cabbage and mushroom “lasagna”

In July, because I make no sense at all, I decided to knock an item off my To Cook list that’s been there since 2010, a golden, bubbling, layered dish of mushrooms, cabbage, thinly sliced potatoes bound with a bechamel sauce and topped with cheese. Talk about beach eats!

But a craving is a craving and I made it with the thought that we could try it, then freeze the rest until that whole December – January zone when the sun sets at approximately 3:32pm and the only way to endure it is to channel some Scandinavian coziness and make it, like, fashion. Candles! Thick sweaters! Tea, a good book, and soft music. Long-cooked winter vegetables snug in a rich casserole.

cabbage starts out prettychopped cabbbageblanched cabbage leavesthinly sliced potatoes

Instead, over a few days we finished the whole thing because it’s completely amazing. The recipe comes from the Marcus Jernmark, the Swedish chef who, at the time, helmed Aquavit, a high-end Scandinavian restaurant in midtown. The recipe made its way into a column by Elaine Louie that briefly ran in the New York Times called “The Temporary Vegetarian” that I followed with devotion. It’s not like a decade ago was dark times for vegetarians, but this column had a freshness to it, focusing on vegetable-forward and varied dishes with home cooks in mind, a few years before its time. (It later became a book).

cook the mushroomsadd the chopped cabbageadd the bechamelmushroom sauce

Jernmark explained that in the fall in Sweden, they eat cabbage, kale, and mushrooms, and he wanted to turn them into a seasonal, homey take on lasagna. Because I’m a pedant, I’m not entirely sold on the name. It seems as much a potato and vegetable gratin as anything else but I’m leaving it because it’s layered, and I have a thing for lasagnas outside the red sauce and ricotta cheese box, anyway.

cabbage leavespotatoesmushroom saucethen the cheese

It’s a bit of work, as can happen when three vegetables and a sauce are involved, but it’s honestly the perfect dish for laying low on a cold weekend: lush but not as nap-inducing as pasta-ed versions. And it’s excellent. The photos don’t do it justice, but it’s cooked cabbage, guys. It’s doing its best.

cabbage and mushroom "lasagna"


One year ago: Dutch Apple Pie
Two years ago: Brussels Sprouts, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad and Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche
Three years ago: Pecan Pie and Roasted Leek and White Bean Galettes
Four years ago: Classic Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce and Crispy Sweet Potato Roast
Five years ago: Cauliflower with Brown Butter Crumbs and Parsley Leaf Potatoes
Six years ago: Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Seven years ago: Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts
Eight years ago: Sweet Corn Spoonbread and Apple Latkes
Nine years ago: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie, Creamed Spinach and Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
Ten years ago: Cranberry Pecan Frangipane Tart, Mustard-Roasted Potatoes and Walnut Tartlets
Eleven years ago: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup, Chicken with Chanterelles and Pearl Onions, Pumpkin Waffles and Cream White Polenta with Mushrooms
Twelve years ago: No-Knead Bread, Tomato and Sausage Risotto, Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Ice Cream Cake Roll and Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad
1.5 Years Ago: Potatoes Anna and Strawberry Graham Icebox Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Confetti Cookies and Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt
3.5 Years Ago: Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake and Fake Shack Burger
4.5 Years Ago: Soft Pretzel Knots and Buns and Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas

Cabbage and Mushroom Lasagna

    There are three key things to know going into this dish:
  1. Seasoning is really key here. It’s winter vegetables, butter, milk, and cheese; it will not naturally boom with flavor. Make sure every element is gets the necessary salt and pepper and it will add up to something wonderful.
  2. I found mine got a little watery as it baked, because cabbage is watery. You can baste a little out, if you wish, or you can just let it go. As it cools, most will settle back around the vegetables and it shouldn’t seem too wet.
  3. I almost didn’t share this recipe because it’s got a bunch of steps, and a lot of vegetables to chop (the dish is all vegetables, after all), and thought nobody would want to make it, but it’s too delicious not to. So do as I do, put on your headphones, queue up The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, try to get your head around the fact that it’s now 20 years old, and you’ll be done before Mary J. Blige shows up.

  • 9 tablespoons (130 grams) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons (25 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (3 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups (630 ml) whole or lowfat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound (455 grams) assorted (shiitake, oyster, porcini, chanterelles, etc.) or just cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (I used less)
  • 2 pounds (905 grams) Napa cabbage, 12 large leaves removed from the head, and reserved, the remainder sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams, about 4) yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 cup (135 grams) grated Parmesan cheese, or Västerbotten (the chef’s preference).

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add flour, stir for 3 minutes (do not allow to brown), then gradually whisk in milk, stirring until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape sauce into a bowl, and reserve.

Wipe out sauté pan (rinse if needed) and melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, sage and sliced cabbage, and sauté until fragrant and the cabbage is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add wine and sauté until it has evaporated. Add reserved sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. The mixture should be very thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the mushroom and cabbage mixture is simmering, pour 6 cups of water into a stock pot, and bring to a boil. Add whole cabbage leaves, and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain under cold water, and pat dry on towels.

Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish or a lasagna pan of your choice (I used this, which is 8-by-12-inch) with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

To assemble the lasagna, line the bottom of the dish with half the cabbage leaves, and top with half the potatoes, half the creamed mushrooms. Repeat the layering of cabbage, potatoes and mushrooms, and top with grated cheese. Cover snugly with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until the top is golden brown and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes but up to 10 minutes longer if needed. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and serve.

Do ahead: I prepared the sauce and all of the vegetables and then ran out of time when I made this, stashing them in the fridge separately and baking it the next day, which works totally fine. You can also make the dish, chill it, and bake it when needed, and leftovers reheat well too. Finally, you could freeze the whole dish for a later date.

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161 comments on cabbage and mushroom “lasagna”

  1. smonakey

    That looks absolutely, deliciously comfort-foody. The kidlet doesn’t like mushrooms, but the Hubby & I do, so I’m going to have to give this a try.

    1. Lisa

      I’ve been looking for a recipe like this – it’s similar to the vegetarian “pot pie” in the college cafeteria — 40 years ago! Their pie also had quartered hard-boiled eggs, but no cheese. The crust was dense whole wheat.
      Looking forward to trying this recipe.

  2. Kristin

    Oh wow, I want to make this for my class, but it was just my turn for food this week. Now I have to wait until it’s my turn again, because my obnoxious family would not eat this amazing sounding dish!!

  3. Marcia

    When my grandmother blanched large cabbage leaves for her stuffed cabbage, she would arrange the leaves in a large colander and pour a kettle of boiling water over them. It always worked .This might make for one less pot,
    (or one more colander.)

    1. deb

      I considered this but I think a key thing is really trying to get as much liquid out of the cabbage as possible, or it will deposit itself in the sauce.

      1. Sarah

        Confused. How does submerging them in boiling water and then rinsing them in running water get the cabbage leaves less watery that pouring boiling water over them in a colander? It seems they’d get at least as waterlogged sitting for two minutes in the pot plus running under cold water as they would with one shower of hot water in a colander. Am I missing something?

    1. Ruth

      I made this lasagna yesterday night and added bacon (fried it first, then sauteed the mushrooms in the bacon fat). It tasted great and I definitely recommend it! I also substituted the béchamel with double cream but that’s just a personal preference.

  4. Susan Iseman

    Thanks Deb, I can’t wait to try this. We have a wonderful mushroom purveyor (Seacoast Mushrooms from Mystic) here at the Westport Farmer’s Market!

  5. Tina

    We just joined a Winter CSA and were told that we’d be getting cabbage, so am looking forward to making this dish. Looks yummy!

  6. Shara

    Napa cabbage (in Australia we call it Chinese cabbage or wombok) seems a strange choice here, I think of it as a salad or stir fry vegetable. It is also very wet so I wonder if white cabbage would be better or if there is a reason for the Napa?

    1. Françoise

      I’m guessing you could use other cabbage. I’d make sure that the white/green cabbage was thoroughly softened before layering as otherwise it might not cook through (I’m thinking of when its parcooked for making stuffed cabbage)

  7. Diana

    HDeb. This looks wonderful. Re: the baking dish; wouldn’t a 9×9 vs a 9×13 lasagna pan vs the 15×13 in your link produce very different outcomes? Just adjust the baking time or… re the density?


    1. the Viking Diva

      Same question here… I don’t see how the quantities can work well for both a 9×9 pan and the linked 10×15 pan. Also – for this much chopping and prepping I want to end up with leftovers!

      1. deb

        You’re so right — my bad. I pulled the wrong roasting pan link. Mine is, in fact, 8″x12″, i.e. much closer in volume to the 9″x9″ the chef called for, but a little bigger and you can see I have some room to spare. See here. Will fix in the recipe.

  8. Katerina

    Looks amazing, as usual. Question on potatoes – I always have trouble getting potatoes to the right level of “cooked” in the oven and the only time it works out for me is when the oven is at least 400F (most likely because I can never get them all cut to the same size, so there’ll always be some potatoes cooked and some not so much). So…would it be worth boiling them in water for, let’s say, 5 minutes or so before assembling the dish to be on the safe side?

    1. Abby Cohen

      I made this dish over the weekend, and indeed, the potatoes were not cooked, even having been thinly sliced with a mandolin, and having been baked for an hour. I plan to put the whole thing in the oven again this evening, and hope for a better result. Also, no joke about the seasoning. I added several teaspoons of salt and it was not enough.

      1. deb

        Pre-cooking the potatoes might work a bit. Definitely put it back in the oven if they’re not cooked through; it should be delicious once they’re tender.

        1. Katerina

          Update: made it over the weekend and just soaked the potatoes in the leftover hot water after blanching the cabbage while I was working on the rest of the dish (came out to about 15 minutes). Worked out! Can’t forget compliments to the “maker” – great recipe, Deb! :)

  9. Carla

    Visiting my folks in January. Definitely making this for my mom…who says she’s not a vegetarian, but refuses to eat meat..go figure!!! She’ll love this, with homemade bread, of course! Happy Holidays!!

  10. Tracy

    It does look delicious. I am wondering about a non-dairy version of the bechamel, as that may be too much dairy for my lactose sensitivity.

    1. marjotr

      I am sensitive to dairy too, especially “fresh” dairy (milk, mozzaralla, cream cheese…) but aged cheeses are easier on the stomach. I often opt to use olive oil/soy milk and then indulge with the tasty aged cheeses for gratins. Hope that’s helpful!

    2. dee

      You can use lactaid milk as well. And for the cheese – use pecorino romano – it’s a sheeps milk cheese and my lactose intolerant son has NO problems with it.

  11. Beth

    I’ve been doing a thing with vegetables lately (especially mushrooms) in which I put them in my 12” non stick pan on high heat with no oil or butter and let all the water cook out of them. I have to stir them frequently. As soon as they seem mostly dry I add whatever fat is in the recipe to the pan and give them a quick turn in that. It makes the flavors nice and concentrated and makes resulting dishes much less watery. When I make this I’m going to do that with the veggies for the sauce!

    1. janmorrison12

      I always do this with mushrooms, even for soups. I learned it from a chef. I wait until the pan is hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle then put mushrooms in – not too many or it defeats the purpose and roll them around until their skins are seared and then add butter or whatever else. It often makes for some fiddling and extra steps BUT it is always worth it!

      1. I do this too. I don’t even worry if any stick to the pan because whatever fat and/or moisture I add later will deglaze it. I started doing it hoping to firm up them up because I’ve sensory issues and can’t stand the slippery and/or spongy mouthfeel. I also mince or dice them instead of slicing or chopping, hoping that the increased surface area would mean more moisture is extracted. Depending on the recipe I sometimes even purée them after this step to make a sort of sauce out of them, that way I still get the flavor but don’t have to bite into them.

  12. Bonny

    Can’t wait to make this as my hubby and I both love mushrooms! Also, it’s an easy swap to GF flour for the sauce and you have a gluten free dish! Thanks for another great recipe, Deb!

  13. Ila

    Suggest microwaving shredded cabbage separately, till done, draining off liquid, then incorporate cabbage into bechamel. Should produce less watery “lasagna”.

  14. Juliet Jankowitz

    I would definitely try Savoy cabbage… as for béchamel… my Hungarian family always used a roux or “einbren” for sauces…without milk or cream… the liquids would be broth (in our case from meat) or even water. I think if it is well seasoned that could work for someone who cannot eat dairy. The einbren would thicken sauces for all kinds of recipes or for soups. Will try this recipe soon.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion! I recently found out I am allergic to milk proteins but I love mushroom lasagna so much. I’m going to try your version of the sauce and use nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan cheese.

  15. Beverly

    I have been thinking about this recipe all day.
    Problem is I have a backlog of food in the fridge but I also have excess cabbage and potatoes from our CSA. I have two thoughts on this recipe. I might slow roast the cabbage in the oven to see if that helps with the excess moisture. I can also season the cabbage and might add to the overall flavor. When I make regular lasagna I always cook it twice before I serve it. That way excess moisture is absorbed or baked off and my lasagna can be served as a slice rather than a puddle.

    1. Liz

      Oh, I like the roasting idea! And maybe roast the potatoes a bit also. I know another step but I think it would add some flavor and I’ve had trouble with various potato gratins potato part being done.

  16. Julie

    This was dinner last night. I subbed 1 cup turkey stock for part of the milk. I used a small red cabbage and brussel sprouts. It did end up a bit soupy, but very tasty!

  17. Jen

    Made this yesterday, and it’s amazing! I got pre-shredded cabbage, so didn’t have the leaves to make defined layers, but it still turned out really delicious. It was more like a casserole or hotdish and less like lasagna, buy no one minded :)

  18. Paige

    Delicious! Although a lot of steps, really yummy and hearty. We have plenty for leftovers for the week too! A great Sunday meal. I could only find really small napa cabbages at the farmer’s market, so I used the whole napa for the layers and some additional chopped green cabbage I had on hand for the mushroom filling layer. Also, a little extra parm on top :) Thank you for the amazing recipe (yet again) Deb!

  19. Stephanie

    This sounded so good, and it did have flavor…however I would omit the cabbage leaves on the bottom and in the middle because they got so soggy. Just sauté the mushrooms, onions, garlic and chopped cabbage, layer with the potatoes and call it good.

  20. Danielle Levitt

    This looks like such a great way to use cabbage and potatoes. But I really can’t stand mushrooms (sorry!) What else can I use to bulk it up instead of mushrooms?

  21. Catherine Bulka

    Would you recommend freezing before or after baking? How long and at what temperature do you think would work best? I’m expecting a baby in January and am thinking this would be perfect to make ahead of time and save for later!

  22. Do I regret making it? Umm, probably not. Am I thrilled? Definitely not. Took a hell of a long time and turned out kind of boring. (I did follow the note to season throughout). My potatoes didn’t completely cook through and it kind of made me feel like it was a generic ‘cream of vegetable’ soup in the shape of a lasagna. I was wracking my brain for what it would need as an addition to make it taste more interesting but I’m admittedly not a pro chef. Urgh. Ok, I do regret making it. Sorry Deb. :-/

    1. Abby

      This was my first “Smitten Kitchen miss”. My experience is exactly like yours, Smartpowered. But I’m not given up. I have tons of leftovers and I’m going to mess around with them tonight to try and make this as wonderful as I’d hoped it would be.

      1. 8th Street SE

        Same here. I love béchamel, mushrooms, cabbage, and potatoes, but there were too many things wrong with them when they came together.

        1. peony

          I just made this recipe, and I agree, it was boring. I followed directions carefully and seasoned throughout. It was very watery when it came out of the oven and the potatoes, which were very thin did not cook thoroughly. But, overall, I thought it was too bland, and the cabbage was slimy in texture. The next day, the texture was better, but definitely didn’t like it enough to make again. Not worth all the work to make it. First recipe we didn’t like enough to keep. Love your recipes and make many of them regularly.

  23. Alyssa

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was excellent comfort food. I do have a couple of suggestions though. Slice the potatoes and then toss them in the microwave for a few minutes before layering – some of mine were still a bit under baked. And I think this would be vastly improved with a stronger flavored cheese, although admittedly I don’t know anything about Västerbotten – I used parmesan. Thanks for the recipe!
    Oh – and it wasn’t watery at all! I drained the liquid from the veggies before adding the wine, etc, and the veggie mix was nice and creamy.

  24. Sarah Cameron

    Could a person skip the whole cabbage leaf layering, turning it from a “lasagne” into a “gratin” if they were too lazy? Asking for a friend…

  25. Ddm

    This email couldn’t have arrived at a more fortuitous moment for me. I had a salad mix I combine for myself of Mann’s Power blend (shredded Brussels, broccoli, kohlrabi, & carrots) and a bag of shredded red cabbage. I mix both in a Tupperware and spend about a week eating it as my salad. I did not get to it like I usually do, and had almost the whole amount still in the fridge yet, and was dreading having to toss it out. When I saw this recipe, I wondered if you HAVE to do all the assembly and work, what if I just did the essentials to save my salad? Totally worked. It’s delicious even without the potatoes. It did turn a soupy purple color, syk. Great great recipe! I’ll make the whole nine yards version next time. Thank you!!

  26. Erin

    This was delicious! I made two small adjustments based on what I had in the fridge: I used regular green cabbage instead of napa (which I boiled for about 5 minutes to soften and get out some liquid) and yam instead of potatoes (prepared the same way).

  27. sarah

    Thanks for posting this recipe! This is definitely on my ‘to make’ list. From the comments I’m planning to pre-cook my potatoes a bit. I may (or may not) add some bacon for flavoring, because… bacon. I’ll probably incorporate teaspoon or so of soy sauce. And definitely some Parmesan on top. Maybe panko, also.

  28. LP

    I’m lazy about washing and chopping mushrooms so I would probably use frozen bags of mixed mushrooms and thaw in the microwave then drain.

    1. LP

      I’m vegan so the traditional bechamel and cheese and am thinking of making a vegan twist on this concept with a vegan butter and cashew-based bechamel and homemade vegan parm for sharpness.

  29. This did not work at all in a 9 x 9 pan, I used a 9 x 13. Very thinly sliced and potatoes still not cooked after 1.5 hrs even after upping the temp to 375. And bland. Needed lots more salt. My least favorite recipe to date in your extensive repertoire. Back to the drawing board with this one.

  30. Charlotte

    I made this last night to rave reviews. In fact when I went to reheat some leftovers for lunch I realized there was far less leftover than I expected which can only mean my husband ate another quarter of the casserole when he was doing the dishes. I used a green cabbage (and spent too much time getting the leaves off perfectly only to have to tear them doing the layering – lol) and remembered why I shouldn’t use my food processor to slice potatoes, I added a tsp of miso paste to the sauce and used half milk, half broth and it was delicious. I will have to make this again.

  31. Caitlin Walsh

    This looks delish. The cabbage and mushrooms reminded me of lazy man’s pirogi. Have you ever made it? I would love to see your take on it :)

  32. Ayesha


    1. Can I make this with the round green cabbage, and if anyone has, best method to cut to size ?

    2. Any non-alcoholic substitutes for the white wine?


    1. deb

      I haven’t made it with regular cabbage; I imagine you might need to boil the leaves longer to make them soft and noodle-like but it otherwise might work. I’d just skip the wine, unless you have access to non-alcoholic wine.

  33. Mary H

    I made this the other night and it turned out pretty well. I forgot to season a few steps and did feel like it needed salt and perhaps more of the sage flavoring. I used a whole head of green cabbage from our CSA and the liquid level was just right. I steamed the outer leaves for 2 min. in the instant pot, but wonder if it would add flavor to blanche in salt water. We love mushrooms and will I probably add more if I make this again. It did take a really long time getting through all the steps. Thankfully I made it in two 8×8 pans so that I would have one for another meal. We polished off the first one! Overall quite tasty and something that could easily be added to in order to be more hearty, like with bacon or sausage. I served it with rye bread and that made it a good meal just on its own.

  34. I made this last night and it was amazing! A bit of work, but i was in a puttering mood. Perfect for a chilly December evening. Creamy and savory and just a little sweet from the cabbage. I used Savoy instead of Napa cabbage, forgot the sage, and probably used more nutmeg than called for. Other than that, made as written. Thanks so much for posting this! I’m having leftovers for lunch today and I can’t stop thinking about them. :)

  35. Alex S.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what size All Clad pan did you use to cook the mushrooms? I have trouble finding the right combo of width & depth. If I go bigger on width, then they’re too tall (which doesn’t allow for proper evaporation.) thanks

  36. Mary

    I made this yesterday and all in all, it was a success (definitely not on the “week night” dish list without some day before prep. Next time around, I will do all the washing and chopping first, as it got a bit “Lucy and Ethel” in the kitchen while attempting to get these tasks done in a timely manner. I made 1.5X the recipe, using 1 pound of chanterelles and 1/2 pound Costco’s “Baby Bella” mushrooms, 3# napa cabbage, yukons, and a hard cheese from the fridge… wrapped in BeeEco wrap and unnamed, but likely Romano or Parmesan. I had no white wine, so used cooking sherry and baked it in a 15 X 10-ish Pyrex. I shared some with my parents, and my mother kept asking “What are the seasonings again?”- she was amazed it was so simply seasoned.
    One change I would suggest is to the cut the cabbage for the layers into serving size (e.g. 3-4″) pieces, as they were quite difficult to cut and came swooping out whole when attempting to get serving-sized pieces out (and I had to cut them on the hot side, so it was a bit of a delicious sloppy mess). It took about 55 minutes to bake despite my quite perfect potato cutting (surely they were all 1/8″!). Actually, next time around I might keep the cabbage in the mushroom mixture and just use potatoes in the layers… creating a gratin of sorts, I think. Also, the chanterelles pretty much disappeared and had no “mushroom presence,” so although they likely added great flavor, upping the mushrooms which maintain some shape might be part of the plan.

  37. suzanne swanson

    I have had you on my home page for a while – which means I have coffee with you every morning. Something I think is fun to know is that this recipe is very similar to an old British recipe called “Bubble and Squeak.” It gets the name because of the way it sounds when it cooks on top of the stove. Same idea as yours, just prepared a different way. If first saw this on the Frugal Gourmet – I think it may be on Youtube. Fun to watch.

  38. Elena Varipatis Baker

    I made without the cabbage leaves, so it was more of a gratin. Also used regular green cabbage and omitted the wine because I was too lazy to grab a bottle. Very rich, but tasty as a side dish.

  39. Allison

    Made this today, used reg. green cabbage. I did four layers, two each mushroom/cabbage/bechamel and potatoes. I didn’t have the patience or time to parboil cabbage leaves. Had only half and half so used that instead of milk and no white wine so just skipped that, and used little fingerling potatoes. After hearing about the “wetness” I baked this for an hour and a half, first half hour covered. This was DELICIOUS! As a vegetarian, I would serve this as a main for company – even thanksgiving. As Deb recommends, make sure you season as you go along. Will def make again.

  40. Claire

    Deb, you never lead us astray. I “made” this this morning but actually didn’t finish because we started eating it during the phase where the mushrooms and cabbage simmer in the bechamel sauce. My 18 month old son was particularly crabby and wanted me to hold him and let him stir everything himself. The sitter was here but even she couldn’t keep him from the stove. Lo and behold we tasted it to check the seasoning while waiting for everything to thicken up…and then just kept eating. Lunch was a bunch of mushrooms and cabbage in bechamel in a big mug, microwaved (gasp!) with a generous portion of Parmesan on top. It was fabulous and I had seconds. My son shoved the “muh-rooms” and “cabby” down his gullet in fistfuls. Now he’s napping and I’m having thirds. If there’s any left I’ll try to assemble the lasagna portion for dinner. Thank you! Oh, and I added fresh rosemary with the sage and it was delish, but then I am a rosemary freak.

  41. This looks much healthier and lighter than the pasta version, i.e. real lasagna. I should make this one day, but it seems a little low on protein.

    Solution: add some ground chicken breast to that mushroom mixture. And how about a sprinkle of fried nuts on top — for some healthy fats?! Gotta give it a firsthand try!

  42. Jane Boice

    Since I prepared this in the morning, and didn’t bake it until 5 pm I baked for 30 minutes, then 10 with foil off, but dish was not cooked enough. I put in for 20 more minutes and it was fine.

  43. This reminded me quite a bit of haluska, a polish comfort dish involving cabbage, onions, sour cream, and egg noodles. I quite liked the filling of this and the potato slices but next time I make it I’ll put actual lasagna noodles in place of the cabbage leaves. They just didn’t do anything for me in what was an otherwise excellent recipe.

  44. Laura in CA

    Made this for dinner tonight, and it’ll probably be dinner for the next 2-3 nights too. We liked it! I’m not a huge sauce-made-of-milk person (I’ll always choose marinara over alfredo), but it was good nonetheless! To me and my husband, it seemed more like a potato dish with vegetables all around it. When I got some bites without the potato -just the veggie mixture and cabbage, the flavor seemed more amazing.

    1. Laura in CA

      I guess I agree with some commenters above. Glad we tried it. I still liked it enough to eat it. But this might be the first SK I wouldn’t make again… Maybe it needed something sharper in it – sharper / more cheese? Red pepper flakes?

  45. Lisa Seiwald

    Last night my cousin (in NYC) and her fiancee (in Missouri) and me (in SF) decided to do a SK coast to coast trial of the cabbage lasagna. Three dif ways to accomplish the dish. Whoa! I worried about the advertised wateryness so I only lined the bottom of the pan with the napa cabbage leaves. I used the rest with the mushroom concoction, but had to go at least 20 minutes beyond the 20 minutes to get it to the point where I could add the wine and reduce. I also parboiled the potato slices as well. I used shiitake and king trumpets and thyme instead of sage. So I mixed up a lot of the variables (not so scientific), but it came out fantastic! I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. All I think it needs at this point is the crispy egg. Thanks Deb!

    1. Yes, our coast to coast cabbage casserole co-cooking caper was a blast! I agree that there was a lot of liquid that needed to be reduced adding time. I changed things up with a different cabbage and more onion. I also added chili powder and think it could use even more kick, but that’s my opinion. Super delicious and looking forward to the leftovers.

  46. Rachel

    We loved it. I used 24 oz baby bella mushrooms, and sautéed them with the translucent onion and garlic so they would actually brown before adding the cabbage. I also added dried thyme and would substitute fresh thyme for sage next time. I cooked veggies a long time to drive off moisture. A little more nutmeg in the bechamel tasted good to me. I have no idea how much salt I used, but by tasting each element and adjusting, it turned out delicious. One hour total cook time and potatoes were perfect.

  47. Jackie Callahan

    Made this this weekend and it was delicious! Couple notes: I made it Friday night for a Saturday lunch party and it reheated beautifully. My family is obsessed with cheese so I did more than one cheese layer and upped the cheese quantity accordingly. Also, Deb isn’t kidding on the seasoning throughout. I was worried that I may have over salted/peppered but it was perfect – don’t skimp!

    My potatoes were perfectly cooked through but I did follow the 1/8 setting recommendation on my mandolin and I’m sure the thinness helped.

    Overall, loved it. It is a lot of work so I probably wouldn’t do it for a weeknight dinner. But as a side dish for a holiday party, it was perfect!

  48. Kim

    I’ve been reading your blog for years. You are the first place I go when I’m either looking for a specific recipe or for something new. I love every recipe of yours that I try (see – chicken and dumplings, goulash, rugelach…. on and on and on). Your recipes have become staples when baking and cooking for my family. Most of all (well, besides the FOOD) I thoroughly enjoy your posts and stories. You write the same way I think inside my head. For some reason, I was compelled to post in reaction to your suggestion that I (or whomever) listen to “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” while making this recipe…. which is…. one of my most favorite albums. Ever. So thanks for making great food, sharing it with us all, making me giggle and loving good music.

  49. Kathy

    I love how you use cookbooks. Not long ago a young woman asked me for one of my recipes. I told her I found it a cookbook. She looked at me like I’d said I churn all my own butter! I’m only in my 30’s, but apparently sometime in the last decade cookbooks went the way of the butter churn. (for some folks anyway). To me there is nothing like a good cookbook for inspiration, so thanks for making me feel validated on that point!

  50. Cherelle Bishop

    I made this and it turned out delicious! Really loved this. Used 3 portobello, white, brown and a few shiitake mushrooms to amp up the mushroom flavor. I also used a bit more nutmeg and dried sage for more flavor and seasoned each phase with salt and pepper. I cooked the potatoes for 10 minutes before in salted water to ensure they were thoroughly cooked. I will agree the cabbage layers can get a bit slimy. I think next time I will thinly slice zucchini instead and add more cabbage to the filling. The longest part of this was waiting till all the liquid was absorbed.

  51. cinda gaynor

    This recipe better be good ! pain in the neck. One thing I would love to see is quantity on the mushrooms. I don’t have a scale, I’d love to know roughly how many cups of mushrooms I should have. Love you work! Thank you.

  52. Carolyn Smith

    My new favorite SK recipe which I have now made twice since posted. Loved everything about it. Wonderful as a main dish or a side dish. Cooking the sauteed cabbage/mushroom mixture until dry and drying the blanched cabbage leaves between paper towels is a must. Better the 2nd and even 3rd day. Yes, it is a lot of prep work and messes up a lot of bowls, but so worth it. Thank you Deb!

  53. Louella

    This was a fantastic flavor combination. I was lazy, so skipped the big cabbage leaf layers–just chopped all the cabbage. I also hate doing dishes (and read about the liquid problem), so I sauteed onions (and way more garlic), then shrooms and finally cabbage, added sherry (what I had on hand), let most of that cook off and made the bechamel right there in the muck of all the veggies. (I also used thyme instead of sage.)

    Having read comments about reluctant potatoes, I nuked mine for 4 minutes after slicing but before layering. This was not quite enough time (and turned parts odd colors), but leftovers are pretty much cooked enough.

    Delicious indeed, even with my shortcuts and substitutions. The real deal is probably even better but I will only know if someone else makes it for me.

    Thanks for everything!

  54. Thanks for all you do on Smitten Kitchen — it is a wonderful repertoire of delicious, reliable recipes. I started in on this dish later than one might advise (7:30pm) and we didn’t get to eat until 11pm. Many steps went not quite as written: the bechamel took twice as long to thicken, and I eventually added starch to help it along; the potatoes, despite being sliced thinner than 1/8″ took FOREVER to soften in the oven. It baked for 2.5hrs before they were soft enough to eat. The quantity of ingredients seemed off, as well. In the end, it turned out delicious, but it did cause more mid-cooking questioning and head scratching than I ever experience from s SK recipe.

  55. Cathy

    Wish I had read through your comments before making this! Had similar problem with potatoes not cooking through, and will parboil cabbage longer. Loved it though and will make again. Reminded me of my polish Nanny’s cooking.

  56. Melissa Harvey

    Alas, this was a solid miss in my opinion. I was excited to try it, as I adore both mushrooms and cabbage, but it just didn’t gel. Once cooked, the cabbage was surprisingly difficult to cut through and manage. Moreover, 350 degrees was not an adequate temperature at which to cook even thinly sliced potatoes in the time recommended; it took well over an hour.
    Kind of sad after all the effort!!

  57. Susan

    We were really pleased with this! I did slice (mandoline) my potatoes very thinly based on concerns from other commenters. Also, it took a long time to cook down the vegetables because I only used a big-ish saute pan instead of my very large one, which would have allowed me to dump everything in at once and cooked off the liquid more quickly. I did split this into 2 days (made the sauce/vegetables on one burner while the husband cooked that night’s dinner on another, assembled/baked on day 2) and would recommend that. I substituted ground sage and used Parmesan, used lots of salt and pepper throughout. It looks kinda gross but it was delicious. :)

  58. Sandy

    Dear Deb: Just made my dish, putting it in frig to bake later. I also made my mushroom and cabbage the day before. Made my cream sauce today, added the veggies, worked great! Cannot wait for dinner🤗🤗🤗

  59. parmcg

    DElicious, although I made adjustments that made it much easier to make. Couldn’t find napa cabbage (lucky for me it turns out!), I used 2 10-oz bags of grated green cabbage. Used pre-sliced mushrooms. Spooned off liquid after cooking, then added sliced potatoes to pan with the rest and mixed it all up and heated for a couple minutes before adding all to the baking dish (10×13) instead of layering. This is a keeper.

  60. You had me at one pound of mixed mushrooms – this sounds amazing! I have not tried making a béchamel but am willing to try just to make this dish. One question – I saw someone say that Vasterbotten is a common Swedish cheese, but any suggestions on where to find it? Would it likely to be available at a major grocery store? Or would I need to hit up a speciality grocery? Thanks!

  61. Roz

    I made this and it was delicious. I was liberal with my tweaking of the recipe, but it was forgiving.

    After reading the reviews I decided to skip the cabbage leaves layer and I didn’t miss it at all.
    I used 1.5 the amount of mushrooms (all baby bellas). I sprinkled cooked and chopped bacon in for flavor, but it didn’t really need it. I also used half a large onion and a large shallot. I used half extra sharp cheddar and half parm. I read that sharp cheddar or gruyere were good substitutes for the Västerbotten and I could’t find gruyere in my rural supermarket. I also made the bechamel subbing half the milk for chicken stock. I used fresh sage and a little fresh thyme.

    I’m lazy and used shredded green cabbage from a bag. I feel like it was almost too cooked? I might add it a little later in the process next time.

    After adding the wine it felt a bit too wet. And the wine was taking forever to cook off. I was afraid of end up with a pile of mush, so I drained it out. I’m glad I did because my finished product was a little wet (but I liked it that way). I also par cooked the potato slices in the microwave for 6 minutes and they were JUST done after an hour. I’d definitely do that again.

    Also you weren’t lying about being liberal with seasoning! I was nervous after reading all the reviews about it being bland, but it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.

  62. Claire

    This was everything I had hoped for! I’d consider even more mushrooms for next time. They cook down so thin anyway. I blanched the potato slices as well as the cabbage, and patted dry again before combining. It was rich and comforting and heavenly. Totally worth the work!

  63. Madeleine Blumgart

    Made this yesterday for dinner and it was a hit. If I make it again, I’ll probably double it and freeze one tray. There was still a lot of liquid after cooking down the cabbage and shrooms in the wine, so I spooned off a bunch of it. The final dish wasn’t watery, likely due to that step. A few potatoes weren’t completely cooked so I would probably boil or microwave them beforehand as another commenter suggested. I enjoyed having the cabbage leaves whole throughout the dish and the Parmesan on top!

  64. Loved this! Decided to make it the first time I saw it. I made a few changes–didn’t bother with the blanched cabbage leaves but just chopped it all up–my cabbage head was pretty small anyway. But I used the boiling water to pre-cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes so I didn’t have to worry about their not getting done. I really browned the vegetables, driving off the moisture, and I had no problems at all with wateriness. I also at least doubled the cheese. It came out as a lovely, creamy casserole-y thing, creamy and almost sweet.

  65. Gail Meek

    Dont bother with the photos and the delicious commentary. Just add some sauteed mushrooms into your favorite scalloped potato recipe

  66. Lee Rosen

    It’s a different dish, but for a low carb and easier version, I used cauliflower instead of potatoes, shredded cabbage layer instead of leaves, and marinara instead of bechamel. The cheese stayed, of course! It was delish.

  67. rtavast

    Made this and it was delicious- even 5 and 3-year-old approved! I prepped and even assembled everything the day before I wanted to eat it (Sunday project for a Monday dinner), and it worked like a charm. Took about 1 hr 20 mins in the oven. I put it into two slightly smaller casserole dishes and froze one, which I’m very glad I did. This recipe is a lot of work and I’m glad I’m getting two meals out of it (with enough leftover for lunches the next day). If I’ve got veg friends coming over for a special dinner I might pull this recipe out again, but it IS a ton of work if you aren’t showing off for friends! Probably won’t make it just for the fam again (poor them, but they’re not worth the effort ;)).

  68. Ereadalot6

    I’m definitely going to try this but I’m wondering if sweet potatoes would work? Maybe a mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes?

  69. Liza

    I loved this! I agree it was a little watery in the oven, so I poured out some liquid after assembly/more after cooking and I cooked it uncovered at 400, but it all set and ended up perfect. To save on dishes, I made the sauce in the vegetable mixture once they were cooked (added butter to cooked vegetables, then flour, then milk, slowly) and it all came together well. I froze half. If I served this to guests, I’d make sure to let it set at least an hour after cooking for cleaner slices.

  70. Rachel

    Do you have to use mushrooms? What other veg do you think might work for this dish- love cabbage, but not really a fan of shrooms.

  71. Linda Lankowski

    Perfect for a cold spring day. This made a great vegetarian (not vegan) meal. This was about 6 savings as a main dish, and would be 8-10 side dish savings. (Pork roast would match well!) I used a 3 inch deep 8×12 dish, and would not use anything smaller, although I admit to having a very large cabbage. I don’t think it needed the layers of cabbage leaves, and I will not add them if I buy a smaller cabbage next time. I may also add more thyme.

    This whole social distancing, WFH thing has me cooking more SK recipes – squash gazette, pb & chocolate sandwich cookies, maple bacon biscuits…. Without coworkers to share with, my husband and I may gain a bit of weight!

  72. I was extremely impressed with this recipe! I used green cabbage prepared per instructions (blanched for 2 min). I sliced my (large red) potatoes with a mandolin, which I helped them be quite thin, right around 1/8”. Finally, when I added sauce to the mushrooms (of which I sadly only had 8 oz), I added red split lentils because I love that combo. I think this may have helped with moisture levels because I had absolutely no issues with wateriness. We ate lots and I’m excited to freeze my bonus dish!

  73. I’ve commented on this recipe before, saying that it wasn’t necessary to do the blanching of whole cabbage leaves step but just instead to chop it all up. I also said to really cook down the onions, cabbage and mushrooms to evaporate all their liquid so that there wouldn’t be a wateriness problem. Also to pre-cook the potatoes. Okay. So yesterday I was determined to use up 3/4 of a head of Napa cabbage, and I also had mushrooms and potatoes. Suddenly I thought, I can make that SK dish! But this time I simplified it even further, incorporating the sauce into the sauteed vegetables right from the start. Chop and cook down the 3 watery veggies, as above. Slice and pre-boil the potatoes. Sprinkle the flour over the sauteed veggies, then add the wine, reduce, add the milk and seasonings, simmer till thick, add cheese. Mix in potatoes or put them on the bottom of the baking dish and pour the veg/sauce mixture over. Sprinkle top with more Parmesan and with buttered bread crumbs if desired. Bake for maybe 20 minutes to brown the top. It will taste exactly the same and take half the time. It’s still rather labor intensive to do all that chopping and sauteeing, but at least you then just throw it all together. Anyway, that’s my take!

  74. I made this for Sunday supper, with some variations, and it was delicious. It was a clean out the fridge night, so I made a 1/2 recipe and added 2 chopped merquez sausages to the mushroom mix and substituted half of the potato with sweet potato. Seasoned very well, also generous with sage and nutmeg. Baked at 350 fan for 30 minutes and 15 without fan. Then let it sit for 10 minutes before serving. It was not runny. Next time I would just chop all the cabbage and think of it as a casserole not lasagna.

  75. char

    Hello! This looks great! Would you mind adding gram measurements- I know it’s a pain but would be helpful for this metric system user :)

  76. Maura

    I made this. Very comforting and not at all bland, with the help of good seasoning.

    Some adaptations:
    sage, ground (didn’t have fresh)
    skipped the layers of full cabbage leaves, as some mentioned it being too “wet”.
    Added some bread crumbs (again to combat it from being too wet).

    I didn’t slice the potatoes and mushrooms thin enough, but they were still fine. I added in some kale, just becuzzzz.

    I split it between two pyrex containers. Baked them both, but saved one for later: stuck it in the freezer. Leftovers heated up well.

  77. Nuha Said

    I don’t drink or cook with alcohol. Any substitutions for the white wine? Just some veggie broth or do I need some acid like lemon juice or an apple cider vinegar?

    1. Calliope

      Hi Nuha, the first time I made it, I totally skipped the wine (didn’t have any) and didn’t replace it with anything and it still a wonderful dish. It didn’t seem like it was missing anything. :)

  78. Calliope

    Fantastic. My changes: I only had one head of cabbage (and savoy at that) so I could only do half of the bottom layers. I cooked the cabbage in thin slices (1/4″) on a cookie sheet in the oven at 450 and later added it to the mushroom mix. I threw in some spinach with the veggies I had steamed and made sure all liquid was squeezed out. I didn’t have potatoes so I used thin slices (1/4″) of acorn squash I roasted briefly on 350. I added crumbled ground beef to the layers, cooked first (next time will add more seasoning to it). It was heavenly. I forgot the sage but can’t wait to try it again with sage. The sauce is perfect. What a unique, fabulously gourmet, and wonderful approach to lasagna. Thank you for sharing! January doesn’t seem so gloomy.

  79. Emily

    I’ve made this twice and have left out the cabbage leaf layers both times out of sheer laziness – I just slice all of the cabbage and add it all to the mushroom/sauce mixture (in stages, so it doesn’t overflow the pot!). It saves a dish and is so delicious, I honestly haven’t made the effort to try blanching the leaves:) It’s probably more of a gratin without the distinct layers, but still as tasty!! Reminds me of a recipe my mom used to make called “Teahouse Potatoes” which I think was made with cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. This is 1000x better of course because it’s all homemade!:)

  80. Kate

    So this was a rough one for me. I’ve probably made over 100 of your recipes Deb and 99% of the time they turn out great the first time. This one did not and I wish I’d had time to read the comments. All these components were delicious. The bechamel sauce and vegetables are amazing. But the amount water that came out of the veggies as this cooked was insane. Probably easily 8 tablespoons. It was so much water that the bechamel sauce essentially broke. Also the potatoes got done, barely. If I were to do it again, I’d microwave the cabbage first to get out water and then maybe wring it out? Like you do for spinach in lasagne. Then I’d parboil the sliced potatoes because I think they were another culprit of water production. It’s such a shame because it was a lot of food – a head of cabbage, a ton of mushrooms, four potatoes and it just kind of became a broken sauce watery mess.

  81. Catherine

    I made this and it was delicious. I did read through all the comments first which really helped, and modified the recipe slightly. I chopped all the cabbage rather than using some as layers. I also partially cooked the sliced potatoes and didn’t use the whole amount as I added half cooked cauliflower as another layer. Made sure to season well and added dried oregano and basil (didn’t have any sage). Made sure the cabbage/mushroom mixture was thick but it was still slightly sloppy when dished up. Used Jarlsberg cheese and Parmesan. Went down a treat! Will definitely make again.

  82. Roxane Auer

    Ok, this was even better than I expected, just fabulous! Despite the work, will definitely make this again.

    I made this at 6,000 ft, for high altitude cooks out there, add a lot to the cooking time. Honestly, I don’t know how much I added, might have been an hour extra, at some point I just kept adding on 20 minutes and checking each time whether I could put a fork easily through the potato pieces.

    Mind you, this is after having boiled the green cabbage I used for longer than the recipe and par boiled the potatoes as some of have recommended. Next time I will boil the potatoes until they are more tender before layering.

    But no matter, it held up great just cooking and cooking and it was worth the wait. I poured a little cream over the top before putting the cheese on and upped the amount of bechamel just a tad because I wanted it to be extra saucy for my dad who has parkinsons and some trouble eating, and I really liked it that way.

    This appears to be a dish with endless variations and I love that! A rough outline to follow that you can fill in according to personal taste and what you have in the fridge. For some reason cauliflower came to mind as something that would go great with this. And I bet you could replace the mushrooms with a bunch of sauteed leeks for those mushroom haters out there and it would still be delicious.

    It took me two months to get to this and I waited until I was on vacation, but I’m figuring out how to make this part of my regular rotation for sure. It fits into that wonderful category of “indulgent vegetarian” which is the secret to our family’s eating plan of “mostly vegetarian”.

  83. chelsea

    Absolutely YUM!!!! I skipped the whole leaf cabbage layer to reduce a step. But all the vegetable chopping was relatively therapeutic. At first it felt like a lot of cabbage, but it all cooked down quite a bit.

  84. Katharine Staiger

    Hi Deb,
    My potatoes were no where near cooked when I made this. 🙁. I nuked he individual servings to make it work.

  85. Alice

    Thanks for this recipe! It was pretty tasty for a winters eve. I think if I make it again I might omit the flat-cabbage layer. I’m not sure it adds enough to justify the extra prep.

  86. Elisabetta

    I used savoy cabbage instead of napa, and parboiled both cabbage leaves and potato slices. This way all ingredients are precooked and it needs to stay less in the oven: in my case, 20 mins covered and 10 uncovered to get the golden top.
    Yes, there’s quite some chopping and boiling but such a great vegetarian recipe!