Are cabbage rolls a Midwestern thing? I’ve only lived in Texas & Oklahoma, and I have never had them before. I’ve seen plenty of recipes on cooking shows and on other foodblogs & Pinterest. Somehow, someway…I’ve never made them myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cabbage. Everytime I see a cabbage roll recipe I look at it and think, “that looks amazing,” and then never do anything about it. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the process of stuffing cabbage leaves so neatly that has turned me off subconsciously to making it? Who knows.
When I found a recipe for an unstuffed version of the recipe, I knew I had to try it. My mom says she had made it before in the slow cooker so I knew it was a good fit for Crocktober. I had to improvise in a few ways:
- Using cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. Hey, I’m still on Keto, so I’ve got to substitute for carbs where and when I can.
- Adding fresh portobello mushrooms. I’m of the opinion that mushrooms make everything better.
If you’ve grown up on cabbage rolls you’re probably balking at those two statements. Don’t hate me! I’m not a cabbage roll expert. I’m just throwing together what I think will taste good!
I used a combination of ground turkey and ground sausage for the meat. I was just going to use the ground turkey until I found this brand new sausage at the grocery store: chile and roasted garlic.
The sausage was just calling my name. A quick check of the ingredient list and I found it had zero sugars and was ultra low-carb. I snatched that package up quicker than an owl does a mouse! I’m always down for quirky sausage flavors.
I think by using that sausage, along with all the dried spices thrown into the slow cooker, a much deeper flavor was developed to these unstuffed cabbage rolls.
This recipe makes a lot. If you have a big family than it’s perfect. If not, this recipe is a great one to put in the freezer for later meals. That’s what I’m having to do. I fully expect it to thaw perfectly fine, and I will probably just reheat it in the crockpot.
Ultimate Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
A savory, warm dinner with cabbage, turkey, sausage and mushrooms.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 lb. ground sausage (Italian or plain pork sausage would work!)
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 1 head cabbage, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 TBS. dried basil
- 1 TBS. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3 cups cauliflower rice (fresh)
- salt & pepper
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a large slow cooker, add cabbage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir in cauliflower rice, meat, and water…adding more water if needed.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until cooked through.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. In a large slow cooker, add cabbage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Stir in cauliflower rice, meat, and water…adding more water if needed. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until cooked through.