Low Fat Ground Beef Casserole Recipe

Linda Johnson Larsen
Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage with Meatballs
Sweet and Sour Unstuffed Cabbage with Meatballs

Ingredients for Low Fat Ground Beef Casserole Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 1 (8 ounce) package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
  • 1/4 cup soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage and sliced mushrooms; cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs and eggs in a medium bowl. Add the extra lean ground beef, salt, marjoram, and pepper and mix gently but thoroughly.
  5. Form the beef mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  6. When the cabbage mixture is done, remove from the skillet and place in a 13" x 9" glass baking dish.
  7. Top with the cooked rice.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, honey, mustard, lemon juice, and dried cranberries to the skillet. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  9. Drop the meatballs into the tomato mixture. Do not stir. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Spoon the tomato and meatball mixture over the rice in the baking dish.
  11. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling.
  12. Top each serving with some sour cream and the chives.

Serves 8

Nutrition Per Serving

Nutrition calculated at My Fitness Pal. Per each of the 8 servings, this recipe has:

  • 388 calories
  • 41 grams carbohydrates
  • 11 grams fat (25.5% calories from fat)
  • 21 grams protein

It also has 670 mg sodium, 21 grams sugar, 62% DV (daily value of) Vitamin C, 19% DV Vitamin A, and 24% DV Iron.

Variations and Tips

  • To cook the wild rice, combine 3/4 cup rinsed wild rice in a saucepan with 3 cups water or chicken stock. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 45 to 55 minutes or until the rice is tender but still chewy.
  • To cook the brown rice, combine 3/4 cup brown rice with 2-1/2 cups water or chicken stock. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes until tender.
  • The meatballs are not browned before they are added to the sauce. Because extra lean ground beef is used, not much fat is added to the recipe.
  • To save time, you could use frozen precooked meatballs in place of the homemade ones. Look for low fat meatballs in the freezer section of your supermarket.
  • You could add more vegetables to this casserole. Chopped red bell peppers or zucchini would be a good addition to the cabbage mixture.
Low Fat Ground Beef Casserole Recipe