Cabbage Roll Casserole

With the cool weather arriving and the leaves starting to change colours, it is time to pull out some comfort food. One pot meals and casseroles are so nice to have during the fall. They are hearty and comforting, warming you up on the inside. I love the smell of a casserole in the oven. The aroma fills the house and seems to put everyone in a good mood.

I am not fan of the fall. I love the summer and autumn is a constant reminder that summer is over and winter is coming. Even though I do not like the season of fall, I love the food associated with it. The warmth of casseroles, the availability of harvest vegetables like squash, root vegetables and cabbage.

Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe

Today’s recipe is something I make regularly. I love cabbage rolls and have made them before (recipe), but they do take a while to prepare.

Sometimes, I want cabbage rolls, but do not have the time to make them. This cabbage roll casserole can be made in a fraction of the time, but tastes almost as good as the real thing.

Cabbage Roll Casserole square


I want these to taste as close to cabbage rolls as possible. With cabbage rolls, the texture of the cabbage is tender and the rice is soft.

Often, when making a casserole with rice, I like the rice to be a little firm and not mushy. Not so, with this casserole. Therefore, I usually cook it a little longer than the 90 minutes.

Cabbage Roll Casserole square


Adding a little bit extra water and cooking for another 30 minutes allows this casserole to have a texture closer to cabbage rolls. Either way, they will turn out great! Just like cabbage rolls, I eat this casserole with a dollop of sour cream. Delish!

Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe

Cabbage roll casserole aka lazy man's cabbage rolls. Delicious comfort food made with cabbage, ground beef or pork, rice and tomato sauce.
4.39 out of 5
39 reviews
Cabbage roll casserole aka lazy man's cabbage rolls. Delicious comfort food made with cabbage, ground beef or pork, rice and tomato sauce.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 large cabbage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 3 cups water or beef broth


  • Brown the beef in a skillet. Drain the grease and stir in the onions, garlic and spices. Cook on medium/low heat until the onions soften and become transparent.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and dump into a large casserole dish or deep 13x9 lasagna pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 90 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, take the casserole out of the oven and give it a stir.


If you prefer to have the cabbage soft and the rice very tender, similar to cabbage rolls, add another 1/4 cup of water after the 90 minutes and cook for another 30 minutes.


Per serving:

Calories: 391kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 775mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5g

Nutrition Disclaimer


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • I made this last night, and my husband and I thought it was amazing!
    I did add bacon and used fresh cabbage from my neighbours garden and it was awesome! Definitely a dish I will make again.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  • 5 stars
    Simple, delicious, and easy.

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  • 5 stars
    Love it. So simple and easy especially for a lazy dad lol

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    • Haha! Glad you enjoyed it. This is sure one of my favourites.

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  • 5 stars
    Fantastic! Thanks so much for the recipe.

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  • Can this be frozen

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  • 4 stars
    Excellent comfort food recipe. Only comment is that inwouls spice it up a little more next time and add a little additional tomato sauce!

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  • I get it that most reviewers rave about this recipe, but what I appreciate most are the reviewers who either asked questions that might help the rest of us or told of any tweaks they tried that worked well. That cuts down on the scrolling for the rest of us who want to try the recipe, but are looking for any tips from reviewers that might help us “newbies”. This is the reason I read the reviews. “Wonderful” – fine. But tips to go along with that – even better. Even comments about non-cabbage lovers loving this recipe. Thanks to those who said how wonderful this recipe is, but special thanks to those who shared more — helpful tips, experiences, etc.

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  • This is a terrific recipe,will be using this in the future..

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  • 5 stars
    Delicious and very easy to make so much better than store bought cabbage rolls

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  • 5 stars
    This was delicious, and easy to make! The tastes were great together and we thought it was perfect winter comfort food.

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    • Thanks so much! This is one of my ‘go to’ winter casseroles.

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  • 5 stars
    So, the Polish call cabbage rolls Golumpki and the Swedes call them Kaldolmar! One thing that my parents had in common – the Polish Dad and the Swedish Mom. Well, I took this recipe one step forward and one step backward and swapped out the hamburger for 1 pound of ground Bison and 1/2 pound of ground Pork. Since a can of crushed tomatoes is 28 ounces, I used all of that and then adjusted the amount of Beef Broth! Thanks once again for a great recipe!

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    • So glad you liked the recipe! We also sometimes add some ground pork to our cabbage rolls as well.

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  • Hi Steve, I’ve made cabbage rolls for ages now, but since tearing my back up and arthritis….I can’t stand as long to cook. I want to try these and I want to try freezing many of them (we’ve cabbages coming out our ears)….is it possible to make this up, dump all but the broth into those aluminum throw away pans, bigger than 8X8, but smaller than 13X9….then add the broth?
    Or add all then dump into 2 of those pans?
    Freeze before cooking, or freeze after cooking?
    ANY help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Hi Steve. I am going to attempt this in my Instant Pot! Hope you can reply any advise for doing that before I return from store buying ingredients. It looks amazing, and, of course, I’ll let you know the results.
    Joyce H
    Yucca Valley, SoCal

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    • Hmmm, I am not sure what advise I could give. I haven’t tried this recipe in my instant pot. I definitely would like to hear how it turns out.

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  • This recipe looks great so I have bookmarked it and will be trying it soon (hence no rating because I haven’t actually made it yet. 🙂

    I have read all of the comments and noted several where people say that the rice isn’t cooked properly. I suspect that those instances might be because people are not covering the casserole dish tightly enough. Just covering with tinfoil is not enough for rice. The tinfoil must be crimped around your baking dish (easier to do if the dish has a rolled rim to crimp to). Otherwise the rice won’t absorb the liquid properly. Even cooking rice in a saucepan requires a tight fitting lid, not a loose one. Just a thought.

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    • Thanks for your tips!

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  • Hi Steve,

    Can this be made on a stove top instead of the oven?
    If so, what cook time do you suggest and are there any changes to be made with the quantity of liquids/other ingredients?

    Can’t wait to try this!


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    • unfortunately, I don’t think this would work on the stovetop. I fear that the bottom would burn or scorch before the rest was finished cooking.

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  • I made this for dinner this eve, was delicious! I followed the recipe except i added about 6 slices of chopped bacon when brownng the beef and used 1 can of tomato soup and 1 can of tomato sauce instead of the crushed tomato. I used basmati for the rice. Thanks for the great recipe!

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