“Deconstructed” Stuffed Cabbage Stew


Anyone feeling a little short on time? With the semester about the close at the college and three kiddos in pre-Christmas hysteria, I certainly would like to find some time. My slow cooker gets A LOT of use in December between Dulce de Leche for gifts and ready-to-eat dinners like this soup. Now that I’ve got dinner covered, maybe I ought to start on those Christmas cards…

First the cabbage, then the meat mixture–don’t stir!

"Deconstructed" Stuffed Cabbage Stew

Yield: 8 servings

"Deconstructed" Stuffed Cabbage Stew


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. lean ground beef (at least 90% lean)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1(28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon (such as Better than Bouillon®)
  • 1 - 3 tsp, sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco®
  • 1/2 head cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1 (32 ounce) package beef broth (such as Pacific Natural Foods®)
  • shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Warm the oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the beef and onion; cook until onions are soft and meat is browned throughout, about 8 minutes. Drain the fat off the meat mixture. Stir in the tomatoes, bouillon, sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic, pepper and Tabasco to the beef; mix all ingredients well and set aside.
  2. Place the chopped cabbage in the slow cooker crock. Sprinkle the rice over the cabbage. Spread the beef mixture over the rice; do not stir. Pour the beef broth over all (do not stir).
  3. Cover and cook 8 hours on LOW (4 hours on HIGH). Stir the soup well before serving. Garnish each portion with some of the shredded Parmesan, if desired.

Dairy Free Variation : Omit Parmesan garnish.

Ingredient Info: Adding a little sugar to a recipe in which tomatoes figure prominently, such as we do here (spaghetti sauce is another example), helps temper some of the acidity the tomatoes contribute to the dish. It should not make the end product sweet (if it does, too much sugar has been added). If you’d prefer, leave it out.

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