Cabbage Roll Casserole



2 lbs ground beef
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jars (24 oz each) of marinara sauce
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, crispy and crumbled
1 medium (2 lbs) cabbage, finely shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
The Crafting of Cabbage Roll Casserole:

Preheat your oven to 375°F and thoroughly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or nonstick spray.

Over medium heat, brown your ground beef and onion in a large skillet until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Add in the garlic and let it sizzle for another minute.

Drain the excess grease. Stir in a jar of marinara sauce, thyme, dill, sage, salt, and pepper. Bring this savory mix to a boil, cover, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crispy bacon and cooked rice into the mix, and then take it off the heat.

Layer a third of the shredded cabbage at the bottom of the pre-greased baking dish. Top it evenly with half of the beef and rice mixture. Layer another third of the cabbage, the remaining beef mixture, and finally the last third of the cabbage.

Pour the remaining jar of marinara sauce all over the top. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and let it bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Uncover the dish, sprinkle with grated cheese, and return to the oven. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and melted, typically around 10-12 minutes.

Allow the casserole to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Relish the simple and comforting delight of your cabbage roll casserole. Bon Appétit!