Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole – and losing Trent


Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!


We’ve lost Trent.

I know what you’re thinking, who is Trent? Well, I’m gonna tell you. Trent is “the most handsomest barbie ever” according to my daughter, and we’ve lost him. Personally, I think this is just Trent being Trent. You see, we’ve lost him before. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks. Although, to be honest, I think Katy has to bear some of the blame here because Trent never used to disappear until she saved up her money and bought him that tuxedo outfit. No, back in the days when Trent wore jeans and a t-shirt, he always stayed around the house, chilling out with Barbie, Queen Elsa, Kristoff, and the entire My Little Pony Kingdom. But when Katy got him that tux, it was like a spirit of discontent was awakened within him and he began to disappear.

First it would just be a day or two.

We would think she has just misplaced him but he would show up in plain view just when we were about to give up hope. Then, one day he showed up missing a shoe and there was no denying he’d been out on the town.


I hate to think this way. I hate to pass judgement, but this is what I’ve come to expect from someone who is thought of as “The handsomest Barbie Ever.”

A few days ago, after nearly a month of being unaccounted for, My Mama found Trent. Shrieks of glee and delight erupted from Katy’s room. “OH Trent! Trent! You’re back!!! I’ve missed you so much!”

I just shook my head. Knowing my daughter had fallen for a man she could never count on to stay around.

Inwardly, I whisper to her “Kristoff, Katy. Choose good, solid dependable Kristoff….”

But no, her heart is set on Trent.

And as of yesterday, he’s gone again.

I hope she learns.

20140801_102318Pictured above from left to right: Good old dependable Kristof, Queen Elsa, Barbie, and assorted pony friends.

Todays recipe is one of the easiest cabbage casseroles you could ever make. Four ingredients, and you can leave one or two of them out if you want. Totally up to you. By using spaghetti sauce in place of tomatoes and tomato sauce, you save a little money and also cut out the need for additional seasonings, but you can add those in as well if you like.

This recipe is versatile and dependable. Like Kristoff. Not like Trent.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

To make this you’ll need: Spaghetti Sauce, Cooked Ground Beef*, Onion, and Cabbage.

Use whatever spaghetti sauce you grab first. I’m using freeze dried ground beef but you don’t have to. You can use fresh ground beef that you’ve cooked or even dehydrated ground beef if you have that (here is my video on how to do it). If you use fresh, cook it first. If you use freeze dried, just add some water to it and let it sit for 3-5 minutes before using. If you are using dehydrated, cover it with hot water and let it sit for ten minutes (or so).

I’m trying to incorporate more shelf stable ingredients into my pantry to save money and have them on hand when I need them. Freeze Dried ground beef is good for 25 years so I can buy as much as I can afford at todays prices and know I’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it tomorrow (plus, it tastes amazing!). Food security is always a prudent idea. That is also why I like to dehydrate ground beef if I find a good sale on it. Plus, you don’t have to cook either one before using them.

NOTE: How well seasoned your casserole is going to be depends on how well seasoned your sauce is. Once it is done cooking you can have a taste and then add more herbs or spices if you like. Or add them at the start if you prefer.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

 Chop your cabbage and your onion.

Mama called while I was doing this and said “Now if yore chopping onions, make them real small, not like you normally do…”

I like big slices of onion in my dishes because I like onion, so I slice mine big. Mama likes the taste of onion but not the experience of biting into a whole hunk of it, so she chops hers really tiny.  Mama, I tried. This is as small as I can get and I made it that small just because of you.

I had initially pictured large slices but at __ years of age, I still mind my Mama.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

Put a layer of chopped cabbage in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

Top with ground beef and onions.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

Add 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

Repeat that one more time.

Gently pour 1 cup water around the edges.


Cook on low, 7-8 hours or high 3-4.

Stir well before serving.


Take a break from cooking to check out this is picture of a barbie zipline I found in Katy’s room…they sure do have fun there. Apparently not enough for Trent, though.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Casserole - Uses Spaghetti Sauce!

Now you can eat this on it’s own or serve it over rice or while riding a donkey backwards and playing a banjo. Totally up to you.

If you see Trent, tell him he can’t have none of yours. If that boy wants supper, he’s gonna have to drag himself home.

Cabbage Casserole – and losing Trent
  • ½ head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • Additional seasonings: salt, pepper, herbs, garlic powder, etc to taste (I didn't add any additional)
  1. In 4-6 quart slow cooker, place ½ of cabbage. Top with ½ of onions, ½ of beef, and ½ of spaghetti sauce. Repeat once more. Pour water around the sides into the slow cooker (To keep from disturbing the spaghetti sauce)
  2. Cover and place on low 7-8 hours or high, 3-4 hours.
  3. Serve on it's own or over rice.
NOTE: How well seasoned your casserole is going to be depends on how well seasoned your sauce is. Once it is done cooking you can have a taste and then add more herbs or spices if you like. Or add them at the start if you prefer.

“Keep your face always toward sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.”

~Walt Whitman

Submitted by Valerie Manuel. Click here to submit your own.


Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Christy's email list and receive all her new posts directly in your inbox


  1. ELIZABETH says

    Happy birthday Judi, have A bless one.Christy I could not stop laughing, your Trent story was so cute.You never fail to lift us up with your stories and your wisdom,thank you.We love cabbage in this house I know I will make this recipe often. Tell Katy I hope Trent comes home soon (smiles) God bless.

  2. katrina says

    I saw this and knew immediately that I had to make it. My house smells yummy. I am sure that its going to be delish. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Hope Trent comes back soon. :)

  3. JackieDee says

    My grandmother made this…I’ve been making it over 49 years of marriage. This recipe takes really well to change. I make substitutions here and there when I need/want to. Sometimes use cooked, crumbled, well-drained bulk sausage, other times smoky link sausage. I like to cook it in a lot of chicken stock with a can or 2 of stewed tomatoes and serve it up “soupy” over a big piece of cornbread. Stir in a can of corn to help stretch it out for another meal. I just find this meal delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive – it’s comfort food at our house. Actually, I’ve never cooked it in a crockpot – but I’m going to now! just how easy can this meal be!! Thank you Christy…you’re like having a good neighbor. :)

  4. Becky in 'Bama says

    He probably left ’cause you have labeled him a ‘barbie.’ Technically, wouldn’t he just be a ‘doll?’ if you have to give him a label – call him by his brand name, e.g. Mattel, Ideal, Parker Brothers, etc… ? :) p.s. – plan to try the cabbage dish. Yum.

  5. Karen from I should be washing clothes says

    Bless Trent’s heart! Maybe he will learn one of these days…We love cabbage at our house. Thanks for the recipe & sharing your story! I can always count on you for a smile! :)

  6. Lisa Dean Hall says

    Christy, I personally think Trent is hanging somewhere in Harvest with my son’s small princess Leia Angry Bird plushy. Princess Leia likes to go out on the town now and then and shows up in all sorts of disarray. PS I’m heading into S. Huntsville to visit Fresh Market tomorrow to stock up on their ground beef/chicken specials after I drop my son of for his first day of school. This casserole will be placed into my crock pot after lunch. PPS I hope Trent makes his way back to KaRo before he seriously breaks her heart. 😉

  7. Sandy says

    You did it again. How do you come up with such easy but delicious recipes? My husband, sister and I love this recipe. So easy to make and takes just like cabbage rolls without the fuss. So glad you were on The Talk earlier this year or I never would have found you and would be missing all you great recipes. We have our first batch of peaches on the dehydrator today. Super exciting!

  8. Teresa fini says

    I really enjoyed this recipe and I really am not a fan of cabbage! I followed the recipe as directed and it came out perfectly.
    Christy, again thank you for a great recipe. Earlier in the week I made your Carmel apple cake and it turned out wonderful too.
    Keep the recipes coming–at 65 I now like these quick and easy casseroles,

  9. diane huey says

    I was given ur site address by a friend that said I could find the southern pulled pork recipe I have been searching for, for a long time. Everyone in pa uses a tomato base bq. 20 some yrs ago my husband took me on one of his trucking trips to north Carolina. I had a pulled pork there, that I have never found again. So I copied ur recipe and will be trying later this week. While on ur blog I found this wonderful crock pot recipe for the cabbage casserole. I have many in my family and a crock pot just isn’t big enough to feed us all unless I get out the big electric roaster and for something like this its too big. Any hoo I thought I’d try this in large roaster pan in the oven. I started with the cabbage then cooked ground beef and onions but then I sprinkled a little instant rice, just lightly on the layer of beef then I put a large can of sauerkraut and a can of stewed tomatoes cut small and last but not least a jar of spaghetti sauce. I was able to do another full layer of all and then added water around the edge as you said and baked for 2 hours at 325. We had to go away those 2 hours, so when we got home it was cooked perfectly. I whipped up some mashed potatoes and served the cabbage casserole on top of the mashed potatoes. I have to say it was AWESOME!!! The kids and hubby loved and I myself ate too much. I added the sauerkraut because my mom always did when making stuffed cabbage or pigs in the blanket as some call it. This was so easy and so little work, unlike making cabbage rolls. I hope you get the chance to try this version. You have some wonderful recipes and I love the commentary that goes with them. This was a total hit and will be making again in the future because it was so good and so little work. I will be back getting more of your great recipes and can’t wait to see how the pulled pork turns out. My Friend said it’s fantastic.

    • says

      Hi Diane, welcome to Southern Plate!!! I am so glad you came by and tell your friend I said thank you for sending you my way. Thank you for sharing your tips with us, I know someone else if going to find them really helpful as well!! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the pulled pork.

  10. Judy says

    I make a casserole just like this only add rice and saurkruat, but never have I done it in a crockpot. I will now, we call it deconstructed cabbage rolls. I can now make this when its hot. No more in the oven.

    • says

      You could but you risk having dry patches unless you are there to stir it. What you would need to do is stir your rice up with the amount of water needed for the rice and then pour it in the slow cooker and stir it a time or two during the cooking process. I often do things like this when I’m making such recipes for us but I just don’t offer the recipe up that way because someone is just going to pour dry rice in there, not stir it, and then get upset with me that it didn’t turn out perfectly ;). You know how the internet is!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *