Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

By Sarah Cook | Last Updated: March 19, 2017

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole Recipe

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole 2

Do you ever crave lasagna but don’t want to eat all of the extra carbs? Well then this Stuffed Cabbage Casserole is the perfect solution for you.

Leafy green cabbage replaces wheat pasta for a light and satisfying meal that’s flavorful enough to make you forget all about the carbohydrates.

Although, I should probably clarify that it’s not entirely free of carbohydrates so that the Carb Police don’t come after me. The lentils and brown rice have a decent amount, but they’re the good kind, known as complex carbohydrates, which have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, improve digestion, and boost metabolism. Do not fear the complex carb!

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole 8

But let’s move on from the carbs and talk about the real star of this casserole: green cabbage. Along with kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts, cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables which contain phytochemicals that are linked to lowering the risk of cancer. It also happens to be very affordable and is currently in season, making it a perfect option to serve at the dinner table right now.

To use it in this casserole, we start by blanching it in boiling water for about 5 minutes. From there, we assemble the sauce, which is loaded with vegetables like diced tomatoes, onion, carrots, mushrooms, brown rice and lentils. Then we layer the cabbage in a casserole dish with the sauce in between, top it with just enough cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole 7
Outside of chopping the vegetables, it’s fairly easy to make and depending on how many mouths you have to feed, there should be enough leftover for the next day or even the next month, as it also freezes well.

It’s a great source of vegetarian protein, packing in 20 grams per serving, and a little fresh parsley is the perfect simple, yet elegant way to finish it off.

Go to Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Prep Time:

45 minutes

Cook Time:

30 minutes

Total Time:

1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield:

6 large servings

ingredients:

  • 12 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (approximately 2 small cabbages)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils*
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice**
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese (or a combination of mozzarella and parmesan)
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instructions:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook it for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly tender. I prefer it to have a little crunch, but you can cook it longer if a softer texture is desired. Drain the cabbage in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. In the same large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, until the mushrooms have released their juices.
  3. Stir in the dried herbs, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, then bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils and brown rice.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then lightly grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  5. Use a paper towel to blot the cabbage to make sure it's dry, then distribute half of it along the bottom of the dish and top with half of the sauce. Layer the remaining cabbage on top and finish with the remaining sauce. Top with cheese.
  6. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Top with fresh parsley and serve warm.

notes:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you would like to freeze the leftovers, allow it to cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in the oven at 350º for 20-30 minutes before serving. *3/4 cup dry lentils yields approximately 2 cups cooked **1/2 cup dry rice yields approximately 1 cup cooked. I like to use Trader Joe's frozen brown rice in this recipe to save time.

About Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook is a vegetarian food blogger living in Athens, Georgia. Her blog Making Thyme for Health features simple, seasonal, and healthy recipes made from whole food ingredients. Outside of cooking, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle, traveling and drinking wine.

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Comments

Those look amazing and I can totally understand how it is difficult for you to step back and let someone else do for you. I get that. I think you are like me and a giver and to have someone else do for you is hard to accept but sometimes there are times when you just need to sit back and embrace the fact that someone else wants to gift you with something, right? I love cabbage rolls and these look amazing and simple enough to make. Thanks to you and your lovely mom!

Being a diabetic, I am always looking to cut my carbs where it makes sense for me. Substituting soy crumbles for all or part of the lentils and rice would work for me! This sounds delicious and I plan to make it soon! MMMmmmmm Mushrooms!!

This was unexpectedly awesome! I do not have too many uses for the cabbage from our CSA except Asian salads and happened upon this recipe. My husband and I both loved it. I really wasn’t sure we would like cabbage in an Italian dish, but the pairing was perfect! Thank you for the great recipe! I will definitely keep it on my ‘to make again list.’ It would be great for company too!

Just made this tonight..Wow! Very delicious but I did use vegetarian cheese.. I will definitely add this recipe to my list of vegan recipes 🙂

I loved this dish 🙂 halved the recipe though. made it last week and it was so good. I finished feeling great afterward, which was nice because usually with pasta and hot dishes I feel full and uncomfortable afterward.

ooh it would be really good to do a Mexican hot dish kind of like this. it could be corn, enchilada sauce, peppers, but keep cabbage as the base… hmmm

This was a great recipe.
It made a TON!
To break up the steps, I made the filling on a Sunday afternoon, and then froze half and put the other half in a zip-lock bag in the fridge. On the weeknight we ate it, I blanched the cabbage (half the amount), assembled the casserole and put it in the oven. Meat eaters and vegetarians in the the family both loved it, and I have the filling already done to make a second casserole in the coming weeks.

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