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slice of cabbage roll casserole with a silver fork

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Cabbage Roll Casserole -The flavorful blend of browned ground beef, cheesy topping, soft and crunchy cabbage, all rolled in one casserole dish! This flavor-packed dish is a full meal in every serving especially with hefty rice and meaty bits. The best part about this pot luck favorite is that you can use leftover meats to add more flavors.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword cabbage, cabbage roll casserole, casserole
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 485kcal
Author Imma


  • 3-4 tablespoons (42- 56 ml) cooking oil
  • 1 pound (454 g) ground beef
  • ½ pound (227 g) ground pork, (replace with beef)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons (2 g) minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) smoked paprika, (replace with paprika)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (185 g) uncooked long-grain rice
  • ¾ cups (178 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons (11 g) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons (2-4 g) chicken or beef bouillon powder, (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ heads of green cabbage, cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 cups (113 - 226 g) shredded Jack cheese (cheddar cheese )
  • chopped parsley for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C). Spray a large casserole (13" x 10" or 13" x 9”) with a non-stick spray. The larger the better.
  • Heat a large skillet or saucepan on medium heat; add oil followed by ground beef and pork. Break it apart as it cooks until it's browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove browned meat and set aside.
  • In the same saucepan, add 1-2 tablespoons oil, followed by onions, and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic, thyme, Creole seasoning, and paprika, and cook about 2 minutes more.
  • Then return the beef mixture back to the pan together with the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, rice, water, and Worcestershire sauce, and bouillon powder to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and let it simmer until it’s slightly thickened, about 15-18 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering add oil, (about 1-2 tablespoons oil) to a large skillet or Dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is tender. It really doesn’t need to cook much as it will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Season cabbage with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Remove and layer in the bottom of the casserole dish. Place the meat and rice mixture over the cabbage, press down, if needed.
  • Cover the casserole tightly with foil paper and bake for about 35-40 minutes.
  • Using oven mitts, carefully remove foil paper and sprinkle on cheese over the casserole (if desired.)
  • Bake uncovered for an additional 7- 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly and serve hot. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.


  1. I have found that cabbage is more important than rice. A loose/overcooked rice is better than an undercooked/overcooked cabbage leaf. Remember to watch the cabbages as it cooks. This ingredient will give the overall impression of the dish 
  2. If you don’t eat pork, you can just replace it with beef. Or you can use leftover meat like this Pulled Pork HERE.
  3. No Worcestershire sauce? The easiest alternative is a mix of ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon lemon juice.
  4. You may swap Jack cheese with cheddar or parmesan cheese.
  5. You can freeze this casserole dish for 4 to 8 weeks. When you’re ready to cook the dish, let the casserole thaw before transferring to a greased baking dish. Bake for around 45 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven.
  6. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. Please keep in mind that it is a rough estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary greatly based on the products used.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 939mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 971IU | Vitamin C: 74mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 4mg