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Noodle-Free Lasagne Made With Hamburger Recipe

Cabbage Lasagne?

I suppose you can make lasagne out of anything you like, but I myself use cabbage. Since being diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, I had to change up my eating habits. I still love pasta, but I can only eat it in moderation—and lasagne is one of my favorite dishes to eat. I was meandering on Facebook one day and came across a video of someone preparing lasagne. I watched because I love to cook, and to my amazement, they were using cabbage leaves instead of the normal noodles. Since I am the main cook in our household, I asked my wife one night if she would like lasagne for dinner. She was delighted at the idea—until I told her it was going to consist of cabbage, not regular lasagne noodles.

My Approach to Cooking

Now I'm the type of cook who doesn't follow the regular rules of following a recipe. Mainly this is because the serving sizes are too small (I am a big guy), or I do not have all the necessary ingredients the recipe calls for. So I will scan the recipe, take from it what I can, and come up with my own reflection of the desired meal I want to create. I had made the regular noodle lasagne for many years, and I thought that my usual recipe would be sufficient for the job—all I had to do was replace the noodles with the cabbage leaves. I washed the cabbage, pulled off the outer leaves to get to the fresher ones, and cut down through the bottom half of the head of cabbage to release the leaves from the heart. I layered everything as you normally do when preparing lasagne, and into the oven it went.

Take One

Here comes the hard part. When we sat down to eat, the dish smelled really good... but after one bite nobody continued to eat. Following my old lasagne recipe, I didn't account for the fact that the cabbage leaves would require additional cooking time. The leaves were still hard, especially the leaves that had the large vein in the middle. My family ate the other items we had on the table that evening, but I had to put the basically untouched cabbage lasagne back in the fridge. Don't laugh, I hate to throw out edible food—even if I had to remove the leaves and eat the rest as a soup.

The Remedy

After it sat in the refrigerator for two days, I told myself that all it needed was more time in the oven. So, I put it back in at 350 degrees and cooked it for another hour. Well, I have to tell you that it was the best lasagne I have ever made considering the time that went into it. The next time I try this I will probably cut the vein right out of the leaf before layering the lasagne—and be sure to give it some extra cook time in the oven.

Take Two: Oh, So Good!

I couldn't believe how fast the lasagne was devoured! Not only did my wife want me to make the lasagne again, she had me make it for one of her work parties, and it was a hit there, also. My own mother-in-law had seconds and thirds, and you know how hard it is to please the in-laws.


  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 16oz jar pasta sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tblsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 16oz ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Brown the hamburger meat in a large skillet, along with the salt, pepper, mushroom, onion, and garlic.
  2. Drain the grease from the skillet and add the pasta sauce. Return the skillet to a low heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, add the beaten eggs to the ricotta cheese in a separate bowl with the basil and mix together and set aside.
  4. Carefully cut the base of the cabbage to release the leaves. Pull the leaves off and remove the large veins or shave them down.
  5. Using a 13" x 9" pan, start layering with the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cabbage leaves.
  6. When the pan is close to half full, make 1 layer of just the egg and ricotta mixture. Then continue layering to the top of the pan.
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. About 10 minutes from finishing remove the foil so the top of the lasagne can brown.
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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

1 hour 45 min

2 hours 45 min

Serves four to five people

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