Lazy Man’s Cabbage Rolls

Originally from America’s Test Kitchen


  • 1 head cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 slices of bread, torn into quarters
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bratwurst
  • 2 cups cooked rice


  1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar and coat with coconut oil. Microwave cabbage with 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt in bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, 15-20 minutes. Drain cabbage and discard liquid.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Transfer half of onion mixture to large bowl; set aside. Stir flour into skillet with remaining onion mixture and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, sugar and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add bread and milk to bowl with onion mixture and mash to paste with fork. Mix in ground beef, bratwurst, rice, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper using hands.
  5. Spread ½ cup sauce over bottom of prepared slow cooker. Pinch off one-third of meat mixture into tablespoon-sized pieces and drop over sauce. Spread one-third of cabbage over meat. Spoon one-third of remaining sauce mixture over cabbage. Repeat layering two more times. Cover and cook until beef is tender, about 4 hours on low. Remove foil collar and let casserole cool for 20 minute before serving.

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