Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls Recipe
Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls Recipe

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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
MAKES:7 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 7 hours
MAKES: 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

Nutritional Facts

2 cabbage rolls equals 389 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 141 mg cholesterol, 1243 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 31 g protein.


  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.
Originally published as Sweet 'n' Tender Cabbage Rolls in Taste of Home February/March 2008, p33

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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!"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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