Cabbage Roll Casserole

This Cabbage Roll Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, and it’s easy to make so you can enjoy it during the week. Loaded with sauteed cabbage, ground beef, basmatti rice and a delicious tomato sauce, it is a family favorite that will never go out of style. 

There is something about cool weather and casseroles that just go together in my opinion. This Cabbage Roll casserole is the perfect balance of healthy and tummy satisfying comfort, and it is so much easier to make than a traditional cabbage roll where you have to spend hours assembling. With our version of this classic cabbage recipe you simply prepare your ingredients and then layer them in your favorite casserole dish to bake. Then you can sit back with a glass of wine while your oven does all the hard work.

Cooked Cabbage Roll Casserole in white casserole dish

cABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE – IT’S IN MY BLOOD!

My dad is Ukrainian so when I say cabbage rolls are in my blood I am telling the truth! I have probably been eating them since before I had teeth, though I imagine it was more like my casserole at that point rather than an actual roll (ha). My dad makes the absolute most delicious cabbage rolls I have ever tasted but if you can believe it, I have never tried to make them myself. I can do all the other traditional dishes – like pierogies- but I am intimidated by the actual making of a cabbage roll…that’s where my casserole comes in.

The flavors are really what matter when it comes to making this dish, you want to ensure you have the perfect balance of beef and tomato mixture with rice and cabbage, and honestly I think doing it this way is much less stressful than going traditional. The most difficult part of this dish is trying not to eat all the different layers as you prepare them, but with how much this dish makes no one will know if you sneak a few bites for quality control!

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll casserole in bowl with main casserole

you’ve got questions and we’ve got answers

what goes with cabbage casserole?

This is an easy one my friends, think about the main ingredients of the dish. With ground beef and cabbage as its stars I would definitely suggest keeping your sides a bit simple as well. That could be a nice green salad, crusty bread, or even just some steamed veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. This casserole is very filling thanks to the rice mixed in with the other layers so you don’t need to serve it alongside potatoes or anything super starchy like that.

can i make this casserole ahead of time?

Heck yes you can! With most comfort food dishes, the flavors will get even better the more it sits. This gives everything time to settle together and sop up all the goodness. If you want to make it ahead of time you want to stop after assembling – do not bake it until you are ready to serve. This keeps the casserole from getting dried out.

how do you reheat a casserole from the fridge?

The most important thing for heating a casserole once it has been in the fridge is to allow your casserole dish to slowly come up to the same temperature as your oven to prevent it from cracking and ruining all your hard work. I like to put mine in the oven as it preheats so that it doesn’t get shocked going from 37 F to 375 F. You can also choose to reheat a small portion in a microwave safe container if you are bringing leftovers for lunch.

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Cabbage Roll Casserole - easy and delicious

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Every home cook has their favorite set of casserole dishes, and ours have always been the Corning Ware Casserole Dishes that come with lids. They make it so easy to just cover and put in the fridge without fighting with plastic wrap or foil. They also come in handy for recipes that need to be covered while cooking!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Easy Cabbage Roll Casserole

An unstuffed version of one of our favorite foods - Cabbage Roll Casserole is easy to make, and will keep the whole family satisfied. 
Course Casseroles, Comfort Food, Dinner
Cuisine European
Keyword Cabbage Rolls, Casseroles
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Melissa

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion - diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic- minced
  • 1 head Green Cabbage - chopped
  • 3/4 cup Uncooked Rice we use basmati but you can use any long grain version
  • 2 cans Tomato Soup we use Campbell's - it's the best hands down!
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium pan heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cabbage and cook until lightly translucent  (about 3 minutes), add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove to a plate.
  • Add beef to the same pan and brown meat until no longer pink (about 5 minutes) and drain off excess fat. Add 1/2 of cabbage mixture back to pan with 1 can of tomato soup, water, spices and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Add in rice and remove from the heat. Now you will assemble the casserole in your greased casserole dish - 9x13". 
  • Begin by pouring your meat and mixture into the casserole dish, then top with the reserved cabbage mixture. Finish off by pouring the other can of tomato soup over the top of the cabbage.
  • Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes until your rice is fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes so your casserole holds together when removing from the dish. 

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17 thoughts on “Cabbage Roll Casserole

  1. Maureen says:

    Oh, my goodness! It has been way too long since I have had cabbage roll casserole! My mother used to make it when I was growing up, but for some reason I never made it in all the 32 years I have been married! My husband is going to be in for a treat!!

  2. Lara says:

    Really excited to add this to my meal planning rotation! I love cabbage rolls, but not all that ROLLING! This looks like the perfect solution. Thanks for sharing.

    • oliveblogger says:

      I am with you, the rolling and stuffing of the traditional cabbage roll is very tiresome! This is such a great way to enjoy all the same flavors but in a casserole instead.

  3. Amy Chung says:

    I love nothing more than being able to make comfort food for mid week dinners that can be prepared in time. And I do love cabbage too. I must say I don’t eat it enough so this is a great recipe for me to try!

    • oliveblogger says:

      This cabbage casserole is perfect for meal prep, make it and forget about it until you are ready to reheat and enjoy!

  4. GUNJAN C Dudani says:

    Love casserole recipes. I do have cabbage sitting in my fridge for a while. I have been thinking of what to do with it. Now, my cabbage will be put to great use. I am making this cabbage roll recipe tomorrow.

  5. Byron Thomas says:

    I have a coworker that’s Ukrainian and she can do things with cabbage that I deem to be just magical. I grew up in a home where cabbage was either boiled or made into a coleslaw – those were the only two options. Reading through the ingredients, this dish kinda reminds me of her cabbage rolls only in a deconstructed form.

    • oliveblogger says:

      Oh yes we are quite talented when it comes to making what most people think of as a “yucky” vegetable something DELICIOUS! That’s exactly what this casserole is, basically a deconstructed cabbage roll that anyone can make.

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