Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (slow cooker or Instant Pot)


My husband comes from a family full of amazing Polish cooks, and one of my favorite dishes that they prepare is Golabki (stuffed cabbage). Unfortunately I don’t have time to roll all those perfect little stuffed cabbage rolls, so I tried to deconstruct it and make it a bit easier. You won’t find any beef in this recipe, since our milk intolerant little one can’t consume anything from a cow.  I’ve used pork in this recipe so everyone in our family could enjoy it, and it was a big hit.

Note: if you’d prefer to bake this rather than slow cook it, you can layer everything in a baking dish, cover, and bake at 350°F for about an hour, until it’s bubbling and the cabbage is tender. My preferred method for making this is in the Instant Pot because it’s fast and the cabbage stays crunchy.

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

serves 4 – 6

1 cup instant rice (you can omit this to make it low carb)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
two 14.5 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes, drained
3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into lardons
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground pork
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 head of cabbage, stem removed, chopped into small bite sized pieces

For the slow cooker

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and cook your bacon until crisp. Once cooked, remove your cooked bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Drain some of the fat from the pan, then add your onions, mushrooms, and pork. Cook until the pork is browned and the vegetables are soft. Mix in your thyme, tomato paste, and bacon.

To your slow cooker, add about 1/2 can of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the rice,  1/3 of the pork mixture, then 1/3 of the cabbage.  Repeat this layering process two more times, saving the remaining can of tomatoes for the top. Cover, and cook for about 4 1/2 hours on low.

This is great served alone, or along side some potato and onion pierogi.

For the Instant Pot

Select the sear option on your Instant Pot. Spray your pot with nonstick cooking spray. Sear the meat, bacon, onion, and mushrooms until brown. Make sure you stir it occasionally, and break up the meat into small pieces. Stir in your tomatoes, tomato paste, and thyme. Season with salt pepper.

Once brown, turn off your Instant Pot, put on the cover and lock it. Select high pressure, for 15 minutes. Cook the meat mixture on  high pressure 15 minutes, then do a quick release. Add in the rice and cabbage, and cook it on high pressure for another 10 minutes. This will result in your cabbage still be crunchy. If you like it to be softer, you’ll want to increase this time to 15-20 minutes. Do a quick release and serve!

Leftovers are delicious and keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

Bite of Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Join the Conversation

  1. Made this last week and it was delicious! Tasted just like the the inside of one of Babci’s golumpkis! Only thing I added was 2 beef bouillon cubes because Babci usually uses 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork…and i believe she also uses some stock. I also sub’d chopped chick peas for the rice to make it a little more carb friendly. Right on Lynds! Great idea!! Ricard approved as well!!

  2. This may be a dumb question, but is the rice uncooked when you add it to the slow cooker? Thanks!

    1. milkfreemom Author says:

      Good question! You can put the rice in uncooked, but be sure it’s instant rice. Hope you like it!

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