Always trying to find new ways to get more nturient-dense foods into my family, I stumbled upon this idea a while back and it has proven to be a winner!
The original recipe came from a fundraiser cookbook put together by my Nana’s Sons of Norway group. I’ve taken that recipe and given it a few “real food” tweaks and we just love it.
Cabbage Roll Casserole
Serves 4-6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 1 lb ground beef (and if you like, a bit of extra ground liver- see below)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
- 2 cans/jars (pint or 398 ml) tomato sauce, or 1 of sauce and 1 of diced tomatoes
- 1 small (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Dash of chili or cayenne pepper
- 8 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
1. Fry up the ground beef with a bit of oil, the onions and the garlic. Personally, I like to add a bit of ground liver to this dish as well. You can’t even notice it’s in there. I pre-cook mine and store it in 1/2 cup amounts in the freeze. Yes, the L is for liver. :)
2. If you’re adding rice, mix it in with the beef/onion/garlic mixture now (we leave it out since we’re grain free right now, and it turns out just fine without it, but rice is a frugal and nutritious filler, tastes great and would help to make this meal stretch further). Add one beaten egg to the mixture and combine well.
3. In a bowl or pot, combine tomato sauce (and canned tomatoes, if using) and tomato paste. Stir in apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and chili or cayenne.
4. Chop about 8 cups of cabbage coarsely. I find that this is about 1/2 to 2/3 of a large cabbage. I like using green, but purple would be just fine, too.
5. In a large casserole dish, begin to layer- cabbage on bottom, meat/rice mixture, then drizzle with tomato sauce. Repeat all layers a second time. End with an extra layer of cabbage and sauce on the top.
6. Cover and bake at 350 for about 1 hour.
You could also add a cup of shredded cheese sprinkled on top. Add the cheese after the casserole is finished cooking and put it back in the oven just for 5 minutes or so, long enough to get the cheese hot and melted.
Serve as is, or top with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. This also makes a nice “sloppy joe” type filling in sandwiches. More commonly, we just eat it as a casserole, along with a slice of homemade bread and butter.