Slow Cooker Halupki Casserole

I adore halupki, (AKA golumpki, blind pigeons, stuffed cabbage, etc.) but I do not always have time to core, cook, and prep whole cabbage leaves or dedicate the cooking time to the traditional roll version. I also often find myself with a partial head of cabbage in the veggie bin left over from making another dish…no whole leaves to harvest from the head, but still lots of usefulness left. In those instances, I put together this faster to prep and cook casserole version of Halupki that provides all the flavor with far less fuss. As with the rolls, I like this served with mashed potatoes as a side.

This recipe gets its sweet and sour element in the sauce from tomato soup and a little sugar and vinegar. You can add a few strips of bacon to the top when baking, or even a layer of sauerkraut; dress it up with what you like and what you have on hand if desired. This freezes beautifully; just thaw and reheat when you get a craving!

I like to mimic the inside of traditional halupki by making little meatballs to layer in the casserole, but you can cut the prep time even more by just sprinkling little “globs” of the meat mixture into the dish. Layer into the crock, cook on high 4 – 6 hours or until cabbage is tender and enjoy!.

Slow Cooker Halupki Casserole

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: EntreesCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate


  • Approx 1-1/2 – 2 lb cabbage, core removed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces or medium shreds (approx. 1/4″ )

  • 3/4 pound ground beef

  • 1/2 pound ground pork (OR use all ground beef)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice

  • 1 small onion, diced fine

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 egg

  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 2 – 10 ounce cans condensed tomato soup

  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 2 – 8 ounce cans tomato sauce

  • 1 T sugar

  • 1 T white vinegar or lemon juice

  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

  • OPTIONAL: 1 – 2 cups sauerkraut and/or bacon strips (to layer on top of cabbage.)


  • In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together the tomato soup, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, the sugar, the lemon juice, and the black pepper. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the beef, pork, rice, onion, garlic powder, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt together well. Form into bite-sized meatballs.
  • In the slow cooker crock, place a few spoonfuls of sauce, then layer 1/3 of the cabbage, 1/2 of the meat, a few ladles of sauce. Add another 1/3 of the cabbage, the remaining meat, and a few ladles of sauce. Finish with the final 1/3 of the cabbage and top with remaining sauce.
  • NOTE: If you are using sauerkraut and/or bacon, place these on the layers of cabbage before adding the sauce each time.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or until cabbage has softened.


  • If adding bacon to your layers, keep in mind bacon will release grease as it cooks, Adding a lot of bacon can cause an excess of grease in the finished dish