Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
All the savory flavor of Homemade Stuffed Cabbage rolls but without the work! This EASY Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is loaded with ground beef, tender cabbage, tomatoes and rice all cooked in a tangy sauce for a ONE POT DINNER you’ll have on repeat!
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a family tradition in our house. They seem to pop up for Sunday dinner or holidays because they are a labor of love with all the rolling and stuffing and rolling and stuffing. It’s definitely takes some time.
So, I wanted to get the same great flavor with the hearty, comforting deliciousness but without all the work. This Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe is exactly that. Easy to make, one pot dinner, no rolling or stuffing. It’s basically an unstuffed cabbage casserole if you want to get all technical.
My family absolutely LOVED this easy casserole recipe because it tastes exactly like the same polish stuffed cabbage rolls I had growing up. Same tangy tomato sauce, same tender cabbage that pairs perfectly with the ground beef and rice. And I love how easy it is because we can whip this up on a weeknight for an easy dinner with minimal clean up.
What is Stuffed Cabbage?
This easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is inspired by my grandfather’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, or Halupki….which is what he called them. (Some people call them Galumpkis, too….I’m guessing it’s a regional thing.)
Basically, Halupki are like giant meatballs made of ground beef and rice rolled up in cabbage leaves then braised in a tomato sauce that is sometimes sweetened a bit to offset the acidity. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
To save time, I took the very same flavors found in Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and made a deconstructed stuffed cabbage roll casserole. Ground beef, rice, cabbage and seasonings are cooked in the same tomato sauce but without the labor.
How To Make It
This easy ground beef casserole is ready in less than an hour and is super simple to throw together.
Heat the oil in a large oven proof skillet over medium heat. I love this one because it’s more of a stovetop casserole dish!
Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Drain all but two tablespoons fat from the skillet and return to the heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened.
Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the butter to the onions and then stir in the cabbage.
Cook the cabbage for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked down.
Return the beef to the pot.
Stir in the rice, tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, apple and Worcestershire sauce.
Stir in the beef stock. Cover and transfer the skillet to the oven.
Cook the casserole for 35-40 minutes or until the rice is tender. (If the rice is still firm at the end of cooking, add 1/4 cup more of beef stock and cook until absorbed.)
Season with salt and pepper….serve.
This recipe is really similar to my Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup recipe I made last winter for you. It has much more beef stock but the same great flavor….just more soupy. 🙂
How To Make It In Advance
This Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is great to make in advance and you can store it in two ways:
- 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 Stuffed Cabbage Casserole, assemble the casserole as directed and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap again in a layer of foil, then transfer to the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. To cook, remove the plastic wrap from the casserole and cover with foil. Bake as directed (can be baked from frozen) for 1 hour or until cooked through and the rice is tender.
- Be sure to cover your casserole before baking. Covering the casserole will help the cabbage steam a bit and wilt down more so it’s not overly crunchy.
- If your casserole looks dry during the baking process, add more beef stock 1/4 cup at a time being sure that all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.
- Giving your casserole a stir half way through baking will ensure that all the rice is cooked when your casserole is done.
We love to serve Cabbage Roll Casserole with sauteed green beans or a fresh green salad to round out the meal. You can also serve with a dollop of sour cream (I don’t love this but some people do!).
This casserole also goes so well with Kielbasa or our homemade Pierogi!
Want to see what else we’re serving up? Follow us on Instagram!
More Easy Casserole Recipes
- Easy Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Teriyaki Casserole Recipe
- The BEST EVER Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
- Easy Potato Pierogi Casserole
If you’re a fan of stuffed peppers…..you’ll LOVE this easy Stuffed Pepper Casserole!
Get the Recipe: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp butter
- 5 cups chopped cabbage, approximately one head of cabbage, core removed
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup grated apple
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook the beef until browned, breaking up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, and no longer pink, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat and return the pot to the heat.
- Add the onion to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic cooking for 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the butter and add the cabbage to the skillet tossing to combine. Cook the cabbage until softened, approximately 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, apple, rice, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock and cooked beef.
- Cover the skillet with foil (or a lid) and transfer to the oven.
- Bake the casserole for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with sour cream, if desired.
17 Comments on “Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole”
What temperature should the oven be set at?
When I want to make stuffed cabbage I use a method a polish neighbor taught me (and also found same method in “Cooks Illustrated”. I freeze entire head then a few days later thaw in a colander. Cut out core and
roll each leaf with meat mixture and cook in the tomato sauce. Fantastic and much easier than putting cabbage into a pot of “boiling water”!
I was skeptical at first but this was absolutely delicious! So much easier to make than the rolls and much quicker.
I cooked mine on top of the stove and used lean chopped beef. It too a bit on her than then 50 mins. I also made Honey corn muffins to go with it.
I’m so happy you loved it!
Lovely flavors and soo easy.. I did the veggies/rice in my wok..perfect and plenty of room to blend flavors..
I made this dish for a pot luck, and everyone simply loved it!!!, People went back for seconds, and it all disappeared very quickly!!! Another 5 star recipe from you!!!, thanks Kellie!!
I had to look at a different recipe for what temperature the oven needed to be at. Could you please add that for when I use this recipe for the future?
Thank you so much for letting me know about the omission. I’ve updated the recipe.
If you assemble this a day before, how long and at what temperature would you cook it? And would you cook it covered?
You still cook for the recommended time at the temperature stated. You’re just assembling ahead….so follow the remaining instructions as they’re written.
What kind of rice do you use regular or instant??
I used a regular long grain rice.
Yum! I made this last night. It was perfect for a cold and windy winter day. My family has asked for this recipe to be added to the rotation.
That makes me so happy! Thank you for your kind review!
Made this exactly as directed. Was a big hit with everyone! Will definitely make again.
I’m so happy you liked it! Thank you for your comment.