Preparation time: For about 15 minutes.

Cooking time: 1 hour (45 minutes covered, 10-12 minutes uncovered).

Total time: For about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Servings: This recipe yields about 8 servings.

Introducing the legendary Cabbage Roll Casserole, a gastronomic masterpiece that’s here to conquer your taste buds and tickle your funny bone. Imagine a dish that combines the finesse of traditional cabbage rolls with the wackiness of a casserole. Yes, you heard it right! It’s the culinary equivalent of a stand-up comedian wearing a chef’s hat. Prepare yourself for a journey of flavors that will leave you laughing and licking your lips in delight. This recipe brings together the heavyweight champions of deliciousness: ground beef and white onion, engaged in a flavorful battle that will make your taste buds cheer. It’s like a wrestling match where the winner is your appetite! But wait, there may be more! Brace yourself for the garlic cloves, minced and ready to sneak into the scene like mischievous little flavor ninjas. They’ll add a punch that’s both aromatic and entertaining, leaving your kitchen smelling like a comedy club of deliciousness.
Now, picture the stage being set with not one, but two jars of marinara sauce. These saucy divas bring the perfect amount of tanginess and richness, transforming your casserole into a symphony of tomatoey goodness. It’s like a dance-off where the marinara sauce waltzes with the ground beef, creating a saucy spectacle that will make your taste buds tango! The supporting cast of herbs and spices adds their own unique personalities to the show. Dried thyme, dill, and sage step in like the wise old sages of flavor, imparting their earthy and aromatic charm to the mix. Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper add a dash of excitement, ensuring that every bite is a spicy surprise.

But wait, there’s a twist in the plot! The rice and bacon strips crash the party, adding a layer of surprises that will make your taste buds jump with joy. The rice brings a comforting creaminess, like a fluffy pillow for your palate. And the bacon? Oh, the bacon! It’s like a hilarious sidekick that adds a smoky, crispy punch, making your taste buds burst into applause. Now, it’s time for the cabbage to take center stage. Shredded and fearless, it forms the layers of this theatrical dish, providing the perfect backdrop for the star-studded performance. It’s like a green carpet, welcoming each layer with open arms and adding a touch of freshness to the comedy unfolding in your casserole dish.
Finally, the instant of reality arrives! The casserole enters the oven, covered tightly with foil, like a comedian preparing for their grand finale. As it bakes, the flavors harmonize and mingle, creating a symphony of deliciousness that fills your kitchen with anticipation. And then, the climax! The foil is removed, revealing the ooey-gooey spectacle of melted mozzarella cheese on top. It’s like the punchline of a joke, the moment that brings the whole dish together in a burst of cheesy goodness. Your taste buds erupt in applause as the cheese bubbles and dances under the heat of the oven, creating a mouthwatering finale. Now, it’s time for the encore. Let the casserole rest for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to settle and the comedy to reach its full potential. Then, with a big smile on your face, serve this comedic masterpiece to your eager audience of friends and family. So, get ready to embark on a flavorful journey filled with laughter, deliciousness, and a pinch of culinary theatrics. With the Cabbage Roll Casserole, your taste buds are in for a show-stopping performance that will leave them begging for an encore. Get ready to laugh, eat, and savor every hilarious bite!


2 pounds of ground beef.

1 chopped white onion.

2 minced garlic cloves.

2 jars (24 ounces each) of marinara sauce.

1 teaspoon of dried thyme.

1/2 tsp. of dried dill.

1/2 tsp. of dried sage.

1 tsp. of salt.

1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper.

1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper.

Two cups of cooked white rice.

4 cooked bacon strips, crumbled.

1 medium head of cabbage (approximately 2 pounds), shredded.

1 half of cups of grated mozzarella cheese.


Step 1

To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F and generously coat a baking dish measuring 9×13 inches with either butter or nonstick spray.

Step 2

Then, in a spacious skillet, cook the ground beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Once done, add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.

Step 3

After draining the grease, mix in a jar of marinara sauce, along with thyme, dill, sage, salt, and pepper, then bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add bacon and rice, then remove from heat.

Step 4

After that, line the greased baking dish with one-third of the cabbage, ensuring an even layer. Next, evenly distribute half of the meat/rice mixture on top of the cabbage.

Step 5

Layer one-third of the cabbage, followed by the remaining meat mixture, and finish with the last third of the cabbage.

Step 6

Next, pour the remaining marinara sauce over the top, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

Step 7

After the initial 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil from the dish. Sprinkle cheese on top of the casserole and return it to the oven. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 8

Then, allow your casserole to rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will help the flavors to meld and the dish to set slightly.


To make shredding the cabbage easier, remove the tough outer leaves and core the cabbage before shredding.

Blanching the shredded cabbage in boiling water for a few minutes before layering it in the casserole can help soften its taste.

Customize the seasonings to suit your preference by adding more herbs or spices.


Vegetarian option: Replace ground beef with cooked lentils, mushrooms, and diced vegetables.

Mexican twist: Incorporate taco seasoning, and enchilada sauce, and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Mediterranean-inspired: Use roasted red pepper sauce, add Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Asian fusion: Substitute the marinara sauce with teriyaki sauce, and add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and sesame seeds.

Low-carb option: Swap white rice with cauliflower rice.

Enjoy exploring these tips and variations to add your own unique touch to the Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe!