Love stuffed homemade cabbage rolls but short on time?
We’ve got you covered with this Cabbage Roll Casserole! Layers of tender cabbage, rice, and meat in a zesty tomato sauce.
Made with simple ingredients, this cabbage casserole is so easy to toss together and can be made ahead of time (on the weekend!). The family and the cook will love this simple and comforting dish!
A Cozy Cabbage Roll Casserole
- This casserole is also known as lazy cabbage rolls and it’s so simple to make!
- All of the flavor of our favorite easy cabbage rolls without the fuss rolling or cooking whole leaves.
- This makes a hearty family sized meal and reheats and freezes well.
- This casserole can be made low carb by swapping the rice for riced cauliflower.
- Top it with the optional cheese (or don’t if you’d prefer).
Ingredients in Cabbage Roll Casserole
Green cabbage is used in this recipe. It is chopped and cooked which means no peeling leaves or rolling. You can use other types of cabbage in this recipe but cooking time might need to be adjusted slightly.
The traditional ingredients in the cabbage roll filling from my grandmother’s recipe make an appearance in this recipe! Ground beef, ground pork (or use all beef), rice, and spices are combined with a zesty tomato sauce.
The optional topping in this recipe is loved by all. A unique cheese mixture forms a flavorful brown crust and while cheese is not traditional in cabbage rolls, we do love it on this casserole. If you’d prefer, it can be left off.
How to Make Cabbage Roll Casserole
Enjoy all the flavors of traditional cabbage rolls without all the work and fuss.
- PREP MEAT SAUCE – Cook meat and onion garlic per the recipe below. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer.
- COOK CABBAGE – While meat is cooking, chop and fry cabbage.
- ASSEMBLE – Mixe the rice into the meat sauce and layer with cabbage in a casserole dish.
- BAKE – Top if desired and bake until browned and bubbly.
If you’d like to cook this in the crock pot, we use this Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe.
Make Ahead and Leftovers
Leftover casserole will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days or can be frozen.
This is also a great casserole for doubling and freezing. The dish can be frozen either before or after baking. They will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
To bake from frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as per the directions in the original recipe (you may need to add about 15-20 minutes if the casserole is cold from the fridge).
Got Cabbage? (Lucky you)!
- Quick Cabbage Soup – quick and healthy
- Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe – reader favorite
- Cabbage and Noodles – family recipe
- The Best Coleslaw Recipe – potluck perfect
- Corned Beef and Cabbage – a complete meal
- Crock Pot Cabbage Roll Soup – set it and forget it
Did your family love this Cabbage Roll Casserole? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Cabbage Roll Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground beef or pork , or ½ pound of each
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can, including juice
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt & pepper each
- 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
- 1 large head cabbage 12-14 cups
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dill optional
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese or monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Brown beef or pork, onion, and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Stir in diced tomatoes (including juice), tomato sauce, tomato paste, & seasonings. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add cooked rice.
- Meanwhile, chop cabbage into 1" squares, rinse and shake dry. Heat oil in a skillet and add ½ of the cabbage and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook just until softened (about 10 minutes). Repeat with remaining cabbage.
- Place ½ of the cabbage in a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with ½ of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine cheese, egg, and milk. Remove foil, top casserole with cheese mixture, and bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This looks delicious. I plan on making it this weekend. I know I will have leftovers, which I will freeze since there are only two of us. Can you offer any tips or instruction for reheating? Thanks!
I usually reheat it in the microwave without defrosting! Enjoy Dave!
This Casserole was very very good and and I will definitely make this again. I was not sure about the egg, cheese and milk mixture on top, but I will be using this for other dishes.
Delicious! So easy to make. I’ve made other recipes and none compare to this.
I used ground chicken instead of beef because we are trying to cut down on red meat. Excellent. My family declared it was ‘candy’ and requested it again the following week.
I am so happy to hear this recipe was a hit Shirley!
Should this be cooked according to the directions first before freezing, then re-cooked when thawed or be frozen uncooked ?
Hi Mary Ann, this dish can be frozen either before or after baking! Both will work well.
I (we) made this last night, my partner didn´t seem very interested in this recepi but he never complains, he knows me and I´m always trying something new and different, but I tell you what, he was not disapointed, he had two big servings and couldn´t stop saying how nice it was. We have got enough left over for our dinner tonight too and that´s always big bonus. Will make this again (we called it cabbage lasagna :) Thank you for sharing and have a good weekend. Rakel x
That is awesome, Rakel! So glad you both enjoyed it!
I made this recipe and it was wonderful. The only thing was I used a small head of cabbage since
I am only cooking for one person. This was such a mistake. I plan on making this again but this
time with a large head of cabbage. The left overs were wonderful.
I love that, Arlene! You will definitely have to use a large head of cabbage next time so you can enjoy the leftovers.
crazy question, is the last layer meat or cabbage?
Hi Betty, we end with a layer of meat sauce topped with the cheese mixture.
THIS was VERY good!!!!! Totally a keeper- loved the flavor and how quick it came together :) Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome Hope, so glad to hear how much you love this casserole!
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