Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

You'll love this easy slow cooker corned beef and cabbage served straight from the pot with a dollop of whole grain mustard. Serve for St. Patrick's Day or any family meal.

Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker - corned beef and carrots on platter

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Corned beef and cabbage—a beloved St. Patrick’s Day dish—is about as native to Ireland as I am. Although corned beef and cabbage is now consumed in Ireland, it is not the national dish that many people believe it to be.

This one-pot wonder is an adaptation of the Irish dish of bacon and cabbage, something I enjoyed on multiple occasions during my culinary internship in Ireland. I was intrigued to find out that Irish Americans mimicked their new Jewish neighbors and used the cheaper salted (corned) beef in place of their traditional piece of bacon. As a result, another contribution to the American melting pot was created.

With its one-pot wonder status firmly established, it makes great sense to adapt this to the slow cooker.

What Is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is beef brisket that has been brined to cure (or preserve) it in pickling spices, salt, and nitrates (the nitrates also give it an appealing color). When shopping for your corned beef, look for brisket flats, which are the more tender, less fatty cuts.

How to Shop for Corned Beef

  • A 3-pound brisket is ideal, as it will shrink during cooking. If you plan to feed more than 6 people, choose a larger brisket.
  • Make sure your package of brisket says "cured" so you don’t have to meddle with the curing process on your own. If you've accidentally picked up an uncured brisket, or would like to try your hand at curing your own beef, here’s how to cure beef at home.
  • Save the spice packet! It's also important to purchase a package of corned beef that includes a spice packet. While most corned beef is full of flavor on its own, the spice packet pumps up the taste of the overall dish. It most often contains bay leaves, black peppercorns, and mustard seeds.
Sliced corned beef on cutting board with a meat fork and knife

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Why Make Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Do you have a couple of hours for me to extol the virtues of making your corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker? No? Ok, here are the top 2 reasons!

  • It's consistent. Slow cookers keep a steady temperature throughout their cooking, so you don't need to worry about a fluctuation in heat. This is important because brisket is a notoriously tough piece of meat, one that needs to be cooked low and slow.
  • It's hands-off. Being able to throw the corned beef into your slow cooker before getting started for the day and having it cook without babysitting is another benefit to using this method. It is possible to overcook corned beef in the slow cooker, but it would take a few extra hours for that to happen. Stick with the eight hours of cooking time.
Bowl with a whole green cabbage, red new potatoes, and peeled carrots

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Best Vegetables for Corned Beef

As the name indicates, cabbage is the ultimate pairing when it comes to corned beef. I prefer to use green cabbage because I can find it easily, and it’s the least expensive cabbage to cook with. Savoy cabbage is another great option if you can find it.

Carrots cut the bitterness of the cabbage. A rough chop, leaving pieces that are two inches thick, will leave you with tender carrots that aren’t mushy at the end of cooking.

New red potatoes, also called baby red potatoes, are preferred because they're not overly starchy, are small enough to cook in two hours, and give a bit of color to the finished dish. Yukon gold or russets are good substitutes if you cut them no larger than two inches to ensure they cook through. No need to peel your potatoes—just give them a thorough scrubbing before cutting.

When to Add Vegetables to the Slow Cooker

Add the vegetables in the last 2 hours of cooking the slow cooker corned beef. Adding them towards the end of the cooking time preserves their texture and some of their color.

Never fear, though! If you arrive home too late to add the veggies, toss them onto a lightly-greased sheet pan and roast in a 425°F oven for 25 minutes. Once they're fork-tender, add them to the slow cooker. Thanks to the stock created by the corned beef, the veggies will taste as though you'd simmered everything all together.

A hand drizzling mustard sauce over sliced corned beef

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

How to Serve Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

After the corned beef has finished cooking, you only need to lift it from the pot with a pair of tongs and slice it across the grain. The meat has what looks like subtle ridges—that's the grain. Slice the meat perpendicular to those ridges to get the most tender slice of corned beef. Arrange the corned beef on a serving platter, or transfer it back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.

Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage is a simple dish that is best served straight from the pot. The only way it can possibly be made better is by spreading a dollop of whole-grain mustard over your slices of beef.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

My favorite way to repurpose leftovers, however, is in a classic Reuben sandwich: slices of corned beef topped with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, served on dark rye bread and smeared with thousand island dressing.

More Ways to Love Your Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds cured corned beef, with spice packet

  • 1 medium white onion, quartered

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 1/2 pounds new red potatoes, washed and chopped into 2-inch chunks

  • 1 medium (about 1 1/4 pounds) green cabbage, cut into sixths

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch slices

  • Whole-grain mustard, for topping


  1. Prepare the corned beef:

    After removing the corned beef from the bag, rinse it under cold water to rid it of any remaining brine. Place the rinsed brisket into your slow cooker, fat side up. Sprinkle the contents of the spice packet over the brisket and add the onion and garlic. Pour the water over the brisket and cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).

    How to Make Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker - package of corned beef brisket
    Marta Rivera
    Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker raw corned beef with onion wedges in slow cooker
    Marta Rivera
    Marta Rivera
  2. Add the vegetables:

    With 2 hours of cook time remaining (or 1 hour if cooking on high), carefully remove the corned beef from the slow cooker to a plate. Add the cut potatoes to the bottom, then return the brisket to the slow cooker. Nestle the cabbage pieces and carrots around the beef and cover. Continue to cook the corned beef for 2 hours if you're cooking on low (or 1 hour if on high).

    Crockpot Corned Beef - beef cabbage potatoes carrots in crockpot
    Marta Rivera
  3. Slice and serve:

    Once the potatoes are fork tender and a piece of brisket easily flakes off when pierced with a fork, carefully remove the corned beef from the slow cooker to a cutting board using a pair of tongs. Slice the brisket against the grain into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices.

    Transfer to a serving platter and arrange the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes around it. You can also return the corned beef slices to the slow cooker to keep warm and serve directly from the pot.

    Top with whole-grain mustard, if desired.

    Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

    How to Make Corned Beef in the Slow Cooker - sliced corned beef on cutting board
    Marta Rivera
    Crockpot Corned Beef - drizzling mustard on sliced corned beef
    Marta Rivera
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
800 Calories
42g Fat
32g Carbs
70g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 800
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 240mg 80%
Sodium 158mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 52mg 261%
Calcium 112mg 9%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1450mg 31%
*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. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.