Slow Cooker Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

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For years I’ve been wanting to make Hungarian stuffed cabbage, just like my Auntie Rose and Nana used to make it. It’s a dish I grew up with and have missed for so long. I tried to make it once, when we first got married and it was an absolute failure, even with my Nana walking me through the steps.

Trying to get the cabbage leaves off in one piece and then rolling them was a nightmare for me. They were tearing and I just remember getting so frustrated that I accepted the fact that I would never have stuffed cabbage (at least the way they made it), again. 

About a month ago, I accidentally stumbled on a recipe for a slow cooker stuffed cabbage casserole. It seemed similar to our family recipe, at least from what I remembered and I was excited that I wouldn’t have to worry about the cabbage leaves, so I gave it a try.

Y’all… the look on my family’s face spoke volumes. I could just tell that they didn’t love it. The rice was uncooked and crunchy (even though it had sat in the slow cooker for hours) and it had no flavor. It didn’t taste anything like the recipe I grew up with. It was so disappointing.

As frustrated as I was, I was more determined than ever to share those incredible flavors that I knew, with my kids. A couple of weeks ago, I finally did it! That first bite brought tears to my eyes because it was exactly as I remembered it, just a deconstructed version. I didn’t have to struggle with the cabbage leaves and it was amazing. 

scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

I've finally figured out how to recreate the Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage recipe I grew up with... just in a slow cooker casserole form. You have to try it!

Since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins tonight, at sundown, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to share this recipe with you all. It would make such a great family meal. 

Of course, you don’t have to be Jewish or celebrate Rosh Hashanah to enjoy this Hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole. In fact, it’s made it to the top of Super Dad’s favorite meals. He’s already planning the next batch and wants me to make it with ground pork next time (it was great BTW).

scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

It's exactly the same flavors that I grew up with, except in a deconstructed version. You'll love my Hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole recipe!

Let’s talk equipment. This Hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole recipe will need at least a 6-quart slow cooker. If you have anything smaller, you’ll need to adjust the recipe accordingly. If you don’t have a slow cooker yet… well… what are you waiting for?! 

We use our slow cooker at least 1-2 times a week. It’s super convenient and helps me to make sure I can get dinner on the table on those busy nights. Just some prep work in the morning or afternoon and then you let your slow cooker do the work. Plus you have the added bonus of the incredible aroma filling your house for hours. When it’s dinner time, you just uncover and serve. 

I have the Crock-Pot 7qt Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. It’s actually my 2nd one. We had the first one for YEARRRSSSSS until I thought I was much stronger than I actually am and tried to pull it out of the cabinet with one hand. The ceramic part fell out and broke (as well as a tiny piece of my heart along with it).

Thank goodness for Target delivery because we were able to get a new one delivered to the house in just a couple of hours. I love it so much, especially how reasonably priced it is.

fork full of food next to a scoop of rice

close up of hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

Ok, let’s talk about the ingredients. 

You’ll want to core the cabbage. I tend to just cut around the core and then chop the top part off. Then you can chop the cabbage up into 1-2″ pieces. 

For the meat, you can use turkey, beef, or pork. I’ve even heard of people using a combination of beef and pork. My Nana always used ground turkey and I love that it’s a leaner option. 

The Hungarian paprika was a little hard for me to find locally. I did find some sweet paprika on Amazon though and if you are a Prime member, it will arrive in 1-2 days. It has such a great flavor and would be a great addition to so many dishes.

Don’t completely drain the sauerkraut before adding it. Leaving about 1/4 of a cup and adding it to the slow cooker adds another layer of flavor.

The rice is totally optional, but traditional Hungarian stuffed cabbage does have rice in the mixture, so I included it. I found cooking it separately both ensure that it’s fully cooked and also gives you the option to add the amount you’d like.

step by step photos for slow cooker hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole

step by step photos for slow cooker hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole

Above you’ll find step-by-step photos of what your layers should look like.

  1. Cabbage
  2. Meat, onions, and garlic
  3. Spices
  4. Diced Tomatoes
  5. Cabbage
  6. Meat, onions, and garlic
  7. Spices
  8. Sauerkraut
  9. Tomato sauce/water

Now that you know a little about the dish, I’m excited to share the recipe with you. If you do make it, I’d love for you to share a photo and tag us on social media or comment below and let me know what you think. We love feedback from our readers!

Don’t forget to check out our other family friendly recipes.

I grew up with Hungarian stuffed cabbage and am so excited to share that I was finally able to recreate a deconstructed version, for the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

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scrumptious rae dunn bowl filled with hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole and rice

Slow Cooker Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Casserole


  • Author: Heather l The Super Mom Life
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

If you love the classic Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage, you’ll love the casserole version. All of the flavor you love, without all the work!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2lbs ground turkey (you can also use beef or pork)
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 45 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp hungarian (sweet) paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 lbs sauerkraut, mostly drained
  • (2) 14oz cans tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  • In a skillet, over med-high heat, add meat, 1 tsp of salt, black pepper and garlic powder and brown until no longer pink.
  • Add chopped onion and garlic, stir and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Core the cabbage and chop into 1 inch pieces. Add half of the cabbage to the bottom of your slow cooker, in an even layer.
  • Add half of the meat on top of the cabbage, in an even layer.
  • In a small dish, mix together the remaining spices (1 tsp each of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and Hungarian (sweet) paprika). Sprinkle half of the spice mixture on top of the meat, making sure to cover the whole layer of meat.
  • Add diced tomatoes (with juice) on top of the spiced meat, in an even layer.
  • Add the rest of the cabbage on top, in an even layer.
  • Add the rest of the meat, in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix, making sure to cover the entire layer of meat.
  • Add the sauerkraut in an even layer on top. I like to leave a little sauerkraut juice for added flavor.
  • In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce and water until combined. Pour mixture on top of the sauerkraut.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before the food is ready, cook the white rice as you normally would. Then stir the ingredients in the crock pot so that everything is mixed well, cover and continue cooking.
  • Serve immediately, with a side of rice.

Notes

You’ll need at least a 6qt slow cooker for this recipe. If you have anything smaller, you may want to adjust the ingredients accordingly.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Hungarian

Keywords: hungarian stuffed cabbage, slow cooker, casserole

 

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I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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Recipe rating


  1. This looks like a meal that is full of warmth and love. It seems like it will fill you up and make you feel good.

  2. I haven’t tried cooking much with cabbage, but this does sound delicious. I’ll have to give your recipe a try!

  3. What an easy yet amazing recipe! I would love to give this stuffed cabbage recipe a try, but before that I need to buy a slow cooker.

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve had stuffed cabbage. I will have to try your recipe sometime. Looks yum!

  5. This Hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole looks delicious I would love to try this. perfect easy meal.

  6. This recipe is new to me. I’m currently growing some cabbage in my garden right now. Adding this to my list to make!

  7. I just love casseroles but I have never made Hungarian cabbage casserole before, will have to give this recipe a try, it looks nice

  8. Oh my goodness…. I am all over this recipe! I have already pinned it to my Pinterest board ad will be making this today! Looks so amazing 😉 Love the bowls!

  9. This sounds like a really tasty recipe. I’ve not had cabbage in this way before.

  10. I love dishes like this so much. It’s so satisfying. I hope it would turn out great too on my regular pot.

  11. I love cabbage and this looks so good. My mom likes cabbage, too, I should share the recipe with her.

  12. What a delicious comforting meal this looks like! I can’t wait to try it. I love cabbage.

  13. I will keep this in mind for a future dinner. This looks like a casserole my family would enjoy!

  14. Cabbage has always been a favorite ingredient on our household and reading this post gave me additional cabbage recipe I can try

  15. This does sound like a tasty recipe. I’ve not had a chance to try this before.

  16. I love Hungarian sausage so this casserole is something that will be an instant hit to me. Plus, it’s served with rice so every Filipino will fall in love with this dish, too.

  17. Looks so satisfying. I’ll definitely eat this with some white rice too.

  18. It’s really frustrating when you can’t make the exact copy of the dish..Glad you make it.. That looks so delicious.

  19. I just made this for a cold December Sunday and I must say it was just as delish as you made it sound!
    I followed the recipe except for a couple items: used vegan “hot Italian Sausage” because we like spicy dishes and are vegan. I only used ONE can of tomato sauce and one 15oz can of sauerkraut. I didn’t have the sweet hungarian paprika but had hot hungarian paprika so I used half the amount. The taste was REALLY good.

    The only small issue is — it was very “liquidy”. I drained the sauerkraut before adding but otherwise all liquid added as written. It didn’t matter though, I just drained some of the liquid out.
    And I wished that more people would only comment after they make it. I kept reading for the comments and no one had made it….

    Thank you for the recipe.
    I

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Karen! Thank you so much for your feedback! I love that you made a vegan version! I’m sorry it seemed to have extra liquid. I’m not sure why that was. But glad you were able to drain it!

  20. I love your slow cooker hungarian stuffed cabbage casserole recipe. It seems so yummy! It’s so easy to do too! Thanks for this recipe!

  21. I was just looking for hearty meal recipes and I am so glad to have read this. This looks so perfect for this season.

  22. This looks absolutely delicious! What a comforting meal for the whole family. I love stuffed cabbage…definitely need to give this a try!

  23. We love rice and this goes well with rice. I m going to give it a try and see how it goes.

  24. What a delicious meal! I don’t have a slow cooker yet, but this just made me want to get one for sure now. Love how easy it is to just place all ingredients together and voila, a scrumptious dish ready in just a few hours! Glad you stuck to it and it worked out for you the next time around!

    1. I usually bake this in oven and usually make a mess. So, this would be perfect. I am wondering if uncooked rice can be added and cooked with other ingredients in crock pot?

      1. Post
        Author

        Hi Maria! We did try adding the uncooked rice, but the consistency was either too mushy or too crunchy. I’ve found cooking the rice separately just before you are ready to eat is your best bet!

  25. oh You know I pinned this one!! My husband is Polish and he will enjoy this recipe so much.

  26. This sounds like the perfect fall dish! Bookmarking to revisit when the weather cools off in San Diego a bit!

  27. I may say that this recipe looks incredible delicious and tasty. Plus the ingredients can easily be found, what I love about this recipe is that its a healthy meal that everybody will definitely crave for. Thanks for sharing such wonderful dish.

  28. Seems so easy to make with your step by step recipe! My family loves cabbage so much!

  29. Hi! Congratulations for coming up with the meal that you really like. It is good that you did not give up on your first attempt. The food looks delicious and your family is so lucky to have someone like you who is good in cooking.

  30. Everything about this says perfection. I love the presentation and the rice and parsley. And I would be making mine with beef!

  31. I’m so glad you persevered and perfected the recipe! What a win! It looks and sounds so tasty and must bring back some lovely memories!

  32. Stuffed cabbage has been a part of our holiday meals outside of Chicago for so long. This is a great take on a favorite dish!

  33. My mom makes a similar dish this time of the year with cooked cabbage. It’s delicious. I can only imagine what this casserole would taste like!

  34. What a great dish! It looks so rich and flavorful. Perfect when the evenings turn cool!

  35. I was raised on the similar recipe. Right now, I am making it frequently enough for my family by using open cabbage leaves with the rest of the ingredients. Saves time not rolling all the stuffing into the leaf itself.

    1. Post
      Author
  36. Hoo boy, that looks awesome! I love the cabbage roll vibe without having to actually MAKE a cabbage roll.

  37. Oh my goodness this looks and sounds so tasty! I had a neighbour which made something similar for me once and it was mindblowingly good. Maybe time I tried making it myself with this recipe!