Crock Pot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Freshly stuffed cabbage rolls ready to be cooked

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
554 Calories
28g Fat
29g Carbs
48g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 554
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 174mg 58%
Sodium 951mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 86mg 431%
Calcium 168mg 13%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1333mg 28%
*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.)

Cabbage rolls are considered comfort food in many cuisines, and they're not difficult to do. The filling for these slow cooker cabbage rolls is made with a savory mixture of ground beef, ground pork, a little bacon, and cooked rice. The tangy tomato sauce is perfect for this tasty dish. 

The cabbage rolls are cooked in the slow cooker. It requires a little bit of prep before going into the slow cooker to make sure the cabbage is pliable enough and that the rolls aren't tough but instead, tender, after slow cooking. This just requires a bit of steaming ahead of time. The directions here call for using the microwave to steam the cabbage, but you can simmer the cabbage on the stovetop if you like.

If you need a faster meal, you can make this on the stovetop. Just simmer them in a Dutch oven or similar pot for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve them with homemade rye bread, some garlic mashed potatoes, or a side of sauteed mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cabbage

  • 2 slices bacon

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped

  • 1 cup cooked rice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 15 ounces canned tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the head of cabbage in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the cabbage on high for about 14 minutes. When the cabbage is cool enough to handle, peel off the leaves.

  2. Fry the salt pork or bacon pieces and set aside. 

  3. Combine beef, pork, egg, milk, onion, rice, salt, and pepper; mix well. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture onto a cabbage leaf. Roll it up burrito-style and put it into the crock pot (fasten with toothpicks if desired). Repeat with the remaining leaves and meat mixture.

  4. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce; pour over leaves. Add salt pork or bacon and drippings. Cook on low 7 to 9 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Tips

  • To cook the dish on the stovetop, put the stuffed cabbage leaves in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pan, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • If you are starting with a fresh, unfrozen head of cabbage and don't have a microwave, you can prep the cabbage on the stovetop. Peel and drop cabbage leaves into boiling salted water. Cover and cook the leaves for 3 minutes or just until pliable.

How to Store and Freeze Cabbage Rolls

Tightly covered, cabbage rolls will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in a casserole dish in a 350 F oven with additional tomato sauce (jarred works well in this situation) for about a half an hour.

Cabbage rolls can be frozen but it's best to do it slowly because cabbage leaves are delicate. Let them come to room temperature before freezing, and then transfer to the refrigerator. Once they've chilled, transfer them to a casserole dish and cover each roll with a little bit of tomato sauce. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost them gently in the refrigerator, then bring them to room temperature before reheating them, covered, in a 350 F oven for about a half an hour.