Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

This Stuffed Cabbage Casserole has all the flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, but in a convenient casserole. With layers of ground beef, rice, cabbage, tomatoes and topped with melted cheese; this one dish dinner is comfort food without the fuss.

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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are the epitome of a traditional food. Yet making them truly is a labor in love, with all that prepping and rolling. This easy recipe is a shortcut on the work, without sacrificing that delicious taste.

Sometimes we just need a small change to our much loved recipes, for variety and convenience.

This is why I love our Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup whcih I shred many years ago. It came on the heels of Slow Cooker Lazy Cabbage Rolls, which is an unlayered crockpot version of this hearty casserole.

With this Stuffed Cabbage Casserole Recipe, each bite bursts with savory goodness from the seasoned ground beef filling infused with warm paprika, savory Worcestershire sauce, and tangy tomatoes.

For a creamy, irresistible finish; gooey mozzarella cheese is melted on top. The soft, yielding tender cabbage contrasts beautifully with the meaty texture of the filling.

Just a comforting and hearty dish that makes you feel good from the inside, out.

food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Faster than the slow cooker but just as hands-off, easy stuffed cabbage casserole is a family favorite that satisfies the cravings without that much effort.

It’s perfect as a quick dinner, and especially when you have leftover rice or leftover ground beef on hand. Heck, you could even use store-bought bagged coleslaw mix if you have that to use up too, instead of fresh cabbage.

Change up your usual ground beef recipes with this cabbage roll casserole. The whole family will be impressed.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Has all the flavours of traditional cabbage rolls, without the fuss.
  • This casserole dish is easy and convenient, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
  • Uses up leftovers, is hearty and filling and also freezes well!
  • Total Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Serves: 4
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Ingredients and Notes

Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this cabbage casserole with ground beef. As always, the full recipe is on the printable recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Olive Oil – a netural oil for cooking. You can also use butter if you wish.
  • Onion and Garlic – gives flavor but that lovely aroma.
  • Seasoning – This recipe calls for salt and black pepper, along with paprika which is a warm spice that is traditionally used in cabbage rolls.
  • Ground Beef – I always use lean ground beef. Yet whichever you use, make sure to drain excess grease.
  • Tomatoes – this recipe calls for tomato paste, tomato puree (or tomato sauce), and diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes). This gives flavor, makes the sauce, and provides that slight acidity to compliment.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – adds that savory taste and enhances the meat flavor.
  • Cooked White Rice – you can also use cooked brown rice or wild rice as well.
  • Green Cabbage – you need savory cabbage for cabbage rolls, in whichever form. Yet really, you can use whichever type if cabbage you wish.
  • Mozzarella Cheese – shredding mozzarella adds that final touch to the casserole, because melty cheese topping is life. Yet, this is optional.
ingredients on a table, food to make stuffed cabbage casserole

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Split this recipe into 2 smaller casseroles, and freeze one for later!
  • Use a cast-iron skillet or oven safe pan to cook the meat mixture, then use it as a baking dish and have one less dirty dish.
  • Cheese lovers can add some shredded cheese into the mixture as well as the top, for more of a cheesy casserole.
food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Recipe Variations

  • Swap Ground Beef for ground pork, lean ground turkey or a combination.
  • You can also make it meatless and omit the meat for a vegetarian option. You also might like our Healthy Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Soup recipe.
  • To make it dairy-free, omit the cheese topping.
  • Make it keto or low-carb, by using cauliflower rice or omitting the rice altogether. You could use more beef and veggies in place of the rice.
  • Add more veggies such as mushrooms or diced red peppers.
  • Swap the cheese with another kind such as Gouda, Havarti, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack.
food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

How to Make Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add chopped onion and cook until softened, seasoning with 1tsp of salt and the pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

  2. Brown the meat: Add minced meat and cook until well-browned and cooked through.

  3. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, tomato puree, and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to develop the flavors.

  4. Once the sauce is simmered, add cooked rice and combine well.

    steps to make stuffed cabbage casserole
  5. Chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces. In a separate pan with olive oil, cook the cabbage over medium-high heat until wilted and partially cooked, seasoning with salt.

    ** If you prefer a softer texture for the cabbage, you can add a splash of water or broth to the pan while cooking it. Cover the pan for a few minutes to steam the cabbage further.

  6. Assemble and Bake the Casserole:

Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a baking dish, spread ⅓ of the meat sauce as the first layer. Top with ½ of the chopped cabbage. Repeat with another ⅓ of the sauce and remaining cabbage. Finish with the final ⅓ of the sauce on top.

Cover the casserole with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. Trapping the steam helps the cabbage wilt and cook.

Remove the casserole from the oven, take off the foil, and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbly and melted, and serve!

For a crispy cheese topping, broil the casserole for the last few minutes of baking instead of using foil. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

What to Serve with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

We usually serve Cabbage Roll Casserole with a tossed green salad or another vegetable side dish like Air Fryer Asparagus or Roasted Parmesan Green Beans.

You can also serve with Baking Powder Biscuits or Air Fryer Garlic Bread too.

You can also add a dollop of sour cream to the top, so have that handy for those that prefer it.

Storage and Freezing

Store leftover casserole in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Refrigerator – Fully assemble your casserole and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cover again with foil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To cook, remove the plastic wrap and cover again with foil. Bake as instructed in the recipe card.

  • Freezer – To freeze this casserole or bake later, assemble the casserole as directed and allow to cool. Cover tightly aluminum foil, then transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months. When removed from freezer, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then bake as indicted in the recipe.

How to Reheat Leftovers

For a large portion, use the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave until heated through.

food, with Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Yield: 1 casserole
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This easy stuffed cabbage casserole recipe is perfect for a quick and tasty dinner. This hassle-free casserole dish tastes just like traditional cabbage rolls, without the fuss.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups cooked white rice
  • ½ large green cabbage or 1 small one (cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add chopped onion and cook until softened, seasoning with 1tsp of salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Brown the meat: Add minced meat and cook until well-browned and cooked through.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, tomato puree, and diced tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to develop the flavors.
  4. Once the sauce is simmered, add cooked rice and combine well.
  5. Chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces. In a separate pan with olive oil, cook the cabbage over medium-high heat until wilted and partially cooked, seasoning with remaining salt.
  6. Assembling and Baking the Casserole:
  • Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a baking dish, spread ⅓ of the meat sauce as the first layer. Top with ½ of the chopped cabbage. Repeat with another ⅓ of the sauce and remaining cabbage. Finish with the final ⅓ of the sauce on top.
  • Cover the casserole with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven, take off the foil, and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Notes

  • For a crispy cheese topping, broil the casserole for the last few minutes of baking instead of using foil. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
  • This casserole reheats well. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 512Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1380mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g

Did you make this recipe?

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Created by Tammi Roy

Tammi Roy is the founder of My Organized Chaos, a Canadian food and lifestyle blog. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is the mom of three beautiful teenage girls. Tammi’s passions are her family, creating and sharing delicious recipes, travelling and photography. Learn more about Tammi.

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