Cabbage Roll Casserole:

Cabbage roll casserole is a hearty and comforting dish that captures all the flavors of classic cabbage rolls but with a fraction of the effort. This delectable casserole combines tender cabbage, savory meat, and a rich tomato sauce, making it a perfect choice for a cozy family dinner. If you’re craving the taste of traditional cabbage rolls without the work, this simplified recipe is your answer.


For the Cabbage Layer:

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • Water for boiling
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Meat and Rice Layer:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Cabbage Layer

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Carefully remove the core from the cabbage head, leaving the leaves intact. Place the whole head of cabbage in the boiling water and simmer for about 3-5 minutes. This will soften the leaves, making them pliable for rolling.
  3. Remove the cabbage from the water and let it cool slightly. Then, carefully peel off the leaves and set them aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Meat and Rice Layer

  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef (or beef and pork mix) over medium heat until browned and crumbled. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté until they become translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the uncooked white rice, salt, and black pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the rice to absorb some of the flavors.

Step 3: Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  1. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, white vinegar, paprika, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

Step 4: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large casserole dish, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce.
  3. Place a cabbage leaf on a clean surface and add a spoonful of the meat and rice mixture. Roll up the leaf, tucking in the sides to secure the filling. Place it seam-side down in the casserole dish.
  4. Continue rolling cabbage leaves and arranging them in the casserole dish until all the leaves and filling are used.

Step 5: Bake the Casserole

  1. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls in the casserole dish.
  2. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the cabbage is tender and the sauce is bubbly.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

  1. Serve the cabbage roll casserole hot, with a spoonful of the rich tomato sauce.


Cabbage roll casserole simplifies the classic dish while maintaining all the flavors and heartwarming appeal. This hearty casserole, filled with tender cabbage leaves, seasoned meat, and a luscious tomato sauce, is a wonderful option for a comforting family dinner. Enjoy the delicious taste of cabbage rolls with a fraction of the work in this simplified, yet equally satisfying, recipe.

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