Kålpudding (“Cabbage Pudding”)


“Kålpudding” is a traditional Swedish dish using the same ingredients as cabbage rolls (“kåldolmar”), but instead of wrapping the meat mixture in cabbage you layer it in an oven tray.
Original recipes often calls for rice and/or breadcrumbs to be added to the meat mixture, syrup to be added to the cabbage and is traditionally served with potatoes, brown gravy thickened with wheat flour and sugary lingonberry jam…
…however, in this version I’ve made it Paleo friendly.
I do use a little bit of honey though (about 1/2 – 1/4 of the amount of syrup often used), but you can absolutely skip it if it does not fit in your diet.

Kålpudding (“Cabbage Pudding”)

Prep time15 minutes
Cook time1 hour
Total time1 hours, 15 minutes
Compliance Paleo, Primal, Whole30
Meal type Main Dish
Main ingredient Beef, Pork
Region Swedish
Traditional Swedish dish!

What you need:

  • 1lb (500 g) ground beef
  • 1lb (500 g) ground pork
  • 1 onion (minced)
  • 0.25 cup (0.5 dl) beef stock (cold)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari
  • 0.25 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • ground white pepper (to taste)
  • crushed black pepper (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • butter, clarified butter, or ghee (for frying)


  • 3 teaspoons honey

What to do:

1Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C).
2Remove the hard core from the cabbage heads, and then cut them in halves.
Cut three of the halves in larger pieces (each piece about the size of a stamp) and set aside.
Cut the 4th half in much smaller pieces and set aside separately.
3Heat up a frying pan, add a bit of butter/clarified butter/ghee and fry the larger pieces in batches (about 1/2 head per batch).
For each batch, season with salt and white pepper while frying and keep frying until the cabbage has turned brown, stirring every once in a while.

When the cabbage has got a nice brown color, drizzle 1 tsp honey (per batch) over it, stir and set aside (make sure the honey does not burn).
4When the three batches of larger cabbage pieces are done, do the same for the finely cut cabbage but without the honey, and set aside separately.
5Put the ground meat, minced onion, coconut aminos/tamari, cold beef stock, allspice, and the finely chopped and fried cabbage in a bowl.
Season with salt and crushed black pepper, and work it thoroughly with your hands until everything is evenly blended into a solid mixture.
6Cover the bottom of a large oven safe tray with half of the fried larger pieces of cabbage, then spread out the meat mixture on top of the cabbage and quite firmly press it with your hands (making one layer of meat that is like a big patty covering the bottom cabbage layer).
Spread out the other half of fried larger pieces of cabbage on top of the meat, and place the tray in the ovens middle tier for 30-40 minutes.


For Whole30 compliance: Fry in clarified butter or ghee, use coconut aminos, and exclude the honey.


I served this together with a fresh salad and a gravy that’s only fine if you’re OK with dairy (fried onion, a little bit of beef stock, a cup (2.5 dl) smetana, a dash of coconut aminos, salt and pepper).

What’s also great to this dish is (non-sugary) lingonberry jam!

That’s it, hope you’ll enjoy! :)


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  1. Beauty! I’m a Brit with a fond fascination for Scandinavian cuisine – this is “right up my street”. I’ll be doing this, this week. Many thanks for the inspiration.

    • Wow, that’s so awesome to hear Paul, thanks! :)
      (I’m a big fan of your food…subscribing to the “living in the ice age” rss feed, and been drooling over your amazing photos of equally amazing creations at the Robb Wolf forum countless times! So hearing that I managed to inspire you makes me nothing but happy and proud! :) )

      Please drop a comment on how you liked it, and I really hope I don’t let you down ;)

      (Oh, and make sure to check out the “Dillkött” and “Pepparrotskött” posts for more traditional Swedish inspiration!)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Paul, really appreciate it!


  2. Wow, looks really tasty! The cabbage takes on such a unique-looking texture!

    • Thanks Russ, glad you think so! :)
      I agree, the cabbage looks really different when being browned and almost kinda sticking together. (Color-wise it’s probably not the most exciting dish in the world though…hahaha ;)

  3. This looks so good – cabbage rolls without all the work…mmm! I’m loving your recipes right now.

    • Thanks Sofia, that makes me so happy to hear :)

      Exactly…and it’s plenty enough to serve a few people plus being able to save a few rounds in the freezer for those days when you don’t have time or inspiration to cook something! :)

      Thanks for commenting, I really appreciate reading your thoughts!
      Take care :)

  4. This sounds delicious! I just LOVE casseroles made with cabbage. Can’t wait to try this.

  5. I do not quite understand what to do with the fourth batch of more finely shredded cabbage that was set aside seperately, please explain.

    • Hi Judith!

      Thanks for asking and showing interest in this recipe!
      The answer to your question is: You mix it with the meat:

      “Put the ground meat, minced onion, cold water, tamari, beef stock, allspice, and the fried finely chopped cabbage in a bowl. Season with salt and crushed black pepper, and work it thoroughly with your hands until everything is evenly blended into a solid mixture.”

      Hope you’ll like it, and just let me know if there is anything else you wonder about :)

      (oh, and if you do try it out I would be very happy to hear your thoughts on it, so please drop a comment if you have the time!) :)

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  7. This looks really really tasty. I want to try it with the honey, but I’m doing a Whole30 right now, so I’m bookmarking this for later. Yum!!

    • Thank you Alex, that makes me so happy to read! :)
      Yep, I love this dish…and really hope it won’t disappoint you ;)
      Would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on it when you’ve tried it!

      Good luck with the Whole30 too!
      (how far along are you?)

      Take care!

      • I’m only on Day 2 right now, so I’ve got a long way to go! Thanks for wishing me luck! The hardest thing right now is to not accidentally use butter, haha.

        I will definitely give you my review when I do try this out. : )

        • That’s cool, I’ve heard so many good things about the whole30!
          Who knows…might even do a month myself sometime during the fall…thinking crock-pot season would be great for it :)

          Looking forward both to see the review on the “kålpudding” and the results of your whol30! :)

  8. I made this last night. Loved it! I didn’t add the honey, but didn’t find it needed it. The cabbage caramelizes a bit when it’s sauteed in the butter,which gives it some sweetness.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will definitely make it again.

    • Hi Aria!

      That’s awesome, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on it!! :)

      The cabbage sure does take on a sweet taste when fried hard, so avoiding honey is absolutely nothing that will break the dish.

      Wish you a great day!

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  11. YUM, great recipe! I added a lot of garlic to the dish, as well as 2 cans of tomatoes just to oomph the recipe up a bit. Definitely adding this to the recipe rotation!

    • Strictly Paleo...ish!

      That’s awesome Jen, I’m happy to hear you liked it!
      Thanks for sharing your modifications too! :)

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