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Easy Slow Cooker Cabbage Cheap Recipe with Ham instead of Corned Beef for St. Patrick's Day

Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily. Kids Cook Monday offers simple recipes kids can help with.

Cooked cabbage and other ingredients in my St. Patrick's day bowl.

Cooked cabbage and other ingredients in my St. Patrick's day bowl.

An alternative to corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

After finding cabbage on sale for 49 cents per head--yes, 49 cents per head, not per pound!--I thought about how I was going to fix it. Being so close to St. Patrick's Day, I thought about making cabbage and corned beef. However, after looking at the prices of the corned beef in the grocery store, I decided to go a cheaper route. I had some leftover ham in the freezer. I could cook it with the cabbage and come up with something tasty, I was sure. I could add potatoes, too, and have an almost traditional St. Patrick's Day meal . . . only cheaper.

Cabbage, potatoes, and ham. I found these to be a great combination. I added a few more veggies and spices, coming up with a tasty dish. Carrots are great in this dish, too!

More St. Patrick's Day recipes

Ingredients for crock pot cabbage

1 head cabbage, cut into quarters

4 potatoes, preferably red or yellow, skins on, cut into chunks

1 small onion, chopped

3-4 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped, or 1 cup baby carrots (I prefer the babies!)

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 cup water (or more if you want more juice created)

Several pieces of ham

Caraway seeds sprinkled on top

Caraway tea, anyone?

Did you know that you can make tea from caraway seeds? It's easy and a great way to take in a healthy dose of caraway. Just add a teaspoon or two of caraway seeds to a cup of boiling water. Let it set for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the seeds out before drinking the tea. I tried this and thought it was basically hot water with almost a mint flavor. It might be a nice comforting tea to drink in cold weather.


Cut cabbage into quarters and potato into chunks. Put into slow cooker. Chop onion and celery. Add those, along with baby or chopped carrots. Add pepper, dry mustard, and brown sugar. Pour in water and lay pieces of ham on top. Sprinkle it all generously with caraway seeds. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, depending on how cooked you like your cabbage. You may want to adjust your spices, particularly the pepper and caraway seeds, to taste. I usually sprinkle more pepper on my own serving, as I love pepper.

This dish turned out great. The ham I added was just enough to flavor the entire dish, and it was a cheap substitute for corned beef. I'm sold on cabbage, especially when it's on sale. I could just cook a whole slow cooker full of cabbage and enjoy that. The caraway seeds add a nice flavor, too.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway Seeds

What do you think of this recipe?

What are caraway seeds?

I don't remember how I discovered caraway seeds, but I do love them on cabbage. They taste a bit like thyme, but stronger. I think the seeds look pretty appetizing on cabbage, too, dressing it up.

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Caraway seeds also have health benefits.They are a source of fiber and antioxidants. They are known to help with digestion and heartburn. They are said to help lower the bad cholesterol in our bodies and also help protect against developing cancer.

Now that sounds like a good deal to me. Besides any health benefits, I've found that caraway seeds are great with cabbage, and I'm eager to try them with more dishes.

How to Remove the Core from a Cabbage




Dee on October 01, 2016:

Betty Crocker has an Awesome Crock Pot Recipe Book, probably several now. I had one that I used all the time before it got water damaged. I made probably 1/2 the recipes and marked them with smiley or frown faces if I liked them. I made everything from rice pudding to ribs. Works great and helps me keep everyone eating healthier. You can usually find them at your local Thrift Stores inexpensively. My mom use to make ham and cabbage when I was a kid. We would put butter and salt on the cabbage, yummy. Not sure what flavor caraway seed has and I am real finiky. Would like to try something new but would hate to ruin an entire meal if I or my dad don't like it. Can anyone tell me more about the flavor, that would be really helpful. Thank you for all the feedback, it was great.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 26, 2016:

Karen--If you revisit this article, let me know how your recipe turned out! And next time you should try the Irish beer! Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the recipe.

karen on March 15, 2016:

My Mom was Irish and Dad, German. She made 'boiled' ham and cabbage (before the days of slow cookers!) and I never got the recipe. I was happy to run across yours and am cooking it as I write this. Can't wait until it's done! The cabbage took up a lot of space so I'm waiting for the veggies to cook down so I can throw the ham hocks in. I used chicken stock for the liquid but was tempted to use an Irish beer. Thanks for the recipe!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 15, 2015:

Thanks, Qmarpat. It's very tasty! And easy!

Qmarpat from Northern,California on January 12, 2015:

Looks wonderful!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on October 05, 2014:

Hendrika--I love cabbage for cole slaw, but in the slow cooker is soooo easy! Good luck with the recipe!

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on October 04, 2014:

Thank you for this cabbage recipe. At the moment I have an abundant amount of cabbages because a friend brings them from the farm. Looking at the video I can also add my two cents, I cut my wedges around the core keeping it whole so that I can grate the core for coleslaw, it is amazingly tasty and not at all hard if you grate it really fine. Without a food processor this is the easiest way of making coleslaw as the grating can be a problem with the loose leaves.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 19, 2013:

KEckerle--No, food can be good and not fancy; you're right about that! Smoked sausage sounds great with cabbage. Yum! I just bought a head of cabbage last week and am looking forward to cooking it soon! I actually did get some corned beef on sale this time. Yum!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 17, 2013:

Petra--It IS simple, nutritious, and delicious! You are right. Glad you like it!

KEckerle from Currently near Surprise, AZ on March 17, 2013:

My son's father's family was from Ireland so this time of the year we always want these foods. I grew up in a primarily British/German family and we ate home-grown cabbage year 'roud. My son does most of the cooking for his family. He called this morning. I told my granddaughter to ask if he was making boiled dinner tonight. She asked him and he is. His wife doesn't eat ham so he's making tonight's dinner with smoked sausage -- he said corned beef was just too expensive this year. He was right -- I dragged one out of the freezer and used that in the slow cooker this week. These foods are excellent reminders of what good food can be -- and it doesn't have to be fancy.

Petra Newman on March 17, 2013:

Hi Victoria; love this recipe.. It sounds simple, nutritious and delicious, my favorite kind:) Thanks for sharing.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 07, 2013:

Barbara Kay, I'm getting hungry myself. I do love this recipe. :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 06, 2013:

CC, that sounds perfect. I love cabbage this way. Get that stuff out of the freezer and have at it!!!!

Barbara Badder from USA on March 06, 2013:

MMM. You are making me hungry. This sounds delicious.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 06, 2013:

Let's see...I have a big ol' ham in my freezer, we have some potatoes from last year that we grew. Allz I need is the cabbage and I can have a feast! This looks wonderful and mouth-watering...funny, I don't 'crave' cabbage, but I'm craving it now. :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 06, 2012:

Oh, yeah, Susan, ham and cabbage together would be yummy!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 06, 2012:

Came back as I have some ham leftovers and was reminded from another hub of yours about this dish. Will try this over the weekend.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 19, 2012:

Me, too, Cloverleaf! Love the slow cooker. I keep using mine more and more all the time! Makes so many things taste great!

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on March 19, 2012:

Hi Victoria, as you know I enjoy making slow cooker dinners, they are so versatile and simple. I enjoy walking through the door to be greeted by a delicious home cooked meal just waiting for me! I like the idea of this recipe including cabbage and ham, I think it would be very delicious. Looks like I know what I will be cooking next in my slow cooker, thanks! Voted up.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 17, 2012:

random--It's great if you like cabbage! It is kind of stew-ish, I guess. Thanks for reading!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 17, 2012:

What a great slow cooker option! It looks kind of like a stew. Thanks for sharing!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 17, 2012:

RealH--I've been eating my cabbage dish for two days now. It's still good!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 17, 2012:

Yes, emilbybee, slow cookers come in so handy! I use mine every few weeks or so!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 17, 2012:

Susan, the ham is what I had, so I used it, and it worked really well! Great combination. I shop at a local Aldi store; that's where I got the 49 cent cabbage! Yum. I still have leftovers!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 16, 2012:

Sounds really good! I love cabbage - but haven't tried it with ham. YUM!

I like caraway - didn't know that much about it - the fact that it aids in digestion is probably why they included it in sour kraut a lot huh? So ready for St. Pats Day food!

emilybee on March 16, 2012:

I need to get a slow cooker! This looks really amazing. The ingredients sound delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 16, 2012:

What a great idea to use the ham instead of corn beef. This looks really good. I know I won't be able to find cabbage at 49 cents here but I have to try your recipe, and already have the ham.

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