Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Even meat-eaters can’t tell the difference! Serve these as a party appetizer or lunch.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 6 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 2 small heads of Napa cabbage, frozen
  • 2 cans (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large Spanish (yellow) onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Defrost cabbages enough to handle. Peel off 12–15 large leaves from each cabbage (as they defrost the leaves will soften) and cut off any heavy back membrane.
  • Meanwhile, in a 1-quart bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and sugar and set aside.
  • Pour sunflower seeds into a food processor and process in pulses until ground. Avoid overprocessing to prevent the ground seeds from becoming sunflower butter. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 7–8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add rice, ground sunflower seeds, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Place 1 cabbage leaf, cut side toward you, on a flat work surface. Put a heaping teaspoon of sunflower mixture near top of leaf. Fold over the top, then tightly fold in the sides. Tightly roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all the cabbage leaves are used up.
  • Spray the inside of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce mixture on bottom. Arrange rolls on the sauce, toothpick side down, then cover with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on low for 4–6 hours.