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Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (+Video)

Cooked low and slow, this delicious Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls takes the traditional dish and turns it into an easy and tasty dinner that the whole family will love!

A SIMPLE UN-ROLLED CABBAGE ROLL RECIPE

If you love traditional Stuffed Cabbage Rolls then you will fall in love with these Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls. A deconstructed and easier version of a classic dish. Cooked low and slow really adds to the depth of flavor for this recipe. It makes a delicious dinnertime option that takes minimal prep and effort!

a serving of unstuffed cabbage rolls on a small round white plate with a fork inserted to the food.

TIPS FOR MAKING CROCK POT UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS:

  • We use ground beef in this recipe but you an also use ground chicken or turkey to lighten it up.
  • This can easily be doubled – just use a larger crock pot if you are serving more guests.
  • You can cook this recipe on low or high depending on the time you are working with.
  • I’ve seen cabbage rolls topped with cheese so you can top your bowl with cheese if desired.
  • Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls can be easily frozen after cooking.
a wooden spoon holding up a serving of unstuffed cabbage rolls over an oval slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE IN THE RECIPE CARD AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • ground beef
  • garlic
  • onion
  • cabbage
  • water
  • Minute white rice (see notes)
  • pepper
  • garlic salt
  • paprika
  • sugar
  • tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes
ground beef, minute rice, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cabbage, ground beef, onion and garlic.

HOW TO MAKE UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS:

In a large skillet brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain any excess grease from pan.

browned and crumbled ground beef with onion and garlic.

 In the slow cooker add chopped cabbage, water, rice, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, sugar, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.

chopped cabbage, water, rice, pepper, garlic salt, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Then add in the cooked ground beef. Stir everything until coated and combined.

ground beef added to other ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours or high 3-4 hours and serve!

uncooked unstaffed cabbage rolls shown mixed together in an oval slow cooker.

HOW TO STORE CROCK POT UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS:

  • Although I love this best when it is fresh –  you can store it. Place any remaining Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls into an airtight container or ziptop bag and place in the refrigerator and it should stay good for up to 4 days. When ready to eat, reheat in microwave until heated through.
  • This can also be frozen, which is one of my favorite parts. I love recipes that we can freeze later for an easy meal. To freeze, place in airtight container or freezer bag and it should last for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, let sit in the refrigerator overnight and when ready to serve, place your portion in a bowl and reheat in the microwave until heated through.
a wooden spoon inserted cooked unstuffed cabbage rolls in a slow cooker.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES

Slow Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls recipe.

Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls (+Video)

Cooked low and slow this delicious Crock Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls takes the traditional dish and turns them into an easy and tasty dinner that the whole family can love.
5 from 39 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small small head cabbage, chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked Minute rice (see notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian paprika works best)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes (with juice) (preferrably the garlic & olive oil flavored)

Instructions

  • In a large skillet brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain any excess grease.
  • In the slow cooker add chopped cabbage, water, rice, pepper, garlic salt, sugar tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  • Add in the cooked ground beef mixture and stir it all until combined.
  • Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or high 3-4 hours. Rice and cabbage should be tender.
  • If the mixture is too thick for your tastes, just add a little more water (or beef or chicken broth) until the desired consistancy is reached.
  • Top each serving with some shredded cheese (if desired) and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Some folks prefer to wait until the end to add the rice. We like the rice super soft but I know some folks want it more firm. If that’s the case, you can add it during the last hour or so of cooking. 
  • We use ground beef in this recipe but you an also use ground chicken or turkey to lighten it up. Or perhaps try ground sausage for a change in flavor.
  • This can be doubled, just use a larger crock pot if you are serving more guests.
  • You can cook this recipe on low or high depending on the time you are working with.
  • You can top your bowl of unstuffed cabbage rolls with shredded mozzarella cheese, if desired.
  • This can be easily frozen after cooking.
  • Regular long grain rice can be used. Cut down the amount of rice to 3/4 cup. Just make sure to rinse the rice well until the water runs clear before adding it to the slow cooker. This will help remove some of the starch so that the soup doesn’t turn out gummy. It’s not necessary to rinse the Minute Rice.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 278mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been craving cabbage rolls but was thinking why do I need to do all that work prepping the cabbage and rolling it? I figured it could be chopped or shredded and added to the other ingredients. So, I was very pleasantly surprised to find this recipe! However, I have been craving a version with paprika. A Polish friend has made it with paprika for me and I loved it. I looked at the ingredients near the top of the post, and saw it listed, but on the recipe card, it seems to be missing. Also my friend added sour cream to the tomato sauce after removing the rolls when they finished cooking, then poured it over a platter of the cabbage rolls. Do you know how much sour cream I should add for her version? It’s amazingly rich and delicious that way!

    1. I’m so sorry, I’ve never served it sour cream although it sounds yummy! I think it would be one of those things you add to taste after you’ve served it up. Perhaps add a dollop of sour cream for each bowl.

    2. 5 stars
      This recipe was great! I used ground chicken in place of beef as you suggested, and cooked according to your instructions (including draining) + some red pepper flakes for heat. Turned out perfectly. It was a hit, Thank you! This is so straightforward and definitely a recipe you can play with to fit your tastes!

  2. What size crock pot did you use? I plan on making this a little later with some alterations ( maybe) When I cook cabbage rolls I just use canned tomato soup – so I might just use that instead of the sauce and diced tomato – up in the air .

    Have you thought of trying with sour cabbage – not sure how any cooking time etc would be different but I will try mine with sour cabbage

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, that works! I used lite sour cream and it’s delicious. I also like that your recipe is so low fat, thus the lite version. Is it supposed to have paprika? Thanks so much.

  3. 5 stars
    This is my second recipe of yours & it’s another instant fav!
    I didn’t end up having the time to make this in a crockpot for hours so I figured I’d try an instant pot on pressure cook & it came out perfectly!
    In case anyone else is in the same boat, I did manual pressure for 7 minutes then natural release. I also used regular rice that I made at the same time then added in at the end. It soaked up the flavor quickly though I’m sure not as good as if it’d been able to be cooked with the rest.
    Thanks for another delicious recipe! I can’t wait to try more.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe! I cook daily for my inlaws, and this recipe, was an absolute hit! They love it so much, that I make it 2× a month now. In regards to the recipe, I switched out the ground beef for ground turkey. Additionally, I have tried both ways of pre-cooking the meat; and adding it directly to the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients, and it was just as delicious. Can’t wait to try out more of your recipes!

    1. Thanks so very much Kimm! So happy y’all love this one!! I’m going to assume you use a very lean beef if you put it in the crock pot raw or it would be really greasy. If the meat is not a 93%, I wouldn’t recommend putting it in raw to anyone who might be reading this comment. Or unless you are using another lean meat like chicken or turkey. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    So yummy! I’ve made this so many times now. I took your suggestion in your notes about adding the rice at the end. Worked like a charm! Thank you!

  6. We call “cabbage rolls” Pigs in a Blanket in the Midwest. I make a similar version replacing the water and tomato products with V-8.

    1. I always think of lil smokies wrapped in crescent roll dough when I think of Pigs in a Blanket but it’s a cute name for cabbage rolls too 🙂 So do you use ground pork then instead of ground beef for the “pig” part of the name?

    1. It would probably come out too greasy. Unless perhaps you used a very lean cut of meat. And of course, you’d have to break up the meat so it would cooke evenly. I haven’t tested it out myself but if you do, I’d love to know how it turns out for you!

  7. 5 stars
    It was very tasty. Good comfort food! I used regular long rice but it turned to mush during cooking. Next time I make it I won’t cook aa long. My husband loved it!

    1. Thanks so much Ellen! Good to know about the rice. I know some slow cookers can run hotter than others so it’s sometimes hard to get exact amounts but I can definitely add a note to the recipe about maybe checking it around the 4 hour mark if cooking on low. Thank you!

  8. Im wondering if this could be made with riced cauliflower in the place of rice. I’m pretty sure that would make it keto?