy kick of seitan chorizo, for a dinner that's both satisfying and nutritious!
Instead of a more classic vegan ground beef filling, I was craving something a little different. And with a package of No Evil Foods' seitan chorizo in the fridge, I figured why not make Mexican cabbage rolls!
In case you're not familiar with seitan, it's a plant-based protein made from wheat gluten. It can mimic the texture and taste of meat, making it a great choice for vegans or anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption.
The seitan chorizo in these rolls is seasoned with tons of aromatic spices, including cumin, paprika, and chili powder, giving it that authentic Mexican flavor. You can use store-bought, make your own vegan chorizo, OR prep this easy tofu chorizo for a gluten-free option.
The combination of the spicy chorizo and the tender cabbage leaves, all topped with a zesty tomato salsa, creates a combination of flavors and textures that's seriously hard to resist!
If you use a store-bought chorizo like the one from No Evil Foods (pictured below), this dish a breeze to pull together! BUT just in case you don't have any when the mood strikes, I'm also posting a sister recipe today for Easy Tofu Chorizo that you can use instead.
Update: Inspired by their plant-based chorizo, I created my own oil-free vegan chorizo recipe.
The basic elements of this dish are:
- Cabbage leaves - you can use Savoy or regular green cabbage (Savoy is a bit softer and easier to work with).
- Chunky salsa
- Vegan Chorizo
- Greens - I've made this dish with both kale and rainbow chard; use whatever you have.
- Cooked rice - this element obviously takes a little planning ahead. Options: omit it for a low-carb meal, or for a quick alternative, packages of pre-cooked rice can be found in most stores.
- 5-Minute vegan queso! (more on this below)
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
That's it! And hey, if you consume oil and don't feel like making your own cheese sauce, you can simplify this even further by topping your dish with store-bought vegan shreds.
How to Make Vegan Cabbage Rolls
- Prep the cabbage leaves by blanching them in boiling water for 2 minutes, just to soften them slightly. Set aside.
- Sauté the onion, chorizo and kale. Add the cooked rice.
- Fill and roll your cabbage leaves and place them on a layer of salsa in a baking dish.
- Top with more salsa.
- Blend the cheese ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Pour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened (just a couple of minutes).
- Top the cabbage rolls with cheese, and bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
- Garnish with cilantro and avocado. Enjoy!
Homemade Mexican Cashew Cheese
I'm a bit obsessed with making quick vegan cheeses at home. I feel that this is completely justified for oh so many reasons, a few of which are:
- Homemade cashew cheese is actually healthy and surprisingly low in calories (but doesn't taste like it).
- This cheese sauce takes just minutes to prepare, which basically means, creamy, salty, instant gratification!
- You're going to feel so accomplished and confident when you serve this cheese to family and friends. And I want to help you achieve that feeling!
I'm calling this "5-Minute Mexican Cashew Cheese" but it probably takes more like eight minutes to prepare. Somehow that just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Here's what you'll need to make the cheese sauce:
- raw cashews
- tapioca starch
- lemon juice
- seasonings: garlic powder, chipotle flakes, smoked paprika, cumin, and nutritional yeast
Blend until smooth. Then, simply heat it in a small sauce pan for a few minutes until it thickens, and it's ready to use!
Dip chips in it or dollop it on dishes like these cabbage rolls. Recently I've been adding salsa to the mixture for more of a queso vibe and loving every minute of it.
I recognize there are a few ingredients in that list that some people might not keep in their pantry. But that's one of the great things about this basic cheese recipe! All of these ingredients have a long shelf-life. Well, except for the lemon, but you can even sub vinegar, if needed.
Once you have the smoked paprika, tapioca starch and chipotle flakes, you'll be set! On a whim you can whip up this smoky vegan cheese in no time. Doesn't that sound amazing? Imagine the possibilities:
Burritos, tacos, pizza, tofu scramble, quesadillas, sandwiches, burgers, steamed veggies.....
Let's get to it! If you've read all of this, you can no doubt tell how much I love this recipe. So I hope you give it a try and enjoy it, too!
And be sure to snap a pic and tag @myquietkitchen on instagram to show off your flavor-packed Vegan Cabbage Rolls!
You might also like:
- Baked Vegan Taquitos
- Vegan Taco Meat
- Award-Winning Vegan Chili
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
- Vegan Taco Bowls
- Smoky White Bean Tacos
Vegan Cabbage Rolls With Seitan Chorizo
For the Cabbage Rolls:
- 8 Savoy cabbage leaves (can substitute green cabbage)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 10 ounces vegan chorizo - see Notes for homemade options
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard or kale, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked rice
- 16 ounce container of chunky salsa
For the 5-Minute Mexican cheese sauce:
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- 2 Tbsp tapioca, arrowroot, or corn starch
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp dried chipotle flakes
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash the cabbage leaves and fill a soup pot about ⅓ full with water. Bring water to a boil and submerge the cabbage leaves. Cook for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove with tongs and place the leaves on a tea towel to dry.
- If the chorizo isn't already crumbled, pulse it in a food processor until ground, or finely chop by hand.
- Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the chorizo plus a splash of water (to prevent sticking), and cook for 2 minutes. Add more water as necessary. Add the kale, a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until the kale is wilted.
- Stir in the cooked rice and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
- Spread salsa in the bottom of a baking dish (my 8x10" dish holds six rolls, but you can also use a 9x13" casserole dish; you'll have enough filling to make 7 or 8 rolls).
- Place a cabbage leaf on your cutting board and fill the center with the chorizo mixture. Fold in the sides so that they overlap. Then, fold in the bottom and top. Place folded side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you've used up the filling or your baking dish is full. Spoon about half of the remaining salsa onto the cabbage rolls. Set aside.
Make the cheese:
- Combine the cheese ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. This happens quickly, so don't walk away! As soon as it thickens, remove from heat and spoon cheese onto the cabbage rolls.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese has browned slightly. Top with cilantro and avocado and enjoy!
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.