Cabbage Roll Casserole


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Cabbage Roll Casserole combines layers of meat sauce, rice and cabbage all topped with cheese and baked in the oven!

Your family will absolutely love this adaptation of the classic cabbage roll!

Cabbage Roll Casserole is so easy to prepare that it is perfect for a busy weeknight meal!

Cabbage Roll Casserole on a white plate

Growing up cabbage rolls were something my Grandma and my mom both made quite often.

When I had a family of my own, I made cabbage rolls for them as well but that meant boiling the whole head of cabbage and making the rolls.  I adapted my recipe to make a layered casserole which not only is super easy but is so delicious!

I haven’t made it for a long time, but I came across this Cabbage Roll Casserole from Skinny Taste I knew I had to make it again!

For those of you who prefer to cook it in the slow cooker, here is a SLOW COOKER CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE RECIPE!

My grandma always used ground pork in her cabbage rolls but I prefer a combination of beef and pork.  I have made this recipe very low carb by replacing the rice with riced cauliflower and even the kids gobbled it up that way!

While cabbage rolls don’t traditionally have cheese on top my kids really like like it, so I do sometimes top it with cheese… but that part is definitely optional!

Cabbage Roll Casserole! Layers of meat sauce, rice and cabbage topped with cheese and baked in the oven!
4.5 from 8 votes
Review Recipe

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly N.
Course Casserole
Cuisine American
Growing up, cabbage rolls were something my Grandma and my mom both made quite often. This casserole is a quick and easy adaptation of this family favorite!

Ingredients

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  • 1 lb . lean ground pork or beef
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Optional Topping
  • 2 cups gruyere or monterey jack cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

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Instructions

  1. Brown beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Stir in tomatoes (including juice), tomato paste, seasoning and tomato sauce. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes until thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and add rice.
  3. Meanwhile, coarsely chop cabbage, rinse and shake dry. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add 1/2 of the cabbage. Cook just until softened (about 5 minutes). Repeat with remaining cabbage.
  4. Place 1/2 of the cabbage in a large casserole dish. Top with 1/2 of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl combine cheese, egg and milk. Remove foil, top casserole with cheese mixture and bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 279, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 377mg, Potassium: 402mg, Carbohydrates: 15g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 21g, Vitamin A: 555%, Vitamin C: 4.4%, Calcium: 241%, Iron: 2.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cabbage roll casserole

Repin this Super Casserole

Cabbage Roll Casserole on a white plate

 Here are a few more recipes you’ll love

* Cabbage Roll Soup * Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Casserole * Layered Doritos Casserole *

Adapted from Skinny Taste & Kalyn’s Kitchen

More casserole recipes here

 

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About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

    1. Sorry it didn’t work out for you, as you can see from the reviews most readers have had great success. I can’t say for sure what went wrong as we love this recipe.

  1. I have finally found a way to get my picky 7 year old to eat cabbage rolls!!!!! The only changes I made were I didn’t have the tomatoes, but I did have a jar of spaghetti sauce so I used that and the only rice I could find in my pantry was a box of rice a roni Mexican style rice. I also chose to mix everything except the cheese together before putting in the oven. Those substitutes aside this was delicious nd will most definitely be going into my meal rotation! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. It freezes beautifully. Simply place it in a container and seal it well. I defrost in the fridge overnight and bake until heated through.

  2. This recipe was delicious! I used 1/2 lb. of bulk Italian sausage in addition to the ground beef. It added so much additional flavor!

  3. Hi Holly,

    Can I just use cheese on top instead of mixing it with milk & egg? I am curious as to why the milk & egg are mixed into the cheese. Thanks …. ☺ Is it to stretch the amount of cheese used?

  4. Can you give nutrition info on this? Particularly calories and carbs (with the low-carb cauliflower version?) It looks great.

  5. Great base recipe. Loved the idea of cabbage. Made a couple taste amendments though. I added white wine a little vegetable broth and salt and pepper to the Cabbage while cooking to give it flavor. I also added adobo, sazon (a common Latino seasoning kind of like seasoned salt), and Worcestershire to the beef rice mixture. I also made a vegan batch, subbing black beans for the beef and a homemade vegan cheese sauce for the topping. Both were delicious. :)

  6. this was awesome!  i used 14 oz tomatoes with basil garlic and onion and 14 oz tomatoes with green chiles.  i also used smoked paprika.  hubs loved ir!

  7. Love this recipe. Son in law is lactose intolerant so we leave off the cheese and it’s good that way as well. We make it with the cauliflower instead of the rice.

  8. This sounds delicious! I live on my own, so i would love to make it then freeze into single portions for later. Do you know if that would work? Could i just reheat from frozen in either the cooker or microwave or would i need to thaw it first? really not a good cook lol but i’m trying to branch out!

  9. Delicious. It made a VERY full 10″ x 15″ pan. I doubled the eggs, milk and cheese for the top. Next time I will make half a recipe.

    1. As long as it fits in your dish it should be fine. If not, you can certainly cook this dish in a 9×13 or other baking pan too!

  10. If I choose not to use cheese, do I still mix the milk and egg and pour on top and bake for another 20 minutes?

  11. A little Polish lady gave me a tip about the cabbage and I’ve never boiled it again when making cabbage rolls. Take a head of cabbage and wrap it really well in saran wrap and then foil. Put it in the freezer and leave it there until 1-2 days before you plan to use it. Put in a shallow dish in the refrigerator to thaw. When you unwrap it, you can easily core it. Carefully roll back each leaf and trim the stalk, if necessary. Freezing the head of cabbage means you can stock up on it when its in season and prices are lower. But the best part is no more burned fingers from hot cabbage.

    1. I’ve done this for years, I too learned this trick from a very “seasoned” cook. No one believes me how well this works until they try it for themselves. 

  12. I made this tonight using combo of ground beef and pork (roughly 2 lbs), brown rice and adjusted seasonings according to amount of meat I used. I also added more tomato sauce, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. This dish was amazing and can feed a small army lol. Will def save this and make again. Thank you!!

  13. when it says it makes eight servings, how big are the servings? Is it eight four ounce , six ounce eight ounce servings? I need to know in advance because I’m going away and leaving this behind, bagged into individually pre-cooked servings for my s/o. Since I plan to be gone two months, it’ll be nice to cook eight full servings for a 6’2″ handicapped guy. Mini-servings will mean he’ll finish out 16 ounces with cookies or chips otherwise.

    Thanks for helping me save him from himself!

    1. :) This makes 8 good sized portions (approx. 1 1/2 cups) but can vary based on the exact size of your cabbage. You can certainly adjust the portion sizes in each bag as you see fit!

  14. As the lady above, we always put a layer of sauerkraut on the bottom of the pot and again on top of the cabbage rolls before cooking them and then poured tomato juice on top of the tomatoes and kraut. I had a friend once, (a man) who would put polish sausage in the sauerkraut on the bottom of the pan. It was like a treat to get one or more of those tasty coins when you put that sauerkraut on top of your mashed potatoes. I wish I had some now, but, cooking for one, it just doesn’t come out right, darn it. and don’t think I have enough room in the freezer for all that I am used to making!!

  15. I made this tonight and it was very good. However, it definitely needed salt. You should update the recipe to have 1/4-1/2 tap salt. Other than that it was delicious.

    1. I found that to be true, as well. However, I will say the left overs the next day tasted much better to me than on the night I cooked.

  16. just made this meal for supper. I followed the recipe and added everything. I found it missing something. It was kinda bland not a lot of flavor. I really love stuffed cabbage rolls or pig in a blanket, but this didn’t even come close. I do really love this site, so I will keep trying different recipes.

    1. I just made this 2 nights ago and I have to agree it’s missing something, not much flavor. Has anyone added spices or anything to add flavor?

  17. I made this tonight…in the oven now. I made it low carb by substituting 8 ounces of mushrooms (that I pulsed in my food processor until they were fine) in place of the rice. Will check back after dinner to let you know how they turned out!

    1. I have not frozen this before but I think it would work perfectly! I would actually prepare it exactly as directed up to the baking part ensuring that the pan you choose isn’t too deep. Freeze it covered and well sealed.

      To bake it, I would try cooking right from frozen and add about approx 45min on the cooking time. Double check that the center is hot before adding the cheese mixture.

      Please let us know how it works for you!

  18. This is a family favorite at our house. If you use a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles it really adds some zip to it.

    1. I used cauliflower in place of the rice in the recipe. I took a head of raw cauliflower and put it in the food processor until it reached pieces about the size of rice. Once “riced” I added about 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a non-stick pan. I cooked the cauliflower over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once it was slightly softened and cooked, I prepared the recipe as directed using cauliflower in place of the rice. :)

      1. To me that would not be a cabbage roll casserole. To me the caukiflower takes away from the cabbage. What the original recipe is we call Lazy Cabbage Rolls. .. awesome.. people always revert from a great recipe. Then it should be called something else if you add potatoes and cauliflower, etc.

        1. I would still consider it a version of a Cabbage Roll Casserole. There are many variations of cabbage rolls and this is just one of them.

  19. I love this Cabbage Roll Casserole, it looks awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great weekend and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  20. Stopping by from Hearth and Soul Link up to pin your fabulous Cabbage rolls. They look delicious!

  21. Great recipe and love that you made a low carb version. I agree with Holly, love it’s versatility. Visiting from Inspiration Monday party – thanks for a great recipe!

  22. I know quinoa can sometimes be substituted for rice as a healthier option. Do you think that will work? I’m thinking of trying it so will follow up with my results

  23. My mother and grandmother us to make these all the time. Grandma was from Budapest, Hungary and they use a lot of sauerkraut in their recipes. If you like sauerkraut just pour a can of sauerkraut (drained ) over the cabbage, etc. toward the end of cooking so it will warm with recipe. Soooo good!

    1. Thank you Holly! I am also used to eating my cabbage rolls that have been cooked on a bed of sauerkraut and tomatoes (Which BTW is fantastic on the required mashed potatoes, but, may try the mashed cauliflower). We used to always put another layer of sauerkraut and tomatoes on top of the cabbage rolls and cook them slowly either on top of the stove or in the oven. I also have a friend who slices up Polish Sausage to go into the sauerkraut and lend it’s flavor to the cabbage rolls. I will try this recipe as I frequently get hungry for cabbage rolls and live alone.
      Thank you both for this recipe

      1. My grandparents were also from Hungary. My mother always made the cabbage rolls with lots of sauerkraut, canned tomatoes and extra cabbage leaves layed between the layers of cabbage rolls. Instead of using sausage to flavor, we have always laid down a layer of bacon on the bottom of the pan before loading it up. This not only adds flavor but also helps to keep everything from sticking to the bottom of the pan, especially when we would fill up an 8 quart stockpot. These also freeze wonderfully.

    2. yes! my family was from Hungary also. They also used ground pork and ham for the meat. no tomato sauce. They served it with a dollop of sour cream on top. We also top some ketchup on the rolls too. Yum!

  24. Sounds very good and I wanted to print it. Would have been nice to have print format so I did not get 8 sheets of paper!!

    1. I was going to ask about the rice too, then I saw your comments so I scrolled back up and looked again. lol. Totally missed that step!

  25. I saw rice in the ingredients list but the rice isn’t mentioned in the cooking directions. Do you mix the rice the meat mixture or just layer it?

    1. Holly I tried it in the crockpot. It came out wonderful.. I redid the recipe and would like to share it with you, and if you think it is good enough you are more than welcome to pass it on.. If you would like it, just let me know how to forward it to you… Talk to you soon.. Sue

      1. I would love the crockpot cabbage roll casserole. It is still so hot and I love to use my crockpot. Love your recipes, thank you for sharing.

    1. I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker but I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t work! I’d just be sure not to overcook it so the cabbage doesn’t get too soft but aside from that I bet it would be wonderful and next time I make it, I will definitely try it!

    1. No in fact rice really helps this dish have its unique flavor. Cauliflower or potatoes would take away from this wonderful dish all together. I am sure you would not want to ruin this especially wonderful dish.

      1. When I make this with cauliflower – no one has been able to tell the difference between that and the rice. I also use ground turkey another healthy slip that people cannot tell the difference.