Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

For some reason, I got on a kick with Polish food. I started by reminiscing about our trip to Poland and wrote recently about the Goulash we had there. This got me looking up other Polish food recipes, such as Pierogi, Borscht, and Cabbage Rolls. Cabbage rolls are one of my favorite meals. For some reason, I really like cabbage. So the other night I decided to make them. Boy, they’re a lot of work. The recipe makes quite a bit and we have been eating them as leftovers. But they do freeze well. So it got me looking for a recipe that tastes just as good but isn’t nearly the amount of work. I found this one and it works great tastes great without being so fussy.

For low-carb diets leave out the rice and up the amount of cabbage. For a more dramatic presentation: grease casserole pan. After cooking and resting, invert on serving platter, pray, and remove pan. Hopefully you will have a multi-layered masterpiece.

Serve with sour cream on the side.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls


  • 1 pound ground beef, 80/20
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 12 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sour cream, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a skillet, over medium heat add ground beef, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, sage, and dill weed. Saute until mixture is browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Add cooked rice and egg. Combine, remove from skillet and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, bring to a simmer. Add sugar. Add parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for at least 15 minutes. Taste for sweetness, should be fairly sweet, if not add more sugar.

4. Layer bottom of 3 quart casserole with a bit of the tomato sauce and 1/3 cabbage; add 1/3 meat mixture, press down, top with 1/3 tomato sauce. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up finishing with tomato sauce. You should have three layers overall.

5. Cover with foil or lid and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

6. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.



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