Are you ready for an easy, frugal meal? This Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole Recipe is a crowd pleaser that fits the bill!
I have a series of questions I ask myself when I plan dinners:
- Is it healthy?
- Is it easy to make?
- Is it cheap?
Of course, today, there are so, so, so, so many different takes on what constitutes a healthy meal.
But here’s mine: Real, unprocessed food, with a balance between protein, carbs, fats, and veggies.
I don’t hold to paleo, or Keto, or grains-are-bad, or zero sugar. I don’t buy 100% organic.
But I do want our food to be nutrition-dense. In fact, we have an entire meal planning membership dedicated to real food meal plans (you can see the preview here).
And I’m happy to say this easy unstuffed cabbage casserole recipe fits that criteria with it’s brown rice, ground beef (or turkey), cabbage, tomato-based sauce, and even the cheese.
The second criteria; is it easy to make?
Like I mentioned in keeping meal planning simple, for my meal plan to work, I need to fill it with easy meals that I know I’ll have time to get on the table.
I used to make cabbage rolls (back before I was a mom and time wasn’t as precious). But they were time consuming with the carefully steaming cabbage leaves, and rolling them up without tearing.
Then the eating – even that was hard! Cutting through a cabbage leaf, squishing filling out as you do it.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum is this cabbage roll casserole.
There’s a little chopping, a little cooking, a little mixing, and then a little baking and eating with a spoon.
And is it cheap? I love cheap meals! Casseroles like this one are one of the best ways to stretch your dollar, and another is soup.
But let’s look at the ingredients of this particular cabbage casserole:
- Cabbage – Typically 50-60 cents per pound. You’ll use about 1 lb.
- Ground meat – We find ground turkey for $1.25/lb in the freezer section of our grocery store. I see it at Walmart (again, frozen, not fresh) for $1.50 often. Ground beef is going to run at least double that. Yikes! So I use the turkey.
- Pasta sauce – I use either canned tomato sauce that I’ve added herbs to, or a jar of pasta sauce from Aldi, which is $0.89.
- Rice – I like to use brown rice (though my kids prefer white), which, at Walmart costs about $0.66/lb in the 5lb bag. You’ll be using about a pound.
- And then there’s about a cup of cheese on top. I typically pay $0.15-16/oz for cheese, so $1.28.
So, this casserole should end up costing about $6.18 without anything being on sale.
And it’s worth pointing out that this recipe serves our family of four at least 2 meals.
So if we add a simple salad on the side, we’re talking about $4 per meal.
That’s not bad. (and it’s one of the reasons I love rice!)
This is a recipe you’ll want to print out and keep in your recipe binder (and yes, you do need to have a paper recipe binder!).Print
Easy Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole Recipe
- 1 lb of cabbage
- 2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
- 1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
- 1 onion (optional – I usually don’t use it because my kids don’t like it)
- 1 18oz. jar of pasta sauce
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- Chop cabbage and lightly steam until crisp tender
- Meanwhile, cook rice according to directions
- Brown meat with onion (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350º
- When cabbage is done, drain off water, and add to ground beef
- Stir in cooked rice and pasta sauce
- Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
- Pour casserole into a 9×13 baking dish
- Sprinkle with cheese
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly
- Serve while hot