2 lbs. ground beef 900 g
1 white onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 24 oz. jars marinara sauce (680 g)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups cooked white rice
4 bacon strips cooked and crumbled
1 medium head cabbage 2 lbs., shredded (900 g)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and generously grease a 9×13-inch (22×33 cm) baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and chopped onion until the meat is cooked through. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Drain any excess grease, then stir in one jar of marinara sauce, along with the thyme, dill, sage, salt, pepper, bacon, and cooked rice. Allow the flavors to meld together by simmering for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Line the bottom of the greased baking dish with a third of the shredded cabbage. Evenly spread half of the meat/rice mixture over the cabbage. Layer another third of the cabbage on top, followed by the remaining meat mixture and the final third of cabbage.
Pour the remaining jar of marinara sauce over the top, ensuring the entire dish is well covered. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the cabbage to soften.
Remove the foil, sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese evenly over the top, and return the casserole to the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
Let the casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. This waiting time allows the flavors to settle and ensures each bite is as delicious as the last.
For a lighter version, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef.
Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as cheddar or Swiss, for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated the next day, making this dish a fantastic option for meal prep.