Cabbage rolls can vary depending on culture, traditions passed down and many other factors like so many of our dishes. I’ve put a spin on my family recipe to make these Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls that taste exactly like my mom used to make.
Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
I remember helping roll the cabbage rolls back in the 1970s when my mom would make them for dinner. She always used tomato juice in her dish and baked them in the oven. I like to use tomato juice occasionally for the nostalgia, but really prefer the thickness of a tomato sauce.
My family heritage consists of Ukrainian, German, Romanian and possibly some French as I learned when my mom died she was born in France. This is a recipe that comes from her family in Saskatchewan, where they landed in Canada, and where she grew up.
Why the Slow Cooker
When work days are busy because parents work full time, plugging in the slow cooker in the morning and coming home to a delicious smelling meal has always been appealing.
It’s easy to make this recipe in the oven if you don’t have a slow cooker. All you need to do is follow the steps adding everything to a casserole dish instead of your crockpot, cook at 350 F for 1 – 1.5 hours checking to ensure the liquid does not all evaporate.
What kind of cabbage do I use
Find a small head of green cabbage or napa cabbage that has a lot of green on it. Always inspect the cabbage when buying it especially napa cabbage as they can be mostly core with very little green. The idea is to use cabbage with little core and mostly green!
Do not fear making cabbage rolls. This is really a very simple tasting dish. Cooked cabbage is something many of us grew up eating although kids these days are not so it might be a new texture and flavour to them. My mom even made sauerkraut so cabbage has always been a favourite of mine.
If you are ready to give this recipe a try, check out some of our tried and true tips and tricks first.
- You can use a combination of beef and pork for extra flavour
- Any rice will do, except we don’t recommend Minute Rice.
- Use tomato sauce or tomato juice.
- You can use regular green cabbage or napa cabbage.
- Cut out the core of the cabbage leave, as shown in the photo above, to making rolling easier.
- Cabbage rolls can be frozen.
- Fresh dill tastes amazing when mixed in to the beef mixture.
- Make sure you have a pot big enough to hold the head of cabbage.
If you love your Slow Cooker, give these recipes a try!
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- Slow Cooker Beef Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken with Dumplings
- Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup
- Slow Cooker Stuffing
If you made this recipe tag Wanda Baker on Instagram and hashtag it #bakersbeans or #wandabaker
- Small head cabbage green or napa
Cabbage Roll Mixture
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/3 cup uncooked rice
- pinch salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce Mixture
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- pinch salt and pepper 1 tsp each
- Immerse cabbage leaves in a large pot of boiling water and cook about 3 minutes carefully pulling off outer leaves with tongs. Drain leaves and set aside.
- In bowl combine egg, milk, onion, beef, rice, salt and pepper.
- Depending on the size of your cabbage leaf, place 2-3 tbsp meat filling in middle of leaf. You do not want to much that it over flows or too less that it is not enough to fill the cabbage leaf. Tuck in sides and roll ends over meat mixture. Set aside. Continue on until you have used all your meat filling.
- If you end up with leftover cabbage leaves chop them up and scatter on the bottom of your slow cooker before putting in the cabbage rolls.
Tomato Sauce Mixture
- In bowl mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place your cabbage rolls into the crockpot covering the bottom first and then layering as necessary. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover and cook on low 6-7 hours.