by Olena

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

by Olena

5 from 20 reviews

Unstuffed Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls is healthy 30 minute one pot dinner without extra work. Ultimate comfort food like my mom and grandma in Ukraine used to make.

Dinners like Instant Pot stuffed peppers and bolognese sauce are in our regular rotation.

Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls on a spoon with a steam

Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Instant Pot cabbage rolls have zero point to roll them. We make them unstuffed and deconstructed on a plate with sour cream and dill right away. Such a healthy and easy comfort food one pot casserole. Instant Pot is amazing for casseroles.

Did you buy Instant Pot yet? If not, you are missing out! 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!

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

  1. Sauté onion, garlic, ground turkey and spices for 6 minutes or until turkey is in small pieces
  2. Add uncooked sliced cabbage and stir. It helps to prevent burning. Then add water, uncooked brown rice, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Do not stir.
  3. Cancel Sauté and cook on high pressure for 18 minutes.
  4. Let pressure out right away. No need to wait because who can?! Add dill and stir.

how to make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls step by step


  • You add uncooked brown rice to Instant Pot.
  • I have not tried white rice but you can experiment.
  • 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.
  • You will not get Burn message. It is well tested recipe.
  • Don’t stir after you add tomatoes.

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!

How to Serve Cabbage Rolls

I will give you the best advice ever like if we were eating together. We enjoy Instant Pot 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!

Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls served with yogurt and dill on a plate

More Recipes with Cabbage to Try

More Instant Pot One Pot Meals

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Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

5 from 20 reviews

Unstuffed Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls is healthy 30 minute one pot dinner without extra work. Ultimate comfort food!

  • 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, coarsely shredded
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced & divided
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 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 long grain 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, for serving


  1. On Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat on high until display says Hot. Swirl oil to coat, add onion and 2 cloves of garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. 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.
  3. Add cabbage and stir.
  4. Add water + bouillon cube (stock), rice, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Do not stir.
  5. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Cancel to turn Sauté off. Then press Pressure Cooking on High for 18 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.
  6. After 18 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.
  7. When float valve (pin) is down open the lid, add 1 garlic clove and dill, then stir gently but well. 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 re-usable 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 20 mins on High pressure with QPR or NPR.

 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.

70 comments on “Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls

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    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!

  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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

  3. 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!

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

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

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

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ?

  11. 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..

  12. 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.

  13. 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?!

  14. 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

  15. 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 :).

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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.

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