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Cabbage Roll Casserole

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close up shot of Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear casserole dish
This cabbage roll casserole makes it easy to enjoy the taste of the original rolls, without any of the hard work.
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Table of Contents
  1. Cabbage Roll Casserole Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Cabbage roll casserole with rice is a super tasty and hearty casserole that is easy to make on a busy night at home. Ground beef is mixed with a homemade meat sauce, then combined with tender rice and cabbage to make a filling dish that the whole family is sure to love.

If you’re looking for a couple of other simple casserole dishes to add to your menu, you have to try out chicken fajita casserole and chicken bacon ranch casserole. Both of these are easy and delicious homemade dinner options.

close up shot of a baking dish of Cabbage Roll Casserole with a large wooden spoon

Cabbage Roll Casserole Ingredients

Cabbage Roll Casserole raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

Meat Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

Rice

  • 1 cup minute rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Cabbage

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 head of cabbage, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Toppings

  • 2½ cups (one bag) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped parsley for the top, optional

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

RED PEPPER FLAKES: If you are a spice lover, you could add ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to your spices in the meat sauce.

RICE: I find that using minute rice for this recipe is easy and tastes great. However, if you prefer, you can use a different type of rice. Basmati, jasmine, or brown rice would work as well.

PROTEIN: If you’re looking to make this recipe vegetarian, it’s super easy to do so. Simply leave out the ground beef. You can also swap the ground beef out for another ground meat such as ground chicken, ground pork, or ground turkey if you prefer.

CHEESE: Feel free to use a different type of shredded cheese in this easy cabbage roll casserole. Swiss, provolone, or Colby jack would work, too.

How To Make This Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe

PRO TIP:

To make into a freezer meal, cook in the skillet and then place in freezer bag to freeze rather than baking. When ready, let thaw, dump into the casserole dish, and finish as instructed.

STEP ONE: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and beef bouillon cube to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup minute rice and stir well. Cover pot and let sit until you are ready to use it in the meat mixture.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of ingredients added to a pot

STEP TWO: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

STEP THREE: In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and ground beef. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Drain grease. Return beef to pot, add onions and garlic. Stir well. Let cook for 5 to 7 minutes while stirring often.

PRO TIP:

You can cook ground beef in bulk ahead of time. Store in the freezer until you are ready to use and then add to your recipe when called for. This saves some time browning the meat.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of beef, onions, and garlic in a pot

STEP FOUR: Add dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Let cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of seasonings being added to beef mixture in a pot

STEP FIVE: Add water, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes with their juices and tomato sauce. Stir well and turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce added to the pot

STEP SIX: Add cooked rice to the sauce mixture and stir well. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of cooked rice added to the pot

STEP SEVEN: In a separate large skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped cabbage leaves, salt, pepper, and butter. Stir well. Let cabbage cook for 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is starting to get tender.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of cabbage, butter, and seasonings in a skillet

STEP EIGHT: Add your cabbage to the meat and rice mixture. Stir well to combine.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of cabbage added to the meat mixture

STEP NINE: Dump cabbage mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot of cabbage mixture placed into a baking dish and topped with mozzarella cheese

STEP TEN: Cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes.

Cabbage Roll Casserole process shot after casserole is baked

STEP ELEVEN: Uncover the casserole dish and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top of the casserole is starting to brown and the casserole juices are bubbling on the sides of the casserole.

How To Serve

This hearty casserole recipe has everything you need in one dish. Meat, veggies, and melted cheese will have everyone coming back for more and loving this comfort meal. Add homemade garlic bread to the side and you are all set.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Place leftovers of this unstuffed cabbage roll casserole in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can also freeze leftover cabbage roll casserole by spooning it into a freezer Ziploc bag (be sure it has cooled first). When you’re ready to enjoy it, you can simply place it in a baking dish and pop it in the oven.

overhead shot of plates of Cabbage Roll Casserole

You can never have enough easy, homemade casserole recipes. This simple cabbage roll casserole is a great recipe to have on hand for a busy weeknight meal. The flavorful, hearty meat sauce combined with the rice and cabbage is so delicious.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What other types of cheese would work instead of mozzarella?

This unstuffed cabbage casserole would also be tasty with Monterey Jack or pepper Jack if you like to spice things up.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

This is a great freezer meal idea. Make the recipe in the skillet but instead of putting it in the casserole dish and baking it right away, you can put it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze it until you are ready to use it.

How can I easily shred cabbage?

The best way to shred cabbage is in the food processor. If you don’t have one available, cut the cabbage head in half and cut out the stem. Then put it flat side down on a cutting board and slice it into thin ribbons.

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close up shot of Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear casserole dish

Cabbage Roll Casserole

5 from 3 votes
This cabbage roll casserole makes it easy to enjoy the taste of the original rolls, without any of the hard work.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Meat Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes undrained
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional

Rice

  • 1 cup minute rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Cabbage

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 head cabbage cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Toppings

  • cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • chopped parsley optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, butter, and beef bouillon cube to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup minute rice and stir well. Cover pot and let sit until you are ready to use it in the meat mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, add ground beef. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Drain grease. Return beef to pot, add onions and garlic. Stir well. Let cook for 5 to 7 minutes while stirring often.
  • Add dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Let cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add water, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes with their juices and tomato sauce. Stir well and turn heat to low and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice to the sauce mixture and stir well. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add cabbage, salt, pepper, and butter. Stir well. Let cabbage cook for 5 minutes or until the cabbage is starting to get tender.
  • Add your cabbage to the meat and rice mixture. Stir well to combine.
  • Dump cabbage mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes.
  • Uncover casserole dish and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to brown and the casserole juices are bubbling on the sides of the casserole.

Notes

Note: To make into a freezer meal, cook in the skillet and then place in a freezer bag to freeze rather than baking. When ready, let thaw, dump into the casserole dish, and finish as instructed.
 
Note: You can cook ground beef in bulk ahead of time. Store in the freezer until you are ready to use and then add to your recipe when called for. This saves some time browning the meat.

Nutrition

Sodium: 2036mg | Calcium: 352mg | Vitamin C: 68mg | Vitamin A: 1229IU | Sugar: 11g | Fiber: 7g | Potassium: 910mg | Cholesterol: 106mg | Calories: 583kcal | Saturated Fat: 17g | Fat: 39g | Protein: 29g | Carbohydrates: 32g | Iron: 5mg
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  1. Mika says

    5 stars
    Oh my, we loved it! Hubby even after a second helping ( a little one 😉) , said I could eat this all week! So goood!

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