Several months ago, my husband’s office staff got together for a pot-luck luncheon. One of the dishes that was prepared for the luncheon was this one, that Mr. D. described as “layered like lasagna without the noodles”, and he declared that it was fabulous. I suggested that he ask for the recipe which he did. I want to thank Maggie for first making the dish and also Cheryl for sharing the link to the web site where I got the recipe.
This dish is basically a deconstructed version of stuffed cabbage, so if you love stuffed cabbage, you’re going to love this dish. The idea is to layer shredded cabbage with ground beef, brown rice and a tomato sauce, then bake and finish off with melted cheese on top.
I had the remains of a large head of cabbage and wanted to do something with it besides make coleslaw, so remembering about this casserole dish I went looking for it. Since the web site is called “Skinnytaste.com“, I felt pretty sure it would fit into my new diet routine. Actually, I was browsing the web looking for a skinny person to eat, but this is what I came up with instead. It will have to do! 🙂
To make a long story short, it turned out great. Even though stuffed cabbage doesn’t usually contain cheese, the addition of a cheese topping here seems like the finishing touch to a very delicious casserole. A full recipe is meant to make 10 servings. If this is too much you can make half the recipe, or make and freeze some. It can be reheated for another time. As you can see here I portioned the left-overs into individual casseroles for ease in reheating, covering with foil and reheating them in the oven.
STUFFED CABBAGE CASSEROLE
Servings: about 10
- 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic
- 1 tsp.sweet Hungarian Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 large head cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 can ( 14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
- 1 can ( 15 oz ) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray. My dish was 13″ X 9″.
2. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, breaking apart as it cooks. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more.
Then add the diced tomatoes and juice,plus the tomato sauce.
Then add the ground beef and water to the pan. Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
4. While it simmers, core and cup up cabbage. Heat remaining olive oil in another large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and pepper.
5. When the meat and tomato mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups cooked rice and gently combine.
6. To prepare casserole, layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture.
Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.
7. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 15 – 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly. Serve hot.
This freezes well if you have left-overs. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a baking dish covered with foil.