If you’re looking for good-old fashioned down-home comfort food, cabbage rolls are a classic. It really isn’t that hard to remake the classic version into Paleo, Slow-Cooker Cabbage Rolls. This makes the cabbage rolls both healthy, and easy for the busy mom to throw in the slow-cooker.
Traditional vs. Paleo Cabbage Rolls
What’s different between these cabbage rolls and the ones my mom made growing up? Not much!
- Rice has been substituted for riced cauliflower. Instead of a heavy grain-laden meal, these cabbage rolls are packed with nourishing veggies—tomatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower.
- Instead of sauteing your onions in canola or vegetable oil, use coconut oil (or another good-for-you oil like avocado).
The one “special ingredient” in this recipe is riced cauliflower. You can buy this pre-made, but it’s much less expensive to make yourself. You can start with fresh or frozen cauliflower. If using fresh, chop the cauliflower into florets (stem and all) and pulse them in your food processor until they’re about the size of rice grains. Or, cut the head of cauliflower into 3-4 chunks and grate using a food processor.
You can also use frozen cauliflower florets: just steam them until they’re barely tender (no need to fully cook, as the cauliflower will fully cook in the cabbage rolls) and pulse in the food processor or use a hand-powered food chopper.
Homemade cauliflower rice is infinitely versatile and works as a great base for Mexican and Asian dishes, and to bulk up soups and casseroles. Sneak extra veggies into your family without them even noticing! 😉
Easy, Paleo, Slow-Cooker Cabbage Rolls
- 1 large head of green cabbage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or avocado, almond, etc.
- ½ white onion diced finely
- 1 ½ cups riced cauliflower does not need to be precooked
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- If you're making your riced cauliflower yourself, rice it using a food processor (or grate it by hand).
- In a large bowl, mix the beef, pork, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. To prepare the cabbage for rolling, lightly boil it whole and peel the leaves off a few at a time. Cut the core out of the cabbage and place in the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. As the leaves soften, you can peel them off with a spoon or pair of tongs.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Combine the onion and riced cauliflower with the meat, and mix by hand to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Take a cabbage leaf, concave side up with the stem toward you, and place a large spoonful of the meat mixture at the stem end. Then roll forward, fold the sides in and end with the seam down.
- Mix the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce in a bowl. Put about 1 cup in the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the cabbage rolls in with the seam side down.
- Cover with the remaining tomato mixture once the slow cooker is full.
- Cook on low for 5 hours.
- Serve & enjoy!
What do you eat with cabbage rolls? Growing up, we always ate them with mashed potatoes. Yum!