Layered Cabbage Rolls are the real deal. Full of spiced ground beef and covered in tangy tomato sauce, cabbage rolls are a hearty stick-to-your-ribs meal.
You know those meals that are never pretty, but they are always tasty? The meals that your family requests and you cringe because you never really can get excited about “just a casserole” for dinner? This is one of them.
Layered Cabbage Rolls may not be the prettiest meal I make but it is by far one of the most requested by my family.
Cabbage Rolls are one of my husband’s favorite foods. This version simplifies the traditional rolled version down to just a couple of steps and despite appearances, they really are tasty! I’ve been making this version of cabbage rolls for years.
Along with how easy it is to put together, I also really like that I never have to worry about what side dishes to serve. This is an “all-in-one” meal that’s filling, hearty and completely satisfying. That’s more than worth the trade off of not having the most aesthetically pleasing dinner every so often.
Cabbage Roll Casserole
This method of making cabbage rolls is a little simpler than the traditional version that involves rolling tons of individual cabbage leaves. Ground beef and onions are cooked with herbs and spices in the skillet, then layered on top of cabbage leaves in a casserole dish along with uncooked rice.
After mixing together a simple tomato sauce and pouring it over the cabbage rolls, the whole thing bakes in the oven in one dish. The flavors of the meat and sauce shine against the simple backdrop of tender cabbage and fluffy grains of rice.
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Layered Cabbage Roll Casserole is a very quick meal to put together and then it cooks in the oven through the busiest part of the the day.
I usually prep two smaller pans and freeze one to cook on another day. If I have extra time on the weekend before a busy week, I might even prep a couple pans of this casserole to pop in the freezer and have on hand for those hectic weekday nights.
This casserole freezes extremely well with little extra effort. Simply thaw the casserole completely prior to placing the frozen one in the oven and then bake as directed below.
Cabbage Casserole Recipe
My whole family loves cabbage rolls of all kinds but I typically don’t have the time or patience to stuff and roll cabbage leaf after cabbage leaf. Over the years, I’ve found plenty of alternative ways to eat our favorite cabbage rolls without spending hours in the kitchen and I’m happy to share them with you.
The method I use that most closely resembles traditional rolled cabbage leaves stuffed with sausage or beef is the recipe I’m sharing below. Instead of being rolled, cabbage leaves are layered for a casserole that slightly messier in appearance but just as delicious in taste as the rolled version.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls feel almost like a cheater version of a cabbage roll casserole, requiring no rolling or baking and using cooked rice for a quick cooking time. I love making that dish whenever we’re craving cabbage rolls but are short on time.
If you enjoy this Layered Cabbage Rolls recipe (or any kind of cabbage casserole), you’re also bound to go nuts for my 20 Minute Kielbasa, Cabbage and Potato Skillet meal and this easy Cabbage and Sausage Skillet. And when it comes to hearty breakfasts, you can’t go wrong with Sausage Hash with Cabbage and Potatoes.
- 1 medium head of cabbage core removed and shredded
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2/3 cup uncooked rice
- 24 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cabbage across the bottom of a 9x13 dish (two smaller pans will work as well). In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the ground beef along with the onion. Drain any grease from the pan and add the rice and all spices to the skillet with the meat, stir to combine. Spread the rice and meat mixture over the cabbage in the baking dish.
- Mix together the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and then pour over the meat and cabbage. Cover with foil and then bake for 90 minutes. Uncover and let rest for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!
- MEAL: Layer everything into the pan and when it has cooled completely, cover
- with foil or lids and freeze. 1-2 days before you plan to eat this, take it out
- of the freezer and place it in the fridge. Once thawed, bake as noted above.