Un-Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
Someone posted an un-stuffed cabbage casserole and it brought back images of my childhood when I was very little and my mom made us stuffed cabbage leaves. Stuffed with ground beef and rice, they were all rolled up and sooo delicious. I’ve often thought that I’d like to make stuffed cabbage leaves like mom used to make, but I guess I never thought I had the time. It seemed like so much work. I have asked my mother why she made us stuffed cabbage leaves and she said, “It just seemed like the thing to make.”
So when I saw the UN-stuffed cabbage casserole, I thought it was such a brilliant idea … to have all the home-cooked flavors of a stuffed cabbage roll in an easy casserole form. I had to try it.
I was asked by ALOHA to participate in their initiative to encourage healthy parties and gatherings and bringing along “a dish to pass”. What better, healthier, home-ier family-friendly casserole to bring along to a dinner party or family gathering than an Un-stuffed Cabbage Casserole? I took a look through ALOHA’s products and recipes and I have to say, I’m really intrigued by that healthy chocolate! The recipes look delightful too.
I totally intended to include rice in my casserole, because that’s what mom always did, but after I finished putting together the casserole, I realized I forgot it. Perhaps including rice would help soak up some of the excess liquid from the cabbage–I will have to try that next time. It’s still delicious, just like this. So much so that I ate this casserole for lunch and sometimes for dinner too, for an entire week. I know it’s a really special dish when I can eat that much of it and not get tired of it. Every meal of my un-stuffed cabbage casserole made me feel satisfied and happy inside, and every bite brought back warm memories of childhood when my mom made us stuffed cabbage rolls.
- 1/2 lb. very lean ground meat (beef, elk, pork, venison, lamb ... I used elk)
- 1 medium-large onion, peeled & chopped
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 lean sausages, chopped fine (about 1/3 - 1/2 lb total. Chicken sausages are very lean ... I used my dad's homemade venison apple sausage)
- 3/4 cup homemade tomato paste (or you can substitute 1 - 6-oz. can tomato paste)
- 1 pint-size jar of fire roasted tomatoes (or 15-oz. can of crushed tomatoes)
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Red Robin Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Wortcestershire sauce
- Several fresh basil leaves, chopped
- A few fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 small sprig of rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium head of Napa cabbage or 1/2 of a large head of regular cabbage
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup low fat milk
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup shredded Italian blend of cheeses
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a casserole or Pyrex pan with cooking spray. Chop the cabbage fine.
- In a small soup pot over medium heat, brown the meat, then add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, stir together, then cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or until you have a thick, meaty sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Remove the meat sauce to a small mixing bowl, set aside and rinse out the pan.
- Add the olive oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the cabbage and stir. Cover for a couple minutes, then stir. Repeat this several times until the cabbage starts to soften and wilt.
- Pour about half the cabbage into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half the meat mixture, then repeat the layers. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, then uncover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping by gently whisking together the yogurt, egg, and milk, then stirring in about half the cheese. Pull the casserole out of the oven, pour the topping over the casserole, then sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes or until the topping is set in the middle.
- Remove from oven and let set for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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