Busy Day Crock Pot Cabbage and Ground Beef

beef and cabbage with rice slow cooker
Diana Rattray
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
638 Calories
12g Fat
91g Carbs
47g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 638
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 558mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 91g 33%
Dietary Fiber 15g 54%
Protein 47g
Calcium 523mg 40%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This slow cooker combination of ground beef and cabbage makes an excellent everyday meal. It's similar to an unstuffed cabbage roll skillet, but it's even easier. All you have to do is layer all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and then set it and forget it! A bag of shredded slaw mix cuts down on prep time, but about 5 to 6 cups of freshly shredded cabbage is a fine alternative. 

With extra-lean ground beef, there is no need to pre-brown the meat for this recipe. If your ground beef isn't lean, brown it briefly in a skillet to render the fat and then drain it before you add it to the slow cooker. 

Feel free to replace the jar of spaghetti sauce with a favorite tomato sauce mixture (see the notes below the recipe). Additionally, you may choose to cook the rice separately—or omit it altogether and serve the cooked beef and cabbage mixture with mashed potatoes or noodles. Steamed broccoli, green beans, or greens complement this dish nicely.


  • 1 (16-ounce) bag shredded cabbage slaw mix (divided)
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (90/10 or 93/7)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (preferably converted rice)
  • 1 (28-ounce) jar chunky spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil (crumbled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Place half of the shredded cabbage in the prepared slow cooker.

  3. Crumble the lean ground beef over the cabbage layer. Sprinkle the ground beef with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  4. Evenly distribute the chopped onion and then the rice over the beef and cabbage layer.

  5. Top with remaining cabbage, salt, and pepper. Combine spaghetti sauce with the basil and seasoned salt. Add the water if you are cooking the rice in the slow cooker. If you are cooking the rice separately, omit the water.

  6. Cover and cook the cabbage and ground beef dinner on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for about 3 hours. Check the dish about halfway through cooking and add extra water, if necessary.


  • Rice can become mushy if cooked too long. Converted rice, such as Uncle Ben's, holds up a bit better. Or you may choose to omit the 1/2 cup of water and cook the rice separately. 


  • Replace the ground beef with lean ground turkey, if desired, or use browned ground lamb in the dish.
  • For cabbage roll flavors, replace the spaghetti sauce with a 14.5-ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes and an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce or 10 3/4-ounce can of tomato soup. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar along with the 1/2 cup of water. Omit the basil and seasoned salt.