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This stuffed cabbage casserole recipe is a hearty vegetarian dinner. It’s a delicious combination of leeks, tomatoes, cabbage, and mozzarella.
Napa cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables that comes as part of my farm share. I’m always happy to see it in my weekly share, and if there are extras in the trade bin, I grab them.
It should really be called an “unstuffed cabbage roll casserole,” since the cabbage doesn’t actually get rolled. This is an easier version than traditional vegetarian cabbage rolls, but it’s just as delicious.
Leeks go so well with cabbage, and the tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella give this dish a complex flavor without a lot of seasonings. It’s a bit surprising how delicious this cabbage casserole recipe is.
You can make this stuffed cabbage casserole with regular fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella. It tastes delicious either way, but buffalo mozzarella can be easier to digest if you have trouble with dairy.
This is a vegetarian dish, but stuffed cabbage rolls traditionally include ground meat. If you want the more traditional version, you can add cooked ground beef to this mixture for a meat-based cabbage casserole. Add the beef to the layers along with the tomato sauce.
Sprinkle the finished cabbage casserole with pine nuts or chopped walnuts if you’d like, along with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly this unique casserole disappears.
Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
- 2 lbs Napa cabbage
- 1 tbs olive oil divided
- 4 small leeks white and light green parts sliced (2 cups)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 28 oz can tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup or sweetener of choice
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
- 1 tbs pine nuts or chopped walnuts for garnish optional
- Remove the leaves from a head of Napa cabbage (except the smallest middle leaves - you’ll use about 18 leaves from a 2 pound cabbage). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and boil them until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the leeks and broth. Cover, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and set the leeks aside.
- While the leeks are cooking, place the tomatoes in another skillet, and stir in the salt and maple syrup. Heat the mixture over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until most of the liquid is gone.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.
- Layer the food in the 9 x 13 pan as follows: place half the cabbage in the baking dish, followed by half the tomato sauce, half the leeks, and half the sliced mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer in the same order, saving a bit of tomato sauce to sprinkle on top.
- Bake the casserole for 25 minutes, or until it begins to turn brown at the edges and the cheese has melted. Garnish with pine nuts or walnuts and fresh herbs, if desired. Serve warm.
Cabbage Casserole Recipe Price Breakdown
This recipe costs $10.11 to make, or $1.69 per serving. Try this unstuffed cabbage roll casserole recipe for a unique, flavorful meal full of veggies.
Note: This post was originally published in 2012, and it was updated in 2019.