Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

I can count on one hand the number of times that I've ever eaten stuffed cabbage.  The last time was at my mom's not too long ago.  While I like to eat it, I don't like all the work that the dish seems to involve.  When I found this recipe I bookmarked it immediately and finally got around to making it.  It still seemed pretty time consuming (although I've never made stuffed cabbage the traditional to be able to compare) to me.  This is definitely NOT a quick weeknight meal.  However, once it's cooked it's pretty tasty!  We had enough leftovers for lunch the next day and for me to give some to my parents and brother!  The kids unfortunately weren't big fans, as expected.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
recipe adapted from Mostly Food and Crafts

2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lb ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups cooked white rice
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large glass casserole dish (9 x 13) with non-stick spray. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the ground turkey to it. Cook until it's browned and no longer pink, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground turkey and set aside. In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil and onion and saute over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground turkey. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

While the mixture simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage into small pieces. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, mixing it a few times so all the pieces begin to wilt and cook. Season with salt and black pepper. Once the sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, add in the 2 cups of cooked rice and combine.

Now begin to layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture into the sprayed dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and begins to slightly brown.

Family Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

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