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 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 Stuffed 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.
STUFFED CABBAGE CASSEROLE
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 STUFFED CABBAGE CASSEROLE
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 CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE 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.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE
- 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.
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!
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
- 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.