Cabbage Roll Casserole is a quick and easy way to enjoy all the flavors of our very popular stuffed cabbage recipe.
With hundreds of thousands of views on our original recipe, I wanted to simplify the process without losing out on any of the deliciousness of the original version.
This lazy golumpki hits the mark, perfectly.
What is this?
I think that people are drawn to our golumpki partly because of its unusual name and also because of its Polish origin.
However, I do have to admit, the original recipe is a bit tedious with many different steps. Although it is not hard to make, it is very time-consuming.
With that in mind, I wanted to make a version of this dish that is quick and easy. Enter lazy golumpki. AKA, cabbage roll casserole.
What's in it?
Other than the cabbage, the main ingredients for cabbage roll casserole include:
- Cream of Tomato Soup - This helps keep it simple and I prefer Campbell's, for the flavor.
- Rice - This helps hold it together and gives some texture. Use whatever kind of rice you have on hand. Even rice in a bag!
- Ground Beef - In this version, I used only lean ground beef, 90/10. I did this because most of us have hamburger sitting in the freezer unused, and this makes great use for it.
Traditionally, golumpki is made with different meats. This was done years ago to keep the dish economical. People bought what was affordable and on sale to feed your family.
You can easily use different meat combinations for this, such as ground beef, Italian ground sausage, and even veal.
My grandmother would use primarily beef in her lazy golumpki because she had a family of 9 to feed. My point is, use what you have in your freezer. It makes it that much more convenient.
How to make this
The nice thing about this Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls recipe is how fast and versatile it is.
There are many short cuts that can be taken without sacrificing taste.
1. I used oven-fried bacon in this recipe for a cripsy finish without a greasy mess.
2. Seasoned breadcrumbs are added to the ground beef mixture for added flavor and to help hold it together.
3. I use a "boil in the bag" type of rice which is mixed in a bowl with the ground beef mixture.
4. Instead of boiling the cabbage and pulling apart every leaf so that you can roll the meat mixture into them, I shredded the cabbage into big long pieces.
This reduces the necessary time of assembling this deconstructed "stuffed cabbage" recipe to mere minutes.
I have to admit, I feel like that I am cheating my grandmother's recipe by taking these shortcuts.
However, that feeling was quickly gone after how fast this went together.
5. Then I layer it.
6. Like a lasagna.
7. I use a family-size can of tomato soup to go over the stuffed cabbage casserole before it bakes in the oven.
8. Finally, to help keep the cabbage roll casserole from drying out while baking, I top it off with a regular size can of tomato soup midway through the baking process.
After putting this lazy golumpki together and allowing it to spend some time in the hot oven, our house quickly filled with the familiar aroma. Then came the memories of the golumpki the I grew up with, without all the work.
With just one bite, you will agree that this is a winning recipe. The cabbage still retains a little crispiness to it, and the meat is moist and delicious.
If you are one of the many people that have looked at the original Polish cabbage rolls recipe but shied away from it because it seemed too daunting, then this is the recipe for you.
I threw this cabbage roll casserole together as a weekday meal but it would make a great sit-down Sunday Supper for your family. I know that you will enjoy this family favorite.
For a more detailed look, see my YouTube video for how to make lazy golumpki.
Common Cooking Questions
Keep it simple when choosing a side dish for this recipe. Soft dinner rolls with butter, green salad, and mashed potatoes are all good side dishes for cabbage rolls.
You can freeze this lazy golumpki but bake it first.
- Allow it to cool completely and then wrap it air-tight with plastic wrap.
- You can freeze lazy golumpki for up to 6 weeks.
- When ready to use, let it thaw in the fridge and then reheat for 45 minutes at 300° F.
- Top with a regular-size can of tomato soup, half-way through reheating.
- Cabbage roll soup
- Cabbage enchiladas (low carb enchiladas)
Easy Casserole Recipes
See all of our casserole recipes here.
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Cabbage Roll Casserole
- Medium size head of cabbage
- 2 ½ lbs lean ground beef 90/10
- ½ lbs cooked bacon coarsely chopped
- 1 med white onion
- ½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
- ½ -¾ cup cooked white rice
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 family sized and 1 10 oz can of tomato soup
- salt and pepper to taste
- See video above to watch this quick and easy recipe come together.
- Preheat oven 375 degrees.
- Coarsely shred the cabbage it thick long pieces and set aside.
- Cook bacon in the oven, allow to cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
- Dice onion and set aside.
- Cook rice and allow to cool and set aside. For convenience, I used a boil in the bag type of rice.
- In a large bowl, add meat, bread crumbs, onion, bacon, rice, egg and salt and pepper. Start by only using one egg. If the mixture seems too dry, then add the second egg.
- In a 9X9 pan, place a layer of the shredded cabbage so that the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
- Add the meat mixture on top of the cabbage and press into the shape of the pan.
- Add another layer of cabbage to cover the meat mixture.
- Pour the family sized can of tomato soup over the top of the cabbage to cover completely. Reserve the smaller can to add additional soup while baking in the oven.
- Add salt and pepper over the top.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place pan on top of a cookie sheet and put in a 375 preheated oven.
- Cook for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes-2 hours.
- See instructions for freezing and reheating lazy golumpki, above the recipe.
I “customized” this recipe for my nutritional needs::sm head cabbage chopped,1 lb ground Turkey, 1/4diced red onion (had it leftover) 1/2 pkg bacon, family size tomato soup,3/4 Cup tomato juice, small can stewed tomato,3/4-ish cup minute rice….amazing taste!! Cooked Turkey & onion together then put everything in crockpot with granulated garlic to taste & blk pepper, mixed it up & cooked on high for 1hr then low for 5hrs (while I slept as I work nights) ready to eat when I got up. I made potatoes to go with..for hubby to have “meat & potatoes” lol
Like the crockpot version. Was the rice pre-cooked or raw?
I love this recipe! I take some shortcuts to make prep time easy: I use microwaveable rice and bacon bits (or microwaveable bacon). Also, just a preference — for bottom layer of cabbage, I do a quick, rough cut in the food processor; for top layer, I do a much finer chop. Final note: I have never been able to fit this in a 9” x 9” casserole pan. I usually use a lasagna-size casserole dish.
In the instructions in the Redbox is says cook for 45 minutes and step 12 it says cook for an hour and 45 minutes which is it please?
Scott from Platter Talk
Hi Mary! Step 15 stating an hour and 45 minutes is correct. The Redbox is missing the extra hour. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will fix it right away. If you would like to shorten the amount of cooking time, shred your cabbage first and boil for a few minutes to start to soften it. Then layer using the precooked cabbage. You could then decrease the cooking time to about an hour because your cabbage is cooked. Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy!
I've made this recipe so many times. We make our own adjustments based on how we make our regular golabki and it turns out fantastic every time! I'm wondering if we could assemble this the night before and how would we adjust the cook time if it is cold out of the fridge?