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Slow-Cooked Cabbage Rolls

I've worked full time for more than 30 years, and this super slow-cooker recipe has been a lifesaver. It cooks while I'm away and smells heavenly when I walk in the door in the evening. —Rosemary Jarvis, Sparta, Tennessee
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ounce onion soup mix
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 can (46 ounces) V8 juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls; drain well. (Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use.) Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, rice, green pepper, cracker crumbs, egg and soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
  • Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides, beginning from the cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling. Secure with toothpicks if desired.
  • Place cabbage rolls in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Pour V8 juice over rolls. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until filling reaches 160°. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese if desired.

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  • Bobur7
    Jan 15, 2017

    Made this with some substitutions to make diabetic and heart healthier. Replace beef with ground turkey; replace saltines with ground pork rinds - you can replace bread crumbs with these in any recipe - no carbs and adds a meaty flavor; replace rice with raw cauliflower rice; the onion soup mixes have nearly a 1000 g of sodium - onion gravy mix has half that, or you can google dry onion soup mix and you will find recipes to make your own so you can control the amount of salt. Lastly I subbed 2 cans of crushed tomatoes for the V8. this results in carbs being reduced to .07 and using low sodium tomatoes and sauce will get sodium per serving down to 133 g - and it tasted great!

  • missybooboo
    May 7, 2014

    This is not difficult. I like to STEAM the cabbage the day before. Cut out as much 'core' as deep as possible and place in 5 qt dutch over with steamer that unfolds or in pasta cooker with steamer basket. During 'commercials lol...remove two or three leaves to any receptacle. Refrigerate when you have at least 12 leaves. Store leftover cabbage in same container. I don't SPIT my leaves cutting the thick vein. I take my paring knife and THIN IT down to the leaf thickness. Also, this recipe was waaaay too tomatoey with the T juice. I use my basic meat loaf recipe with the rice and a can of RoTel tomatoes added to the mix. Sometimes i put a 'stewed tomato' in the middle of the meat mix that I roll in the leaf if I have an extra can. My rolls are BIG lol. I place as many as I can fit in a 13 by 9 bake pan. I use a can of stewed tomatoes, juice and all along with enough beef stock/broth ALMOST to the top of the rolls in the pan. I throw any meat mixture left over the top along with a large sliced onion, a small handful of instant rice and cover with any leftover leaves OR any of the leftover head of cabbage chopped. Into the oven at 400 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours. All the cabbage rolls get eaten and what's left in the pan is the cooks treat. Beef broth, ground beef, rice, onion , and cabbage ....simple soup to take to lunch the next day. The cabbage rolls are moist (juicy) and beefy flavored. Never have liked tomato sauce based cabbage rolls.

  • catweber
    Feb 10, 2014

    For never having made cabbage rolls before this was a fairly simple recipe and the results were excellant! My husband was in seventh heaven and when he took leftovers to work received several requests for the recipe. Definitely a keeper

  • Jsowle
    Jan 11, 2014

    I don't understand how to roll them - I'm rating it but haven't tried it yet - they are making me in order to submit ?? ;)

  • promiseswr
    Nov 20, 2013

    I enjoyed this recipe very much. I did not have V8, so I used an assortment of tomato sauces. I also added seasons and spices per the advice of other reviews. I used 2 lbs of ground beef, which I think took away from the flavor. All in all a good, hearty meal. Thanks

  • gillettcookie
    Jul 18, 2013

    hey y'all... I found this through my slow cooker cookbook I downloaded for my Kindle. We didn't have the bell pepper so we substituted a jalapeno pepper cored, seeded, & chopped up. It was a very good dish, but I think next time I make it I will add a little more something to kick up the flavor a little bit. This one isdefinitely going in my "keeper" pile!! Even the 8 yr old scarfed it down once she tasted it... Made a big pot of beans to go with it and it was a full meal after a day of working around the house!! Thanks again!

  • knaquin
    Jul 12, 2013

    First time ever making cabbage rolls. EASY... DELICIOUS. Brought some to work for lunch and the whole clinic wants me to make them for our next pot luck. Thanks so much!

  • neitzel1506
    Apr 18, 2013

    No comment left

  • jusjettin
    Feb 27, 2013

    No comment left

  • voodoowitch
    Sep 12, 2012

    Too much work for a mediocre dish.