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

cooked cabbage casserole

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

sneaking liver into cabbage casserole

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.

cabbage casserole meat and sauce

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.

chopped cabbage for casserole

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.

making layers for cabbage casserole

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.

What is your favorite way to serve cabbage?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. margaret thompson says:

    These ricipies don’t have serving size or nutritional values

  2. Carolezarm says:

    Is there an easy way to print off this recipe w/o all the pictures…? thanks

  3. Sounds yummy. I’m going to try this but instead of rice I’ll use quinoa. Love that stuff!

  4. We loved it even my picky tots. My husband thought it was a lasagna it think he was excited to have a hot meal ready,and my house smelled delicious. Thank you for this healthy economical dish.

  5. This is like lazy man’ stuffed cabbage. I cook the rice for 10 mins. rather than 20. Brown the gd. beef with onions and lots of garlic, drain well. Saute chopped cabbage with some onion and garlic, season to taste. Put beef mix, rice and cabbage int large bowl, mix well. put into 13×9 baking dish . Heat 1 can tomato soup, 1 can diced tomatoes, seasoned or not, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Adjust to taste Add water if thick. Pour over all. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hr. Enjoy.

  6. I love cabbage rolls. This recipe looks awesome!

  7. Does this freeze well?

    • You know, I haven’t tried. If you do and you find out, I’d love to know!

    • Did you ever freeze it? I made a dishfull and we used homemade Enchilada Sauce in it for the sauce and added, Frozen Corn, two Vegan Black bean burgers and crunched them into the sauce. We couldn’t put our forks down. Celery, Onion garlic and Seasoned seared Chicken thigh!
      You should try that! I would think that freezing cooked cabbage would come back out of the freezer any good for texture. You better pass it on to the neighbors! :) Cheers!

  8. Jane Reeds says:

    I made this with nappa cabbage and left out the honey and vinegar.I added a can of sliced artichoke hearts in one layer.I substituted the tomatoe paste with prepared bolognese sauce and a can of dices tomatoes.It was delicious!

  9. Nice and easy to prepare. I used a mixture of red and white cabbage. The finished dish had quite a lot of liquid and the cabbage was still crunchy. I might try cooking the cabbage first to see if that would improve the texture.

  10. Would this work with Napa cabbage? Whenever we get it from our CSA, I have a hard time finishing it.

    This is a wonderful site, by the way! I appreciate the combination of real foods, frugality, and the Christian perspective on homemaking.

  11. This looks great, I always have too much cabbage in somehow – noone wants to eat it! I’ll definitely try this, hopefully people will be fighting over it and not realise they’re eating the stuff! Casseroles usually go down well at mine, I may end up haveing to lock some away in a secured box with Tamper Proof Tape to make sure I get a bite myself! Anyway, thanks

  12. We tried this for the first time 2 weeks ago and I have made it twice. It has become one of our family favourites! Delicious and so easy!!! It will become part of our rotation of meals!

  13. This is a super recipe for big families. I doubled it for mine- easy, hearty, tasty :)

  14. Mine is in the oven cooking right now! :o) I am excited to give this a try because my husband won’t eat cabbage unless it is in cole slaw or sour kraut so I am hoping this is a winner! It would be a great way to add this wonderful veggie to our diet on a more reqular basis. I also cut my recipe in half and I am freezing the other portion for later use. It is smelling good and I am hungry! :o) Thanks for the recipe!
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Frugal TIp Friday- Grill Extra Meat =-.

  15. A Nebraska favorite is Runza’s or Runza Casserole for an easier adaptation. The Casserole is ground beef with finely minced onions, steamed diced cabbage and a homemade mushroom gravy (as opposed to Cream of Mushroom Soup) with a yummy layer of crescent roll dough on top and bottom (I’m still trying to find a perfect soaked crescent roll recipe but biscuit dough can be used also) I like to add cheddar cheese to mine too. Then it’s baked uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. A traditional Runza on the other hand is bread dough stuffed with a similar concoction. (You combine your filling and then roll out sqaures of dough (probably 8 inches square) Spoon on about 1/2 cup filling and fold over, sealing each seam by wetting the dough. My family can’t get enough of these dishes. Besides the cresent roll dough, it’s not really much of a challenge to convert to a healthier meal, by making your own mushroom white sauce, and using soaked bread. Go Cornhuskers hehe

  16. Yummy-I added cabbage to my grass-fed beef tacos tonight. My family loved it. Thanks for the idea. I’m always looking to get more vegis in our diet!
    Jana
    .-= Jana @ The Summer House´s last blog ..My Creative Space: Denim Baby Bibs and a Gift Bag =-.

  17. I’m always interested in recipes like this or using spinach or even wrapping foods in lettuce, but my husband can’t eat cabbage, spinach or any type of lettuce without it making him extremely ill. Am I stuck making 2 meals when use those types of veggies?

  18. I made this for dinner tonight. It was good.

    Because I didn’t have any ground beef on hand, I used turkey. Since I was using turkey I thought I may as well use the spices in Laura’s (Heavely Homemakers) turkey sausage recipe (that is my favorite thing to make with ground turkey at the moment.) It was really yummy.

    I think we will be having this regularly at our house. Thanks so much!
    .-= Stacy @ Delighting in the Days´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  19. I am cooking this right now! We are excited to try it :) My 4 yr old daughter said the picture looks yummy, so I tried to make it look as much like your picture in hopes she will like it ;) I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used one can of diced tomatoes, one can of tomato paste, and one jar of salsa and pureed it in the blender – it was easy to pour…I hope we get a good flavor from the salsa! (I also had cabbage in my CSA box that didn’t have a plan)

  20. I have been wanting to make cabbage rolls, but just don’t know if I have the patience to roll them, so I thought your recipe would be perfect. I cooked this for my family yesterday. Everyone seemed to like it. It was a great way to sneak in brown rice. My family does not care for brown rice, but they did not realize I had used it in the dish. It was also very economical. I will definitely make this one again.

  21. I actually make something like this already–minus the vinegar and honey, although I plan to try it your way. This is a good alternative to cabbage rolls. It has basically the same ingredients (rice included) without the fuss. Thanks!
    .-= Mrs. T´s last blog ..Consider This… =-.

  22. I just got 2 huge heads of cabbage in my CSA box – this is perfect!! I couldn’t think of anything to use it up except pork and sauerkraut.

    • @Meredith, Another great way to use cabbage that our family loves is to carefully peel off the cabbage leaves and use them as raw wraps. We love to put taco fillings in them, or even regular sandwich fillings. We just use them the way that we would tortillas or something. They have a nice crunch and they’re more satisfying than you might imagine! :)

  23. I usually make a chinese chicken salad but this looks interesting…hmmm. I will have to try it out.
    Jana
    .-= Jana @ The Summer House´s last blog ..Done! =-.

  24. ooh, def. will try this. this wk’s weather has gotten cold all of a sudden, but i’m in MI, so we’re used to it. it’ll be nice to have the oven on to help warm up!

  25. I enjoy putting cabbage into soups and stews. I have a great soup recipe I use that actually has a lot of these same ingredients. I will have to try this.