This delicious Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole tastes exactly like homemade cabbage rolls – but only needs a third of the work!
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Cabbage rolls are one of those delicious things that most people only really get at specific restaurants; they are usually just an appetizer in Eastern European restaurants, so rarely do the people actually order it themselves.
Well, if it is the complexity that stops you from making these yourself, why not try turning them into a casserole instead?
This recipe produces an incredibly simple yet robust and filling, cabbage roll casserole that is sure to satisfy your weeknight carby and meat-laden cravings
Do You Have To Drain The Fat From The Meat?
One of the most common steps included in recipes involving any kind of pork or beef involves draining the fat after browning the meat.
When you drain the fat, you are trying to remove the additional greasiness from the final meal, as well as hoping to reduce the calories by at least a little bit.
However, you don’t absolutely have to remove all of the fat from your beef, pork, and bacon for this recipe.
While it will definitely result in a fattier, and slightly greasy, end product, by skipping the draining step, you will end up with a huge amount of bonus flavor.
The fat will enrich everything, and leave every bite giving you a slightly gray, fatty, and rich taste that lingers in your mouth.
In fact, even if you do decide to drain your fat, why not keep the fat instead of throwing it away? Pouring all of the drained fat into a prepared ramekin and then covering it gives you a ton of flavorful and delicious fat that you can use in all kinds of other recipes.
Could You Use Brown Rice?
This recipe calls for the use of some simple long-grain white rice, the perfect carb staple to add some bulk and calories to these cabbage rolls.
However, one of the big problems with white rice is the fact that it doesn’t really have a lot of nutrition in it, not to mention being high on the glycemic index and low in fiber.
For a slightly healthier alternative, why not consider using brown rice instead?
Brown rice not only has that fiber-rich husk still on it, but it has a lot more protein as well.
However, if you do choose to swap the white rice for brown rice, make sure to give the brown rice a really good soaking beforehand.
If you didn’t soak it, you might end up with incredibly dry and undercooked brown rice at the end.
You may also need to increase your cooking time by around 20%, to ensure the brown rice actually gets a chance to properly cook.
If you wanted, you could even parboil your rice for about 10 minutes first in some lightly salted water to make absolutely sure that your brown rice was totally cooked before it went into the casserole.
What To Serve With Your Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole
This cabbage roll casserole is surprisingly filling and healthy, with meat, vegetables, and carbs all rolled into one.
If you did still want a good healthy side alongside this casserole, however, make sure to go for one that requires very little prep time – recipes using an air fryer are great for this, so here are a few suggestions.
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Simple, easy, and surprisingly delicious, Brussels sprouts don’t get the love that they deserve.
So long as you brown them and make sure to cover them in lots of lovely fat, then they should be some of the best vegetables you will ever eat!
- Air Fryer Green Beans
Perhaps the easiest vegetable to prepare there is, some simple green beans cooked in an air fryer are not only tender and delicious but also crispy and satisfying when cooked properly!
- Air Fryer Carrots
Carrots are another easily cooked vegetable, requiring very little to turn them into pure deliciousness. So long as you take the time to really brown them, they can become super tasty really fast, making them a perfect side dish for any kind of big meal.
Looking for more delicious Casserole recipes? Try these out:
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Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time
- 1 hour 45 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 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
- Place bacon, ground beef and ground pork together in a large frying pan.
- Sautee 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!
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.