These Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls are easy to make and delicious to eat. These will quickly become a family favorite.
There are certain things a person can have in life that will make that journey a bit more fun. For example, a million dollars. I can think of no plausible reason why having a million dollars could in ANY way make your life worse. The same can be said for a self cleaning kitchen… again, no down side (and bless the person who ever invents THAT). And last but not least, a little Ukrainian grandma. She can tie the perfect babushka AND teach you how to make perfect cabbage rolls. Agree?
I was blessed with such a Ukrainian grandma (knew what a babushka was at the age of four, thank you very much!) who unfortunately is no longer with us. All I have left are fond memories of helping her in the kitchen making homemade pierogies, covered in flour from head to toe and knowing that my grandma was making my most favorite dinner. For special occasions, she make golumpkis too and you never ate a more perfect cabbage roll in your life. Well… the inside of the cabbage roll because I was eight and did not eat cabbage at that time (cough! … still don’t…). If I knew then what I would be doing now, I really would have paid more attention and written down those recipes from my grandma. Ahh … the idle foolishness of early childhood…
What I am left with is a love for food that signifies the very best of my childhood and a love for a wonderful woman but no way to recreate those memorable dishes.
Thankfully, mine is not the only Ukrainian grandma who made amazing food with her hands. There are other grandmas to learn from and believe me, I am a quick study. I embarked on my first attempt at making cabbage rolls by myself and I have to say, this girl did good! I am no Jedi Master when it comes to rolling them (here’s where the grandma really comes into play) but I muddled through and although they may not be rolled well enough to pass inspection, they held together, cooked perfectly and were full of flavor. I think Grandma would have been proud!
And yes, I used red cabbage instead of green. It’s prettier.
Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
Start by bringing your cooking liquid for your rice to boil in a small pot and add your rice to cook.
I used beef broth to add an extra layer of flavor but you can just use water if you prefer. Cook following manufacturers instructions and then set aside.
In a separate bowl, add meat, onion, garlic powder, onion powder, egg, salt, cumin, and Creole seasoning. Add in your cooked rice and mix to combine. Set aside.
In a separate pot that is large enough to set a colander inside of it, add a small amount of water to the pot and put your cabbage head in the colander and cover.
Bring the water to boil and let the cabbage steam for 3-4 minutes. Remove and repeat with the second head of cabbage. Remove your second cabbage head and let cool until you are ready to build your cabbage rolls.
In one last separate pot, make your sauce. Melt the butter and add in the chopped onion. Cook until browned and then add in your tomatoes, garlic powder, apple vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes.
Now put it all together. Carefully peel off the cabbage leaves of the first head of cabbage. Using a measuring cup (I used 1/4 cup) or a large spoon, scoop your meat/rice filling and put it in the middle of the cabbage leaf.
Tuck in the sides and roll the cabbage leaf up, making a small package. Set inside of your slow cooker and repeat until all of your meat filling is used. Pour your sauce on top of your cabbage rolls and set your slow cooker to low. Cook for 8-10 hours.
I was pleasantly surprised with how good these came out. Who am I kidding??? I was shocked!! Michael was shocked!!! There was a whole lot of amazement going on in this house that day! I mean, these cabbage rolls were so good, we didn’t even get out of the kitchen. Literally, we each got a plate and ate right over the slow cooker.
Keeping it classy, folks.
Not only did they come out perfect, they tasted amazing. It brought me right back to being a little girl and helping my grandma in the kitchen, all those years ago. To me, that means more than anything. And while I am sad that I never got my Grandma’s specific recipe, it’s nice to know that I can still go back and relive those memories.
I’m still only going to eat the filling though.