5 from 1 vote
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole is just like the typical cabbage rolls, minus all the rolling. You'll love the melt in your mouth tender beef rice and buttery cabbage .
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
3 hrs

 This Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole is made with delicious beef rice filling and tender melt in your mouth cabbage leaves. 

Course: dinner, Main Entree
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: cabbage rolls, Cabbage rolls casserole, cabbage rolls lasagna, unstuffed cabbage rolls
Servings: 12
Calories: 255 kcal
Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole Ingredients
  • 1 head cabbage, core removed 1 cabbage = 2.5 - 3 lbs
Unstuffed Cabbage Beef Rice Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups round rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (75/100)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, medium, shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed 2 tomatoes = 1 1/3 cups pureed)
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp black ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
Cooking liquid
  • 1 cup stock (beef or chicken)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste (optional, I don't always add it)
How to soften the Cabbage for Cabbage Rolls Casserole
  1. Option 1: Core the cabbage and place it into a deep microwave safe bowl, then cover with plastic wrap so it's not touching the cabbage. Microwave for about 8-10 minutes or until the cabbage is soft* and you can separate the leaves. 

    Option 2: Alternatively, fill a 6-8 quart pot with water halfway, bring to a boil. Place the cabbage with the core removed and boil, rotating the cabbage until you're able to remove the leaves off, one by one. 

    Set aside to cool. 

  2. Separate the cabbage leaves and divide them into 4 equal amounts. 

Parboil rice
  1. Combine rice and water in a sauce pot and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until all water is evaporated. Watch it closely so it does not burn at the bottom. Fluff the rice and set aside to cool. 

Saute vegetables
  1. Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until golden in color and translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, turn heat to low and cook covered, stirring often for about 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Assemble the Stuffing for Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
  1. In a large bowl mix together parboiled rice, sauteed vegetables, ground meat, and the seasoning until thoroughly mixed. Add pureed tomatoes and mix again. 

Assemble and Bake
  1. Spray the baking dish with nonstick spray or lightly oil it.
    Line the bottom of the baking dish with 1/4 of the cabbage leaves. Spread 1/3 of the cabbage rolls stuffing into an even layer. Continue layering the cabbage leaves and stuffing in this manner, finishing with the leaves on top. 

  2. Cut the layered casserole into 3"x3" squares and pour the seasoned broth over them. Shake the baking dish slightly to allow the liquid to reach between each square.  Cover with foil. Place the glass baking dish onto a bigger sheet pan, which would catch if there's any overflow when it bakes.  

  3. Bake in a preheated to 450F oven for 30 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325F and cook for another 1 to 2 hours. 

To Serve
  1. Remove foil and transfer to the table. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with sour cream.

Recipe Notes

*If making the casserole with a large cabbage, microwave the cabbage head for about 7 minutes, remove the outer leaves, then continue microwaving until the rest of the cabbage is soft. 

Nutrition Facts
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 1410mg61%
Potassium 465mg13%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1140IU23%
Vitamin C 44.7mg54%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.