Finnish Lihakaalilaatikko - Meat and Cabbage Casserole

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

Absolutely delicious! It's what I make when I want creamy cabbage rolls, but is much easier to make. Good for potlucks! Adapted from a recipe from "The Finnish Cookbook" by Beatrice A. Ojakangas.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot, simmer the cabbage in boiling water to cover until tender-crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes; drain.
  3. Remove from heat and add the onion, butter, syrup, salt, white pepper, marjoram, allspice, and nutmeg and stir well to combine.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, and eggs.
  5. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
  6. Place a layer of the cabbage mixture into the dish, then a layer or meat mixture; repeat until mixtures are used up, ending with the cabbage.
  7. Sprinkle with the Parmesan then bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
  8. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving, then serve alongside lingonberries, cranberry sauce, or currant jelly.
  9. Note: this is also good with 3/4 lb ground beef and 1/4 lb ground pork; you can also mix in about 1/2 cup of tomato-based pasta sauce into the cabbage mixture, if you're wanting tomato.


Most Helpful

I just made this because I was too lazy to make the cabbage rolls. It was great! I have used this recipe a couple times over the years but never reviewed it. I might try cooking the cabbage in the butter and onion instead of boiling as another reviewer mentioned next time to see what it does to the flavor. Thank you for posting!

Wobin February 12, 2015

I used a bag of coleslaw mix instead of shredding the cabbage myself, and I cooked it in the butter with the onion instead of boiling it. Also, I only had Italian breadcrumbs, so I used half those and half wheat germ. And per Steingrim's suggestion I did half beef, half pork. I left out the nutmeg because I don't like it, and I forgot the molasses. I had my doubts while it was baking after all the liberties I took, but it was a hit! My picky six year old even said it was the best meatloaf ever. So next time I make it, and there WILL be a next time, I'm going to follow the recipe a bit closer.

OKRaeRae May 11, 2010

This was like a twist on a meatloaf - liked it better cold the next day.

karen in tbay April 02, 2006

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