Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls take a classic comfort dish and make it even more comforting. Because the slow cooker is all about comfort food. It’s a wonderful thing to come home to a house filled with mouth-watering aromas and a hot dinner that’s already made. I get a happy feeling just thinking about it as I go about the day. Really, dinner is already ready? When I get home, I don’t have to think about dinner or cook it. How great is that? Slow cookers are the best thing ever invented for kitchens.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls, A Big Batch Dish

Homey, humble cabbage rolls are one of those classic, big batch dishes. Big batch because, well, cabbages are big.

Stuffed cabbage dishes are featured in many cultural cuisines. Check some of the many here: International Stuffed Cabbage  

However, the cabbage rolls that most Canadians are familiar with are of Ukrainian origin. They are usually a filling of ground meat and rice, rolled up in cabbage leaves. Then you top them with tomato sauce and bake. Cabbage rolls are a delicious staple in many generations of Canadian homes.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Just a Classic Cabbage Roll Recipe

Cabbage roll recipes vary greatly, and many Moms and Grandmas have their own cherished recipe versions. Sometimes they have bacon, ground pork, or turkey. Some versions have different veggies and use different kinds of cabbages.

This recipe is as basic as you can get, but it’s still delicious. You can roll these up on a Sunday, and on Monday morning, plug in the slow cooker for a hearty and satisfying dinner when you get home.

Cabbage Rolls; Softening the Leaves

Although they seem like a lot of work, the only real labour-intensive part of making cabbage rolls is softening the leaves. Which, when you break it down to standing over a pot of boiling water with tongs in hand, it isn’t really hard at all.

And slow cooker cabbage rolls are especially easy because there’s no pre-cooking the filling.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Are Freezer Friendly

Cabbage rolls are perfect for the freezer, and because it’s a large batch, you’ll even get a bonus extra meal.

That’s another thing that gives me happy feelings. Dinner in the freezer, already cooked and just waiting for me to reheat. Another awesome thing to remember during a busy day.. Sometimes not cooking, is the best cooking.

Want more slow cooker recipe ideas? Try Slow Cooker Overnight OatmealSlow Cooker Red Cabbage & Apples, or Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls


Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

These Cabbage Rolls, stuffed with lean beef and rice, and topped with tomato sauce, are easy and delicious in the slow cooker.
3.25 from 12 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Servings 8 servings
Calories 259 kcal



  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • With a sharp knife, core cabbage, and remove the outer layer of leaves
  • Add cabbage to boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, remove the leaves as they soften, about 2-3 minutes per layer. Transfer leaves to a colander.
  • When you have 16 softened cabbage leaves of roughly the same size, set aside while you make the filling.
  • In a bowl, combine egg, ground beef, rice onion, salt, and pepper.
  • In another bowl, combine tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
  • To make the rolls, put a couple of tablespoons of filling down the center of each cabbage leaf.
  • Fold up the sides and then roll the leaves, placing each roll seam side down in the slow cooker, until you have one layer.
  • Cover with tomato sauce mixture.
  • Add another layer of cabbage rolls, topping with tomato sauce mixture, and continue.
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours


Of course, the cook time here is passive because we're slow cooking, but all slow cookers are different, so cook time can vary depending on your cooker.
Use the remainder of your cabbage in soups or stews, and you can save the cabbage cooking water for soup, too.
This recipe is gluten-free if you use a gluten-free worcestershire sauce, or substitute it for tamari, or omit the worcestershire sauce altogether.


Serving: 2gCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 17gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1334mgPotassium: 890mgFiber: 5gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 670IUVitamin C: 51.7mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 3.7mg
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!


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24 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

  1. Hi! Any variations like if I would like to cook this in the oven instead? Also, I’m a vegetarian so I was planning on using beyond meat ‘hamburger’ instead. (Not the crumbles but the stuff that looks like a pound of hamburger). Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jenny! Yes cook them in the oven @ 350 for 1.5 – 2 hours. Beyond meat will work fine. I would love to hear how they turn out for you. (I’ll use your experience for my recipe notes) Thanks so much and good luck with your cabbage rolls,

  2. I am absolutely loving the sound of these! It’s been a very long time since I’ve had cabbage rolls – I suddenly have a craving…..!

    1. I really want to try this recipe but I do have a question do you cook the beef first or leave raw and mix the rice and other ingredients in?

      1. Hi Kristy, no, you don’t have to pre cook the ground beef, just mix it raw with the other ingredients, as the slow cooker will do the cooking for you. Enjoy!

  3. I’ve heard of cabbage rolls before but never actually tried. They look scrumptious! I really like the filling, they look very similar to Italian cannelloni 🙂

  4. I am a total sucker for cabbage rolls, though I have yet to try making them at home. Bookmarking this to make once the weather gets cooler and I start craving these sorts of saucy, stick-to-your ribs meals!

  5. I used to hate Cabbage rolls, I don’t know why! The concept of meat wrapped in a leaf is classic brilliance. Awesome post!

  6. I saw your post for Easy Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls on Instagram and the first thing I thought was “I must make this!” It is such a comfort food to me. I am looking forward to trying your version. Thank you for the inspiration, Colleen!

    1. Hi Denise, I’m with you on that! Cabbage Rolls are a true comfort food. I love making this easy version, and it’s great to bring out the slow cooker once again. 🙂

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