Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
This was a deliciously different dinner we enjoyed recently that I'm excited to share! I was really happy with how this came out, and will definitely make it again. You can change up the vegetable add ins, maybe add some spicy sausage along with the ground beef, and change up the cheese to your personal preference. It is hearty, comforting, filling, and packed full of some good stuff.
I think you could get away with adding a couple grated carrots and maybe a bell pepper to the meat mixture if you want to pump up the veggie content. I was sent some amazing cheeses from Cabot's and their Tomato Basil Cheddar is perfection in this recipe, so if you can get your hands on it I highly recommend it, otherwise use your favorite blend of cheeses - cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, etc.
Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced small
1 TBS minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper)
1 large head green cabbage, coarsely chopped and core discarded
2 cans (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (15-oz) tomato sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup water (just enough to rinse out each of the cans)
2 cups uncooked rice
3-4 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 cups shredded cheese (a mix of Cabot's Tomato Basil Cheddar and Mozzarella)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Cook the rice with the 3-4 cups of water and 2 bouillon cubes (amount of water per package instructions / personal preference).
- Meanwhile, heat a very large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and add ground beef and onions; cook until browned. Stir in the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika. Season meat mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with juice) and tomato sauce. Rinse each of the cans out with a little water (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup total) and add to the pan. Add in the diced cabbage and stir gently to try to coat as much of the cabbage as possible with liquid. Let mixture simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened and cabbage is about half cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to rotate the cabbage. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- In your prepped casserole dish spread the cooked rice and cover with the cabbage and meat mixture. Stir gently to combine if desired, or leave layered. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown.