This flavorful cabbage casserole has all the flavors of stuffed cabbage, but with much less work. This lower-carb version omits the rice and adds cayenne – I added it at the last minute and I think it really enhances the dish.
I like to use the Pomi brand of chopped tomatoes because the packaging is BPA free, the tomatoes contain no added sugar or salt, and also because these Italian tomatoes are sweeter than American canned diced tomatoes.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium green cabbage, roughly chopped (1 lb. raw, 4 cups cooked)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion (6oz), chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (26 oz) container Pomi chopped tomatoes, drained (22 oz after draining); or equivalent amount of drained diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart (7 X 11-inch) baking dish with olive oil.
- Place the chopped cabbage in a colander. Wash it but do not dry. The water adhering to the cabbage will allow it to steam. Place in a large pot, cover, and turn heat to high. When cabbage starts to steam, lower heat to medium and steam until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and the onion and cook until beef is browned, about 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, paprika, thyme and cayenne and cook 30 seconds, stirring.
- Add the drained tomatoes, salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring often, 5-10 minutes, or until liquids have evaporated. Turn heat off and stir in the cooked cabbage until well-incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, pressing on it to flatten. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, until casserole is bubbly and cheese is browned. Carefully tilt baking dish into the sink and pour out any extra liquid. Allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.