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Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole
Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole
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Cabbage rolls are a comfort food favorite, but hardly anyone wants to spend their time stuffing, rolling, and arranging an entire pan of them. The next time you are craving cabbage rolls, try this recipe for Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole instead. This easy ground beef casserole recipe is quicker, healthier, and easier to prepare than its conventional counterpart. It won't take you long to prepare this cabbage roll casserole, but each bite will taste just like your favorite cabbage rolls.
Two of the best things about this quick and easy ground beef casserole recipe are that it is budget-friendly and that it can feed a crowd. Getting a hearty and filling weeknight dinner on the table for your family has never been easier than with this recipe for Lazy Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole. Once you make this casserole, it will become one of your favorite easy casserole recipes.


For more easy casserole recipes, be sure to download a free, printable copy of Ground Beef Recipes: 15 Easy Ground Beef Casserole Recipes.


If desired, you may use regular instant white rice in place of the brown rice.


Cooking MethodCasserole, Oven, Skillet

Cooking Vessel Size9 x 13 inch baking dish


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry dill
  • 1 1/2 cup instant whole grain brown rice
  • 1 head cabbage, about 2.5 pounds, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set a colander or wire sieve over a large bowl and set aside.

  2. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, crumble and brown half of the ground beef for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. It is okay if it is not cooked through at this point. Tip the meat into the colander and allow to drain while browning the second half of the meat. While the meat browns, add the onion for the final 5 minutes, along with the salt and dry dill. Add the ground beef and onion mixture to the colander with the rest of the ground beef to drain.

  3. Spread the meat mixture over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with the rice, then top with the cabbage, packing it down evenly.

  4. Combine the tomato sauce and broth. Pour the tomato mixture over the casserole contents. Set the casserole on a baking sheet to catch any spills in the oven. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, gently stir and press the cabbage into the broth. Recover and bake another 45 minutes until the cabbage has softened.

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I think the flavors in this casserole were OK, but I really didn't care for the texture of the brown rice. Also, the cabbage lets out quite a bit of liquid in the baking process. I think I'll use basmati long grain rice next time, and boil or saut the cabbage for a bit first. I may need to reduce the baking time accordingly.

I am really interested in trying this hearty recipe, especially since we are having such unseasonally chilly weather where I am. (in the United Kingdom) I was just wanting to know whether it made a difference what kind of cabbage you use? I looked in the grocery store and there are two different kinds available to me... a white cabbage that looks like a standard cabbage, and a green leafy type cabbage. Which one should I use?

Hi kenziewood07, I would go with the white cabbage since you'll want cabbage that's hardy enough to withstand baking. - Natalie, Editor of AllFreeCasseroleRecipes


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