Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Thought this would be a good dish to make. Reminded me of the stuffed cabbage my Grandma used to make. But this tasted nothing like my Grandma’s. I actually did not care for this dish… But you might…

Recipe

2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped fine
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1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
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1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add ground beef
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and cook until it’s browned and cooked through,
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breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground beef and set aside.
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In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil, chopped onion and cook
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over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic,
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dried thyme, and paprika
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and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice,
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tomato sauce,
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and ground beef.
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Add water to the pan. Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

While it simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook
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over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked,
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turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.
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Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and the layer half the cabbage,
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half the meat mixture,
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remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes,
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or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese (if using.)
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Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.

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