Sautéed Beef Cabbage and Rice

$5.90 recipe / $1.48 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.94 from 15 votes
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You know how sometimes food that is super simple is the most satisfying? Like buttered pasta, rice with soy sauce, or boiled cabbage with butter? There’s nothing to them, but somehow they’re just so comforting and good. I decided to combine a few of these simple comfort foods to create this Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice. It’s super cheap, cozy, and satisfying without a lot of effort. And that’s exactly what I need to combat these inflation blues!

Overhead view of a skillet full of sautéed beef cabbage and rice with a wooden spoon.

Seasoning Options

I used steak seasoning, one of my favorite go-to seasoning blends, to season this dish, but you could go so many different ways! Steak seasoning is basically a coarse mixture of salt, pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper, and paprika (and sometimes a couple of other things, depending on the brand or recipe). I think this dish would also be really great with other seasonings blends as well, like curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even just some salsa stirred into the skillet! I encourage you to add your favorite seasoning blends to see how you can make this recipe your own.

Meat Options

I used a half-pound of ground beef for this recipe to keep it budget-friendly, but you could use more meat if it fits your budget. You can also swap out the ground beef for any other ground meat, like pork, turkey, or even ground sausage (even more flavor).

For Best Results, Use Day Old Rice

As with fried rice recipes, day old rice, or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled works best for this recipe. Fully cooked and cooled rice will be less sticky and you’ll be able to incorporate it into the skillet without it becoming mushy. Bonus, when you cool cooked rice the starches transform into resistant starches, which are great for your gut bacteria!

What Else Can I Add?

This recipe is just asking for customization, so make sure to browse your pantry and refrigerator for other ingredients that you might want to toss in there. Shredded carrot would be awesome, as would some diced bell pepper. You can add garlic (when can you *not* add garlic?), bacon, diced tomatoes, or even a sprinkle of cheese on top.

How to Serve Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

This recipe is meant to be a super simple all-in-one bowl meal. It’s got meat, grains, and vegetables all in one serving. If I did decide to serve something on the side, I’d probably go for something in the red/orange color spectrum for some balance. Maybe some roasted carrots, roasted squash, or maybe even a cup of tomato soup on the side.

Overhead view of a bowl full of sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice.
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Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice

4.94 from 15 votes
Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice is a simple yet delicious comfort food that will keep you full without draining your wallet.
Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 35 mins


  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (5 cups chopped) ($1.08)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef ($3.50)
  • 1 Tbsp steak seasoning ($0.30)
  • 1/4 cup water ($0.00)
  • 2 cups cooked rice* ($0.41)
  • 2 Tbsp butter ($0.41)
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.03)


  • Dice the onion and chop the cabbage into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the onion and cooking oil to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ground beef and steak seasoning to the skillet and continue to sauté until the beef is fully cooked. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Add the chopped cabbage and water to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the cabbage has softened to your desired level of tenderness.
  • Add the cooked rice and butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice is heated through.
  • Finally, season the skillet with soy sauce to taste. Start with 1 tsp and add more to your liking (I added ½ Tbsp, or 1.5 tsp). Serve hot and enjoy!

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*This recipe works best with day-old rice or rice that has been cooked and fully cooled.


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 14gFat: 21gSodium: 232mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Side view of sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice in the skillet.

How to Make Sautéed Beef, Cabbage, and Rice – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion on a cutting board.

Dice one yellow onion.

Chopped cabbage on a cutting board.

Chop ½ head of green cabbage into ½-inch pieces. You should have about five cups once chopped, but it’s flexible so it’s okay if you have more or less.

Sautéed Onion in the skillet with a spatula.

Sauté the diced onion in 1 Tbsp cooking oil over medium heat until soft (about five minutes).

Ground beef in the skillet, steak seasoning being sprinkled over top.

Add ½ lb. ground beef and 1 Tbsp steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend) to the skillet. Continue to sauté until the beef is cooked through. If you’re using a higher fat content beef, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet after the beef has cooked through.

Cabbage added to the skillet.

Add the chopped cabbage and ¼ cup water to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cabbage has softened.

Softened cabbage mixed with beef and onion in the skillet.

You can continue to cook this until the cabbage reaches your desired level of tenderness. I like mine to still have some texture and a vibrant green color.

Cooked rice and butter added to the skillet.

Add 2 cups cooked rice and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet. Fold the rice and butter into the beef and cabbage until the butter has melted, everything is evenly combined, and the rice has heated through.

Soy sauce being drizzled over the skillet.

Finally, add about ½ Tbsp soy sauce. It’s best to add this to your own taste buds, so start with 1 tsp and add more until it tastes good.

Overhead view of the finished sautéed beef, cabbage, and rice in the skillet.

Serve and enjoy!

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  1. Very solid base recipe. I double the beef and add:
    ~1tsp Worcestershire
    Couple shakes of msg
    ~ 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    And then Sriracha at serving. Only other recipe I use Sriracha for is beef stroganoff. Works very well with this recipe too.
    If you don’t like heat, instead of the siracha……i’d try adding some white or red wine vinegar to a forkfull to see if you prefer it to the recipe. I feel this recipe could use some acid or heat.

  2. I asked my fiance to make this for us this week and it turned out so incredibly yummy! We added garlic and a little lemon pepper and basil seasonings, and since we didn’t have day old rice on hand we switched it up with a package of couscous. Really delicious result and not complicated process!!

  3. This is my family’s new favorite recipe! I added some sliced green onions and it was delicious.

  4. Delish! Everyone enjoyed it. I added 3 slices of chopped bacon and a few handfuls of matchstick carrots. Can’t wait to make this again, and experiment with other additions. The Montreal steak seasoning is so so good in this!

  5. This was so yummy! My 10 and 12 year old ate it up and asked to add into the regular rotation.

  6. This was absolutely delicious. Better than I expected. I can’t wait to make it again. Comfort food!

  7. Simple, delicious, and comforting. I used ground turkey because it’s what I had so I went heavy on the seasoning to make up for it.

  8. I’ve made this probably 6 times already since it was posted! I add several cloves of chopped garlic after the onion, use beyond beef, and add a 5oz bag of baby kale at the very end. (It’s such a great way to fold in a ton of greens—but do use something like spinach or baby kale as you don’t want those tough ribs.) I serve with a drop or two of hoisin sauce for a hint of sweetness!

  9. So simple and delicious!! I love how versatile this recipe is; I’m very new to cooking but even I felt confident playing around with the measurements and seasonings. I made this to use up extra cabbage I had laying around but I will be buying cabbage just for this recipe in the future!

  10. This was delicious with Morningstar’s veggie crumbles. They have a bit of seasoning in them, so I didn’t need the steak seasoning.

    I will be definitely doing this one again, but I do wish it had a more realistic cook time. It took me over an hour in to cook. I’m not super experienced, but I just don’t know how it’s possible to saute onion until soft, fully cook ground beef, and then saute five cups of cabbage within the space of 25 minutes.