Cabbage Roll Casserole: A Tasty Way to Get Your Family to Eat More Cabbage

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
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 4-6
  • 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
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Dash of chili or cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. 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 ½ cup amounts in the freezer. Yes, the L is for liver. :)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. Chop about 8 cups of cabbage coarsely. I find that this is about ½ to ⅔ of a large cabbage. I like using green, but purple would be just fine, too.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

What is your favorite way to serve cabbage?