Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole doesn’t take even the half time of stuffed cabbage rolls but it is as scrumptious. You won’t bother making cabbage rolls any more once you try this recipe.
Recipe updated with a video in August 2016. Find it right above the recipe box below.
Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole is a lazy mom’s recipe, I agree. But it is as scrumptious as Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Some dishes really take a lot of time. Don’t you think it would be great if it’s possible to reduce this time? Here is the solution: Change its form! Stuffed cabbage rolls are one of our favorites, but I don’t always have enough time or energy to make them. So I change their form. Well, it isn’t wrong to say that I deconstructed stuffed cabbage rolls. The result is amazing though and I’m not sure if I will ever bother to stuff cabbage rolls again. Watch the video below and see how easy it is!
Can you imagine that you will have the same taste as stuffed cabbage rolls by spending just half of the time? This Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole is definitely for those who are looking for the easiest and quickest way of making delicate dishes.
My mom is one of the best cooks I know and she never feels lazy for tasty yet laborious dishes if she knows that her family will devour it. She never complains about making Turkish Dumplings for us. I always admire her energy and patience. How I wish I were like her! Sorry mom, I sometimes need shortcuts. Well, maybe often.
This Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole is one of the best shortcuts in my culinary experience. Use exactly the same ingredients of cabbage rolls for this recipe. Cook everything in a large pan adding slightly blanched cabbage into it. Bake this cooked mixture in a casserole pan. It is sliced perfectly when serving.
I made some changes in the recipe when updating to make it even easier and tastier. The former recipe before the update calls for cooked rice, but I used uncooked in this one. So everything cooks in the same pan and you don’t need to cook rice in a separate pan beforehand. Also, after receiving some really helpful comments from you, I decided to increase the amount of tomato paste. It becomes even more delicious this way. Finally I added a little cayenne pepper to add more flavor and color.
You are free to add your favorite spices! Thank you all for helping me develop the recipes on the blog.This is what I love most about blogging! I’m still open to new ideas on this recipe. Please share them in the comments section if you have any!
As you can see in the video, I add the additional tomato paste after it is cooked in the pan, just before transferring it into the casserole pan. I do this because I discovered that it bakes better when there is some wetness in the mixture.
I don’t use any topping as I want exactly the same taste of my favorite cabbage rolls, but you can top your casserole with some cheese if you like.
The best thing to serve with this Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole is a bowl of plain yogurt or a fresh and crisp salad. I love it really tangy, so I squeeze extra lemon on my part when eating as you can see in the video.
More easy cabbage recipes that I’d love to try:
Stuffed Cabbage Bowl on Stinky Kitchen
Cabbage and Noodles on Spicy Southern Kitchen
Corn Cabbage and Zucchini Fritters on The Gastronomic Bong
Asian Beef and Cabbage Salad on Taste and Tell Blog
The very easy shortcut of stuffed cabbage rolls.
10 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 2 pounds cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 and tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup rice, washed and rinsed well
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 lemon, squeezed
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Chop the cabbage roughly and blanch in boiling water, for about 5-10 minutes.
- Heat a pan on medium heat and add ground beef with 1/4 cup water. Cook until it releases water, reduce the heat. Cook it stirring and pressing on the ground beef until there aren't any blocks left. (See the video above.)
- Cover the pan and cook until there is little water left.
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic and cook stirring for 5-10 minutes.
- Add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Stir well.
- Add in rice and stir.
- Season with salt, black pepper and dried mint.
- Add in the chopped and blanched cabbage in the pan. Pour lemon juice over it. Stir well.
- Add chopped parsley on it, pour 3/4 cup water and cover the pan. Cook it over the lowest heat until water is absorbed and rice is cooked, for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Add cayenne pepper and add 1/2 cup tomato paste into the pan, stir and transfer it to a casserole pan that is lightly brushed with oil.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
Baking time is 40 minutes but you need to cook it for about 30 minutes in a pan over stove beforehand.