Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Close up Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear large bowl

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Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear large bowl on white background
Cabbage Roll Casserole

Lazy cabbage roll casserole is perfect for people like me, no time and no patience. I admit it, perhaps I could copy my Grandma’s perfect little cabbage rolls, but it’s not a passion of mine. I would rather hone my method of making perfect dome topped muffins, than cabbage rolls.

I absolutely LOVE homemade cabbage rolls. Love, love LOVE them. They are one of my favourite traditional Ukrainian foods to enjoy, however, they are not my favourite to make. My Mom and I have both agonized over how we just can’t get them as small, dense and compactly formed as my Grandma Marion used to make them. She would make the most uniform, perfectly shaped cabbage rolls that I have ever seen. They were so small, two-bite size. The perfect size and for the life of me, I have never been able to make them like she did.

 

Close up Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear large bowl

That said, I love the flavour. I love tomato soup and juice that white rice soaks up, while the cabbage lends its distinctive flavouring. I make mine a meal ; pork and beef are also fried up and added to the mixture. It’s an all in one casserole and you can most assuredly change up the type of meat. Try ground turkey or chicken, if you are so inclined.

How to Make Cabbage Roll Casserole

The wonderful thing about this casserole is that it takes so little time to prep for the oven. It can take up to an hour to bake, but that means you can pop it in the oven and attend to the crazy things that life has in store for you in the evenings after school/work.

  • Place bacon, ground beef and ground pork together in a large frying pan.
  • Saute until the beef and pork are no longer pink. Drain the fat.
  • Whisk in the tomato juice, and soup.
  • Spread the cabbage out evenly on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle rice on top, then spread beef mixture on top.
  • Cover and bake in the oven for 90 minutes at 350 until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.Remove, let sit for a couple of minutes, then serve!

top down shot of Cabbage Roll Casserole in a clear large bowl

I am sure that you could do this in a slow cooker as well, but I think that the cabbage would be softer than I like. It is what it is, when you use a slow cooker, you sacrifice texture sometimes in order to have an easy meal.

This freezes excellently and like I say, if you are making one, why not make two and freeze one for when you really need something in a hurry? Freeze it after cooking it, then simply reheat.

Happy cooking all!

Love,

Karlynn

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This delicious Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole tastes exactly like homemade cabbage rolls - but only a third of the work! #cabbage #rice #casserole

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Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

This delicious Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole tastes exactly like homemade cabbage rolls - but only a third of the work!
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 45 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
American
Servings
8
Calories
390
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon. diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 10 cups cabbage washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice

Instructions

  1. Place bacon, ground beef and ground pork together in a large frying pan.
  2. Sautee until the beef and pork are no longer pink. Drain the fat.
  3. Whisk in the tomato juice, and soup.
  4. Spread the cabbage out evenly on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle rice on top, then spread beef mixture on top. Cover and bake in the oven for 90 minutes at 350 until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Remove, let sit for a couple of minutes, then serve!

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 390kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 236mg, Potassium: 668mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 300IU, Vitamin C: 40.8mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2.6mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Stefanie Stephens says

    Made this tonight. I doubled the rice and the soup/juice and it was FANTASTIC! Thank you for developing this awesome recipe!!5 stars

  2. Rosemarie says

    About “real” cabbage rolls . . . . .

    My mother-in-law was known for making the tastiest, tiniest, tightest cabbage rolls in the world. A personal challenge for me has been to try to make cabbage rolls that are sort of as good as hers. Although my family says they’re just like hers and I think I’ve been really close, mine still don’t always have the uniformity that hers did. (Good thing I don’t make them that often, or I’d drive myself crazy!!)

    I wish I would have had her teach me how to make them before she passed away but what I have figured out since though, is that for tiny cbbage rolls, you either need to:

    – buy the largest heads of cabbage you can find and cut the leaves in halves or quarters while trimming out the hard middle rib
    OR
    – buy the smallest heads of cabbage you can find and thinning out the hard middle rib of each leaf with a sharp little knife.

    I also only cook the rice about 3/4 of the way. It cooks the rest of the way in the roll with the tomato juice and soup mixture I pour on top of everything for the liquid needed to cook the rice completely as my own mom used to do. That helps to keep the cabbage rolls firmly packed.

    I generally save any “scraps” and large leaves that don’t go on the bottom of the pan or on top of the “holopchis”, along with any extra filling to make lazy cabbage rolls.

    For our Canadian Thanksgiving in October I made some cabbage rolls with a HUGE – almost the size of a curling rock – frozen Savoy cabbage that was given to me in early September by a recently widowed person. (Although I’ve used frozen cabbage the odd time in the past, my preference is to use fresh, but there was no way this year-old frozen veggie was going to be used by this fellow, so rather than letting it go to waste, he gave it to me.) Anyway, after thawing the thing in a mesh strainer over the sink and trimming out the middle ribs, I had to cut the majority of the leaves into quarters vs. only in halves unless I wanted football-sized rolls like my mom used to make. So this was a first for me both in size and type of cabbage; however, I have to say that these holopchi were the easiest that ever came together for me . . . .

    Am considering buying Savoy the next time the urge to make some cabbage rolls hits me!!

  3. Roxana says

    What if you want the non-tomato cabbage rolls? What could you sub instead?

    • Julia Mendieta says

      Roxana, I have never done this because cabbage rolls are a Romanian meal made w/tomatoe recipe but I would imagine you could use beef stock. That does sound good. Good luck

  4. Cynthia says

    If you use sauerkraut instead of cabbage, this tastes just like cabbage rolls made from sour cabbage, which is the Roumanian method!

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