Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Slow Cooker Recipe

My sister was coming over to visit yesterday and asked me to make something new for dinner. Since both of us are trying to cut out meat whenever possible, I searched for a fun Vegetarian recipe to try. Stuffed cabbage leaves are a popular dish in Eastern Europe. My Ukrainian mother-in-law makes amazing stuffed cabbage, but hers contain beef (as do most recipes). In Russian, they are called "Golubtzi", and man are they good.

I found a great Vegetarian recipe for stuffed cabbage, but I also wanted to get some use out of my crock pot.  So I found another recipe for slow cooking stuffed cabbage. This is the Vegetarian recipe and this is the Slow Cooker recipe. I sort of combined the two, tweaked them a tad, and they turned out great! If you do the prep work in the morning/early afternoon and it will be ready by dinnertime.

You will need one large head of cabbage.
Take a large stockpot and filled with water, enough to submerge the cabbage whole. Bring to boil. Add the cabbage, and let boil for one minute. Take out with tongs, and gently remove the outer two leaves. Return cabbage to water for another minute, and repeat until you've removed all of the cabbage leaves. I yielded 13 good leaves.

Don't throw away the cabbage leaves that break, or aren't big enough. Use them to line the inside of your crock pot.

For the Stuffing:
1 lb baby portobello mushrooms (or regular portobellos), chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion (white or yellow), minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Grind the mushrooms and shallot in a food processor until fine. Add to small bowl and combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix together with your hands, cover and set aside.

For the Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced peeled tomatoes, (14.5 oz cans)
2 cans tomato sauce, (14.5 oz cans)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a large sauce pan, saute onion over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Saute another couple minutes, or until onions become translucent. In a separate bowl, crush the tomatoes to a thin pulp. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to pan, and bring to boil. Add juice from one lemon, and lower the heat. Allow to simmer at least 15 minutes. Add enough sauce to cover the cabbage leaves in the crock pot, reserve the rest for later.

Gently stuff the cabbage leaves with the mushroom mixture, roughly 1/4-1/2 cup depending on how many leaves you have. Cut off the hard stem at the base of the leaf, this will make it easier to roll up. Start at the middle, roll once, then roll in the sides, then finish rolling. Pack them in as tight as you can, making sure the stuffing won't get out. 

Line the finished rolls in your crock pot in layers. I had about 8 on the first layer, and 5 on the second. After you put in the first layer, completely cover it in the sauce. Then add the second layer, and do the same. Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

We served the rolls with a bit of sauce on top, and a dollop of sour cream. They had so much flavor! The portobello acted as a great protein, the texture was just like beef! My sister commented "I can't believe this is vegetarian!" 

It's a wonderful recipe, I can't wait to try it out again!

<3 Lauren


  1. This was such a good recipe! I can't wait to try it out myself! Good job!

  2. Hmm interesting.. that looks great. I am always looking for great vegetarian recipes to balance out with the meat recipes.

  3. That looks greaaat!

  4. Looks fantastic. How many servings does this make though? Not sure whether it will be enough for us. Thanks!

  5. So delicious! This is going directly into my 'Definitely Make Again' folder!

  6. I made this and have a few questions:
    1. Was there a reason you added both an onion and a shallot to the stuffing?
    2. Why not just use crushed tomatoes instead of crushing your own diced tomatoes? Seems like a good chance to save a little time!

    All in all, this was an interesting dish! I found it to be a little time consuming, but will make it again with a few shortcuts. Thanks for sharing!

    You might also add 1 lemon to the ingredients list- I didn't see it in the recipe and had to run back out to get one!

  7. I just made this. It's in the crock pot now. Definitely time consuming and messy to prep but hopefully worth it. I didn't crush the tomatoes in a separate bowl - I just crushed them in the pan with my potato masher.