Cabbage Roll Casserole (almost as good as Baba’s!)

Routine is here as it is in the fall, and one of my challenges has been to get a dinner on the table despite the days where we’re in three different directions with three kids. I love my slow-cooker, and love getting recipe suggestions from friends or from an online share on social media. What did our parents and grandparents do when they were looking for new recipe ideas? In my mom’s case, I’m sure she would have asked her mother or sisters for their favorites, though there are many recipes that are classic family recipes of hers that I’d eat again and again because she still makes it best.

One of those classic mom recipes is cabbage rolls. My mom’s Romanian heritage means she’s been making them since she was married at age 18 and I love them so much. At almost 80, she still enjoys making them but I’ve now found a way to make a close-to-the-same dish at home for my own family so I don’t have to ask her for a freezer full of cabbage rolls and cherish the dishes we DO get when we visit instead. I will tell you up-front, this recipe isn’t quite the same as my mom’s Romanian cabbage rolls, but it does the trick when you have a craving and my family loves it too

There’s some debate on what makes a traditional cabbage roll and it’s sometimes cultural or family specific. My mom has always made cabbage rolls with rice and bacon. The first time I tasted a cabbage roll with ground beef inside, I was surprised but loved it. I’ve taken it one step further and created a recipe for our household using ground turkey in a cabbage roll casserole

Turkey is a delicious and versatile protein and yes – has so many more recipe uses than just that delicious roasted turkey at holiday dinners. You can use turkey in your favorite, everyday recipes, and I’ve found that it certainly helps when I’m meal planning and trying to switch things up a bit. Roast, bake, fry or grill – there’s so many ways to incorporate turkey into your family recipes. And, I like knowing that when you Think Turkey (creative slogan, right?), you’re supporting Canadian turkey farms – that’s important to me

Ground turkey is incredibly lean to cook with – did you know that ground turkey has just over half the fat of lean ground beef? I am always surprised when frying ground turkey how little fat there is in the pan, if any, and oftentimes I don’t even need to drain it! So – you can indulge in your favorite recipes knowing you’re cutting the fat at your protein source with ground turkey, which is what I did here. OK, enough chatter – here’s my delicious recipe:

Recipe: Cabbage Roll Casserole with Ground Turkey

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, diced (I like bigger chunks though!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans tomato soup
1 can water (using soup can)
½ cup long grain white rice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag coleslaw mix


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook ground turkey until browned, drain if needed (you likely won’t need to!)
  3. Return turkey to pan and add in all remaining ingredients except coleslaw.
  4. Stir, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, giving it a stir every 5 minutes or so.
  5. In a casserole dish, layer half the bag of coleslaw on the bottom, then half the meat/sauce mixture, then coleslaw, then meat/sauce mixture.
  6. Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Easy right? This is the perfect casserole for busy fall days, when you need something wholesome and delicious on the table quickly that will satisfy hungry tummies! To save even more time, fry up the ground turkey the evening before or morning-of and store in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare the sauce mixture later

If you try out this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! You can find a huge selection of turkey recipes at to further inspire you this fall.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Turkey Farmers of Canada. All opinions and commentary are, as always, my own.


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