Cabbage Lasagna

by Sandra Merville Hart

It’s that time of year when folks are counting their calories and/or carbs. I saw a quick video of a cook making this lasagna and decided to try it with ingredients at hand.

This is a delicious low-carb meal that I’ll make again.

1 head of Cabbage

2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 lb. ground beef

2 cans crushed or diced tomatoes

1 cup shredded carrots

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp. dried oregano

Black pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup Ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil

Salt

1 egg, beaten

First, separate the leaves of an entire head of cabbage into stacks. This may take a few minutes.

Add a teaspoon of salt to a large pot of water and begin to boil.

  1. Pour a thin coat of olive oil in a deep skillet—start with 2 tablespoons and add enough to cover the bottom. Next, sauté the carrots and onions together. I didn’t have shredded carrots so I used sliced baby carrots. I also didn’t have an onion so I substituted diced green onions. If you do this, sauté the carrots alone for about 3 minutes, adding the green onions for about a minute.
  2. Add to this mixture the ground beef, oregano, and black pepper. (I used ½ teaspoon of pepper. Use more or less to your taste.)  Brown this over medium high heat.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add 2 cloves of minced garlic. (I didn’t have garlic on hand, so I skipped this step.)
  4. Add basil and 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. I used diced tomatoes and simply broke them down with a wooden spoon while it cooked. I also added 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions for color and flavor. Lower heat to simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
  5. As soon as the large pot of water is boiling, cook a few cabbage leaves at a time. Use a slotted spoon to remove them once they soften and set them gently to the side because these are your lasagna noodles. Keep the larger leaves separate because you will use them first. This step took longer than I imagined, so allow at least 20 minutes. Keep the water boiling on high and more water may be needed in the pot as it boils down.
  6. When the meat mixture is done simmering, turn off the heat and stir in the beaten egg.
  7. Choose a deep round or square dish so you can make multiple layers. Spray it lightly with cooking spray.
  8. Now you are ready to assemble the lasagna. Select one large leaf to lay on the bottom center. Next, overlap the largest cabbage leaves from the middle so that they go up the sides of the dish, lining it all around and over the top until the dish is completely covered. (You will tuck the pieces hanging over the top onto the lasagna later.)
  9. Spoon on a layer of meat. The add spoons of ricotta cheese in several spots, but no need to cover the meat. Then sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over the ricotta. Next add a layer of cabbage leaves—no need to go up the sides for this layer.
  10. Repeat step 9 above twice. Make sure that the top pieces of cabbage cover the whole dish well, for when you turn it over after baking, it’s the bottom layer. Then tuck the original cabbage pieces hanging over the sides over it.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour.
  12. Allow it to cool 5 – 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.

This was a very tasty meal. I have to admit that I missed the garlic flavor so I’ll add it next time. I will also add an extra teaspoon of oregano when I make it next because it wasn’t a strong enough flavor.

I loved eating this low-carb lasagna and found it a comforting meal. My husband doesn’t eat lasagna so I had leftovers for lunch for a few days. I didn’t get tired of it!

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