Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

22 Jan

This delicious casserole is enough to on-and-off feed my man and myself for literally a week.  We have a lot of busy nights where it feels like our options are either carryout or leftovers, and this has been our saving grace.  Although it is not a typical stuffed cabbage dish, it has the elements of my childhood favorite — heavy-handed paprika, ground beef, and browned cabbage.  It is a bit time-consuming, but it is worth the time due to how filling it is.  It reheats well, and if you add a dollop of sour cream, it just becomes more magical the more days it sits in the fridge!

It all begins with a ton of cabbage.  So much that you think it is TOO much cabbage.

(Yes, that is my 7.25 quart dutch oven filled to the brim with cabbage)

And browning meat.  And garlic, onions, tomatoes, sauce, deliciousness.

Yumm-o!

And it ends up looking like this:

All layered — cabbage, meat, cabbage, meat. 

And then you pop it in the oven, sprinkle some cheese on it, and bake that bad boy some more… so delicious!

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

This recipe is slightly modified from Skinnytaste, who had modified it from Kayln’s Kitchen. 

It has 10 servings, and each serving is worth 9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus points.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on how much garlic you enjoy in your food (I used all 5, obviously)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp hot Hungarian Paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 heads of green cabbage, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick olive oil spray (I used a 13×11 inch dish).
  3. Cut the cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove the outer leaves.  Roughly chop the cabbage.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large pot (I used my Dutch oven) and cook the cabbage over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning the cabbage regularly to get all of the browning bits from the bottom.  Add salt and pepper to the cabbage, to taste.  The cabbage should be wilted and browning, but not totally cooked.
  5. In a large pot (I took my cabbage out of the Dutch oven and re-used that particular pot) or large pan, heat over medium and add ground beef.  Cook Ground beef until it is brown and cook through, stirring to make sure everything has cooked evenly.  Remove ground beef from pot and set aside.
  6. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the same pot and sautee chopped onion until it starts to soften, about 3-5 minutes. 
  7. Add the minced garlic cloves to the onion, some dried thyme, and paprika; cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes with their juice, the tomato sauce, the ground beef, and the water to the pot.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until it is thickening and boiling.
  9. Add 2 cups of cooked rice and cook for another minute, stirring to combine.
  10. Grab the sprayed casserole dish, and take half the cabbage and layer it on the bottom.  Then, ladle half the beef-rice mixture over the cabbage, spreading out so that it is even.  Complete the last layer of cabbage and the final layer of beef.  Wrap everything tightly with foil.
  11. Bake the casserole in the oven for 40 minutes.  Take out the casserole, sprinkle 2 cups of cheese over the casserole, re-wrap the foil, and slide it back in the oven for 20 more minutes.
  12. When the casserole is bubbling, the cheese is browning, and the smells in the oven are basically overwhelmingly delicious, take out of the oven, slice into 10 servings, and enjoy!

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