Crockpot Lebanese Mishi Malfoof/Malfouf (Stuffed Cabbage)

"Everyone in my family loves stuffed cabbage, but it's time consuming so I can't make it as often as I like. This recipe was developed with the busy, modern family in mind. The crockpot makes it simple to come home to a healthy, gourmet meal! You do have to plan ahead and buy and freeze your cabbage 4-5 days ahead of time to use the freezer trick to separate the leaves. If you are doing this the day of, you can parboil the cabbage in water and separate the leaves one at a time. This will require more time and management at the stove."
photo by ValFosburgh photo by ValFosburgh
photo by ValFosburgh
Ready In:




  • Prepare Cabbage: Wash and dry the cabbage, then wrap it tightly with Saran wrap. Place wrapped cabbage in tied grocery or ziploc bag and then freeze for 3 days.
  • Remove cabbage from freezer the 1-2 days prior to using. The cabbage will still appear “frozen” after 1 day, so you can run under water to de-ice and loosen and separate the leaves for stuffing.
  • Remove large vein from leaves (V-notch) and cut them in half to ready for stuffing.
  • Take 5-6 of the smallest, inner-core leaves and flatten out and place them on the bottom of the crockpot as a barrier for the bottom layer of rolled leaves, covering the entire bottom.
  • Prepare “Sauce”: Saute garlic in olive oil until lightly brown and soft over medium heat.
  • Add water and lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt and stir for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in pan.
  • Prepare stuffing (mishi): Rince rice in fine colander and place in large bowl.
  • Add 2 tsp salt and all of the allspice to rice and mix well. If using, add chopped onion and mix well.
  • Add meat to rice mixture and mix with hands until rice and seasonings are thoroughly incorporated.
  • Stuff the cabbage: take roughly 1/4 cup of meat/rice mixture and place on stem side of cabbage leaves and roll semi-loosely to allow room for rice to expand during cooking. Meat should not leak out the sides and should be fairly contained by the rolled cabbage.
  • Neatly organize each roll into the crockpot, leaving no room in a layer, but not packing so tightly that there is no room for rice expansion. After the first layer is done, pour about ½ the sauce over that layer. Sprinkle with 1T of dried mint.
  • Add the second layer of cabbage and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with remaining mint.
  • Cook on low: Make sure water “barely covers” the top of the cabbage - add more water, if needed, to cover. Place a small, round, flat microwave and heat-safe plate on top to keep the cabbage in place and to help them stay rolled.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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