Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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This slow cooker recipe, for turkey and cabbage rolls, is simple and yummy. We’ve replaced the traditional beef in cabbage rolls with lean ground turkey, cutting down on fat and calories without sacrificing protein and flavor. We also took some of the thinking out how to cook them. Traditionally, cabbage rolls can be cooked a few different ways – steamed or baked – and I never remember how long to cook them using each method. By turning this dish into slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls, I don’t have to worry about any of that! Simply roll them up and place them in the crock pot.

If you’ve never made cabbage rolls, you might feel a little intimidated by the rolling part. After all, cabbage is pretty tough when it comes off the head. All you need to do is remove the leaves and soften them up a bit. A few minutes in boiling water (or, in a steamer basket) should do the trick. It only takes about 2 minutes for your cabbage to be soft and pliable. Then you just add you filling and roll ’em up!

What Do You Serve with Stuffed Cabbage Rolls?

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - a mouthwatering SkinnyMs. Classic Recipe 

Looking for the best way to serve these slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls? They’re perfect on their own, but you can also serve them over mashed potatoes, garlic mashed cauliflower, or brown rice. You’ll have some beautiful sauce left in the bottom of the slow cooker, so don’t forget to ladle that tomato sauce over the top of the potatoes or the rice.

Now that you know how to make them, let’s get cooking. Give us a shout in the comments if you have any questions. We always love to hear from you!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 2 cabbage rolls | Calories: 218 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 93 mg | Sodium: 201 mg | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 12 g | Protein: 17 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5 |


    For the rolls:
  • 12 leaves cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked long grain rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1 pound raw, lean ground turkey
    For the sauce:
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil cabbage leaves for 2 minutes. Whisk together tomato sauce, honey, spices, lemon juice, ketchup, the salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, garlic, and ground turkey. Add in 1/4 of the sauce and combine well.
  3. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the gound turkey mix into the center of each cabbage roll. Roll up the leaves, tucking in the ends. Top with tomato sauce and cover.
  4. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

You might also like our list of 73 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.

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Last updated: June 11, 2018

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59 Comments on "Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls"

  1. carrie  February 16, 2014

    I am going to make these but instead of rice I am going to try quinoa. It will bump up the protein and lower the fat.

    • angie  September 14, 2014

      Did you try this? How'd it work?

      • SkinnyMs  September 15, 2014

        Angie, We've gotten several positive reader responses on this recipe. One reader suggested adding a touch of clove powder to the mix. One reader thought it bland and I suggested adding more honey for those that like it sweet, salt to bring the flavors forward, or other seasonings.

        • Ginger  January 13, 2016

          I have a similar recipe that uses grape jelly and chili sauce for the sauce. Very tasty.

          • SkinnyMs.  January 14, 2016

            Made with sugar-free varieties, we imagine that would be delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    • amanda  October 16, 2014

      there is no fat in rice….

  2. shawnd  February 25, 2014

    is the meat suppose to be precooked?

    • SkinnyMs  February 27, 2014

      The meat goes in uncooked and will cook in the slow cooker. You can brown it ahead of time if desired, but I didn't:)

  3. Cheryl  March 19, 2014

    6quart slow cooker???

  4. poshlaw  June 28, 2014

    the sauce has salt listed twice?

    • SkinnyMs  June 30, 2014

      Poshlaw, Only add the salt once. Thanks for noticing that.

  5. Pamela  August 1, 2014

    If using mince, how much? Thank you.

    • SkinnyMs  August 4, 2014

      Pamela, About 1 pound mince, same as the ground turkey.

  6. robin  August 6, 2014

    can I put this together the night before

    • SkinnyMs  August 7, 2014

      Robin, yes you can put this together the night before in the crockpot insert and keep in the fridge and then put in the crockpot to cook all day.

  7. Marc  August 10, 2014

    In the process of cooking right now, excited to try. I used brown rice instead of white.

  8. Michael Wondoloski  August 16, 2014

    Secret Ingredient !!!!! for an extra added flavor bonus toss in about 5 whole cloves ! (Discard upon serving)

    • SkinnyMs  August 18, 2014

      Michael, I could see how cloves would be a nice addition. Thanks for sharing the tip;).

  9. Helene  August 31, 2014

    Can these be frozen

    • SkinnyMs  September 2, 2014

      Helene, Yes, this can be frozen and reheated.

  10. linda  September 1, 2014

    VERY disappointed after spending the time to buy the perfect ingredients. tasteless. so glad my friends didn't accept my offer for stuffed cabbage for dinner tonight.

    • SkinnyMs  September 2, 2014

      Linda, Did you add salt to taste? Salt really brings the flavors forward in a recipe. Some have recommended a pinch of clove powder. Another idea if not adding clove powder is to add a pinch of cayenne pepper for some spice. Also if you like a sweeter dish add more honey. Feel free to adjust seasonings and modify to your liking.

  11. lj M  September 17, 2014

    use ground Pork or seasoned breakfast sausage [the "other" white meat. 😉
    ground Elk or Deer. real shredded corned beef would be good too.

  12. Monica  September 28, 2014

    Did I miss something? We definitely did not have any liquidy sauce after the 8 hours (and I added an additional 6oz can, too). Otherwise quite yummy.

    • SkinnyMs  September 29, 2014

      Monica, It may depend on the slow cooker used. Definitely check and add more liquid if necessary. If readers can only check towards the end of cook time, and it looks dry then, tomato sauce or 1/2 cup of water or other liquid can be stirred in then.

  13. Sam  January 24, 2015

    New to the world of cooking som i'm just wondering: do I cook the turkey before I add it to the mix?

    • SkinnyMs  January 26, 2015

      Sam, You can add the turkey raw. If you wanted to brown it a bit first you could, but it’s really not necessary and might make it drier.

  14. Brenda  April 18, 2015

    Made 8 larger rolls. Used beef mince. Cooked for 4½ hours. Filling was fairly bland; sauce had plenty of flavour. When I made the filling, I also added a teaspoon of beef stock powder for added flavour, but think it needs a little more flavour. I found the cloves quite overpowering in the sauce. Next time would probably halve the honey and lemon juice and only add 2 cloves instead of 5. Will make again with a few changes. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Carole  January 5, 2016

    I made them with 97% lean ground beef and followed the directions. They were very bland. They need something more than salt, for sure. Maybe a pinch of cayenne and idk what else.

    • Melissa Florero  January 6, 2016

      Carole, Yes, you can feel free to add more salt to the recipe and any hotter spices to suit your tastes.

  16. Kate  January 23, 2016

    Great Blizzard day meal cooking all day. My family loved it !!

    • Gale Compton  January 24, 2016

      Kate, You’re right, perfect this snowy weather. 🙂

  17. ASA  January 29, 2016

    I used a small can of spicy V-8 in the sauce and added garlic salt and rosemary to the filling. No cloves for me

  18. Jacquie  March 15, 2016

    I made this last night with a few changes: Cauliflower “rice”, jarred no sugar added tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes with basil/oregano, added salt, pepper, Italian seasonings to the meat mixture. It was a HUGE hit!! Thanks the base recipe!

    • SkinnyMs.  March 16, 2016

      Thanks for sharing, Jacquie! We’re glad you enjoyed it!

    • Colleen  April 5, 2016

      I was just scrolling through wondering if cauli rice would be good in this – thanks for posting!

      • Kym Votruba  April 6, 2016

        Cauliflower rice would probably be excellent in this. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear what you think.

  19. Allison  November 3, 2016

    These are delicious. Even my very picky and skeptical husband liked them. I put rosemary and Italian seasoning in the meat mixture. We didn’t find them bland at all. I love the sauce!!

    • Kym Votruba  November 4, 2016

      That’s wonderful, Allison! We’re so happy your family like them.

  20. Elaine  January 12, 2017

    Oh shoot I didn’t realize that I was suppose to mix in a 1/4 of the sauce with the meat and rice mixture. I hope it still turns out okay!
    After reading all the suggestions in the comments I added some salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and dried crushed rosemary to the meat and rice mixture and it smelled amazing already!
    I also browned the onions in a skillet and threw in the garlic towards the end until it was fragrant before taking it off the fire
    And mixing it in with the rice and ground turkey! now it’s just cooking in the crock pot on low for 8 hours
    I’m so excited to try it! It’s my first time making stuffed cabbage rolls
    And also PLEASE tell me the listed calorie count isn’t 218 per serving
    Which you listed as only 2 cabbage rolls ?

    • Kym Votruba  January 12, 2017

      Keep us posted, Elaine. Yes, the calorie count is 218 per two rolls, but remember, not all calories are created equal. This recipe is loaded with clean, energy-rich ingredients.

  21. Becky  January 18, 2017

    Do you boil the cabbage whole or do you cut it up first?

    • Gale Compton  January 18, 2017

      Becky, Remove the leaves and boil or steam just until tender enough to roll, about 2 minutes. 🙂

  22. Cynthia  July 3, 2017

    My Dad used to add squash and any veggie he liked. Really good, and fresh tomatoes to the sauce. hope you might try this. you can make them any size you want just adjust cooking time.

    • Emilia Horn  July 3, 2017

      That sounds delicious, Cynthia! Thanks for the suggestion!

  23. Stacy  August 25, 2017

    I cooked it with Sauerkraut layered between the cabbage rolls. That adds a lot of extr flavor.

  24. Terri S.  September 9, 2017

    When I make my cabbage rolls I add Clubhouse Super Burger Mix to the meat mixture and it adds wonderful flavour. For the sauce I just use Heinz Tomato Soup (better than Campbell’s as Heinz is slightly sweeter) mixed with Worchestershire Sauce, Black Pepper and Garlic Powder….YUM! Tip for those reducing their carbs, use riced cauliflower instead of traditional rice – turns out so good!

  25. Marta  February 23, 2018

    My grandmother always made the most delicious stuffed cabbage with a sweet and sour sauce and I was trying to duplicate it using this as a base recipe. For the filling I started with my basic turkey burger recipe which includes onion soup mix, garlic, Kitchen Bouquet, onion powder, parsley, beef boullion and egg beaters then added some gound cloves. For the sauce instead of honey I used brown sugar and molasses then added some raisons and shredded carrots to the pot. While not exactly hers it turned out quite good and i will be making it again.

    • Nichole Furlong  February 24, 2018

      We’re so glad you were able to use our recipe to help recreate your grandmother’s recipe! Sometimes food tastes more delicious when it bring bakes memories!

  26. Carmen Laciste  July 7, 2018

    Sounds delicious and easy to make. I like the slow cooker recipe. I’m salivating.

  27. Shey  July 22, 2018

    Hi! Just want to ask if i can substitute chicken for turkey?

  28. Patty  January 29, 2019

    I have a request for my stuff cabbage rolls all the time it is a favorite go to Meal. I add Bay leaf to it

  29. Colette  March 30, 2019

    How long would you cook in an oven? I don’t have a slow cooker.

    • Nichole Furlong  March 31, 2019

      You can cook this in the oven at 350 for about an hour or until fully cooked through.

  30. Pat  April 7, 2020

    I cooked the Weight Watchers crockpot stuffed cabbage for lunch today. I loved it! This is now one of my favorites. The tomato sauce mixture was so yummy.

    • Erin Miller  April 8, 2020

      We’re happy to hear that, Pat! Thanks for sharing! 🙂


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