Slow Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that combines all the flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage rolls without the hassle of rolling them. This hearty and comforting meal is perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re craving some comfort food.
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Lazy Cabbage Rolls in the Slow Cooker
Are you craving the flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage rolls but don’t have the time or patience to assemble them? Look no further than slow cooker unstuffed cabbage rolls! This hearty and comforting dish takes all the delicious elements of traditional cabbage rolls and transforms them into an easy, one-pot meal. With tender ground beef, aromatic spices, and a rich tomato sauce, this slow cooker version delivers all the flavor without any of the fuss. Get ready to enjoy a wholesome and satisfying dinner that will have your family asking for seconds.
Sometimes called unstuffed or lazy cabbage rolls all you need is to serve your slow cooker cabbage rolls hot with a side of rice for a complete meal.
This dish not only tastes amazing but also offers several health benefits as it includes protein from ground beef and vegetables like cabbage which is packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C and fiber.
The best part about making this recipe in a slow cooker is that it allows all the ingredients to slowly simmer together resulting in tender meat and flavorful sauce that will make you come back for seconds. So next time you’re in the mood for some comfort food, give this slow cooker unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe a try. It’s sure to become a family favorite!
- Ground Beef – For the ground beef I found that a higher fat content yielded better results, the higher fat beef stayed more tender and juicy. But you can really use any ground beef in this recipe.
- Onion – I use a yellow onion but a sweet onion or white onion would work too.
- Dried Thyme, Dried Parsley , Red Pepper Flakes, Kosher Salt – For flavoring the lazy cabbage rolls.
- Cabbage – You will want a small head of cabbage, if you grab a large one all of it won’t fit in the crockpot. As is a small cabbage will barely fit in the crockpot, as you are filling the crockpot you are going to wonder if it really should be filled all the way to the top and it will feel like too much cabbage, don’t worry! Because of the high water in cabbage the cabbage will release a lot of liquid during cooking and shrink down quite a bit! You should find that the full mixture of the unstuffed cabbage rolls will reduce by close to half as it is getting towards the end of cooking.
- Petite Diced Tomatoes – I personally like the petit diced tomatoes in this recipe, I thought the standard diced tomatoes seemed a bit too chunky, that being said you can use regular diced tomatoes if that is what you prefer.
- Tomato Paste – The first time I made this without the tomato paste and I found the flavor lacking, it really benefits from the extra concentrated flavor of the tomato paste.
- Worcestershire Sauce -And for more flavor adding Worcestershire sauce really helps keep that umami taste!
For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.
Pre-heat your crockpot as you are getting everything prepped and added! So before you start all the prep get the crockpot out and turn on to LOW. This ensures that your food starts the cooking process immediately once everything is added instead of waiting for the crockpot to come to temperature.
In a skillet over medium high heat crumble and brown the ground beef until just a little pink is left. Drain if necessary. Add the diced onion, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt to the skillet. Continue to cook everything together for 3-5 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Add the skillet mixture to the crockpot.
Chop the cabbage into pieces about an inch in size. Add the chopped cabbage to the crockpot.
In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup add the petit diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Mix until well combined. Add the sauce to the crockpot. Carefully mix all the parts together in the crockpot so everything is well dispersed.
Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, if time permits stir the crockpot halfway through cooking. Serve hot overtop rice.
tips, tricks and questions
- Note: The mixture of cabbage, sauce, and beef will be a lot and most likely be to the top of your slow cooker, don’t fret the cabbage wilts a ton during cooking and towards the end of cooking you will see that the unstuffed cabbage rolls have almost reduced by half!
- Leftovers will last in the refrigerator 4 to5 days. You can also freeze this recipe and it will stay good frozen for at least 3 months.
- You can substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
- Some Slow Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage recipes include rice in the crockpot, I do not recommend that with this recipe, there is not nearly enough liquid in the recipe as written for rice to cook properly. Rice cooking time also varies a lot when it is put in the slow cooker. For best result cook rice separate and serve together.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small head green cabbage
- 14 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- In a skillet over medium high heat crumble and brown the ground beef until just a little pink is left. Drain if necessary. Add the diced onion, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt to the skillet. Continue to cook everything together for 3-5 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Add the skillet mixture to the crockpot.
- Chop the cabbage into pieces about an inch in size. Add the chopped cabbage to the crockpot.
- In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup add the petit diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Mix until well combined. Add the sauce to the crockpot. Carefully mix all the parts together in the crockpot so everything is well dispersed.
- Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, if time permits stir the crockpot halfway through cooking. Serve hot overtop rice.
Serving Size:1/8 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g
Nutritional data is automated and might not be 100% accurate, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.