Whether you're a seasoned home cook or just starting to dabble in creating your own comfort foods, you cannot miss out on the incredible flavor of Brenda Gantt's legendary cabbage casserole. Brenda Gantt, a chef from South Carolina, has become somewhat of a cult figure in the world of Southern cooking, particularly for her delectable cabbage casserole. The dish combines the humble yet nutritious cabbage with layers of savory goodness, resulting in a memorable meal that's perfect for any occasion. In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to recreate this delightful casserole in your own kitchen, no matter your level of experience.

Brenda Gantt Cabbage Casserole

1. Ingredients and Tools

Before you begin, gather everything you'll need to make Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole. Here's what you'll require:


  • 1 large head of cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (10.5 ounces each)
  • 1 and ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Large skillet
  • Baking dish
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula
  • Foil

2. Preparation Instructions

Creating Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole is a soothing, simple process that rewards patience. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Preheat Your Oven

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). You want your oven to be ready to go as soon as you've assembled your casserole.

Step 2: Prepare the Cabbage

Peel away the tough outer leaves of your cabbage and discard them. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the cabbage in half, and carefully remove the core. Afterward, slice the cabbage into thin strips.

Step 3: Brown the Ground Beef

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and diced onion. Cook until the beef is browned and the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper according to your tastes.

Step 4: Layer the Casserole

In your baking dish, layer half of the shredded cabbage. On top of the cabbage, distribute half of the cooked ground beef. Then, spread one can of cream of mushroom soup over the beef and cabbage. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese on top. Repeat these layers with the remaining cabbage, beef, soup, and cheese.

Step 5: Create the Ritz Topping

In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter, and milk. This mixture will create a scrumptious, crispy topping for your casserole.

Step 6: Add the Topping and Bake

Spread the Ritz cracker mixture over the top layer of cheese. Cover your baking dish with foil to prevent the Ritz cracker topping from burning. Place the covered casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Step 7: Uncover and Continue Baking

After 45 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking the casserole for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

3. Cooking and Serving

Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole is a hearty dish that deserves to be showcased. When the casserole is finished baking, allow it to rest for a few minutes to set. Then, slice and serve hot, and enjoy the comfort of a truly satisfying meal.

Serving Suggestions

This casserole is a meal in itself, but you can pair it with a simple green salad or bread rolls. It's a perfect centerpiece for a cozy family dinner.

Cooking Tips

  • Be sure to adequately season your ground beef for a flavorful base layer to the dish.
  • Use a variety of cheeses if you prefer a more complex cheese flavor.
  • If you'd like to reduce the fat content, you can use ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef.

4. Variations and Personalization

Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole is a versatile dish that lends itself to personalization. Here are some ideas for making this recipe your own:

Flavor Enhancements

  • Add a teaspoon of garlic powder or a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the beef for extra depth of flavor.

Healthier Options

  • Substitute the cream of mushroom soup with a homemade or store-bought low-sodium, low-fat alternative.
  • Use a mixture of ground turkey and lean ground beef for a lighter meaty layer.

Vegetarian Version

  • Omit the ground meat entirely and bulk up the cabbage layer with sautéed mushrooms, carrots, and celery for a vegetarian-friendly alternative.

5. Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole is a cherished comfort dish that has won the hearts and stomachs of many home cooks. It's a testament to the joy of simple, hearty meals with layers of flavor and history. As you prepare and enjoy this dish, remember that the true essence of Southern comfort cooking is love — for the food you're making, and for the people you're sharing it with. Now go forth, gather around your table, and savor the deliciousness of Brenda Gantt's cabbage casserole.

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