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Meat Sauce Layer

  •  ½ medium Yellow onion, small dice 
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef 
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 
  • ¼ tsp, black pepper 
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced 
  • 3 Cups Passata 
  • 1/2 C Water

Rice Layer

  •  4 slices bacon, thick cut, finely chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted 
  • 1 ½ Cups short grain rice 
  • ½ medium yellow onion, small dice 
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock, unsalted 
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper 
  • ¼ Cup Dill, fresh chopped 

Cabbage Layer

  •  8 Cups Green Cabbage, chopped, 1” dice (about half of a large sized cabbage) 
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted, melted 
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt 


Meat Layer

  1. In a large non-stick pan over medium high heat, brown together beef, onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Once cooked, add passata (using ½ Cup water to rinse passata jar) and simmer over low for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat and set aside until required 

Rice Layer:

  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, fry the bacon until edges are starting to brown and bacon is lightly sticking to bottom of pot, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a separate bowl, leaving about 1 Tbsp of bacon fat in the pot. Discard excess bacon fat. 
  2. Add butter to hot pot. Once butter has melted and become foamy, add onion and uncooked rice. Stirring constantly, cook rice and onions for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant and onions have softened. 
  3. Add salt and pepper. Slowly add about 1 cup of the chicken stock and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to “deglaze” any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in remaining stock and bring to a boil. Once stock has reached a boil, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 18-20 minutes until rice is cooked through. 
  4. Once rice is cooked and all liquid has been absorbed, fold in bacon and a tablespoon of the chopped dill. Transfer rice to a flat sheet pan or plate to cool, prevent further cooking. Set aside until required. 

Cabbage Layer

  1. In a large bowl, toss together chopped cabbage, melted butter and salt until evenly coated and the layers of cabbage have separated. Set aside until required. 


  1.  Oven at 350°F. Grease a deep sided 4 qt. 9 x 13 casserole dish with butter or oil. Layer half of the rice mixture on bottom of pan. Follow with layering half of the buttered cabbage, then top with half of the meat sauce then sprinkle half of the remaining dill over the top of the sauce. 
  2. Repeat with remaining ingredients. (It’s ok if the layers mingle with each other, they don’t have to be perfectly separate) finishing with the last half of the dill on the top. 
  3. Cover casserole with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving. 


Long grain rice can also be used, but short grain contains more starches, which allow a creamier texture, similar to risotto. 

Dried dill can also be used instead of fresh dill. 

Meat and Rice components can be made in advance but avoid making the cabbage component too early or else the salt will draw excess moisture out of the cabbage and it’ll become too soggy. 

Tastes JUST like cabbage rolls!

Curated by Anna Borys for the October 22, 2022 episode of Great Tastes of Manitoba.

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