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Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls Recipe

I've used this recipe for more than 30 years, and the extra time it takes to assemble the rolls is well worth the effort. I always make two batches because they go so fast. You can assemble the night before and cook the next day.—Sonja Benz, Carmel, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 7 hours YIELD:7 servings


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, well drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  • 1. Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 14 large leaves for rolls. (Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use.) Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, rice, mushrooms, onion and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Place about 1/2 cup on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends and fold in sides, beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling.
  • 3. Place seven rolls, seam side down, in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine sauce ingredients; pour half over cabbage rolls. Top with remaining rolls and sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 7 servings.

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 389 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 141mg cholesterol, 1243mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 3g fiber), 31g protein.

Reviews for Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls

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shannondobos User ID: 5115022 228192
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2015

"I've made these many, many times since I first came across this recipe. I always leave out the mushrooms, just as a preference. They are perfectly tender and sweet. My mother in law doesn't eat red meat, and I've substituted ground turkey with great success here as well! Highly recommend this!"

ivorykeys User ID: 7909575 84967
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2014

"I have to say as I was making them I thought this is way too much prep for crockpot cooking. Well.........not after tasting them! These are the best!!! So worth it!"

takeflight User ID: 7731183 173414
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2014

"I love this recipe! My mom always made stuffed cabbage, but I must say this recipe is even better than hers. They are so moist and tasty. I do not find them too sweet at all. Everyone who tries them raves about them. I did omit the mushrooms , basil and oregano however!"

isathre User ID: 3945908 102876
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2014

"I just made the cabbage rolls, did not change the ingredients and they were excellent. I did put them in the oven, covered, at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. I cut the recipe in half which made 8 servings, they fit in a 9 x 13 inch glass pan. I will be making them again. Thank you for a recipe with the seasonings. I have made cabbage rolls before, but it did not compare to this recipe. I will be freezing them, after they thaw, will put them in a pan, make more sauce, and enjoy. Thanks so much for this recipe."

ahd605 User ID: 2867335 140560
Reviewed Nov. 17, 2013

"was very sweet i added vinager to cut the sweetness. next time i will put half the brown sugar and maybe add alittle soy and a little worcetershire sause to cut the sweetness."

Jellybean User ID: 119091 209668
Reviewed May. 10, 2013

"These are good but I had trouble with the cabbage leaves. Mine tore as I tried to separate them from the head. I ended up piecing them together to cover the filling. They weren't pretty but tasted good. The sauce became too thin and needed more."

lmcmaster User ID: 3422437 175913
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2012

"very sweet and delicious"

snabuurs User ID: 4934540 156330
Reviewed Mar. 7, 2012

"This was a big hit with my family, which normally wouldn't eat cabbage, this will definalty become a winter staple."

robynswreaths User ID: 853311 171045
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2011

"We loved this, left out the sugar..added minced garlic, was delish!"

NCFlash User ID: 3272225 173413
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2011

"This recipe is excellent. Prep time is well worth it. Leftovers are very good as well."

krishodges User ID: 496764 209667
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2010

"This was just what I was looking for, a sweet sauce with the cabbage rolls. I halved the recipe but used the full amount of tomato sauce plus added a can of tomatoes with basil garlic & oregano toward the end. Mine was actually cooked in about 4-5 hours on low by the 165° internal temperature of the rolls. Delicious recipe! Thanks Sonja!"

chris and jenn User ID: 4471881 85502
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2010

"My family said yuk to cabbage till they tried these!!! I used canned diced tomatoes instead for the sauce and half the sugar. Yum"

res0nov9 User ID: 4392737 173412
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2010

"Meat was moist and tender, I prefer less rice but the recipe was good"

MarvelousMaxie User ID: 4513893 157698
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2010

"I omitted the canned mushrooms and par-boiled the rice. I wanted to try this in the oven for those who don't want to use a slowcooker. I baked it for 3 hours at 300 degrees and it was perfect. It is a little sweet but I like my stuffed cabbage that way."

brendajack63 User ID: 1835571 84966
Reviewed Oct. 8, 2009

"too sweet......."

msgrneyz2 User ID: 991218 100155
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2009

"These were okay. A little too sweet for our tastes. Think i'll add a can of diced green chile's to the sauce and cut down or totally delete the amount of spices, which were a little too strong of a flavor. But the meat was very tender and moist."

bakerer User ID: 3908437 157697
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2009

"This is a wonderful recipe...flavorful, tender, and healthy. Because I usually don't start thinking about dinner until late afternoon, I have found that you can bake these in the oven at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Just baste them once or twice and this method will also work well."

Mel_Z_55 User ID: 2681876 102873
Reviewed Mar. 31, 2009

"Great recipe. Wonderful flavor. I throw it in the crock pot at lunch and they are ready when I come home. My husband can't imagine cabbage rolls without sauerkraut so I usually throw some between the layers of rolls. Very delicious!"

gracier User ID: 1627775 140557
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2009

"I made these for Sunday dinner mixing than on Sat. and baking in the oven.

They were DELICIOUS."

eubecknx User ID: 2946462 140556
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2009

"Don't forget to use a Reynolds slow cooker liner in your crock pot...easy clean-up!"

stevetschida353 User ID: 310931 84965
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2009

"Do you have nutritional values for this meal, specifically, potassium?"

bubasgirl User ID: 3937894 160119
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2009

"I love your tip on freezing the cabbage, is that not half the reason we do not make these more often? And I love the sweet sauce and the crock pot, God Bless You!"

maxinemary User ID: 2699108 175911
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"When cabbag is on sale, I freeze the whole heads in ziplock bags. When I make stuffed cabbage rolls, I just thaw out a head and the leaves peel right off with no cooking! A great time saver and much easier."

ordy User ID: 2806221 172202
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"IdeaWhen make the cabbage roll I freeze my cabbage and thaw it instead of cooking. They come out just like cooking the cabbage. The only difference I found was that rolls needed to be cooked longer."

colleen1610 User ID: 1235905 84963
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

" I Think if you go back and read the recipe you will find your answer............. "

RonnieBob User ID: 1675532 175910
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"I cook the rice and add it to the uncooked meat mixture when cool. The proceed as noted.

I have also made a batch and froze them in freezer bags to cook and serve at a later date."

aliceann User ID: 152450 156328
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"Do you brown the meat or cook the rice, or is all of it put in raw?"

maxandme User ID: 2246526 102871
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"this was absolutley perfect, my husband said they were the best he had. with the rest of the cabbage, place in bottom of pan and the cabbage rolls on top, it all goes just as fast. thank you for the recipe."

twinkle8o3 User ID: 1013923 172201
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2009

"VERY delicious! This is one of my favorite recipes. I don't know how the other poster managed to cook them into "tasteless mush". Mine have turned out wonderful every time! I highly recommend this recipe!"

akibler2 User ID: 3500017 172037
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2008

"we love these. I bake them instead of the slow cooker, but they are so good!"

keverwann User ID: 1807985 103308
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2008

"First time I have made cabbage rolls. Very yummy. I love the fact that I could make them the night before and be at school all day and come home to dinner ready!"

scrambledwithcheese User ID: 1233902 175908
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2008

"Just plain awful! Turns out like mush and with no flavor!"

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