Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

I headed over to my friend Meghan’s house Friday night with a bunch of random items from my fridge to see what we could come up with. We ended up making this delicious deconstructed stuffed cabbage. Normally for stuffed cabbage, you wrap up the filling inside a cabbage leave and bake it in the oven, but we just chopped up the cabbage and cooked it all together in a casserole dish. It was a fast and easy, and really delicious! We ate it over a bed of fresh spinach and a good squeeze of lemon on top.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 small shallot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and shaved into strips
1 small cabbage, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
2 cups Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped
2 cups cooked rice pilaf (or grain of your choice)
14.5oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Good pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon 5-spice powder (cinnamon, fennel, star anise, clove, white pepper)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start by blanching the cabbage until softened. Drain and set aside. Make the rice and also set that aside.

In a large pan, saute the beef with the onion, shallot, and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through. Next, add the diced tomatoes, followed by all the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Next, add the cooked rice, cabbage, carrots, Swiss chard, and lemon juice. Cook for another 5 minutes. Pour half of the mixture into a casserole dish, then sprinkle with a layer of Parmesan cheese, top with the rest of the mixture, and another later of cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Serve as is or over some fresh spinach like we did!

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