Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

When I was in Romania, I was served a lot of traditional Romanian foods.  My favorites were mici (sausages) and sarmales, which are stuffed cabbage rolls.  They are absolutely delicious and I've never had anything as good in the states.

I came across this recipe for stuffed cabbage casserole and I thought it looked and sounded delicious.  It also looked like it would take a lot less time to make than stuffed cabbage rolls.  I was right--it was very easy to put together.  It doesn't taste exactly like a sarmale, but it was the closest I've ever had here. 

Mike and I both enjoyed this meal, but we thought the ratio of cabbage to filling was off, so I've adjusted the recipe to reflect that.  This recipe makes a large pan full, so we had lots of leftovers.  It freezes well so I have enjoyed quite a few lunches from this dish!

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Makes a 9x13" pan, about 10 servings

You will need:
1 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika  
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped into 1 inch pieces
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

1.  Cook ground beef in a large frying pan until it's browned and cooked through.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

2.  In the same pan, add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and the onion and cook until the onion is translucent and starts to turn brown.  It will take about 5 minutes.

3.  Add in the minced garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook for 2 minutes.

4.  Add in the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, water, and cooked ground beef.  Simmer until slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

5.  While the meat mixture simmers, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the chopped cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted and about halfway cooked.  Season with salt and pepper.

6.  When the meat mixture has thickened, stir in the cooked brown rice.

7.  Grease a 9x13" casserole dish and layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture.  Cover with foil.

8.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, until the edges begin to bubble.

9.  Remove foil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered for 20 more minutes.

Serve hot.
Source:  Skinny Taste


  1. I love cabbage rolls. This is an easier way to get the same flavour. This looks fantastic.

  2. This is a wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing it on RecipeNewZ! Everyone loved it, so now it is featured on our Facebook page: Congratulations!

  3. I just made this for dinner. I have tried, for years, and the recipes have always fallen short. This one did not. The kids ate it well and the 11 month old is still shoving it in his face. I have pinned and shared.

  4. Yummy!! Thanks for sharing it at Ingredient Spotlight. I love cabbage and need more ways to enjoy it.

  5. I just put this together but in the crockpot. Fingers crossed it turns out. Same concept, just did not cook the cabbage. I sprayed the crock with oil, put half the chopped cabbage in, seasoned it with basil, oregano, garlic salt, tomato bouillon, pepper & paprika, added the cooked hamburger and onions, 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, one can of Italian Tomatoes and one can tomato sauce, then I repeated the layers a second time. I'm cooking on low all day and will shred cheese when its done. Ill let you know how it cooks down and works.

  6. please let me know how it turned out because I would like to use the crockpot?I was going to prepare it the same way as the current recipe and cook on high for a couple of hours.


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