Cabbage Roll Casserole/Soup


  • 1/3 c brown rice, dry (uncooked)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (~1/4 c)
  • 1 12-oz package soy crumbles (fresh or frozen, either is fine)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • Water
  • Optional: salt, black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  • Spray an 8″x8″ glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Layer the ingredients in the prepared dish in this order: brown rice, cabbage, onion, soy crumbles.
  • Pour the can of tomato sauce into a bowl. Fill the now-empty can with water, and pour the water into the same bowl. Whisk the tomato sauce and water together, then pour the mixture evenly over the casserole.
  • Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 1 hour.
  • After the hour has elapsed, remove the foil, and bake the casserole uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Season individual servings with salt &/or pepper as desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 215 calories, 1 g fat,
36 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 21 g protein.

The casserole, about to be put in the oven.

The casserole, right from the oven. (Looks a lot like the first picture, no?)

The first serving. Upon scooping it out, I realized the meal was more of a 'soup' than a 'casserole'.

The ratings:
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very Low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Incredibly Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Exceptionally Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Low
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Amazingly Low
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 0.6 (Only the tiniest bit better than the oh-so-sad Mexican Egg Muffins)

The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?

So I had this idea: What if cabbage rolls were easy to make? Like, super easy? As in, no steaming leaves, no cooking rice, no stuffing and rolling….what if it was as simple as dumping all of the ingredients into a dish, and forgetting about it for a while? (Then hopefully returning to find something tasty…)

Could a semi-labor-intensive recipe be transformed into something just that easy?

I wanted to find out.

So that’s exactly what I did.

I took the standard ingredients for a cabbage roll, did a tiny bit of chopping to give the cabbage a fighting chance at cooking, layered everything into a glass dish, placed it in the oven, and hoped for the best.


The end result wasn’t terrific.

At the end of 90 minutes of exposure to some pretty moderate heat, the rice was still hard, the cabbage was still crunchy, and the liquid hadn’t cooked down (so the dish was more of a soup than a casserole). Sad.

But. I think this idea still has some promise. If I were to do it again, I would probably use a crock pot instead of the oven, and cook everything on High for four hours instead of one. I’d also use just tomato sauce (no extra water). If those changes were made, could the dish be a success?

I think it’s possible. I don’t think this concept will ever be as good as real cabbage rolls, but I think it might have promise to be a decent second place (for a lot less effort).

But this recipe, the one that you just read – yeah, don’t make it. It’s not very good. ;)


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
This entry was posted in "hamburger", cabbage, postaweek2011, rice, soy crumbles, stew, vegetables, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cabbage Roll Casserole/Soup

  1. Lol. “yeah, don’t make it. It’s not very good.”

    From the photo it looks great. :)

    Oh well, back to the drawing board. ;)


    • Stef says:

      I know, I was really excited when it came out of the oven! Alas, this version wasn’t terrific. But perhaps in a few months I might tackle it again (with some pretty significant tweaks). Then again, maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see. :)


  2. Pingback: Lentil & Vegetable Frittata | Savory Sundays

  3. It is a great idea! I’d like to try it.
    My cousin makes a vegetarian cabbage soup that tastes like cabbage rolls. He dumps all of the ingredients into a pressure cooker.


    • Stef says:

      I don’t own a pressure cooker – but I think that could make all the difference. Or, I could not be lazy and actually *cook* the rice before I assemble the rest of the ingredients. ;) If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Thanks for reading, and for commenting – I appreciate it! :)


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