This is the easiest (and tastiest) unstuffed cabbage casserole ever. Why? No cabbage chopping/shredding required! Instead, I take the short-cut of using bagged cole slaw mix to cut down on prep time. Ain’t nobody got time to hand-shred cabbage. ~Erin
2 bags (16 oz. each) tri-color cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrots)
1 ½ T. minced garlic, divided
1 T. olive oil
2 ½ tsp. salt, divided
1 ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided
1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. oregano
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella
Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional
Cook brown rice according to package directions; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large, high-sided skillet, saute both bags of cole slaw mix in 1 T. olive oil until it’s wilted to about half its size (about ten minutes), stirring occasionally. Add 1 ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in the process of stirring. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ½ T. minced garlic until browned; then drain beef.
Add thyme, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and stir to combine.
Spray a 9×13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer ingredients starting with half the coleslaw cabbage, then half the meat/tomato/rice mixture, and one cup cheese. Repeat with the last half of cabbage, then meat/tomato/rice mixture but reserve the 2 cups of remaining cheese.
Bake for 25 or until hot and bubbly. Spread the top evenly with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle each serving with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Weight Watchers Info.: This makes 8 servings at 7 Freestyle points per serving.