Using the slow cooker allows the flavors in these cabbage rolls to develop and meld together beautifully. The filling features ground beef and brown rice, so you'll feel full and satisfied. If you're looking for a sweeter sauce, you can add the optional sugar, but we think it works just as well without it., January 2023


Credit: Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Lauren McAnelly

Recipe Summary

25 mins
4 hrs 25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cabbage and boil until the leaves have softened a bit, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cabbage to a plate or shallow bowl. Let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, gently pull 12 leaves from the cabbage head. Chop the remaining cabbage (you should have about 1 cup). 

  • Transfer the chopped cabbage to a large bowl. Add beef, onion, rice, egg, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. With clean hands, mix until just combined. Arrange 1 cabbage leaf on a work surface. Cut out the thickest part of the stem in the center, keeping the leaf intact. Place a generous 1/3 cup beef mixture in the center. Fold both sides over the filling and roll up. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. 

  • Stir crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, the remaining 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper and sugar (if using) together in a medium bowl. 

  • Spread 1 cup sauce over the bottom of a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Line the bottom with cabbage rolls, seam-side down. Pour half of the remaining sauce over the rolls. Place the remaining rolls on top and pour the rest of the sauce over them. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Nutrition Facts

2 rolls
302 calories; protein 27g; carbohydrates 36g; dietary fiber 10g; sugars 15g; fat 6g; saturated fat 2g; mono fat 2g; poly fat 1g; cholesterol 94mg; vitamin a iu 1445IU; vitamin b3 niacin 6mg; vitamin b12 2mcg; vitamin c 92mg; vitamin d iu 7IU; folate 107mg; vitamin k 159mg; sodium 765mg; calcium 120mg; iron 6mg; magnesium 61mg; phosphorus 284mg; potassium 1284mg; zinc 6mg; omega 6 fatty acid 1g; niacin equivalents 7mg; selenium 22mcg.