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Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

  • Author: 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes (plus 15 minute NPR)
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 9 large cabbage rolls 1x


A hearty beef and rice mixture is rolled up in softened cabbage leaves and cooked in your Instant Pot with a homemade tomato sauce. Comfort food!


  • 1 (medium 2 pound) green cabbage
  • 1/3 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef (mine was 85% lean)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (optional)


  1. Pour 1 ½ cups water into the bottom of your Instant Pot. In a pan (I used this one*) add the rice and ½ cup of water. Place the pan on a trivet and lower the trivet into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then place the cabbage on top of the rice so that it will fit into the Instant Pot when the lid is on. 
  2. Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 5 minutes. When the time is up perform a quick release. Carefully remove the pan and trivet. Set aside. Dump out the water inside the bottom of the Instant Pot and clean the Instant Pot liner. Replace the liner into the Instant Pot. 
  3. In a medium bowl add the ground beef, cooked rice, egg, black pepper, kosher salt, diced onion and garlic powder. With clean hands mix the mixture until combined. 
  4. Carefully peel off each of the layers of the cabbage. You will need at least 9 good leaves. Use a paring knife to shave down the thick vein that runs down the middle of each leaf (see video for demonstration). 
  5. With the vein side of each cabbage leaf down, take about ¼ to ⅓ cup of the meat mixture and place it at the bottom of the leaf. Then roll up the leaf while tucking in the sides. Repeat until all the meat is used. 
  6. Cut the remaining hard and inflexible part of the cabbage into about 8 wedges.
  7. Pour 1 1/2 cups water or broth into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the bottom. Evenly spread out the 8 wedges of cabbage on top of the trivet. Then layer the cabbage rolls on top. 
  8. In a bowl stir together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Whisk well. Then pour the mixture over the top of the cabbage rolls. 
  9. Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 18 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 15 more minutes and then release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid. 
  10. Carefully use a spoon or tongs to place the cabbage rolls on a plate. Remove the trivet. Stir the remaining juices together in the pot. Thicken the juices by turning the saute button on. Then make a cornstarch slurry by stirring together 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and 3 Tbsp of water in a small bowl. Stir the slurry into the liquid. It should thicken quickly. Then turn off the pot. 
  11. Serve the cabbage rolls topped with the sauce. Eat or discard the extra pieces of cabbage in the pot. 


If you prefer you can use 2 cans of tomato soup in substitution for the tomato sauce, paste, sugar, butter and lemon juice. 

  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American