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a white bowl with meatballs and cabbage in tomato sauce

Oven Baked Cabbage and Meatballs {Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls}

  • Author: Agnieszka
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Oven Baked Cabbage and Meatballs is an easy, family friendly weeknight dinner that takes a delicious but time-consuming dish and turns it into delicious meatballs baked in flavorful tomato and cabbage sauce, no stuffing required!


Units Scale

1.5 lb ground lean pork (or beef or turkey)
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 yellow or white onion, large, sliced into half or quarter circles
1 large garlic clove, crushed or minced
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 x 14oz cans)
1 head small to medium green cabbage, chopped
1 8oz can tomato sauce
½ cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dry marjoram
1 tsp salt


  1. Heat the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and get a 9x13 casserole dish ready.
  2. Sauté onion in oil in a deep skillet with a heavy bottom or a dutch oven for about 2 minutes, then add chopped cabbage and keep cooking until softened, about 5-7 more minutes.
  3. Add diced canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth, and cook together on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Make the meatballs. In a large bowl mix together raw ground meat, cooked brown rice, the egg, marjoram, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and mix with your fingers until combined. Don’t overmix!
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop the meat and rice mixture balls onto a tray or a plate and roll into meatballs the size of a golf ball with wet fingers.
  6. Assemble the casserole. Pour half of the cabbage tomato sauce in a 9x13 casserole dish. Place the raw meatballs in the sauce in one layer, top with remaining sauce and cover with tin foil.
  7. Bake covered in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover, bake 10-15 more minutes and serve hot!


To make 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice you will need half a cup of dry brown rice.

You can swap brown rice for white rice if you'd like.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Cuisine: Polish

Keywords: cabbage and meatballs, baked cabbage and meatballs, Polish meatballs, unstuffed cabbage rolls, golabki