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
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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Per serving:

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

Nutrition Disclaimer

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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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114 comments

  • Going to try today, chilly fall day, sounds perfect!

    • Reply
  • It’s in the oven here. I made two versions – recipe version and one without the beef and using vegetable herb broth. Has anyone tried a meatless version?

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  • do yu use any kind of rice or just instant rice

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    • I use standard long grain rice

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  • I was just wondering if I could do this in the crock pot and if so, what would your suggestion be for cooking time. I cooked this recipe before and my family LOVED it and none of them really like cabbage. Now that my kids are in sports I have to come up with recipes I can make ahead of time. Thank you!

    • Reply
    • I am sure that it would work fine, but I am unsure the time to suggest. I would think that 4-6 hours on low should be fine. It is all dependent on whether the cabbage gets soft or not. I may try this sometime as well!

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  • I am making this on the stovetop and can’t wait to try it! I browned the beef in a Dutch oven, tossed in the onions, garlic, cabbage and spices. Put the lid on to let everything cook down and made the rice separately to place on individual servings (as I can’t have grains). This came together by this method MUCH faster than the oven method (30 mins or less total time!) As a side note: Where’s the sauerkraut?? My Hungarian grandmother’s authentic cabbage roll recipe calls for it. Next time I make this I think I will be adding some in! 😉

    • Reply
  • Going to try it.I was just thinking about what I was going to make for lunch. Lazy cabagge roll would be perfect!
    Thanx 4 the recipe Steve! 🙂

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  • I enjoyed this recipe. Used ground pork, fire roasted tomatoes and tomato bollion. Nice cruch to the cabbage, we will make again.

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  • I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A GOOD RECIPE FOR THIS DISH. THIS ONE LOOKS GREAT. CAN’T WAIT TO TR IT.

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  • Sooo good 😀 Thanks! Love this recipe. My mom always makes this recipe in her slow cooker… just chucks it all in and voila! Gonna try that next time…

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  • 5 stars
    Made this tonight with pulled pork I had leftover instead of the beef. Excellent. Even the kids liked it and most of my family is not too keen on cabbage. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for posting this.

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  • I made this tonight in honor of St. Patrick’s Day (at least that’s what I told my son). He loved it and even said, “Thank you for the cabbage!). My husband and I (who are both cabbage roll fans) loved the ease of it. Have you ever thought of adapting it for the slow cooker?

    • Reply
  • Just put this together. I had some cooked rice, so put that in and added about half bag of frozen corn. I’ll top it with some shredded cheese the last 15 minutes. Nothing not to like about this gem. Thank you!

    • Reply
  • Very delicious receipe. I used minute rice, and came out perfect. After you stir it, it will thicken up, by the time, it’s done! I will make only this receipe. So tasty!

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  • 3 stars
    Would this work in a crock pot?

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  • 5 stars
    Made this tonight. Added some chilli flakes. This made sooo much im gonna have to freeze it. Easy and delicious! Much easier than cabbage rolls but tastes the same. 🙂

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  • This looks delicious! I’m looking for something to make for my co-workers on these cold days! What type of rice would you recommend using.
    Thanks!
    Jess

    • Reply
    • I just use white long grain rice.

      • Reply
  • This recipe looked so good that I HAD to make it for supper tonight… too bad I nearly cut my finger off cutting the cabbage 🙁 it better be some freakin good cabbage casserole lol!! Thanks for the recipe Steve!

    • Reply
    • oh no! I hope you heal up quickly! Enjoy the casserole as well.

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  • Plan on making this recipe tomorrow nite..one question..after 90 minutes & adding 1/4 cup water, do u cover it back up for the next 30 minutes or not? Tks! Lookin forward to fixin it! Tks!

    • Reply
    • Yes, I cover it back up for the last 30 minutes. Hope it turns out well!

      • Reply
  • 4 stars
    I made this last night but used brown rice. it took twice as long before it wasn’t a liquid mess in a pan. I should have thought about the fact that brown rice uses less water than white. Thankfully, after 3 hours in the oven it came out pretty darn well. The brown rice held up well and wasn’t mushy, and the cabbage wasn’t too soft either. I’ll reduce the amount of water added next time. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    I tried stuffed peppers were the ingredients were cut up & you could either bake or add all the ingredients into a casseroll. So I decided to try this since cabbage rolls are such a hassle. I used brown parboiled rice which is better for you because it holds onto all the nutrients & I boiled my cabbage with broth, garlic & tumeric. Once I added everything together I added chili powder & Louisiana Gold Hot Sauce. Since the Gold sauce is more flavor than heat it was perfect for everyone. I took a taste before sticking in the oven & it was so good even w/o being completely done. I also fried the onions with the beef. Can hardly wait for it to be done. Thanks a bunch.

    • Reply

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