Hamburger Cabbage Casserole

Layers of cabbage, ground beef, rice and tomato sauce make a healthy and easy Hamburger Cabbage Casserole recipe.

White plate of warm and flavorful hamburger and cabbage casserole with a fork ready to take a bit on a red and white napkin.

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Ground Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes Skillet or our Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole.

Cabbage Casserole with Ground Beef

Common ingredients mix together to create a flavorful and enjoyable family meal. Since the cabbage and rice can be a bit bland, adding the ground beef and slightly sweet tomato sauce really improves this casserole.

We love the combination of fresh vegetables and protein with starch mixed in this Cabbage and Ground Beef Casserole to create a complete one dish meal.

When meal planning we like to pick-up a big head of cabbage and split it between this casserole and our Kielbasa, Noodles and Cabbage Skillet or Old Fashioned Coleslaw.

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While the cabbage is cut differently in each recipe it is still easy to meal prep. Brown the hamburger and cut the cabbage a few days before assembling the casserole. Once these tasks are done this, meal only takes 5 minutes to assemble and bake.

Overhead view of layered cabbage and hamburger casserole in a 9 x 13 pan on a red and white plaid napkin.

We adapted this recipe from our Layered Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe that uses sausage. For as similar as the recipes are the flavor are distinctly different and help keep meals more interesting.

Why This Recipe Works:

  • This cabbage casserole with ground beef is healthy as it uses a lot (8 cups) of the fresh vegetable cabbage and other pantry basics.
  • Simple ingredients mix together to create a flavorful casserole that the whole family can enjoy all year around.
  • Can add a layer of sauerkraut – about 1 cup, before the tomato sauce if you like a more tangy and fermented flavor.
  • Easy casseroles like this one, Sauerkraut Casserole and Alfredo Spaghetti make our life easier.
Serving of crumbled ground beef, softened cabbage and tender rice surround by red tomato sauce and flavored with chopped onions makes a delicious hamburger and cabbage casserole on a white plate with a fork and the full dish in the background.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Ground Beef – We typically use one pound, but 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger makes this dish even meatier and tastes great.
  • Cabbage – One small head or about half of a large head creates 8 cups. Chopping into squares that are a bit smaller than bite size works best.
  • Onion – Two small onions or an extra large onion chopped up adds a great dynamic to the other more basic flavors in this casserole. Yellow, white or sweet all work fine.
  • Minute Rice – Be sure to use this quicker cooking rice right underneath the layer
  • Tomato Sauce – Two cans works great. If necessary substitute 15 ounces of tomato paste mixed with 15 ounces of water. I prefer the pure tomato flavor here as opposed to a seasoned spaghetti sauce.
  • Salt & Pepper – Season to taste. I season more generously in this recipe than in others.
Ingredients needed to make cabbage and ground beef casserole are half a head of cabbage, two cans of tomato sauce, crumbled hamburger, an onion and minute rice on a white counter top.

We also enjoy the beef and cabbage combination in our Corned Beef in a Roaster recipe.

How to Make a Hamburger and Cabbage Casserole

Begin by browning the meat. Season meat with salt and pepper.

Drain and set aside to sauté and soften onions.

Chop the cabbage into square pieces that are a little smaller than bite sized.

Add about 8 cups into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ casserole dish.

Half a head of raw, coarsely chopped cabbage in a 9 x 13 casserole dish on a white counter top.

Add an even layer of meat over the cabbage.

Chopped cabbage covered with cooked and crumbled ground beef in a casserole dish on a white counter top.

Then sprinkle the onions over the top.

While we prefer to saute the onions we have used raw chopped onions in a test and it tastes fine.

Chopped onion spread over hamburger in a layer on top of chopped cabbage in a casserole dish.

Then add a layer of minute rice sprinkled evenly over top of the meat and onions.

Uncooked minute rice spread over hamburger and onion layer of a cabbage casserole in a glass dish on a white counter.

Then open the cans of tomato sauce and pour over the top.

Use a mini spatula to spread in an even layer on top of the casserole. The sauce will create the liquid to help the rice cook.

Two cans of tomato sauce poured over top of layers of rice, ground beef, onions and cabbage in a 9 x 13 casserole dish on a white counter top.

Cover the cabbage and hamburger casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350℉. The foil will help hold in the moisture for the rice to cook.

When removing the foil you may need to scrape some tomato sauce off of the foil and return to the top of the casserole.

Return to the oven uncovered for about 15 minutes to finish cooking.

Baked hamburger and cabbage casserole covered in tomato sauce sitting on a red and white napkin.

Serve right away or cover and leave in the oven on low or turned off to keep warm until ready to serve.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • You can cut back to one can of tomato sauce and half a can of water or a can of beef broth to decrease the sweetness. Be sure to keep a good amount of liquid to help the rice cook properly.
  • Onions can be sautéed in the ground beef or sprinkled on the casserole raw if you forget to soften.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of drained sauerkraut below the layer of tomato sauce for an extra tangy flavor.
  • We find that making layers is easiest, but if you want to stir all of the ingredients together before cooking keep at least one can of tomato sauce to spread on top while baking.
Close up fork in a bite of ground beef with chopped onion, chopped cabbage, cooked rice and coated with tomato sauce.

More Easy Family Meals:

Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers are another favorite recipe that use simple ingredients to make a wonderful meal.

Pork and Sauerkraut has a special ingredient that takes this basic recipe up a few notches.

Shrimp Jambalaya is savory, meaty an full of tomato and veggie flavors with plenty of shrimp.

Ground Beef Casserole only has 5 ingredients and is budget friendly.

Corner of a tasty 9 x 13" cabbage hamburger casserole covered in tomato sauce with layers of cooked cabbage, hamburger, onion and rice.

Hamburger Cabbage Casserole

Servings 8 servings
Author: Jennifer
Layers of cabbage, ground beef, rice and tomato sauce make a healthy and easy Hamburger Cabbage Casserole recipe.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups cabbage coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 cup minute rice uncooked
  • 30 ounces tomato sauce


  • Brown hamburger in a skillet, season with salt and pepper. Drain. Set hamburger aside and sauté onions until tender.
  • Lightly coat a 9×13" pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Chop cabbage and layer in the bottom of the dish.
  • Add an even layer of meat and onions over the cabbage.
  • Sprinkle uncooked minute rice evenly over the meat.
  • Pour both cans of tomato sauce on top and spread out with a silicone spatula.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.


Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 556mgPotassium: 620mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 529IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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  1. For beginner cooks like me, the most important thin I need instruction on is how much salt and pepper? If you put in to little or to much it ruins the dish. We don’t know how to cook so please put measurements for the seasonings.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! Thanks for looking at our recipe! I typically use 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to one pound of ground beef. I added those notes. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Cheryl Deas says:

    If I don’t have tomato sauce can I use taco sauce?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There – I haven’t tested this option, I think a fairly mild tomato based sauce would work best. If you give this a try please let me know how it tastes. Hope you enjoy! ~Jennifer

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