Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

Unstuffed cabbage roll casserole with rice and beef served on a white plate

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4.6 from 34 reviews

The shortcut recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls.


  • 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


  1. Chop the cabbage roughly and blanch in boiling water, for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. 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.)
  3. Cover the pan and cook until there is little water left.
  4. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and cook stirring for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add in 2 tablespoons tomato paste and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Stir well.
  6. Add in rice and stir.
  7. Season with salt, black pepper and dried mint.
  8. Add in the chopped and blanched cabbage in the pan. Pour lemon juice over it. Stir well.
  9. 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.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.