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5 Ingredient Italian Beef and Cabbage Casserole

This low carb 5 ingredient Italian beef and cabbage casserole is a delicious meal that you’ll want to make often. You can stick to the recipe below or add a few of your favorite Italian spices and seasonings.

Pan and plate of Italian beef and cabbage casserole topped with pepperoinis

It’s made with simple ingredients that you can find in any grocery store. And if you’re making this for a large group, all you need to do is double the recipe and put it in a bigger casserole dish. 

I love the fact that this is low carb. Instead of pasta, you have cabbage noodles that are just as tasty and a whole lot more nutritious. It’s also one of my easy keto recipes for those times when I need to drop a few pounds.

Easy Cabbage Casserole Recipe

This easy recipe is ideal for so many different occasions. Whether you’re cooking for friends or making a weeknight family dinner, you can save time without sacrificing flavor. 

Don’t be surprised if this becomes a family favorite and your spouse or kids ask for it often. Yes, it’s that good. And it’s a budget friendly recipe that serves a lot of people!

It’s the perfect easy keto dinner that everyone in the entire family will enjoy, even if they’re not following the same plan as you. I know that I don’t enjoy making multiple meals on busy nights.

Although you can make everything from scratch, I took the easy way out. I purchased prepackaged coleslaw mix and used jarred marinara. If I had any of this homemade marinara sauce, I would have used that.

A beef and cabbage casserole has some similarities to these traditional cabbage rolls from Small Town Woman. The biggest difference is that you don’t have to spend time parboiling the cabbage and then rolling the meat into the cabbage.

Low Carb Italian Beef and Cabbage Casserole Ingredients

I keep things super simple by using prepared ingredients that make this an easy recipe. However, you can tweak this recipe if you don’t have the convenient ingredients.

ground beef and coleslaw mix

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Ground beef
  • Shredded cabbage (or packaged coleslaw mix or cabbage shreds)
  • Marinara sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Pepperoni slices (optional)
marinara, shredded cheese, and pepperoni slices

I like 80/20 ground beef because I think that the fat adds flavor. However, you can use lean ground beef if you prefer.

I’ve made this with ground turkey as well, and it turns out delicious. But it has a slightly different flavor.

Use either jarred or this homemade marinara.

Other types of beef are good. You can make it with a top-blade roast, chuck roast, bottom round roast or whatever you can find on sale. Just make sure to use small meat slices or shred it.

If you don’t have marinara, you can use tomato sauce, tomato paste, or even tomato juice if that’s what you have. Then add other ingredients. For example you can add any of these things:

  • Italian seasoning blend
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Chili powder (for a completely different flavor that’s also delicious)
  • Salt (kosher salt or sea salt)
  • Black pepper
  • Beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • I’ve even added onion to it when I have more time. For this recipe, you’d need a medium onion that you dice into very small pieces.

Variations

You can add other ingredients if you like. However, some of them will add more net carbs. So if you’re following a low carb diet, you’ll want to leave them out.

Here are some things you can add if you like:

  • Potatoes (Yukon gold or red potatoes)
  • Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar cheese)
  • Breadcrumbs (for a crusty topping)

Prepare to Make Casserole

One of the things I love about this easy recipe is that you have the option of cutting the prep time by quite a bit if you use convenience foods. 

You’ll need a 7” x 11” casserole dish or baking pan. Or you can use a Dutch oven if you prefer. I’ve used both, and it still turns out great.

If you want to double this recipe, you’ll need a large baking dish—one that is at least 9” x 13”. 

Preheat your oven to 400˚ F. Then spray the bottom of your cooking vessel—baking pan, casserole dish, or Dutch oven. I also spray the sides of the pan. This saves a ton of time during cleanup.

Now you’re ready to start cooking your casserole. I like to put all of my ingredients out on the counter to make sure I have everything I’ll need.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make a Low Carb Italian Beef and Cabbage Casserole

Now it’s time to start cooking.

I used a nonstick skillet this time, but most of the time I use a cast iron skillet.

browning the ground beef

First, brown the ground beef in a separate frying pan.

browned ground beef

Drain the grease.

marinara sauce added to the browned ground beef

Next, pour the marinara sauce into the frying pan.

Stir the sauce and ground beef until it’s well mixed.

shredded cabbage coleslaw mix spread over the bottom of the greased baking pan

Now spread the shredded cabbage over the bottom of the greased casserole dish.

Make it as even as you can.

pouring the sauce over the cabbage in the baking pan

Pour the marinara and ground beef mixture over the cabbage shreds.

sauce spread evenly over the cabbage

Again, make sure there’s an even amount from one side to the other.

cheese sprinkled over the top of the casserole

Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.

You can use more than one type of cheese if you like.

This is all you need to do to have a delicious but low carb one-pan meal.

pepperoni slices on top of the shredded cheese

But I like to add something extra to the top, like pepperoni slices.

Other things you can add are diced green pepper, olives, or mushrooms. I’ve done that many times, and it’s delicious. But this time, we were in the mood for pepperoni.

baked low carb Italian beef and cabbage casserole

Put the casserole in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbly.

Remove the casserole from the oven and place it on a trivet. Let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes before serving. 

What to Do with Leftover Italian Beef and Cabbage Casserole

If you have a hungry family, chances are you’ll be able to eat the whole thing at one meal. However, I always like to make more than I think we’ll need.

serving of Italian beef and cabbage casserole with a pan in the background

Like most casseroles I make, this one is just as good the next day. Cover it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator. It’s good for 4 or 5 days.

You can also freeze it. When I freeze most casseroles, I transfer them to a freezer safe container and cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil. If you do this, make sure you label it and add the date. Use it within 3 months. 

This is the perfect meal to pull from the freezer on busy weeknights when you don’t feel like cooking something from scratch.

If you have a microwave at the office, put some in your bento box and bring it for lunch the next day. Heat it in the microwave for about a minute, and you’ll be the envy of the lunchroom.

See this recipe shared at Meal Plan Sunday, Full Plate Thursday and Weekend Potluck.

More Delicious Casseroles

Casseroles are one of our favorite styles of dinner. Not only are they usually a delicious blend of savory foods we love. But they also make it easy to cook a family meal.

Here are more of our favorites:

Meatless Stuffed Manicotti – Occasionally we have a meatless dinner, and this one is amazing. I like to add a side salad to complete the meal.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole – Serve this as either a side dish or add some protein to make it the main dish.

Salmon Casserole – You can make this with fresh cooked salmon. Or make it with canned salmon for a budget friendly meal.

Dutch Oven Pasta and Meatballs – Combine a few convenience foods for a meal your family will ask for often. It’s absolutely wonderful!

serving of Italian beef and cabbage casserole

Low Carb Italian Beef & Cabbage Casserole

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This easy Italian beef and cabbage casserole is an easy low carb meal that the family will love!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer)
  • 10 ounces shredded cabbage (or packaged coleslaw mix)
  • 12 ounces marinara sauce (1/2 jar of 24 ounce marinara)
  • 4 ounces shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or combination)
  • 12 pepperoni slices (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Spray bottom of 7” x 11” casserole dish or baking pan.
  2. Brown ground beef. Drain the grease.
  3. Pour the marinara sauce into the pan with the ground beef and stir.
  4. Pour the shredded cabbage into the greased casserole dish or Dutch oven. 
  5. Spread the ground beef and marinara mixture over the cabbage.
  6. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
  7. If you want pepperoni slices, place them over the top of the cheese.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. It will still be hot.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 346Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 91mgSodium 548mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 27g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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