Cabbage Rolls Casserole is a quick and easy way to make a delicious cabbage dish without rolling the meat and rice mixture in cabbage leaves. This dish is made with ground chicken, rice, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, basil, and whole cabbage leaves. The leaves are laid over the mixture, making this a meal you can cook any night of the week.
What is Cabbage Rolls Casserole?
This unstuffed cabbage roll casserole recipe is layered with cabbage leaves, meat mixture, and more cabbage leaves. It’s a lazy version of a classic dish that works perfectly with our busy lives. Stuffed cabbage rolls are beautiful but time-consuming, and this version eliminates the need to roll and make it look pretty. This casserole tastes fantastic, and that’s all that matters.
- 1⁄2 head of cabbage leaves boiled: White cabbage has the best casserole flavor and texture.
- 1 pound ground chicken: You can buy ground chicken in the grocery store’s meat section.
- 1 cup rice: Use any type of white rice you prefer. Some examples are basmati, jasmine, or arborio.
- 2 cups tomato sauce: Canned tomato sauce is easier to use than making it yourself.
- 1 onion, chopped: White onion works best in baked casserole dishes.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced: One tablespoon of garlic adds a burst of flavor.
- 2 teaspoon dry basil: You can buy dried basil in the spices aisle in the grocery store or online.
- 14 ounces chicken stock: Use the best stock you can find or make your own.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil: Any neutral oil, like avocado, grapeseed, peanut, or canola, will work.
How to make cabbage rolls casserole :
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions for 5 minutes.
3. Add ground chicken, basil, salt, and pepper. Break the meat with a fork and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Pour chicken stock and tomatoes (set around 2⁄3 cup of the sauce aside) over the chicken, add rice and cook for 10 minutes more.
5. Layer cabbage leaves on the bottom of the baking pan. Add 1⁄3 of the meat and rice filling and spread it out. Cover with leaves and repeat until you fill the baking pan.
6. Cover with cabbage leaves and spread tomato sauce on top.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best cabbage rolls casserole you've ever had.
- Instead of using dried basil, try a different flavor profile with cardamon, cumin, chili powder, curry paste, teriyaki sauce, or others.
- Use different meat like ground sausage, beef, or turkey. They each have a slightly different flavor and texture.
- If you don’t want to layer the cabbage, slice it up and add it to the meat mixture.
How can I make this casserole in a crockpot?
You can quickly start this cabbage roll casserole in the slow cooker in the morning and have it ready to eat at dinner-time. Follow the steps through sautéeing, and instead of pouring the mixture into a baking dish, pour it into the crockpot bowl. Place the lid on, set it to low, and cook for eight hours.
Is this dish keto-friendly?
Yes, cabbage roll casserole is keto-friendly! All of the ingredients fit into a low-carb diet. You can make this dish for your family and have everyone eat the same thing for once. That’s the dream, right?!
Can I add other vegetables to cabbage rolls casserole?
Yes, you can add many other veggies to this dish. Try zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow squash, red bell peppers, asparagus, artichokes, or eggplant. Before adding vegetables to a meal, think about how they will taste combined with the other ingredients.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. Labeling will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, it will take longer to cook in the oven without thawing first. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
How can I replace the meat for a different protein in cabbage rolls casserole?
If you want a vegetarian option, replace the ground chicken with chickpeas, black, red, pinto, white beans, or lentils.
Can I make this dish in an instant pot?
Yes, you can make cabbage roll casserole in a pressure cooker. Sauté the meat and vegetables in the instant pot, pour in the liquid, put on the lid, and cook on high for 20 minutes. Use the quick release function for the pressure and serve.
How can I make this casserole spicy?
Want to make this dish spicy? Add some small diced jalapenos, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, poblanos, serranos, or dried chili peppers.
- 1⁄2 cabbage, leaves, boiled
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon dry basil
- 14 ounces chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions for 5 minutes.
- Add ground chicken, basil, salt, and pepper. Break the meat with a fork and cook for 10 minutes.
- Pour chicken stock and tomatoes (set around 2⁄3 cup of the sauce aside) over the chicken, add rice and cook for 10 minutes more.
- Layer cabbage leaves on the bottom of the baking pan. Add 1⁄3 of the meat and rice filling and spread it out. Cover with leaves and repeat until you fill up the baking pan.
- Cover with cabbage leaves and spread tomato sauce on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g