Instant pot stuffed cabbage rolls are equally delicious as the oven or stovetop version but made quicker and without any fuss. If you are looking for recipes that use leftover rice, this is it!
This stuffed cabbage rolls recipe can be doubled or halved, if needed.
It’s a quick and fuss-free method that makes this ground meat meal perfect for busy families so if you are looking for easy weeknight dinners, you might wanna give this recipe a go.
How do you steam a whole head of cabbage?
My favorite way is cooking it in my electric pressure cooker. It’s so easy and literally hassle-free. Below I explained in detail how I do it.
How to make stuffed cabbage rolls in Instant Pot
1. Cooking cabbage in instant pot
I find this the easiest way to do it, but you don’t have to do it this way. This is my preferred way for one simple reason: I don’t have such a large pot to cook the cabbage in and instant pot makes it so easy. Just 1.5 cups of water, bring to pressure and manually release right away.
It takes about 8-10 minutes to bring the pot to pressure. You literally set the timer to 0 minutes because the cabbage will be ready by then.
Note that the leaves will be soft – almost ready to eat so if you don’t like it, I suggest you boil it in a pot of water until you can separate the leaves easily.
2. Making the meat filling
Ground meat is combined with cooked rice, egg, fresh parsley, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, a generous pinch of cinnamon and dried oregano. It’s the perfect combination of seasoning for these instant pot stuffed cabbage rolls.
Then, just fill about 10 leaves with the mixture. I use an ice cream scoop to scoop the meat. You can also make smaller rolls. If you do, you will get more than 10.
In instant pot, you combine water and tomato passata. Then, add the cabbage rolls and pressure cook until ready.
How do you cut the core out of a cabbage for cabbage rolls?
Coring a cabbage head when making stuffed cabbage rolls can be quite the challenge. You need a sharp knife and patience. Some cabbage heads might be tougher than others so it can be tricky.
When you use my way of steaming the cabbage, you don’t need to core it at all! All you have to do is cut off the bottom part – and don’t be afraid to cut more rather than less.
What you are doing is making the outer leaves free. You will need 10 of them for this recipe. If you use a large head of cabbage, you might also cut some of the leaves in half and fill them with meat filling.
I sometimes make incisions into the cabbage (around the core), like if I ware to core it. This also helps to free some of the leaves.
What to do with leftover cabbage when making stuffed cabbage rolls?
Because you steamed it in the pressure cooker, it will be almost ready to eat so just chop it up and store it in an air-tight container for later use. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can turn it into a cabbage and bacon side dish or anything you like. It will need about 10 minutes of sauteing on the hob to make it. I also like to upgrade the cabbage and bacon side and cook it with wine, fresh parsley, caraway seeds and fill homemade sweet potato flatbread with it. It’s delicious!
Rice – Feel free to use any type of cooked rice you like. Long, short or medium-grain will all work well.
Ground meat – I used a combination of beef and pork. Now, you can use anything you like. It also does not have to be a mixture of 2 types of meat.
Tomato passata is a type of pureed tomatoes. It is like a thicker tomato juice. Some brands also might call it tomato puree. That is the best thing to use. If you don’t have it, try buying canned plum tomatoes and puree them in a food processor or blender. Do not use concentrated tomato puree – that is completely something else! By the way, you can double the tomato sauce, if you like these pressure cooker stuffed cabbage rolls with a lot of sauce.
If you see that some of the leaves are very large, either cut them in half and fill both parts or you can trim the ends, when rolling them.
Cooked stuffed cabbage rolls should last (when stored properly in an air-tight container in the fridge) for up to 3 days.
What should I serve with cabbage rolls?
Rice or potatoes are great choices. Dinner rolls also go well with these instant pot stuffed cabbage rolls.
If you like these stuffed cabbage rolls, you might also like these easy instant pot recipes:
Instant Pot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1.5 cup water (355 milliliters)
- 1 green cabbage
- 1.5 cup rice , cooked, see note 1
- ¼ cup parsley , finely chopped
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- black pepper , see note 2
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 egg , medium to large
- 1 pound ground meat , see note 3 (450 grams)
- 1.5 cups tomato passata , see note 4
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or thyme
- Pour in 1.5 cups of water in your pressure cooker and put in the steamer rack. Wash the cabbage and cut off some of the bottom parts (more is better). This will cause the outer leaves to loosen so you can easily remove them after steaming. Put the cabbage in and close with a lid. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set the time to 0 minutes. It will take about 8-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
- Meanwhile: In a mixing bowl, mix well rice, parsley, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cinnamon, dried oregano, egg and ground meat.
- When the cabbage is ready, manually release the pressure. When the pin drops, remove the lid and take out the cabbage (the rack handles are pretty useful here but make sure to hold them with a kitchen towel not to burn yourself). Put it onto a chopping board and let cool slightly until you are able to handle the heat. The leaves will come off easily.
- Some leaves may be too large or have hard parts so trim these. Also cut off the end of the thick stem. Place about 1 scoop of meat onto the cabbage leaf and roll about two times before you tuck in both sides and finish off rolling. Set aside and continue until you have used up all the meat mixture.
- In instant pot, combine 2 cups of water with 1.5 cups of tomato passata and oregano. Put the cabbage rolls in and when you fill the bottom, place the rest on top of them.
- Close the lid. Lock it into its position. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 7 minutes. When the time is up, wait 5 minutes before releasing the pressure manually.
- I make this with any kind of leftover rice – either long or short or medium-grain will work just fine.
- Black pepper – I like adding a good amount of black pepper – about ¼ teaspoon. If not sure, start with ⅛ teaspoon and adjust the next time you will be making these.
- Ground meat – feel free to use any type of meat you prefer. I used a mix of beef and pork.
- Tomato passata is Italian pureed tomatoes. Some brands call it also tomato puree. It is NOT the concentrated tomato puree that is very thick and you usually use only a little bit of it. It has to be liquidy. You can use also plum tomatoes (blended in a food processor or blender) but I find this has a better taste.
- This recipe was developed for a 6-quart/6-liter instant pot. Using other pressure cooker or different size may lead to slightly different results, especially when it comes to time.
- The overall time does not include the time needed for the pot to come to pressure nor the time needed to release it. Count with an extra 15 minutes.
- Please, read the full post for more detailed information and useful tips.