Layers of cabbage, ground beef, rice and tomato sauce make a healthy and easy Hamburger Cabbage Casserole recipe.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Add an even layer of meat over the cabbage.
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.
Then add a layer of minute rice sprinkled evenly over top of the meat and onions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hamburger Cabbage Casserole
- 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.
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