Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls (Lazy Way)

instant pot cabbage rolls

5 from 44 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.


  • Don’t pre-cook rice: You add uncooked rice to Instant Pot.
  • White rice: A few readers have reported success with 10 minutes cooking time on high pressure.
  • Not low sodium canned tomatoes: Add less salt.
  • Total recipe time with pressure build up is 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.

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