Easy Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe

This Easy Cabbage Roll Casserole simplifies the classic comfort dish into a one-pan meal that retains all the traditional flavors without the hassle of rolling. Packed with tender cabbage, savory beef, and rice in a tomato-based sauce, it’s a hearty and satisfying dish perfect for any night of the week. Let’s dive into how to make this comforting casserole.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef: The base protein of the dish, providing rich flavor.
  • ½ cup onion, chopped: Adds sweetness and depth to the casserole.
  • 1 medium cabbage, chopped (about 10 cups): The star ingredient, offering a sweet, mild flavor and loads of nutrients.
  • ¾ cup white long-grain rice: Adds texture and helps to thicken the casserole.
  • 1 – 29 oz can tomato sauce: Creates the savory, tangy base for the casserole.
  • 2 cups beef broth: Adds depth and enhances the meaty flavor of the dish.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: For seasoning.
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme: Adds a light, aromatic touch.
  • 2 bay leaves: Impart a subtle depth and complexity to the dish.


  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures it’s ready to bake the casserole to perfection.
  2. Brown the Beef: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and chopped onion together. Break the beef into small pieces as it cooks and continue until it’s no longer pink and the onions are soft. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Layer the Casserole: In a large baking dish, spread half of the chopped cabbage as the first layer. Follow this with a layer of half the cooked beef and onion mixture, then sprinkle half of the uncooked rice over the top. Repeat the layers with the remaining cabbage, beef mixture, and rice.
  4. Add Liquids and Seasonings: Pour the tomato sauce and beef broth over the layers in the baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and add the bay leaves to the top. Gently press down with a spoon or your hands to ensure the liquid covers the ingredients as much as possible.
  5. Cover and Bake: Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. After the first hour, remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the rice and cabbage are tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  6. Final Touches: Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes to settle. This makes it easier to serve. Discard the bay leaves before serving.
  7. Serve: Dish out the cabbage roll casserole into bowls or onto plates. It can be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by a simple side salad for a complete meal.


  • Checking for Doneness: The key indicator that your casserole is done is when the rice is fully cooked and tender. If the casserole seems too liquidy, let it bake uncovered for a few extra minutes.
  • Adjusting Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and herbs according to your taste preferences. Adding a bit of garlic powder or paprika can also introduce new flavor dimensions.

This Easy Cabbage Roll Casserole captures all the homely and comforting flavors of traditional cabbage rolls with a fraction of the effort. It’s a perfect meal for busy weeknights, delivering warmth, nutrition, and satisfaction in every bite.