Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

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These Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls are super easy to make with Savoy cabbage, ground beef, and rice, and they cook so fast in the Instant Pot.

Filled cabbage leaves in the Instant Pot

I used to make cabbage rolls in the oven, but ever since I tried it in the Instant Pot, I won’t go back to making them in the oven. It’s just so easy. They only need 7 minutes to cook and with the pressurizing, it’s still under 30 minutes from start to finish.

The beef cabbage rolls smothered in tasty tomato sauce are perfect for a family dinner or whenever you’re wanting to make something a bit different.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Simple Cooking: Making cabbage rolls in the Instant Pot is straightforward. Once you’ve assembled the rolls and added sauce, just set the Instant Pot and let it do the cooking. It’s an easy way to enjoy homemade cabbage rolls without a lot of fuss.
  • Tender and Tasty: Using the Instant Pot ensures that your cabbage rolls turn out tender and full of flavor. The pressure cooking process helps infuse the flavors of the filling and sauce into the cabbage leaves, resulting in a delicious meal that’s sure to satisfy.
  • Time-Efficient: Instant Pot cabbage rolls cook in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods. You can enjoy this comforting dish without waiting for hours, making it perfect for busy weeknights or whenever you’re craving a hearty meal without the long cooking time.

Jeri says: 5 stars These cabbage rolls cooked so fast in the Instant Pot! I’ll never cook them in the oven again!

Jere Cassidy says: 5 stars I love cabbage rolls but have never made them myself, so this is my first try. I do like that you use the savoy cabbage.

Ingredients You’ll Need

If you’ve ever made cabbage rolls before, you know that they are stuffed with meat and rice, rolled up in cabbage leaves, and doused with a seasoned tomato sauce.

ingredients for cabbage rolls
  • Cabbage – I use Savoy cabbage for this recipe because it is a bit more tender than other cabbages and works nicely as a wrap. The leaves are easy to peel away and are pliable for rolling. You could use green or Napa cabbage as well. I wouldn’t recommend using purple cabbage. The leaves are too stiff for rolling.
  • Ground beef – you could also use ground pork, chicken or turkey.
  • Rice – You can make the rice in the Instant Pot too. I use basmati rice, but Jasmine rice or any long grain rice is fine.
  • Garlic and onion – add tons of flavor to the meat. Use fresh garlic and white or yellow onions.
  • Tomato Sauce – I use 12 ounces of tomato sauce (which is the same consistency to tomato passata in the EU/UK). You could also use a can of chopped tomatoes and puree it yourself (or use it chunky if you like it that way).
  • Seasonings – Oregano, thyme, salt and ground black pepper
cabbage rolls on a plate

Equipment Needed

Instant Pot Duo Plus
  • Instant Pot – I use a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus to make all of my recipes, but you can use any size or brand of electric pressure cooker. If you’re using an 8-quart pot, you will need to adjust the amount of liquid accordingly, as it requires more water to build steam.
  • Trivet or steamer rack

Helpful Tips

  • If using a green cabbage, you might find it harder to get the leaves off without breaking them. You can boil the whole head of cabbage and remove the leaves as they soften slightly.
  • You will cook the cabbage rolls right inside the water/tomato sauce in the inner pot. They don’t need to set on top of the trivet.
  • When the rolls are done, take them out of the tomato sauce, so that you can thicken the tomato sauce to serve alongside the rolls. You don’t have to use the remaining sauce, but I like to thicken it up and serve it under the rolls for extra flavor.

How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

Step 1: Prep the cabbage

With a Savoy cabbage, I find it really easy to remove the leaves because they aren’t as tightly packed. Remove as many outer leaves from the cabbage as possible, then cut the stem out of the base of the cabbage to release more leaves.

Pour in 1 cup of water into your inner liner and set a steamer rack or the trivet inside. Put the cabbage leaves on the trivet and close with a lid. Press the pressure cook button and set time to 0 minutes. It will take about 5-8 minutes to come to pressure.

cabbage leaves in the Instant Pot

When it’s done, do a manual release of the pressure and remove the cabbage leaves right away.

If you’re using a green cabbage instead, you might find that you have to boil the whole head of cabbage to remove the leaves.

Step 2: Mix the filling

Combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and rice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Fill the leaves

Meat in a cabbage leaf

Divide the meat mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Place a ball of meat mixture in the center of each cabbage roll. Fold the sides of the cabbage over the top of the meat and roll the cabbage tightly, like a burrito.

Rolling up a cabbage leaf

Step 4: Fill the Instant Pot & cook

Combine 1/2 cup water and just a 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the rolls on top of the sauce in the pot.

Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the remaining tomato sauce and pour it direction over each of the rolls. If you’re going to have 3 layers of cabbage rolls, be sure to pour some sauce over the top of each one before stacking.

Filled cabbage rolls in the Instant Pot

Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. When the time is up, give it 5 minutes to naturally release pressure, then do a quick release.

Step 5: Thicken the sauce

Pick the rolls out of the Instant Pot with tongs and set them aside. Stir the remaining sauce in the pot. If the sauce is already thickened to your liking, serve as is. Or you can thicken the sauce by turning on the sauté mode and simmering for about 5 minutes. Thicken further, if necessary, by adding a cornstarch slurry to the pot.

Serve the cabbage rolls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

A cabbage roll cut open

What to Serve it With

You can serve this dish with any side dish you like. That’s the best part – they go with everything.

Try serving them with these sides that you can also make in the Instant Pot:

cabbage rolls in a casserole dish

Questions About the Recipe

Can I Make This in the Oven?

Preheat the oven to 350°F(175°C). You’re going to need a 9×13″ baking dish to put the rolls in. Place a little bit of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, then set the rolls into the pan in two rows. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the rolls.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour.

Can They Be Made Ahead?

You can make these keto cabbage rolls ahead of time, up to a day or two. After that the raw rolls will start to become soggy and watery, so it’s not a good idea to make them too far ahead.
I roll the cabbage and put the rolls in a zip top bag until I’m ready to cook them. You can even freeze them in that state, before cooking. If cooked from frozen, they will need about 1:30 minutes in the oven to fully cook through.

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Cabbage rolls in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

These Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls are super easy to make with Savoy cabbage, ground beef, and rice, and they cook so fast in the Instant Pot.

Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot

4.77 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Pressurize Time 10 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 489 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 head Savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup (237 ml) water
  • 1 pound (454 g) ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 2 cups (370 g) rice cooked
  • 15 ounce (425 ml) can tomato sauce or passata
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) Italian seasoning or oregano and thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) water
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Remove as many outer leaves from the cabbage as possible, then cut the stem out of the base of the cabbage to release more leaves.
  • Pour in 1 cup of water into your inner liner and set a steamer rack or the trivet inside. Put the cabbage leaves on the trivet and close with a lid. Press the pressure cook button and set time to 0 minutes. It will take about 5-8 minutes to come to pressure.When done, do a manual release of the pressure and remove the cabbage leaves right away.
  • Combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, and rice in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Divide the meat mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Place the meat mixture in the center of the cabbage roll. Fold the sides of the cabbage over the top of the meat and roll the cabbage tightly.
  • Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the Instant Pot inner pot. Add in the rolls directly into the water.
  • Combine the remaining tomato sauce with the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Pour the sauce over the top of each cabbage roll in the pot.
  • Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. When the time is up, give it 5 minutes to naturally release pressure, then do a quick release.
  • Remove the rolls from the pot and set aside. Turn the pot onto saute mode. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. You can add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it even more if you want.
  • Serve the rolls with sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Notes

  • If using a green cabbage, you might find it harder to get the leaves off without breaking them. You can boil the whole head of cabbage and remove the leaves as they soften slightly.
  • You will cook the cabbage rolls right inside the water/tomato sauce in the inner pot. They don’t need to set on top of the trivet.
  • When the rolls are done, take them out of the tomato sauce, so that you can thicken the tomato sauce to serve alongside the rolls. You don’t have to use the remaining sauce, but I like to thicken it up and serve it under the rolls for extra flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 21gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 748mgPotassium: 916mgFiber: 7gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 542IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beef, Cabbage, Tomatoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

10 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

  1. Jere Cassidy says:

    5 stars
    I love cabbage rolls but have never made them myself, so this is my first try. I do like that you use the savoy cabbage.

  2. Erin says:

    want to try but looking for some clarification.
    when you put the rolls in to cook do they go directly into water and tomato sauce or are they placed on the trivet? and you say to cook them for 7 minutes but then you say to pour a tomato sauce over them for remaining 5 minutes. how do we get to this point?

    • Laura says:

      Hi Erin. I see the confusion and I’ve cleared that up in the recipe. You place the rolls directly into the liquid, not on the trivet. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls and then cook it for 7 minutes. Then you can remove the cooked rolls and thicken the remaining tomato sauce, if you want.

  3. Diana Lynn Anderson says:

    3 stars
    I am new to IP, so it is big that I can say that the recipe was pretty easy and successful. We like food to have a lot of flavor, so I will add more herbs next time. I am planning to add more sauce and herbs to my leftovers (about half the recipe was left), and place them in a casserole dish and reheat in the oven with cheese. My rolls became a little cooler than I like while I was thickening the sauce, so I will do something different next time.

    • Laura says:

      Great to hear your feedback, Diana. I like to return the rolls to the IP for a few minutes after the sauce has thickened to heat them back up.

    • Laura says:

      Sometimes people report that tomato sauce causes a burn notice. It wouldn’t be too much sauce. If anything, you’d need to add more water. When you’re making tomato sauces again, like this one, you’ll want to add about 1/4 cup more liquid than the recipe calls for. Some Instant Pots are just more finicky than others with the water.

4.77 from 17 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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