If you love easy meals that you can make on weeknights and which are full of nutrients, you should make a cabbage roll casserole.
While you might be familiar with cabbage rolls, a cabbage roll casserole is like deconstructed cabbage rolls – it’s easier to cook but still has healthy ingredients.
Does a cabbage roll casserole actually contain cabbage rolls? You won’t have to make cabbage rolls when making this casserole.
You basically just layer a variety of ingredients, like cabbage, in a casserole dish and let them bake in the oven.
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about making a delicious cabbage roll casserole. We also provide some information about variations on the dish.
What Is A Casserole?
A casserole has a bit of confusion attached to its meaning. This is because it used to refer to anything that was cooked in a saucepan, which is called a casserole in French.
Casserole, therefore, is a word referring to many different types of dishes.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the term “casserole” became very trendy because of how one-pot meals were considered to be so convenient.
Today, when people say that they’re cooking a casserole, they mean they’re making a one-dish meal in the oven. Many different ingredients can be used in a casserole, which is what makes a casserole so easy and versatile.
Many casseroles contain protein, such as chicken or beef, and a variety of healthy vegetables. Sometimes ingredients such as flour, rice, or pasta will be used to bind the dish’s other ingredients together so that it will be moist and delicious.
To prevent the casserole from becoming dry, you can add water, stock, or milk to keep it moist.
What Is A Cabbage Roll?
A cabbage roll casserole is a creative spin on a cabbage roll.
But what, exactly, is a cabbage roll? This is a dish that contains cooked cabbage leaves which are wrapped around various fillings. It’s a popular type of dish in various parts of Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.
Cabbage rolls are very popular in Polish culture, with the word “golabki” being the name for cabbage leaves wrapped around pork or beef and rice or barley.
Although it’s not completely certain where, exactly, cabbage rolls originated, it’s thought that they date back to Jewish cooking around 2,000 years ago.
When made, cabbage rolls look like small wraps.
What Is A Cabbage Roll Casserole?
Instead of a cabbage roll casserole containing cabbage rolls, this dish contains chopped or shredded cabbage.
This makes it easier to make because you can add a variety of other ingredients to them.
How To Make A Beef Cabbage Roll Casserole
It’s common to use meat, such as beef, in a cabbage roll casserole.
The dish basically involves layers of cabbage with other ingredients, and this recipe is topped with cheese that melts and becomes brown. It’s delicious!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium head cabbage (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 cup white rice (uncooked)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can beef broth
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- On the stovetop in a skillet, brown the ground beef and then add the onion. Cook the ingredients until they’re both fully cooked.
- Turn down the heat to low and add the garlic.
- Remove excess fat from the skillet.
- Add the onion powder, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, tomato sauce, beef broth, and rice. Let the ingredients boil on low heat and then simmer. You want the rice to become tender.
- In another skillet, add some olive oil and add half of your chopped cabbage. Cook it so that it becomes soft.
- Place the cooked cabbage in a casserole dish.
- Put half of the beef mixture on top of the cabbage, then cover it with half of the cheddar cheese.
- Now you want to cook the rest of the cabbage in the same way and add it to the casserole so that you start to form layers. Then, put the layer of beef.
- Add the rest of the cheese on top.
- Bake it for about 20 minutes.
Cabbage Roll Casserole Variations
Meat plays a big role in traditional cabbage roll casseroles, so you can make use of beef or other types of meat, such as pork or chicken. You can even mix different types of meat if you like.
If you don’t love cabbage, you can swap it for sauerkraut instead. You can also use a variety of other ingredients that can be combined to replace cabbage in your recipes, such as kale, lettuce, spinach, and brussel sprouts.
The great thing about cabbage roll casseroles is that you can add a variety of different ingredients between the layers of cabbage. These can include whatever vegetables and cheese you have in your fridge.
Vegetarian Cabbage Roll Casserole
- 12 cups cabbage (thinly sliced)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 can tomatoes (diced)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 cups cooked brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups cheese (shredded)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill a pot with water and let it boil on the stove.
- Add the cabbage to the water, and cook it for about six minutes so it’s soft but still a bit crunchy.
- Drain your cabbage in a colander. Rinse it with cold water and then place it aside.
- In a pot, heat up the olive oil on medium-low heat.
- Add the carrots, garlic, and onion for five minutes.
- Then add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook them for five extra minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, herbs, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Let it boil, then lower it to a simmer and cook it for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rice and lentils.
- Blot your cabbage with a paper towel to remove moisture, then place half of it on the bottom of your casserole dish.
- Cover the cabbage with half of your sauce.
- Put the rest of the cabbage on top, and add more of the sauce.
- Finally, add a layer of cheese.
- Put the casserole in the oven so it can bake for about 25 minutes.
Can You Make A Vegan Cabbage Casserole?
One of the most delicious ingredients to add to a cabbage roll casserole is the cheese that makes it succulent and provides a good amount of protein and calcium.
But if you’re vegan, you might be put off from making a cabbage roll casserole because you won’t be able to use cheese. You can still make a creamy and delicious casserole, though!
This recipe contains ingredients such as onions, garlic, olive oil, and a cashew-cheese sauce that you make with a cup of cashews, 1 ½ cups of water, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, a ¼ cup of red bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes, a tablespoon of chopped onion, and a clove of garlic.
The yeast flakes are full of nutrients while helping you to thicken your casserole sauce so it’s beautifully creamy.
Can you freeze your cabbage casserole?
You can put your casserole in the freezer for about three months. After that, it will start to lose its flavor.
What’s the difference between a casserole and stew?
A casserole is baked in the oven, while a stew is typically made on the stovetop.
If you want to use cabbage in a more creative way but you don’t want to make cabbage rolls because they’re quite time-consuming, you should try making a cabbage roll casserole.
This delicious dish is easy to prepare and you can make use of whatever veggies or meat you have at home.