This cabbage rice casserole with Savoy cabbage, rice, smoked bacon, and potatoes, has a crispy crust of breadcrumbs and the cheesiness of the melted mozzarella inside. The great combination of the flavor of the Savoy cabbage with the smokiness of the bacon is a win-win and all together is just a symphony of flavors.
This savory and delightful cabbage rice casserole recipe combines the rich flavors of savoy cabbage, rice, bacon, and mozzarella to create a comforting and satisfying dish.
Perfect for a cozy family dinner or as a hearty side, this casserole balances the slight bitterness of savoy cabbage with the creamy texture of mozzarella and the smoky taste of bacon. The rice provides a wonderful base, absorbing all the flavors and adding a pleasant chewiness to the dish.
Easy to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser, this casserole is a wonderful way to enjoy the unique taste of savoy cabbage in a delicious, homestyle meal. Whether you're looking for a new weeknight favorite or a dish to impress at your next gathering, this casserole is sure to delight your taste buds.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Savoy Cabbage: A variety of cabbage with crinkly leaves and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. You can substitute it with Kale, Swiss chard, or green cabbage. These alternatives offer similar textures with varying flavors.
- Rice: I used Risotto rice (like Carnaroli or Arborio), which has more starch, giving the casserole a creamier texture with some bite. You can substitute it with white rice.
- Onion: Yellow or white onion will add a foundational aromatic flavor, with a balance of sweetness and sharpness.
- Bacon: I used smoked bacon cubes for a smoky flavor. But you can substitute it with Italian sausage, turkey bacon, smoked tempeh, or smoked paprika with olive oil for a vegetarian option. These substitutes provide a similar smokiness.
- Cheese: Fresh mozzarella for melted cheesiness and freshly grated Parmesan for a delicious crust.
- Breadcrumbs: You can use plain breadcrumbs, flavored breadcrumbs with herbs, or use Pangrattato (Italian breadcrumbs) for a garlicky flavor.
- White Wine: White wine is used to give more flavor to the cabbage rice, but you can skip it.
- Vegetable Stock: Used as a cooking liquid, it adds more flavor than water.
What is Savoy Cabbage?
Savoy cabbage can be easily recognized for its crinkly emerald green leaves and is rich in fiber and vitamins. It pairs well with apples, salmon, meat, and cheeses like Parmigiano and mozzarella. It's really versatile, like most of the brassicas. Plus, a fresh whole cabbage will last up to 6 weeks in your fridge.
It's thought to be originally from the UK and the Netherlands, but its name comes from the Savoy region in France.
Unlike other cabbages, Savoy cabbage does not turn into mush when cooked. It has a firm texture which makes it ideal for timbales and roll-ups.
Check out this guide for more information on the different cabbages.
- Vegetarian: Substitute the bacon with a plant-based alternative like smoked tofu, smoked tempeh, or smoked paprika with olive oil.
- Pasta: Substitute the rice with orzo or another small pasta shape for a baked pasta dish.
- Creamy: If you want more creaminess, add ½ cup of heavy cream or bèchamel sauce to the cabbage rice.
- Spicy: Add some red chili pepper flakes to the rice for an extra spicy kick.
After the cabbage rice casserole has cooled down to room temperature, transfer it into an airtight container. If the casserole is large, consider dividing it into smaller portions for easier reheating. Store the casserole in the refrigerator where it will keep well for up to 3-4 days.
If you intend to freeze the cabbage rice casserole, it's best to do so in portion-sized containers for convenient thawing and reheating later. Use airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to store the casserole. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Remember to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat thoroughly before consuming.
Yes, you can easily make this dish vegetarian by substituting the bacon with smoked tempeh or mushrooms for a similar smoky flavor. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Absolutely! You can assemble the casserole a day in advance and refrigerate it. Just add a few minutes to the baking time if you're cooking it straight from the fridge.
A simple green salad, steamed vegetables, or crusty bread complements this hearty casserole well.
If you tried this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and share your thoughts in the comments. Your feedback means a lot to me! ★★★★★
Baked rice with Savoy cabbage
- 6 oz Risotto Rice
- 1 large Potato
- ½ Yellow Onion
- 5 oz Smoked Bacon cubes
- ½ medium Savoy cabbage
- 1 large Mozzarella
- 3 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese, grated
- ½ cup Breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil
- ¼ cup White Wine
- Vegetable or Delicate Stock
- Peel the potato and chop it into small cubes, then boil in slightly salted water for about 5 minutes.
- Finely chop the onion and add it in a large pan drizzled with olive oil. Fry it at high heat for 1 minute then add the rice and the shredded Savoy cabbage (remove the thick white center from the leaves). Once the rice is toasted (about 2 minutes) pour the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the rice with the stock and add more stock when it's completely absorbed. Halfway through the cooking, add the diced potatoes.
- When the rice is almost done, remove it from the heat and add a knob of butter and the Parmigiano cheese. Mix well and set aside.
- In a small pan quickly brown the bacon at high heat (it should not be too crispy though), then add it to the rice and mix. Add also the roughly chopped mozzarella.
- Transfer the rice into a baking pan or individual cocottes and cover with enough breadcrumbs. Add small curls of butter on top.
- Bake at 200°C (440°F) for about 10-15 minutes or until golden on top. Serve immediately.
RefrigeratingAfter the casserole has cooled down to room temperature, transfer it into an airtight container. If the casserole is large, consider dividing it into smaller portions for easier reheating. Store the casserole in the refrigerator where it will keep well for up to 3-4 days.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.