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.
>> You might also like this warm and hearty Instant Pot Beef Stew.
» Check out our Instant Pot Cooking Times Cheat Sheet so you never have to look up times again for your favorite foods you make in the pressure cooker. Print or bookmark it so you always have it handy!
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.
Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
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.
The ingredients you’ll need are:
- 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 oz 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
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Now you can control your pot wirelessly through an app. Cool-touch handles on the pot itself, and an automatic locking pressure release valve for greater safety. This one does it all.
How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 saute 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.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.
- Don’t Have an Instant Pot Yet? This guide can help you choose the right one.
- See reviews and prices for Instant Pots on Amazon.
- Learn some great Instant Pot Tips & Tricks.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Instant Pot.
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:
Notes for Making This Dish
- 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.
Can I Make This in the Oven?
Preheat the oven to 350°F. 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 ziplock 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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Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 head Savoy cabbage
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups rice cooked
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce or passata
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano and thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- 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
- Place the rolls directly into the pot, without the trivet.
- You can thicken the sauce once the rolls are cooked, on saute mode. Add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it even more, if desired.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.
10 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls”
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.
These cabbage rolls cooked so fast in the Instant Pot! I’ll never cook them in the oven again!
Can you cook frozen uncooked cabbage rolls in instant pot pressure cooker?
Yes you can! Just cook for 2 more minutes under high pressure than you would for fresh.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Tried this and got the burn error message. 🙁 Maybe I used too much sauce?
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.