easy lazy cabbage roll casserole
Vintage Meets Modern Recipes

Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole Ridiculously Easy Dinner

Cooks in 2 hours Difficulty Easy 0 comments

This inexpensive lazy cabbage roll casserole is ideal if you want something tasty and need to feed a crowd. With only a little time you can have this ridiculously easy to prepare lazy cabbage roll casserole in the oven for dinner. It makes a considerable amount and is super filling for a hearty meal that will satisfy the whole family.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a recipe that is so basic that it practically makes itself. This is a make-it-and-forget-it meal; you wouldn’t want to forget it really. Burnt cabbage is gross. I love that this recipe has just five simple ingredients and is inexpensive. It’s a great fall/winter dish to make while watching your pennies and filling hungry bellies.

My partner is Ukrainian, and this is one of his favorite dishes aside from actual cabbage rolls. So, this dinner is ideal if you love cabbage rolls without all the fuss. It uses a whole cabbage! This time of year, cabbage is ridiculously cheap as it is in season, reducing the overall cost of this tasty family meal.

If you love inexpensive meal ideas, stick around; I will post more of them!

Let’s get to cooking this easy lazy cabbage roll casserole.

We are making a large casserole dishful for this recipe; however, you could easily cut it in half for a smaller amount. I love making extra for dinner to reuse as work lunches the next day, so I tend to have large batches. Alternatively, you can freeze this cabbage roll meal, although the quality will differ when you reheat it.

Grab your fry pan down. We are browning the ground beef with the cloves of fresh garlic. Nothing else is so simple!

While the beef is browning, remove the outer worn layers of the cabbage. Rinse the whole cabbage and then cut your cabbage into chunks about one inch in size. They are sticking tightly together, aren’t they? Don’t worry, they won’t stay that way. You will now rinse under the water again in a large colander; after rinsing, put them in a huge bowl and break them apart as much as possible, removing any core pieces and tossing them.

The beef should be well broken up and browned now. Add that directly to the raw cabbage, and then add the raw-yes uncooked rice. This is going so smoothly. Now open those big ol jars of basic pasta sauce. I know traditional cabbage rolls use tomato juice. We are using the jarred pasta sauce because it has more flavor for this casserole.

Dump the pasta sauce into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it well. Using your largest deep casserole dish, mine is a three quart (120oz) filled with the cabbage roll mixture. Cover your baking dish with tin foil and put it in a hot 350-degree Ferinehiet oven for 2 hours or until cooked. This casserole takes this long because you have dry rice and raw cabbage. Don’t worry about moisture for the rice, as it draws it from the pasta sauce and the steaming cooking cabbage.

You will have a delicious, simple meal to serve a crowd when fully cooked. In fact, this recipe can feed up to ten people!


Ground Beef: You can use whatever ground beef you wish. I use lean ground beef because I prefer cooking in casseroles to reduce the oil content. You can also purchase cheaper regular ground beef and drain the excess fat as it browns. Traditional cabbage rolls are a mixture of ground beef and pork, but we used just straight beef for this casserole.

Rice: This recipe uses a full cup of jasmine rice. Any rice will work as long as it’s white rice, as cabbage rolls traditionally are made with white rice.

Pasta Sauce: Pasta sauces are thicker than tomato juice with added spices. Plainer tomato sauce will keep your flavors closer to authentic cabbage rolls. In this instance, we used a Catelli brand sauce as it’s inexpensive, less thick than other expensive brands, and was the plainest we could see further than no name. No-name pasta sauce would also work.

Substitutions for the easy lazy cabbage roll casserole:

Ground Beef: You can mix beef and pork instead of plain lean ground beef. This will be closer to an authentic lazy cabbage roll casserole.

Tomato Sauce: Use plain tomato juice to be more traditional in your cabbage roll casserole. Remember to leave some extra room so it won’t boil over the edges of the casserole dish.

Suggested Serving Ideas:

This easy, lazy cabbage roll casserole would go well with crusty bread or a side salad.

The three-quart casserole has enough tasty cabbage roll casserole to feed ten people. It’s a great potluck or buffet dish, easy on the pocketbook.

Serve lazy cabbage roll casserole

Expert Tips:

  1. When browning the ground beef, be sure to break it up into smaller pieces. This will allow the meat to be more evenly distributed throughout the casserole.
  2. Thoroughly cover the casserole when baking so that the steam won’t escape. The steam helps to cook the raw cabbage and the uncooked rice.
  3. Freeze uneaten portions right after the casserole has thoroughly cooled. Freezing while still warm will create condensation in a storage container. Too much water will reduce overall quality when thawing and reheating.
easy lazy cabbage roll casserole (1)

Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole Ridiculously Easy Dinner

Amber Bondar
This large lazy cabbage roll casserole is a ridiculously easy family dinner recipe. Simply make it and bake it, then serve to happy diner's. This cabbage roll casserole uses just five ingredients and makes enough to take to a potluck or buffet.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 10


  • 1 Small Whole Cabbage Cut Into One Inch Pieces
  • 2 Kgs Lean Ground Beef Approximately Four lbs
  • 2 640ml Jars Plain Pasta Sauce 44oz total (We used Catelli brand jarred)
  • 1 Cup Dry Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Lrg Cloves Fresh Garlic Chopped


  • Start by browning the ground beef with the chopped garlic.
  • As the meat browns break it apart and drain any excess fat.
  • While the beef browns wash the whole cabbage, remove its outer layer, and cut into one inch pieces.
  • In a large colander rinse the cabbage pieces again.
  • In a very large bowl add the cabbage and remove any core pieces. Break the chunks apart as much as possible.
  • Now add the browned beef, rice, and pasta sauce, mix well.
  • Dump the whole mixture into your three quart (120 oz) casserole dish.
  • Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake in preheated 350℉ oven for two hours.
  • Remove from oven and serve while hot.
Keyword breakfast casserole, budget friendly, cabbage, easy dinner

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