Lazy Man’s Cabbage Roll Casserole

I’ve never had an actual cabbage roll. I was a fussy child and there was something about Cabbage Rolls that made me uneasy, I think it was the combination of tomato sauce and rice. It seems ridiculous now after I’ve had the essential ingredients of cabbage rolls in a thick stew and in a casserole. My first encounter with Lazy Man’s Cabbage Rolls was in Canada by my roommate’s Mom who came by for a visit and made us a giant stew pot of man-meal goodness. Back when I was in Edmonton I lived with two burly men, my friends Darek and Darren, who also happen to be brothers. They were raised in big family full of great cooks and together we had a household full of glorious dinners and parties. Their love for food, cooking, and restaurant exploration was a big influence on me and the home we shared is where my cooking skills really began to blossom.

My Edmonton Home

Lately, I have introduced more Canadian-influenced dinners to my second home in Belgium. I love hearty Alberta recipes that are not too fancy or fussy. A lot of our dishes have influences from our early settlers; British, French, Ukrainian, Norwegians, Chinese, Greek, Indian… and so on. Of course, different recipes change over time and many have been adapted to save time for the fast-paced lifestyle in the Prairies. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of some meals as these dishes taste damn good and will fill that big hole in your stomach after a hard days work. Best of all, for clean-up there are hardly any dishes; a big plus in my books since we don’t have a dishwasher in our 30 m2 studio apartment.

Lazy Man’s Cabbage Roll Casserole
Recipe adapted from Yummly

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
700 g tomato sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups rice (uncooked)
4 bacon strips (chopped + uncooked)
1 head shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in one can of tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat: cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in rice and bacon; heat through. Remove from the heat

2.Layer a third of the cabbage in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture. Repeat layers; top with remaining cabbage. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top.

3.Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

7 responses to “Lazy Man’s Cabbage Roll Casserole”

  1. Angela says:

    Is this recipe missing some liquid? Just seems really dry before I am going to put it in the oven.

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Angela,
      The cabbage leaves actually release a lot of liquid when it’s cooking so I wouldn’t add more liquid unless you like it really juicy.
      Hope this helps!

      • Patricia says:

        followed the recipe to a halt. It was terrible as it was so dry. the cabbage didn’t cook The rice soaked up what little liquid I had. two cups of rice was a overload. I’m told that 1/2 cup would have be quite enough….and no liquid other then the tomato sauce….

        • Meredith says:

          Hi Patricia,

          I’m sorry to hear that the recipe didn’t work out for you that well. Truth be told, I haven’t made it in quite some time and I may take it back to the test kitchen. I’ve read that depending on the altitude of where you live can affect a recipe. According to Mountain Mama Cooks blog, when using rice in a high altitude, you can add 15-20% more liquid. Here’s the link to the post http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/high-altitude/. Hope this helps!

  2. Bonnie says:

    Nom Nom! This recipe is ridiculously delicious. Must be the bacon. Thanks for sharing. (from someone who grew up in a northern Alberta town with lots of Ukranians…Boyle!)

  3. Patricia says:

    trying your cabbage casserole this weekend. looking forward as all your spicing I enjoy using….had a lazy mans casserole a few weeks ago at a friends home and enjoyed but lacked spicing….cheers.

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