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.
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!
you’ve got questions and we’ve got answers
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.
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.
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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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
- 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
- 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 – 9×13″.
- 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.