Spanish Unrolled Cabbage Casserole

READY IN: 3hrs 20mins


  • 1lbground sirloin (or low-fat ground beef)
  • 1lbground pork (or italian sausage)
  • 2sweet onions, coarsely chopped(can substitute white or yellow onions)
  • 3tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2headscabbage, coarsely chopped, divided in half
  • 2fresh jalapenos, sliced(de-seed them if you like it less spicy)
  • 1red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 7ounceschipotle chiles in adobo, chopped(more or less to taste)
  • 28ounces san marzano peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped(do not drain)
  • 14ounces diced Italian tomatoes
  • 3cupsbeef stock (can substitute chicken flavor)
  • 1tablespoongarlic powder
  • 1tablespoononion powder
  • 2tablespoonschili powder
  • 2tablespoonscumin
  • 1tablespoondried rosemary
  • 1tablespoondried thyme
  • 1teaspoonallspice
  • 1teaspooncayenne (more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2cupsbrown rice (cooked with broth for flavor)

    Serving Size: 1 (697) g

    Servings Per Recipe:8

    Calories: 557

    Calories from Fat 186 g 33 %

    Total Fat 20.7 g 31 %

    Saturated Fat 7.4 g 37 %

    Cholesterol 77.8 mg 25 %

    Sodium 495.8 mg 20 %

    Total Carbohydrate64.3 g 21 %

    Dietary Fiber 11.9 g 47 %

    Sugars 14.2 g 56 %

    Protein 31.6 g 63 %


  • 1) In a heavy skillet, add the onions and meats. Brown the meats until they have dark brown, crispy bits. That dark caramelization on the meat is caused by the "Maillard Reaction," and is essential for depth of flavor, especially in crock pot or pressure cooking. I prefer to brown each of the meats separately to maintain their distinct flavors and textures, but if you’re pressed for time, you can do both at once.
  • 2) Drain the grease from the mixture and add it to your slow cooker (6 qt or larger is recommended.).
  • 2) Set aside one of the heads of chopped cabbage and the cooked rice.
  • 3) Add all of the other ingredients to the crock pot. Stir gently. Cook on high for 2 hours (or 4 hours on low.).
  • 4) Check seasonings and add more to taste. Add the remaining cabbage and cook for one hour. This method allows half the cabbage to cook down into the stew, and the other half to stay slightly more crisp and green, which adds texture and dimension to your dish.
  • 5) Remove from heat, stir in the previously cooked brown rice, and serve. (You can use any kind of rice, but I find that brown rice has a chewy texture that complements the soft casserole nicely, and it has more nutrition than white rice.).
  • TIPS: You can top this casserole with a variety of yummy toppings to create some interest. I like it with shredded cheddar cheese, green or red onions, sour cream, and/or crushed tortilla chips.
  • The leftovers taste even better, and you can freeze this dish for up to 3 months.
  • To save time, you can replace all the dried spices with 2-3 packets of chili or taco seasoning.
  • This dish is mildly spicy, but if you have a non-spicy dietary restriction or picky eaters, you can omit the cayenne pepper, and the chipotle chilies, but I would replace them with an additional tablespoon of chili powder, which is not spicy but adds flavor.
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