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Complete Guide to Cabbage Noodles (pasta alternative!) — Paleo, AIP, Keto, GF

Cabbage Noodles are a wonderful replacement for pasta — gluten-free, low carb and great for anti-inflammatory diets like AIP, this recipe is also Paleo, Keto, Whole30 and GAPS-friendly.
Course DInner
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword aip, cabbage noodles, gaps diet, keto, meatballs, no-tomato sauce, nomato sauce, paleo, whole30
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 123kcal
Author Megan
Cost $3


  • skillet
  • Crock Pot or saucepan
  • blender


Cabbage Noodles

  • 1 head green cabbage core removed and thinly sliced; (see video how-to below)
  • ¼ cup bone broth
  • 2 Tablespoons bacon fat or traditional fat of choice
  • 1-½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ginger , optional OR (not AIP) freshly ground black pepper

Optional Marinara Sauce or AIP No-Tomato Sauce (see recipe Notes below for recipe)

    OPTIONAL: Meatballs (AIP, Keto, Paleo, GF, Whole30, GAPS)

    • 2 pounds ground turkey thigh or other ground meat of choice; pork is good or a combination of two meats works well
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos optional
    • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or a combination of other dried herbs: sage, rosemary, oregano, basil
    • teaspoons sea salt
    • ¼ teaspoon dried ginger OR (not AIP) freshly ground pepper, to taste


    • To cut cabbage: Cut the cabbage in half. Cut each half in half again, so you have 4 quarters. Cut down at a diagonal to remove the core from each quarter. Slice each quarter into strips, about 1/3" each. (See how-to video below in recipe Notes.)

    Braised Cabbage Noodles (like sautéing, but the pan is de-glazed)

    • Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add fat, then cabbage and sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes; then turn heat to low and cover for 5 minutes.
    • Add the broth and vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits that are stuck and folding the noodles to distribute the pan sauces. Taste one "noodle" to see how crunchy it is and if you want your noodles softer. If so, reduce heat to low, cover and slow simmer 5 more minutes. Serve. Top with preferred sauce, cooked bacon pieces, fresh herbs and/or optional Meatballs.

    Boiled Cabbage Noodles (alternative to braising/sautéing)

    • Over high heat, bring large saucepan or stock pot of water to a boil.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Add all the sliced raw cabbage noodles. Give them a stir.
    • Reduce heat slightly as needed to keep the water simmering or slow-boiling. Cook noodles about 5 minutes (or as few as 3 minutes for a more al dente doneness).
    • Strain and serve, topped with favorite toppings.

    Optional: Meatballs

    • In a large mixing bowl: Sprinkle coconut aminos, herbs, sea salt and optional ginger/pepper over ground meat. Mix it into the meat; but don't over-mix. Form meatballs, whatever size you like. I prefer large meatballs (about 1"+ in diameter) because they remain moist inside and they're faster to make.
    • To poach: Poach these in simmering bone broth until they float and are cooked through when cut open in the middle, about 15 to 20 minutes if the broth is simmering, depending on their size.
      To bake: Bake them on a cookie sheet, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until cooked through, about 20 minutes, depending on their size.


    How to Cut Cabbage Noodles video

    OPTIONAL: AIP No-Tomato Sauce OR for Keto, use Marinara Sauce

    • 4 medium carrots, cut in half
    • 1 small beet
    • 1 small-medium turnip
    •  cup bone broth
    • 3 Tablespoons lime juice, fresh
    • 1 inch nub fresh ginger root, chopped roughly
    • 1-½ inch nub fresh turmeric root, chopped roughly
    • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped roughly
    • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, or use 1 tsp. dried
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    1. Vegetables can be steamed, or simmered until tender in bone broth. (If you have a pot of simmering bone broth already cooking, just pop veggies into the simmering broth, and have them cook without any effort.) Either way, cook veggies until they're very tender: carrots, turnip and beets.
    2. Place the cup bone broth in blender. Add slightly cooled, cooked veggies. Add remaining ingredients as well: lime juice, ginger, turmeric, garlic, oregano and sea salt.
    3. Purée until smooth, 30 to 50 seconds. You will have a thick, beautiful sauce.

    How much this recipe makes

    You'll have meatballs and sauce leftover, which for us is always a good thing. Double the cabbage recipe, if you prefer, using two pans for the added quantity.

    Keto Carb count

    The nutritional information for this recipe reflects just the Braised Cabbage Noodles (not the optional sauce or meat toppings).


    Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg