These Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls are the real deal! Cook the whole head of cabbage first, then peel the leaves, stuff and cook a second time.
How to make Cabbage Rolls in the Instant Pot
- Add water and a whole head of cabbage to the Instant Pot. Pressure cook for one minute.
- Make the filling by combining ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, egg, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Unwrap 8-10 outermost leaves from the cabbage.
- Add meat mixture to cabbage leaves and fold them like a burrito.
- Add beef broth and jar of pasta sauce to the Instant Pot and then add cabbage rolls. Pressure cook for 20 minutes.
- Serve cabbage rolls and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Green cabbage
- Extra lean ground beef – any ground meat like ground turkey or ground chicken can be used in place of ground beef.
- White rice – use any dry white rice variation or brown rice. Using brown rice may alter cook time. Leave out the rice altogether if you prefer not to use any.
- Onion – yellow, white or red onion can be used for this recipe.
- Garlic – fresh or jarred minced garlic can be used. In a pinch, garlic powder can be used.
- Paprika – cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper can be used in place of paprika.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Pasta sauce – use your favourite red pasta sauce.
- Beef broth – chicken broth or veggie broth can also be used in place of beef broth.
What to serve with cabbage rolls
Cabbage rolls are a delicious low carb dinner option that you can enjoy alone or with side dish! This recipe is inspired by traditional Polish cabbage rolls, so the best side dishes to pair with this recipe are ones that compliment the cuisine. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to serve up these cabbage rolls as a full dinner, try one or a few from the list below:
- Mashed potatoes
- Cornbread, garlic bread or dinner rolls
- Salad of choice (bean salad, cucumber salad, leafy green salad, couscous salad, etc.)
- Kielbassa, sausage, etc.
- Roasted veggies
- Potato pancakes
Removing cabbage leaves without breaking them
Making cabbage rolls involves carefully peeling the leaf layers of the cabbage without ripping them. Peeling the cabbage leaves can seem daunting because the cabbage leaves are stiff and closely wrapped together, but with a few simple steps you can easily remove the cabbage leaves without damaging them!
Place a whole cabbage head in an Instant Pot with one cup of water and pressure cook for 1 minute. This will soften the leaves making them more pliable.
Once the cabbage head has cooled down and has been removed from the Instant Pot, slowly peel back the leaves. They should remove with a much lower chance of ripping.
Storing and reheating
Can you freeze this recipe?
More Instant Pot cabbage recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my ground beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowlsup to 3 months
Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
- 1 cup water
- 1 head green cabbage
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup dry white rice
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 (697)mL jar pasta sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- Add 1 cup water and the whole head of cabbage to the Instant Pot. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 1 minute. Make sure to deselect the "keep warm" setting.
- Meanwhile, mix ground beef together in a large bowl with rice, onion, garlic, egg, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Remove head of cabbage and drain liquid.
- Unwrap 8-10 outermost leaves from the cabbage, then add beef broth and jar of pasta sauce to the bottom of Instant Pot in that order (broth first). Do not stir.
- Add meat mixture to cabbage leaves, folding up and holding in place with toothpicks if needed. Add cabbage rolls to Instant Pot, then place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 20 minutes.
- Let it do a natural pressure release, then serve cabbage rolls and enjoy!