Whether you need a quick dinner or have a couple hours to spare, my favorite Cabbage Roll Casserole is the recipe for you! You can make it in 30 minutes with white rice or low and slow with brown rice.
Some dinners are pretty, and some are fun. Some are less than glamorous but still wonderfully tasty. No one slaps high fives when they hear Cabbage Roll Casserole is for dinner, but this casserole smells amazing and tastes delicious!
I have made this with the slow cooking brown rice method and as a 30-minute meal. Both are equally good, but I think I would pick the brown rice version if I had time just because I like the texture a little better. You can’t go wrong either way.
I recently made this for two families from our older son’s school as a fundraiser. (They paid the school for casserole delivery, and I made their choice of casserole for dinner.) Both families loved it, and it reminded me how great this cabbage roll casserole is for potlucks. I doubled the recipe and gave it all away, so I can’t wait to make it again soon just for us!Print
Cabbage Roll Casserole
This savory cabbage roll casserole can be cooked low and slow in one pot or prepared as a 30-minute meal. (Please see alternate instructions at the end of the recipe for a 30-minute version if you are in a hurry.)
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds optional
- 1 cup brown rice uncooked (use white rice if following 30-minute instructions)
- 14 ounces petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- 12 ounces shredded cabbage bagged coleslaw mix with carrots and cabbage works great
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
Low and Slow Method
- In an oven-safe Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté beef and onions. Stir in oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds while cooking.
- When meat is cooked through and onions are tender, add garlic and rice, and sauté 3 minutes longer. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook at least one hour, or up to 2 hours.
- Stir in cabbage, and replace lid. (Mixture will seem very dry at this point, but the cabbage will release water as it cooks.) Simmer over very low heat about 10 minutes longer. Turn broiler to high.
- Remove lid and turn off heat. Sprinkle cheeses over the top of the cabbage mixture, and place the pot under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Enjoy!
- Using the beef broth as the cooking liquid, cook the white rice.
- While rice is cooking, sauté beef and onions in an oven-safe Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds while cooking.
- When meat is cooked through and onions are tender, add garlic, and sauté 3 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and cabbage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Turn broiler to high.
- When rice is done, stir it into cabbage mixture. Sprinkle cheeses over the top of the casserole, and place the pot under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Enjoy!
- Be sure to use white rice if you use the 30-minute method!
- Make sure you keep an eye on your casserole for the final broiler step. It can go from melty and bubbly to black and crisp FAST. (Don’t ask how I know.)
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Main
Here are more casserole recipes I think you will love!
M Causey says
I am making this right now, and my house smells delish. I can’t wait to try it. I didn’t have tomato sauce so I used a little bit of V8 juice, that should give it a little kick as well. I’m making corn muffins to serve with it. This is just a really good recipe…
Melanie @ Rational Kitchen says
Thank you for putting the cabbage amount in ounces–that’s why I picked this recipe! I had a big bag of slaw mix to use up and this made it easy. Yummy, too. Thanks!
When I make actual cabbage rolls, I have a layer of sauerkraut in the pot. I wonder if you can put a bit of sauerkraut in this casserole as well? Maybe half of a can?
Andi Gleeson says
Hi, Christine! Sure, if you enjoy the flavor of sauerkraut in your cabbage rolls, you should definitely add it! That sounds good to me too, so maybe I’ll try it next time :)
Bruce Thomas says
The way I look at it you can do anything you want ,add what you want
I have a recipe similar to your cabbage roll casserole, only without rice. She baked hers. I was starving when I made it so I made mine on the stove top. We serve it in bowls with corn bread. I double the recipe and put half in a lasagne size toss it aluminum pan, wrap and freeze it.
Andi Gleeson says
That version sounds good too, Judy! Adding cornbread is always a good idea :) Thanks!
Hi Andi: I read the recipe for Cabbage Roll Casserole several times, and I (still) can’t understand why I shouldn’t use brown rice when making the 30 minute version….since the rice (which is now already cooked) is then added into the casserole in step #4, anyways. What am I not understanding?
Andi Gleeson says
Hi, Angela! You can use brown rice in the second method. It just won’t be a 30-minute meal because brown rice takes 45+ minutes to cook. Sorry for the confusion!
Don’t forget to sub chicken or turkey for beef,this was so easy to sub low fat cheese all tastes yummy! I grew up on casseroles too many years ago,thanks for reminding me how great they are!!
Glad you liked this one, Linda! I love using ground turkey too. I actually prefer it over beef in most recipes! Thanks for your comment :)
Nancy Norris says
has anyone tried it in a slow cooker? How did it turn out
Hi, Nancy. I haven’t made this in the slow cooker, but I’ll email you if I try it to let you know how it goes. Thanks!
Made this over the weekend and it’s a keeper. The sauce makes a lot, so before adding the rice, I divided it in two, froze half, and continued cooking with 1/2 the rice called for in the recipe. Perfect! And I have a quick dinner ready to go for later in the month! My whole family has loved your casserole recipes, so keep them coming.
Thank you so much, Jennifer! That’s a great idea to freeze half. This does make a lot, and it’s always nice to have an easy dinner to pull out of the freezer. I’m always working on new casserole recipes because I love them too :)
This is my 1st time on this site & I just want to say that this looks/sounds amazing!!! I am trying this today. I’m already glad I signed up for this site’s newsletter.
Thank you, Jennifer! I’m so glad to have you as a reader, and I hope you love the casserole.
This sounds wonderful! I plan on making the “low & slow” version for dinner either tonight or tomorrow. I always make a recipe as intended on my first attempt, but I do wonder have you had any feedback concerning the use of barley or quino in place of the brown rice? If so, are there any changes to be made?
I look forward to trying and sharing this meal! :)
Using quinoa is a great idea!! To be honest, I wrote this recipe many months ago when I was a new food blogger, and quinoa just didn’t occur to me. It cooks quickly like white rice, so I would try the quinoa instead of white rice in the 30-minute method if I were you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing such a brilliant idea :) I might change the recipe now and give you credit!
Wild woman says
Can you use brown rice instead of white rice because my husband can not eat the white rice he is diabetic but he can eat the brown rice.
Hi! Yes, the low and slow method uses brown rice, and I actually prefer that version because I like the texture of the brown rice better. The 30-minute version uses white rice because it cooks more quickly.
Wild woman says
This meal sounds so good and I love cabbage and so does my husband I will be making this for supper tomorrow YUM! YUM!
Did you get a chance to make the recipe with brown rice? I hope you liked it! Have a nice Sunday :)
This sounds wonderful. I love cabbage!
Thanks, Teresa! I hope you get a chance to try the recipe.
Brandi Brown says
Is this a freezer friendly meal?
The Weary Chef says
Hi, Brandi! I haven’t made this as a freezer meal, but I’ve seen similar freezer friendly recipes, so I think it should work well. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Bob P says
You may want to try barley instead of rice.
The Weary Chef says
Great idea, Bob. Thanks for your visit and comment!