Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs taste just like a cabbage roll in meatball form! This easy meatball recipe can be made ahead for an easy dinner!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs have the cabbage right inside so you have everything in one bite!

A Cabbage Roll Recipe In Meatball Form!

Slow cooker dinners are a lifesaver. Especially when they are as tasty as this homemade meatball recipe that’s loaded with vegetables! So are you team cabbage roll?

I have to admit, it’s not my favorite recipe…I know a lot of people that go crazy for them, but when I’ve eaten them I usually pick through the cabbage leaf and eat the meat filling.

Cabbage is fine, but I like it more in things, not really just to eat a big cabbage leaf.

As you might know by now, meatballs are always a hit for me. We try and make our Grandma’s Sunday Meatballs as often as we can – and any other meatball recipe.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs have loads of shredded cabbage right in the meatball!

How To Make Slow Cooker Meatballs

If you scroll down and look at the pictures I think the cabbage is about a 50/50 ratio to the meat. These are cabbage roll meatballs after all. These slow cooker meatballs can also be done in a skillet if you want them ASAP and don’t have all day to let them go in the slow cooker!

Start out by cooking down a whole bunch of shredded cabbage with diced onion. I grabbed this right in the produce aisle at my store, already shredded for me.

It cooks down to about half the amount you started with, then you can add it to a mixing bowl with the meat, an egg, breadcrumbs and some seasonings.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Meatballs

The best way to cook these homemade meatballs is to fry them quick in a skillet first and then put them into your slow cooker.

I know it’s one extra step but the flavor will be SO much better…and you don’t want your delicious meatballs breaking up on you while they cook.

Pan-fry these Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs quick before getting them in your slow cooker!

Now you can line them up in your slow cooker and pour the sauce over the tops. We love using this slow cooker from Crock-Pot for meals like this.

The pan is rectangular and shallow so you don’t have to pile the meatballs up on top of each other and have them break apart.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs are an easy, delicious weeknight diner!

Now get the sauce ready! Just use your favorite marinara sauce and add red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Just stir together and pour it all over the meatballs.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs cook until fork tender in your slow cooker!

This is a great time to pull out your homemade frozen marinara sauce like we did. We make it in big batches and freeze it so we always have sauce on hand. But any good jarred sauce will also do just fine!

After about 6 hours in your slow cooker they look like this.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs simmer all day in the most amazing sauce!

So good you’ll want to just eat them right out of the pan. But if you have the time, make some rice. Let’s get the full effect of the cabbage roll here by serving these meatballs over some rice.

Your family is going to love these slow cooker meatballs! And since this meatball recipe is loaded with cabbage there’s no vegetable side dish required!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs are like a cabbage roll in one bite!

Looking For More Meatball Recipes?

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs have the cabbage right inside so you have everything in one bite!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Meatballs

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 30 meatballs 1x

This slow cooker meatball recipe is a great way to get more vegetables in at dinner time! The cabbage is stuffed inside this easy meatball recipe and the sauce is only 3 ingredients!



For the Meatballs

  • 2 lbs. meatloaf mix ( a combination of beef, pork and veal)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 lb. shredded cabbage
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Sauce

  • 3 cups marinara sauce (or 1 jar from the store)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage and onion with 1 teaspoon of the salt to the skillet and cook down for 15-20 minutes until it’s completely wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Add the meat, egg, breadcrumbs, the remaining salt, Italian seasoning, Worchestershire sauce and the cabbage to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Stir or use your hands to mix well, then form into golf ball sized meatballs (about 2 ” in diameter).
  5. In the same skillet you cooked the cabbage in, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat then add in the meatballs to brown. Cook for 4-5 minutes while turning the meatballs carefully so they brown on all sides.
  6. While the meatballs are browning, stir together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.
  7. Once the meatballs are browned, place them into your slow cooker and cover them with the marinara sauce.
  8. Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours. They’ll be ready after 6, but if you’re not home you can leave them cook for up to 8 hours.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


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10 Responses
  1. Paul

    Can the rice be cooked and simply rolled into the meatball? With the 6 to 8 hour cook time could you simply roll uncooked cabbage into meatball?

    1. Sandy

      I know this was dated in 2017 but I thought I’d reply anyway, 1/2 cup cooked long grain rice instead of bread crumbs will work, recipe is very good either ways.

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