Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls


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If you’ve been intimidated by the thought of making crock pot cabbage rolls, you’re in the right place. This Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls recipe is easy to follow and at the end of the day, you’ll have a tasty meal on the dinner table.

Cabbage cooks extremely well in the crock pot. Try a few other recipes like my Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage or Slow Cooker Potatoes, Cabbage and Kielbasa.

Cooked cabbage rolls in the crockpot.

What are cabbage rolls?

Cabbage rolls are a popular Polish dish that has gradually made its way onto many dinner tables around the world. Your family is sure to love stuffed cabbage after sinking their teeth into these!

Traditional stuffed cabbage rolls are made by folding a cabbage leaf over and around a filling mixture of ground meat and rice and then cooking them in a tangy tomato sauce. A mixture of ground beef and ground pork is more traditional but using all beef has become popular.

Ground beef, rice, onion soup mix, and a few other pantry staples are used to create the delicious filling mixture and are cooked slowly in tomato soup.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for cabbage rolls on a table.
  • Ground beef: We used lean ground beef. The beef will fully cook inside the cabbage leaf in the slow cooker.
  • Cabbage: Use a large green cabbage to ensure you have enough leaves.
  • Filling mixture: Along with ground beef, you’ll need breadcrumbs, uncooked instant rice, diced green bell pepper, a large egg, onion soup mix, finely diced shallots, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to complete the filling mixture.
  • Cooking Sauce: Tomato soup and a can of Rotel tomatoes. You if want a spicy kick, you can use a spicy Rotel instead of mild.
  • Seasoning: Use salt and pepper to taste.
4 images showing how to boil and peel leaves off cabbage.

Step OneCAREFULLY cut the stem of the cabbage out. The stem can be fairly tough so be sure to secure the cabbage well to avoid cutting yourself if it should roll.

Step Two – Add the cabbage to salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. Rotate the cabbage halfway through the cooking time to ensure it evenly cooks.

Step Three – The leaves will easily pull way. You will need 12 large leaves.

Step Four – Use a pairing knife to either cut the thick stem out or to shave it down making the leaves pliable.

4 images showing how to make the filling for cabbage rolls.

Step Five – In a large bowl, mix the tomato sauce, rice, green bell pepper, shallots, Worcestershire sauce, onion mix, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg together.

Step Six – Add the ground beef and mix it in thoroughly. Mixing by hand is the best way.

Step Seven – Pour 1/2 can of the soup into the bottom of the slow cooker, spread it around. Take 1/3 cup of the mixture and place it in the center of a cabbage leaf.

Step Eight – Fold in all sides as if you’re making a burrito to completely enclose the filling.

4 Images showing how to assemble and layer cabbage rolls in the slow cooker.

Step Nine – Place the cabbage roll seam-down on the soup in the slow cooker.

Step Ten – Once you have your first layer of 6 rolls, pour half of the Rotel and the remaining tomato soup from the open can over the top of the cabbage rolls.

Step Eleven – Make the next 6 cabbage rolls, placing them on top of the previous layer. Once all of the rolls have been made, spread the remaining Rotel over them and the last can of tomato soup.

Step Twelve – Cook the cabbage rolls on LOW for 6-7 hours. Garnish the top with parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!

cooked cabbag rolls in red sauce in a slow cooker.

How to Serve Cabbage Rolls

  • Spoon some of the sauce over the cabbage rolls when serving. You can add a dollop of sour cream for an extra flourish.
  • Prepared cabbage rolls are a complete meal on their own, but they can be served with a small salad. They’re also delicious served over mashed potatoes. Warm crusty bread is also great for soaking up every last bit of the sauce.
cabbage rolls done cooking in a crockpot.

Recipe FAQs

What other meat could I use instead of ground beef?

Any ground meat will work: pork, sausage, chicken, turkey, or venison would make great substitutions.

What can I do with the remaining leaves of the cabbage?

Chop up the remaining blanched cabbage leaves and toss them in a hot skillet with onion and bacon for a tasty side dish for another meal.

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, but be sure to use Minute brand rice.

How can I make this slow cooker stuffed cabbage recipe spicy?

You can use spicy ground sausage, spicy Rotel, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce.

How do I store leftover slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls?

Any leftover rolls should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them in the oven or microwave.

plate with a sliced open cabbage roll.

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cooked cabbag rolls in red sauce in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Homemade cabbage rolls in a tangy tomato sauce and easily made in the slow cooker.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 21 oz. tomato soup, (two 10.5 oz. cans)
  • 10 oz. Rotel tomatoes
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup Minute brand rice
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 oz. onion soup mix
  • 1-1/2 lb ground beef, lean
  • grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions 

  • Cut the stem of the cabbage out. The stem can be fairly tough so be sure to secure the cabbage well to avoid cutting yourself if it should roll.
  • Put the head of cabbage into a pot of boiling salted water. Boil for 5 minutes, rotating the cabbage halfway through. Remove and allow the water to drain out. The leaves will easily pull away.
  • Use a pairing knife to either cut the thick stem out or to shave it down making the leaves pliable.
  • In a large bowl, mix the tomato sauce, rice, green bell pepper, shallots, Worcestershire sauce, onion mix, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg together. Once combined, thoroughly mix the meat in.
  • Pour 1/2 can of the soup into the bottom of the slow cooker, spread it around.
  • Take about 1/3 cup of the mixture and place it in the center of a cabbage leaf. Fold in all sides as if you’re making a burrito to completely to enclose the filling. Place the cabbage roll seam-down on the soup the slow cooker.
  • Once you have your first layer of 6 rolls, pour half of the Rotel and remaining tomato soup from the open can over the top of the cabbage rolls.
  • Make the next 6 cabbage rolls, placing them on top of the previous layer. Once all of the rolls have been made, spread the remaining Rotel over them and the last can of tomato soup.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. A meat thermometer should read 160°F (but can be higher).
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve.

Notes

  • Any ground meat will work: pork, sausage, chicken, turkey, or venison would make great substitutions.
  • Any leftover rolls should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them in the oven or microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 947mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 741IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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18 Comments

  1. Joseph says:

    5 stars
    I know first-hand the joys of attempting to cut out the stem. Both me and my mom cut ourselves doing so a couple Christmases back. It’s why I switched to savoy cabbage. The leaves just peel right off…no boiling necessary as with regular green cabbage which requires boiling to loosen the leaves….also no cutting out of the stem necessary either…just pluck the leaves right off 🙂

    I would likely use the same cabbage for this recipe as well which sounds like a good one 🙂

  2. Martha says:

    I Don’t like minute rice. Can I use any other rice?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You can used cooked rice. Regular rice doesn’t cook up well in the slow cooker.

  3. Brooke says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! Tastes so good I think I may have used more cabbage leaves so next time I will fill them more. It was my first try. But this was easy and ingredients I pretty much already had. I saw a hack about freezing the cabbage leaves a few days before and letting them defrost on their own because then u don’t have to boil! Such a good recipe! Family loves it!

  4. Bettina says:

    Can leftovers be frozen?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, this freezes well.

  5. Dee says:

    Looks good going to try it! Can you prepare ahead of time?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, that will work fine.

  6. Judy says:

    Do you cook the rice?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      No, but I use minute brand rice. It works better in the slow cooker.

  7. Sandy says:

    If I put in oven what temp and time? I didn’t start in time to cook 6 hours.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Bake at 350 degree for about an hour.

  8. Walter says:

    Can I triple the recipe and layer the stuffed cabbage rolls in the Crockpot? 6 rolls will not do for my family.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You can double it in a 6 quart slow cooker, I don’t believe you can triple it though.

  9. Heather says:

    Hi! Is the meat raw when combined with the other ingredients? I just wanted to make sure, usually it says to cook the meat before placing it in the slow cooker recipes.this looks delicious!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      It’s used raw and will cook in the slow cooker.

  10. Elyce says:

    Can I leave out the rice… trying to watch carbs~?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, that will work fine.