by Olena

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls (Video)

by Olena

5 from 42 reviews

My version of Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls is lazy where cabbage rolls are unstuffed into a casserole. It is one pot meal and ultimate comfort food from my Ukrainian grandma made in electric pressure cooker.

One pot meals like Instant Pot chicken and rice and Instant Pot rice and beans are in our regular rotation.

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls

These are Instant Pot cabbage rolls my way. If you ask this Ukrainian (me), cabbage rolls have zero point to roll them. As soon as they hit the plate, we turn them into deconstructed cabbage rolls topped with sour cream and dill.

I am being honest – I do not enjoy rolling cabbage rolls, don’t care if they are and Instant Pot is here to make our life easier and not harder. So, for 2 years straight I have been making this healthy and easy comfort food one pot casserole. Instant Pot is amazing for casseroles!

My mom might disagree but this is how we enjoy cabbage rolls. Let’s show you how to make them so you can be lazy too. 🙂

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls served with yogurt and dill on a plate

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Ground meat: Ground beef, pork, chicken and turkey can be used. I used ground turkey. You can also use less meat and do not change the recipe.
  • Cabbage: Green, red (purple), napa or savoy cabbage are all OK. I have tried all of them. Colour will be masked by tomatoes anyways.
  • Rice: If you use brown rice – cook for 22 minutes. White rice – 10 minutes. Same amount of water. Do not use wild rice though. Treat purple rice as brown rice.
  • Tomato products: You can use 28 oz of each or a combination of diced or pureed tomatoes, or tomato sauce. Then one small can tomato paste adds depth of flavor, especially if you use only diced tomatoes that are more watery.
  • Spices: Dried herbs like thyme and oregano. I know some people do not like thyme, so feel free to use basil or rosemary.

Did you buy Instant Pot yet? If not, check out which one I recommend to buy from my experience. Own one but still not 100% confident around it? Read my Instant Pot guide. I love mine to death!

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls inside the pressure cooker

How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

I used 6 quart Instant Pot and it fit in no problem. And recipe was tested in 8 quart as well. For 3 quart, cut recipe ingredients in half and keep same cook time.

  • Sauté onion and garlic first, just until fragrant. I like to do so under the hood fan – make sure not to turn on the stove. 🙂
  • Then saute ground turkey and spices for about 4-5 minutes or until turkey is in small pieces. Pink pieces are OK.
  • Add cabbage and stir. This step helps to prevent the dreaded Burn and shrink the cabbage a bit.
  • Then add remaining ingredients: broth, uncooked rice, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Do not stir.
  • Cancel Sauté and cook: for 22 minutes – brown rice or 10 minutes – white rice – both on high pressure.
  • Release pressure right awayQuick Release. Again, I like to do so outside or under a hood fan.
  • Season more with freshly grated garlic clove (trust me, life changing Ukrainian hack) and add fresh herb like dill or parsley. Stir and serve which I would love to share you our special way below…

how to make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls step by step

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls in 6 quart pressure cooker

How to Serve, Store and Reheat Cabbage Rolls

Serving: I will give you the best advice ever, like if we were eating together. We enjoy cabbage rolls with generous amount of sour cream or plain yogurt on top. And dark rye bread if you can find it. Or more North American version of toasted whole grain bread.

Don’t forget to dip it into all that sauce at the bottom of the plate. That sauce is the best! Seriously, YUM!

To store, just refrigerate casserole in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, simmer with a splash of water or stock on low heat. The tomato and spice flavor is so rich, a splash will not dilute the final dish.

Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It freezes beautifully! Thaw on a counter for 6-8 hours or in the fridge overnight. Reheat from thawed.

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls served with sour cream and fork

Tips for Best Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

  • You add uncooked rice to Instant Pot.
  • If you would like to use white rice, a few readers have reported success with 10 minutes cooking time on high pressure.
  • If using not low sodium canned tomatoes, add less salt.
  • Total recipe time with pressure build up is 40 minutes. These healthy pressure cooker cabbage rolls can be on your dinner table in 40 minutes. And 20 minutes is an idle time to fold the laundry.
  • Don’t stir after you add tomatoes. This way you will not get Burn message.
  • Shred cabbage not too thin so it doesn’t “dissolve” under pressure. And not too thick so casserole texture is enjoyable.
  • Stirring meat with cabbage helps to break meat down into smaller pieces even further. As we all know it is a labor intensive process.

In the past 2 months, I have made Instant Pot lazy cabbage rolls 3 times. That’s how much we love them! Hope you do too!

More Instant Pot One Pot Meals

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls on a spoon with a steam


Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls (Lazy Way)

instant pot cabbage rolls

5 from 42 reviews

My version of Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls is lazy where cabbage rolls are unstuffed into a casserole. It is one pot meal and ultimate comfort food from my Ukrainian grandma made in electric pressure cooker.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian


  • 2 lbs cabbage, medium-coarsely shredded
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced + 1 clove, grated (divided)
  • 2 lbs ground turkey or other meat
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water + 1 bouillon cube OR any stock, low sodium
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice, rinsed & drained
  • 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving


  1. On Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat on high until display says Hot.
  2. Swirl oil to coat, add onion and 2 cloves of garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add turkey, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 4 minutes, constantly breaking meat into small pieces with spatula. Meat won’t get browned and some pink pieces are OK.
  4. Add cabbage and stir.
  5. Add water + bouillon cube (stock), rice, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Do not stir.
  6. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Cancel to turn Sauté off.
  7. Then press Pressure Cooking on High for 22 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  8. After 22 minutes, display will say OFF. Turn pressure vent to Venting position and let steam out, which takes 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the smell and mess in the house.
  9. When float valve (pin) is down open the lid, add 1 grated garlic clove and dill, then stir gently but well.
  10. Serve hot with Greek yogurt and whole grain toast.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze Leftovers: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

Freezer Meal: Saute just turkey until small pieces. Add all ingredients to gallon size bags (I love these reusable ones) with tomato products going first, no broth and cabbage in a 2nd bag (too much to fit into 1). Freeze for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen with broth for 22 mins (brown rice) or 10 mins (white rice) on High pressure with QPR or NPR.


  • If using not low sodium canned tomatoes, add less salt.
  • If you would like to use white rice, a few readers have reported success with 10 minutes cooking time on high pressure.
  • Shred cabbage not too thin so it doesn’t “dissolve” under pressure. And not too thick so casserole texture is enjoyable.
  • I used 6 quart Instant Pot and it fit in no problem. And recipe was tested in 8 quart as well. For 3 quart, cut recipe ingredients in half and keep same cook time.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

126 comments on “Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls (Video)

Our “happiness” software deletes rude comments without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. Please see our full comment policy:).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. If I cut the recipe in half, would half the water (3/4 cup) be enough? I have a 6 quart IP and it says to use at least 1 cup of liquid.

  2. This recipe is very forgiving of modifications. I half-sized the recipe. I was short on brown rice, so used about half as much wild rice. I substituted a bag of slaw mix for the required chopped cabbage. I did use a pound of ground turkey. It turned out delicious. My husband was eating so quietly, I thought at first that something might be wrong. Turned out he was just chowing down. We really like this dish, and the best part is, we still have some more in the fridge! Thank you for coming up with these easy recipes. Next time I’ll make it with the prescribed ingredients.

  3. This is so so good! Might be one of my favorite ifoodreal recipes to have on hand for filling easy lunches. My favorite thing about all Olean’s recipes is they are FOOL PROOF! Everything turns out amazing..every time.

  4. Olena, you’re batting a thousand with me. This is the third recipe I’ve made of yours and, like the other two, it was a big hit. I made “real” cabbage rolls earlier this year and thought the same thing you did. What a lot of work for a dish that disintegrates as soon as you cut it up! This is the perfect alternative. Дуже дякую!

    1. Haha, I know, right?! Glad someone else understands. Happy to help. Past weekend I spent an hour flipping crepes but at least we eat them whole and stuff. Cabbage rolls? Nah, chop-chop and bye-bye.

  5. Easy, fast, and delicious! I enjoy cabbage rolls but don’t have time to make the traditional presentation. I tried this recipe last week. I followed the instructions exactly as outlined. For the meat, I used a blend of beef and Italian sweat sausage. In less than 30 min., I enjoyed fantastic tasting InstaPot cabbage rolls. The recipe provided enough leftovers to share with family and spice up lunches for the next two days. Interestingly, as good as the meal was fresh out of the cooker, it was even better over the next few days. Great recipe! It’s a must try.

  6. This recipe tastes great and serves as an easy weeknight dinner with leftovers for the week. We’re a big fan of cabbage rolls and these hit the spot!

  7. Great recipe! Thanks for the suggestion to do the quick release (vent) outside! I never would have thought of that! Per your suggestion, and because it is summer for me, I take the IP outside when its ready for cooking and plug it in to my outlet on the deck, and the cabbage smell stays outside! My family loves it! Thanks so much!

  8. I used this recipe as a basis to use what I had on hand. I have learned so much from you about my relatively new IP…I could use cooked chicken breast, (previously cooked in IP, and frozen), and cooked rice that I had on hand, adjusted the liquids a little, cooked 10 min, quick release, and it was delicious! Thanks for all your work!!!

  9. Really tasty! So much less work than cooking the cabbage and stuffing and rolling all those leaves. I always hated that but loved the results. Will definitely make again.

  10. SOOOOOO DELICIOUS!!! Even better the next day! Followed the recipe as written and enjoyed with sour cream and hot sauce. Thanks Olena for another great recipe, you are a magical genius!

  11. This was great and easy to make. I left out the garlic because neither my husband nor I care for it. I also had to substitute the 28 oz diced tomatoes with whatever tomato products we had to add up to the 28 oz in the recipe. Ilena’s recipes are so easy to follow or adjust, and are always healthy. So glad I found her website and I have shared it with family and friends.

  12. I make this often! I love it as do my family and my young children. The dill is amazing! Thanks Olena 🙂

  13. This recipe was so easy to make, yet it was so delicious that even
    my picky eaters loved it !!!! Thank you for keeping us healthy, it’s nice to be
    able to enjoy delicious foods with wonderful flavors without all the calories and fats!

  14. This recipe was so easy to make, yet it was so delicious that even
    my picky eaters loved it !!!! Thank you for keeping us healthy, it’s nice to be
    able to enjoy delicious foods with wonderful flavors without all the calories and fats!

  15. I am new to Instant Pot and have been hesitant to try a cabbage roll casserole. I was scared it would burn on the bottom as it always does when I make it on the stove. This recipe was so easy to follow and I trusted the step where it said to not stir in the rice, broth and tomatoes (I used pasta sauce and tomato soup – it’s all I had on hand) and it did not burn!! (I usually set off the smoke alarm when I cook). I even trusted putting in the dill, it was sooooo amazing!! Will definitely be making this again!!!

  16. Soooo delicious 😋 I could eat the whole pot! I recently purchased an instant pot to try this particular recipe. I followed your instructions to a T. My family loved it and it came out perfect! I’m looking forward to more great meals.
    Thank you❤️

  17. I thought 10 minutes for white rice seemed short so I did 12 and the rice was still not cooked. Have a scale and followed the recipe to the T not sure what went wrong next time I’ll try 16 minutes?
    Maybe put the rice on the bottom closer to the broth?

    1. Hi Mike. You know it is Instant Pot. It could be the altitude or the rice itself. Just FYI, white rice is ready in IP in 3 mins with 10 mins natural release. So it cooks very fast. When we add other ingredients cook time increases. Sure, try 16 mins – should work! 🙂

  18. This came out better than the taste of cabbage rolls from your favorite restaurant. I made enough to eat some everyday as a side. I made it on the stove and it came out great. Great job.

  19. Loved this recipe with the rice in it. Some of my rice didn’t get submerged with the liquid/tomatoes so I tossed the uncooked grains when I opened it. Loved the added dill! Will be adding to our rotation.

  20. Hi Olena,
    I love your healthy and easy recipes! Thanks so much! I made this today, and it is great. I am wondering, though, if I was supposed to drain the diced tomatoes before adding them. This seems a little soupier than I expected. God bless!

    1. Hi Jane. Glad you liked it! You are not supposed to drain tomatoes. Casserole is more liquidy when you first open but after you stir and it sits for an hour, it becomes more thick. You can use 1/2 cup less broth next time and see how you like that.:)

    1. No because cauliflower rice will not absorb any moisture but rather release it. It’s a vegetable. Plus 2 cruciferous veggies is too much. Also it is not an Instant Pot candidate. You could make it on the stove better.

    1. I have not myself tried cooking this recipe with white rice. You can experiment. As a rule of thumb, white rice will cook faster in the instant pot than brown rice.

    1. This recipe is more of a cabbage roll casserole. The taste is the same whether or not it is rolled up or shredded in!

  21. I actually made this recipe twice this week. The first time through the process of course I stuck to the script and it was simply fantastic!! Olena, you did a super job!! My wife has a Polish background and her family preferred to have sour head cabbage like the Croatians make Sarma. When I made it tonight I veered off the recipe just a bit. I used 1lbs of shaved cabbage and then added 32oz of sauerkraut. There are not a lot of places to purchase sour head cabbage. It tasted just like my mother-in-laws Sarma. Thank you so much for having your site up and running. Everything that I have made from this site gets “put into the meal rotation.” Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

    1. Hi Jeff. Thank you for your wonderful review!!! I know exactly what you mean. My family made cabbage rolls with fresh cabbage. But we have Croatian friends and they use sauerkraut. 🙂

  22. I have been making a dish similar to this in the oven. The method is:

    Mix ground beef, onion, rice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, eggs, Worcestershire Sauce & Tabasco. Line bottom of a large pot with half of the cabbage. Press beef mixture on top; add remaining cabbage. Pour tomato juice over cabbage/beef. Juice should be no more than 1/4 inch above top of cabbage. Bake (uncovered) for 1-1/2 to 2 hours at 350F.

    Anyone have any thoughts on cook time. Thanks

  23. Second time making this and it was amazing! Used Napa cabbage this time making the prep so much easier for me and I also remembered to get the fresh dill which totally kicked it up a notch!

  24. Finally got around to trying this one and it’s another 5 star recipe!! Forgot to buy dill but next time I will remember 🙂

  25. A great new take (a lazy one for a busy cook!) on an old Ukrainian favorite! Made it several times by now….

  26. Thank you for this recipe! Made it today and it is incredible. Thank you for delicious and easy to follow recipes!

  27. I love this recipe! The recipe makes a lot of servings so I freeze half in single servings to take to work for lunch.

  28. So, what to do when Burn message is displayed? I opened the lid, and it’s all mixed up with tomato paste already.
    I wasn’t following the recipe to the T (used tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes) so my bad. But what to do now?

  29. Omg yum! And I am picky about my food. This is easily over eaten in my house. I could not believe that such a simple recipe could taste so flavourful. I added paprika due to the small percent of Hungarian in me. I loved how fast it was to make with the Instant Pot. Thank you!! Keep the recipes coming please.

  30. Hi, I have a few questions if you don’t mind. First of all, I only have quick cooking brown rice (boil in bag), which takes 10 min on the stove as opposed to 45-50 min for regular brown rice. Do you think it would work in this recipe/IP or would it get too mushy?
    Second, we usually add chopped celery & shredded carrots to golubtsi. Would it work here? Third, I have 1 lb of ground chicken, which cooks faster than turkey & tomato paste & tomato sauce, not diced tomatoes. Would anything need to be adjusted, like cook time? I’m new to IP cooking & not sure how to adjust my recipes to it, but if I could make golubtsi without rolling the cabbage & all that’s involved, it would be a game changer. Not sure if my mother would get behind this – she’s very set in her ways, but maybe I have a chance with my daughter who loves golubtsi. As far as I’m concerned, the less work the better & if the taste is close enough, it’s good enough for me. Besides, I much prefer stuffed peppers to golubtsi both taste wise & work wise – stuffed peppers are a lot less work & taste better to me. but if/when my mother makes golubtsi, I gladly eat them. And if I can make them this way, I might just be making them more often. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. Quick cooking rice won’t work. Yes, you can add your extra veggies. No need to change time for chicken.
      Especially since you are new to IP I would recommend getting comfortable with it by following recipes and then changing things. Just not to get discouraged.:)

      1. That’s why I ask so many questions. I can wing it on the stove top, but IP is a whole new animal. Not sure what to do or how it will come out especially since my first two tries in it were not great. First thing was whole cooked chicken, which did not cook evenly, but I did add more water than the recipe called for. My bad. The second one was chicken bone broth, which was a disaster & I did follow the recipe with a lot of great reviews. Not sure what happened there. Now I make sure to ask a lot of questions especially if I need to substitute something. Speaking of which, what if I leave out the rice? Would I need to change anything? I might just cook it separately & add in after. I’m just trying to use up leftover cabbage & also I don’t know when I’ll be able to get my hand on regular brown rice. Also, I only have tomato paste & sauce. Would liquid amounts need to be changed?

        1. Asking questions is good. Instant Pot is like baking. It needs precise measurements and testing.
          Since no liquid evaporates, you can’t leave out the rice because then you will have all that extra liquid nothing absorbing it. You can’t cook it separately and add it after.
          You can use tomato sauce in place of diced tomatoes BUT it has to be same 28 oz.
          When wondering if substitution will work, think dry vs. water ingredients if it is going offset the ratio.
          Honestly, I would just follow the recipes to a T until you get a hang of it. BTW, do you know I have Youtube channel dedicated to healthy IP recipes ?

  31. Thank you for your help.. I used the correct size tin of diced tomatoes but they had a viriety of spiced pepper and a few other things in the tin.. I think the amount of liquid in the tin was very low compared to straight diced tomatoes.. I added a cup extra water and it worked fine..
    Thanks so much fur the help..

  32. I made this following the recipe closely.. The rice never cooked at all after 18 min on high presure.(organic brown long grain). I had to cook for another 12 min on med pressure as not burn everything else) . Could it matter the make of rice? I usually cook this rice for 35 min on the stove. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hmmm. Rice could be a bit tricky sometimes. It could be anything. Let’s troubleshoot.
      1. Do you live at high altitude?
      2. Did you see IP come to pressure? Maybe it didn’t due to sealing ring not in place properly or worn out etc.
      3. What size IP did you use?
      Sometimes make of rice could matter…Stove cooking time doesn’t matter with pressure cooking. Whole point is that it cooks food much faster, so 18-20 mins for brown rice is plenty.

  33. I cooked it just now. It’s my second dish after buying the Instant Pot, the first one was cooked corn on the cob. Both me and my husband loved it, and fresh dill really matters! One question though. I have Duo 6qt, and I never got Hot on the display when Saute. It was showing On. I got afraid that I would burn the pot by warming it up continuously without any food so I started the process of following recipe steps without Hot on display. It showed On all the time until I cancelled Saute to move to pressure cooking. Is it OK?

    1. Hi there. If you waited a little bit longer you would see Hot. It takes a bit of time, I know. All it means is that your pot is hot enough to fry in it. Just like a skillet kind of. Just an indicator a skillet doesn’t have. It is ok you started sauteing before, might have been not that hot but just might take longer to saute. You wouldn’t see Hot after sauteeing because ingredients added “cool” off the pot. It is all good and so happy you enjoyed the recipe!:)

      1. I see. So, the pot won’t be damaged if it is getting heated being empty? How much to wait until Hot? Is it about 10 min? I’ll try next time. Just didn’t want to burn my Instant Pot during the first day 🙂

        1. It won’t get damaged if you don’t leave it for an hour like that.:) About 4-5 minutes. And it doesn’t beep when Hot shows up, so watch for it. That’s IP-DUO model, right?!

  34. Love this recipe! I appreciate that it uses brown rice and turkey. I’ve made it twice and it is a big hit with the Family

  35. Olena, if I wanted to make it with just 1 lb of turkey (cutting all ingredients in half as well), will the timing still be 18 min. or will it be less? Thanks! (I am from Kiev too, and I love cabbage rolls!!! 🙂 )

      1. Thanks, Olena! And for the full recipe, with 2 lb of turkey, is it good for 6 quart Instant Pot, or needs to be the 8 quart? I only have the 6 quart, though… Thanks!

          1. I just made the lazy cabbage rolls ( lazy golubtzi! 🙂 ) – wonderful! And what I especially like is that they are made with brown rice and turkey – so they are not just tasty, they are healthful too :). Thanks again, Olena!

          2. It came out perfectly, Olena! The ultimate comfort food on a cold day! :). Can’t get enough of it :).

  36. I just made this and it was soooo good! Husband said it was amazing. We loved it. I made it with diced tomatoes and green chiles instead of all diced tomatoes since that was all I had and it turned out great.

    1. Yay! Saves a lot of time this way. Oh, those tomatoes are amazing. Add flavour and spice. I never seem to have those on hand cause my tomatoes are from Costco. I should buy a few cans for fun. 🙂

  37. Excellent. I’m use to southern cuisine being that the family is from Mississippi, I find most dishes lacking seasoning & flavor. I didn’t think I was going to like it, but I am trying to cook healthier and cut back on red meat when I found this recipe. It was very easy to make and I was very pleasantly surprised, it is very tasty & delicious. I loved it.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

This page may contain affiliate links. is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!