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Best Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Are you a fan of stuffed cabbage rolls, but don’t have the time or energy to roll each individual cabbage leaf? Try this lazy cabbage roll casserole aka unstuffed cabbage roll casserole for a delicious and easy twist on the classic family favorite dish. It makes about 6-8 servings of lazy cabbage rolls and can be served as dinner, lunch or for a holiday table!

Instead of rolling cabbage leaves with ground meat and rice filling, this casserole layers cabbage, ground beef, and rice in a casserole dish. Simply mix all the ingredients together with your favorite cabbage roll seasonings, top with tomato sauce, and bake until everything is cooked through.

Lazy man cabbage roll casserole recipe aka unstuffed cabbage roll casserole served in a small dish.

“Forget the tedious rolling of cabbage – try making this easy lazy cabbage roll casserole!”

Related: Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Asparagus With A Tangy Sauce

How To Make This Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

In this unstuffed cabbage roll recipe, I use green cabbage, lean ground beef, carrots, and ingredients like rice, tomato sauce and seasonings – but without all the work of individually rolling each cabbage leaf.

The result is just perfect – the cabbage casserole is perfeclty juicy and tender without any floating liquid or overly dry ingredients. It just melts in yout mouth!

Lazy man cabbage roll casserole baked in the oven - unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe.

For a quick prep time, I simply layer everything in a baking dish and bake. It’s such an easy weeknight meal / dinner or you can pack it for the next day in your lunch box.

Here n the picture below I’m showing the exact ingredients I used for this rice, beef and cabbage casserole:

Image showing the ingredients for cabbage roll casserole recipe displayed on a board with exact measurements.

To make this cabbage roll casserole:

  • Start with a quick rice boil. Rince the rice and cook covered with water until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and rinse with cold water through a colander. Set aside. The partially cooked rice will ensure it softens adequately during oven baking.
  • Then continue by cooking in a deep pan (on medium heat) the chopped onion, garlic and carrot until soft. Then add ground beef along with seasonings such as black pepper, papprika and salt. Just until no longer red.
  • Then add the partially cooked rice, tomato sauce and ketchup (for a more intense flavor) in the same skillet. Mix to combine and remove the pan from heat.
Process shots showing how to make  lazy cabbage roll casserole, first step being cooking the ground beef with onion, garlic and carrot.
First cooked the veggies with the ground beef.
Next step combining the beef mixture with cooked rice and tomato sauce in a skillet.
Add the rice, tomato sauce and ketchup to the skillet.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Next, layer 1/3 of the shredded cabbage in the bottom of a casserole dish (a 9×13 inch), followed by half of the ground beef and rice mixture. Repeat layering with remaining cabbage, beef mixture, and finish with more cabbage on top.
Process shots showing how to assmeble the unstuffed lazy cabbage roll casserole and how to layer the cabbage, beef, rice and tomato sauce.
Assemble the cabbage roll casserole.
  • Pour the water (or stock) over the prepared casserole (about 1 cup), cover and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the foil, give it a mix and bake the casserole an additional 15 minutes to brown the top. At this time you can shred some cheese if you like. But it’s still delicious without any cheese.
  • The total cook time is about 1 hour.
  • Serve the cabbage casserole hot with extra tomato sauce or some sour cream. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and dill. Dinner is served!

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Baked lazy cabbage roll caserole out of the oven ready to be served.
Baked lazy cabbage roll caserole out of the oven ready to be served.

Ingredient Substitutions

Ground beef – can be replaced or mixed with ground turkey or ground pork.

Cabbage – can be replaced or mixed with red/pirple cabbage.

Rice – I used white Jasmine rice, but white Basmati rice would also work. Or you can mix it with some brown rice for a healthier version. If you want the cabbage roll casserole without rice, then use riced cauliflower instead.

Tomato sauce – I used 15 oz of unsalted canned tomato sauce. If you’re out of tomato sauce replace it by mixing 1 part tomato paste and 1 part water. Other options to use: canned diced tomatoes, tomato soup, pasta sauce, tomato juice or fresh tomatoes and ketchup. Or maybe a homemade sugar free BBQ sauce.

If you prefer more flavor add some cayenne pepper, chilli or some sweet bell pepper.

Storing The Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Just like the traditional cabbage rolls this unstaffed cabbage roll casserole will keep well in the fridge for days (up to 5-6 days).

It can be reheated easily in the oven or on stove top by adding a touch of water and covering to provide steam inside.

For longer storage – freeze covered for up to 3 months. The cabbage casserole can be frozen either before or after baking.

Lazy man cabbage roll casserole baked in the oven - unstuffed cabbage roll casserole.

What To Serve With Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

There are many ways to enjoy this unstuffed cabbage roll casserole. Any type of meatless side dish would work, ranging from a light cabbage coleslaw (for something creamy and crunchy), or add some sourness with a Russian beet sauerkraut salad (Vinaigrette), a fermented carrot salad or a simple red cabbage sauerkraut.

If your family loved this lazy cabbage roll casserole, please leave a 5 stars rating or a comment below the recipe card. It’s really helpful for me and readers. Thanks!

More Lunch or Dinner Recipes With Cabbage

Lazy cabbage roll casserole or simply rice beef and cabbge casserole baked in the oven and served in a individual dish.
Serve the “lazy man” cabbage roll casserole warm with a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs.

More Casserole Recipes To Try

FAQ

Can cabbage roll casserole be made ahead of time?

Yes, it can. You can assemble the cabbage roll casserole and store it covered in the fridge until ready to bake (up to 2 days).

Can cabbage roll casserole be frozen?

Yes, it can be frozen either before or after baking. Just make sure to cover it well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Is cabbage roll casserole and lazy cabbage rolls the same thing?

Yes, they are the same thing. The lazy cabbage rolls are just a quicker version of cabbage rolls as there is no stuffing involved. It’s also sometimes referred to as unstuffed cabbage rolls. Both versions are delicious and satisfying.

This easy lazy cabbage roll casserole features layers of shredded cabbage, seasoned ground beef, rice in a casserole dish, simply mixed with classic cabbage roll seasonings, tomato sauce, and baked until everything is soft and juicy. The unstuffed lazy man cabbage roll casserole recipe comes together quickly and stores well for days! #cabbageroll #casserole #lazy #unstuffed #cabbagecasserole #easy #lazyman
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Best Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

This lazy cabbage roll casserole features layers of shredded cabbage, seasoned ground beef and rice in a casserole dish, simply mixed together with classic cabbage roll seasonings, tomato sauce, and baked until everything is soft and juicy. The lazy man cabbage roll casserole recipe come together quickly and stores well for days!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Clean Eating, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 315kcal
Author: HealthyTasteOfLife
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Ingredients
 

  • 775 g shredded cabbage - ~ 27 ounces
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 1 can tomato sauce - 15 oz
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup water - or stock
  • 2 large onions - chopped
  • 2 medium carrots - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tbsp oil - or ghee for sauteeing

Seasonings

Instructions
 

Prepare The Rice

  • Rince the rice and cook covered with water until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat and rinse with cold water through a colander. Set aside.
    The partially cooked rice will ensure it softens adequately during oven baking.

Stove Top Cooking

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Then continue by cooking in a deep pan (on medium heat) the chopped onion, garlic and carrot until soft.
  • Then add ground beef along with seasonings such as black pepper, papprika and salt. Just until no longer red.
  • Then add the partially cooked rice, tomato sauce and ketchup (for a more intense flavor) in the same skillet. Mix to combine and remove the pan from heat.

Assemble The Casserole And Bake In The Oven

  • Next, layer 1/3 of the shredded cabbage in the bottom of a casserole dish (a 9×13 inch), followed by half of the ground beef and rice mixture.
  • Repeat layering with remaining cabbage, beef mixture, and finish with cabbage on top.
  • Pour the water (or stock) over the prepared casserole, cover and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F.
    Remove the foil, give it a mix and bake the casserole an additional 15 minutes to brown the top.
  • At this time you can shred some cheese if you like. But it’s still delicious without cheese.
    The total cook time is about 1 hour.
    Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and dill. Dinner is served!
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Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 315kcal

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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