These tasty Slow Cooker Mushroom-Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are meat-free and absolutely delicious. They're also super easy to make in the slow cooker!
I admit it, I'm a cabbage roll newbie. So I welcomed the challenge of coming up with a vegetarian stuffed cabbage roll recipe—especially one made in a slow cooker.
It took a few tries to get it right, but I'm pretty happy with these Slow Cooker Mushroom-Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Based off of this recipe from Real Simple, my version swaps out the meat for lentils and mushrooms.
I also opted for brown rice over white and regular green cabbage instead of Savoy cabbage. Green cabbage was, for me, easier to find and sturdy enough to hold up well. This recipe is really easy to make, and especially convenient if you use a store-bought jar of marinara sauce.
How to Make Slow Cooker Mushroom-Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Prep cabbage leaves.
- Make filling.
- Add water and sauce to slow cooker.
- Assemble cabbage rolls.
- Cook in slow cooker.
- Serve with sauce and fresh dill.
Full directions for how to make Slow Cooker Mushroom-Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are in the printable recipe card below.
Slow Cooker Mushroom-Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls FAQs
Do you need to cook the grains first?
You do need to cook the lentils and rice first. Trust me, I really wanted to put them in raw, but the recipe just didn't work that way. Otherwise, these rolls are a cinch to put together—and definitely a tasty, comforting meal to come home to.
Are the cabbage rolls hard to put together?
These cabbage rolls are surprisingly easy to put together. As I said earlier, I'm new at this cabbage roll business. As it turns out, though, the actual rolling is pretty easy. Just put your filling in the middle of the leaf, and fold the stem-end up by about one-third. Fold in the sides, and then finish rolling. Voila! The occasional roll may suffer a tear or two, but don't worry—they'll stay intact in the slow cooker.
- 1 head green cabbage large outermost leaves removed
- 1 cup brown lentils cooked; about ½ cup uncooked
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice cooked; about ⅓ cup uncooked
- ½ cup onion diced; about ¼ medium onion
- 2 oz cremini mushrooms diced; about ¾ cup or 3–4 mushrooms
- ¼ cup pine nuts* toasted
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh dill minced; plus more for serving
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 24 oz marinara sauce or 3 cups of your favorite homemade marinara sauce
- ¼ cup water
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop the cabbage into the pot and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
- Put the cabbage in a colander set over a large bowl to drain and cool slightly. Remove the outermost layers of leaves, until you reach leaves that aren't pliable.
- Repeat the boiling and draining process until you have 8 cabbage leaves. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels and set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add the lentils, rice, onion, mushrooms, pine nuts, raisins, garlic, dill, olive oil, and salt. Stir gently until well-combined.
- Add the marinara sauce and ¼ cup water to a 3-quart or larger Crock Pot. Stir to combine.
- Set a cabbage leaf on a working surface, outer side down, and scoop about ½ cup of the mushroom-lentil mixture into the middle. Fold the stem end up about ⅓ of the way, then fold in the sides. Continue rolling semi-tightly until completely rolled up. Lay roll seam-side down on top of the marinara sauce.
- Repeat with remaining cabbage leaves, piling each into the slow cooker in one or two layers, right on top of one another.
- Cook on HIGH for 4–5 hours or on LOW for 8–10 hours.
- To serve, scoop out a little marinara and spread it on a plate. Carefully remove cabbage rolls one at a time and transfer to the plate. Ladle an additional spoonful or two of the marinara sauce from the slow cooker over the top of each roll and top with a few sprigs of fresh dill, if desired.