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Melstra's Cabbage Roll Casserole

My mother-in-law makes a wonderful cabbage roll casserole, but I never got around to getting the recipe and I also know she uses rice in hers, so I looked around online a bit and adapted this recipe from a few that I saw on the net.  At some point I'd like to try doing it in the crock pot, which I imagine would be simple to do. It's a very yummy recipe and also extremely healthy. It's low-fat, low-carb and if you leave out the onion soup and substitute the rice back in for the other grains, it's gluten-free, too.

Cabbage Roll Casserole
Note: This recipe makes TWO large casseroles (I used one 9x13 and one 8x8 and both were so rounded they dripped into the oven a bit-- you could easily fill two 9x13 dishes and they wouldn't boil over like mine did).  I recommend making the full batch as it freezes well, but if you don't have freezer room or your live alone, go ahead and halve the recipe. It's a great dish to make in advance, then either take out to serve to a crowd or just reheat when you don't feel like cooking.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or a combo of ground meats (I used beef and turkey)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (use less if you're using onion soup for your broth)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large jar (26 oz) of your favorite spaghetti sauce 
  • 1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 pounds chopped cabbage  (use one medium head)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, and (if desired) red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart beef broth or 1 pt beef broth and 4 cups water combined with a packet of onion soup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet, brown the meat in oil over medium high heat until redness is gone. Drain off fat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the onion, tomato sauce, tomatoes, cabbage, oatmeal, barley, salt and pepper. Add meat and mix all together. Pour mixture into greased baking dishes. Pour broth over meat mixture and bake in the preheated oven, covered, for 1 hour. Stir, replace cover and bake for another 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with a little low-fat sour cream if desired


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
OK, I am so not a fan of cabbage, but other than that, this looks SO good!
Jan. 2nd, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
It *is* good! It was really amazing. You might even consider trying it even though you don't like cabbage-- the tomato sauce and beef really flavor the cabbage and it gets all soft so you don't taste that bitter cabbage flavor at all.
Jan. 2nd, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
it is the smell, I just can't get on board with that cabbage smell... I even prefer broccoli cole slaw!
Jan. 2nd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
I just emailed this to my mom :)
Jan. 4th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
This is very similar to a recipe I had frequently as a child. :-)
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
I made this last night!
I only had about half a head of (red) cabbage, so thought I'd make half a recipe. I only used 1 lb of ground meat (turkey). The cabbage chopped up was about 4 cups, but I used a whole onion and also chopped an anaheim. When I added half the sauce, it seemed like needed more sauce, so I went ahead and added the full amount of sauce and everything else (tomatoes, oats, barley, seasonings, etc)--except cabbage and meat.

It came out a little runny (because I didn't have a full head of cabbage? only half the meat? high altitude? didn't cook long enough?), but it thickened some as it cooled. Joel loved it. Robin had already eaten (so wasn't hungry), and Tim has a mental block about certain foods, including barley, cabbage, and any ground meat other than beef (*rolleyes*). When he asked "what's in it?" I couldn't exactly lie--but I DID offer him a spoonful to taste, and he ate *some*.

I would definitely make this again, sometime when Tim is either gone or can eat other leftovers (like cajun boil).

I'd thought this was Rose's recipe (and told Joel as much), but now see that it's actually something you found online.

How much does one whole head of chopped cabbage measure out to be?

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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