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
  • 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  • Defrost cabbages enough to handle. Peel off 12 to 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 to 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 to 6 hours.