Slow cooker cabbage rolls are moister and more flavorful than ones baked in the oven. Stuffed with beef and rice and simmered in a tomato sauce all day long, this comfort food makes enough to feed families.

Slow cooker cabbage rolls are moister and more flavorful than ones baked in the oven. Stuffed with beef and rice and simmered in a tomato sauce all day long, this comfort food makes enough to feed families.

Cabbage rolls, or stuffed cabbage, are one of my all time favorite foods. I love them so much that instead of the traditional ham sandwiches served at graduation open houses where I grew up, I served cabbage rolls. It was delicious.

This is my first attempt at making cabbage rolls myself and let me just say, they turned out fantastic! This is not exactly a quick recipe, but the end result was well worth the time and effort.

Cabbage rolls slow cooked in a slow cooker will be moister and more flavorful than ones that are baked in the oven.

Steamed Cabbage Leaves

When steaming the cabbage, you will see a point where the cabbage turns a bright green. The leaves are ready to peel off then.  I got about 2-3 leaves off and then had to put the head back in to soften up the head more.

Stuffing for cabbage rolls

I had a hard time finding “converted rice.”  Apparently converted rice takes longer to cook so it would make sense to use it in a slow cooked recipe.  Uncle Ben’s is converted rice. It says it in very small print on the box. So that’s what I used.

How to make cabbage rolls

The cabbage was really easy to roll up.  Put about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture at the top a cabbage leaf.

Cabbage Rolled

Then roll down. Tuck in the ends.  I cut off the thick rib from the leaves so it left a little split at the end. I just tucked it all in.

CrockPot Stuffed Cabbage

Lay the stuffed cabbage leaves in the crock of a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.  I could not get 10 large leaves off the head of cabbage so I think I ended up with about 8 total rolls.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Pour on the tomato sauce and turn the slow cooker on low.  I cooked mine on high because I have no patience. It worked great, but next time, definitely on low.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce

Yields 5

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce

6 hrCook Time

6 hrTotal Time

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  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 cup converted long grain rice (Uncle Ben's)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced Italian seasoned tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Fill a large pot three quarters full of water and lightly salt. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a brisk boil. Add the cabbage, cover the pot and cook until the outer layers of the cabbage peel off easily. Remove the tender leaves and pick out 10 of the largest leaves. Remove the thick ribs in the center of each leaf. Set aside.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan three quarters full of water and lightly salt. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the rice. Cook for 5 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water and drain well again. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet placed over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook 5 minutes,
  4. stirring often, until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
  5. Place the onion and garlic into a mixing bowl. Stir in the rice. Add the ground beef, egg, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix until well blended.
  6. Spread 1/3 cup of the filling into the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the sides of the leaves over the filling and roll up the cabbage. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, into a 6 quart or larger slow cooker . Repeat untill all the cabbage leaves and meat mixture are used up.
  7. In a mixing bowl stir together the tomatoes with their juice, brown sugar and lemon juice. Pour
  8. the mixture over the cabbage in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or until the
  9. cabbage is fork tender.


You may substitute any type of ground meat for the beef. You may also add
frozen corn and shredded cheese is you like. Just stir them into the meat mixture before filling
the cabbage.



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15 comments on “Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce

  1. I love cabbage rolls, but haven’t made them for many years. This got me thinking of a recipe called Bubble & Squeak which has all the ingredients & flavor of cabbage rolls without all the work. You cut up the cabbage & cook it all together in one pot. It would bubble when it cooked & the cabbage would squeak when you stirred the pot. I believe this is how it got it’s name. I think this could work in a crock pot as well.

  2. Vickie Geiger on said:

    Core your whole head of cabbage and then stick it in the freezer overnight. Thaw the next day. Leaves peel off head easily.

  3. Robert J Sicora on said:

    I use my crock pot for a marinara sauce . Three 28oz.cans of Peeled Plum Italian Style Tomatoes , two 14.5 oz.cans of Stewed Tomatoes Italian Recipe , two 8oz. cans of sauce , and one 8oz. can of paste . Salt, pepper, 2 tbsp. sugar(brown) , 2 large leafs of basil cut up fine or 1 tbsp. of dried basil , 1 tbsp. of dried oregano , 1 med. onion cut up fine , 2 cloves of garlic cut up fine . Cook on high for two hours then use a masher to break down plum and stewed tomatoes . Simmer on low for three hours . Use a large spoon to draw off thin liquid . This will yield a much thicker sauce .

  4. These look really good, Camille! I love love love cabbage rolls and never thought to make them in a slow cooker!!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!


  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love cooking in my slowcooker and adore cabbage rolls!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. I love cabbage rolls but never thought to make them in a slow cooker. YUMMY!

    I’ll have to give this a try!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  7. Stuffed cabbage is one of our family’s favorites. My mom always cooked hers on top of the stove in a Dutch oven. Definitely going to try this! So glad you shared it!!!

  8. Headslap! If I made this in the slow cooker, I could move it outside and not “stink up the house like my mom always did” as my husband says. And that is why I have never thought about making them until now.

  9. OMG – I lov Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner Sunday Link up!e cabbage rolls but I’m too lazy to do all the pan cooking – in a slow cooker?? Oh yeah!!

  10. Trish on said:

    I usually cook these on the stove top for a long, long time but I have you keep checking to make sure there’s enough liquid in the pot – never thought of using the slow cooker. Makes a lot of sense and it’s much easier just put the rolls in and let it go. No more running back and forth to the kitchen. What a great idea. Thanks.