Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls are stuffed with a ground lamb or beef and rice mixture, then pressure cooked in a flavorful garlic, mint and tomato sauce.
This Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls recipe is a pressure cooked version of a traditional family recipe. It's inspired by a Middle Eastern slow-simmered stove top stuffed cabbage that my family has made for generations.
The sauce is flavored with crushed garlic, dried mint, tomato sauce, and a sweet pomegranate molasses. The stuffing comes out tender and juicy, with an abundance of flavor.
Instant Pot cabbage rolls are a favorite for holidays, especially Easter and Christmas. They are also a quick and easy dinner for large families or dinner parties, made in 1 POT!
This recipe uses a whole head of cabbage, so it makes a generous amount of cabbage rolls. You'll love how easy and flavorful it is without spending hours simmering it on the stove!
Instant Pot cabbage rolls use minimal ingredients but are big on taste.
- a head of cabbage (plus 1 onion to reduce the gastric effect)
- ground lamb or beef
- white rice
- tomato sauce
- pomegranate molasses (homemade or store bought)
- dried mint
- garlic cloves
Pomegranate molasses gives the sauce a subtly sweet taste. If it isn't readily available near you it's easily found online. You can make this without it and probably not notice too much of a difference. But once you make it with the pomegranate molasses, you'll never make it without it again!
My favorite stuffing for cabbage rolls is made with an all lamb, white rice, and allspice mix. You can use beef in place of the lamb and brown rice in place of the white rice if you'd like.
💡 For a keto-friendly version, use cauliflower rice.
🔪 How To Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
This recipe works with a 6, 8 or 10 quart pressure cooker. Always make sure not to fill the pot over the fill line, no matter what size pressure cooker you're using.
How To Parboil a Whole Cabbage
The first step is to parboil the cabbage. Set the Instant Pot to saute for 20 minutes. Add 10 cups of water and 1 halved onion. Cut out the thick center of the cabbage and add to the water. When the water gets hot, set the timer for 20 minutes. Turn the cabbage over halfway through so all sides are parboiled evenly.
💡 Tip: Cover the pot to heat the water quicker.
Remove the cabbage once it's parboiled and discard the water/onion. While it cools make the stuffing and sauce. Combine all stuffing ingredients in 1 bowl and all sauce ingredients in another.
Peel off the leaves of the cabbage. Cut away the thick portion of the vein. Slice large leaves in half.
Fill leaves with 2-4 tablespoons of lamb stuffing, depending on how large the leaves are. Roll the leaves tightly like a cigar.
How To Wrap Cabbage Rolls
There is no need to tuck in the corners of the cabbage as you roll. Just wrap it tightly and leave 1 inch empty on each side of the stuffing.
💡Tip: Layer ripped leaves on top each other and use them together. Ripped leaves are inevitable, but they don't need to go to waste!
Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Place the stuffed and wrapped cabbage rolls in the pot, packing them in tightly. Stack them in the same direction to create as many layers as needed.
Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Add a little more water if needed, to mostly over the cabbage. Seal the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
Quickly release the pressure. Remove the lid and let the cabbage sit in the sauce for 5 minutes before serving.
Remove the cabbage rolls with rubber-tipped tongs and serve with additional sauce poured over top.
💡 Tip: Layer the cabbage with the larger rolls on the bottom and the smaller rolls on top.
Yes! Cabbage rolls of packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One cabbage roll is only 82 calories and contains 8 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fat.
This recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls is gluten-free, just make sure to check the rice and allspice. Both are usually gluten-free but sometimes flour is added to spices to preserve it.
As written, this recipe is not keto-friendly. It can easily be made keto by replacing the white rice with cauliflower rice.
Cabbage rolls are a hearty meal all on their own, but can be served with a salad or large helping of steamed vegetables.
Yes! Stuffed cabbage rolls are freezer-friendly for 6 months. Place the rolls in a plastic freezer bag or freezer-safe container, separate from the sauce. The sauce can be frozen in a separate container. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.
Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
- pressure cooker
- 1 large cabbage
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb ground lamb or beef
- ¾ cup uncooked white rice
- 3 tsp allspice
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup water
- 1 large can tomato sauce (26 oz)
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses *see notes
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Set the Instant Pot to saute for 20 minutes. Add 10 cups of water and 1 halved onion. Cut out the thick center of the cabbage and add to the water. When the water gets hot, set the timer for 20 minutes. Turn the cabbage over halfway through so all sides are parboiled evenly. Remove the cabbage and discard the water/onion.
- While the cabbage cools make the stuffing. Combine all stuffing ingredients and mix well.
- Peel off the leaves of the cabbage. Cut away the thick portion of the vein. Slice large leaves in half. Fill leaves with 2-4 tablespoons of stuffing, depending on how large the leaves are. Roll the leaves tightly like a cigar.
- Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls in the pot with the larger rolls at the bottom and smaller ones on top, packing them in tightly. Stack in the same direction to create as many layers as needed.
- Combine all sauce ingredients and pour over the cabbage rolls. Add a little more water if needed to mostly cover the cabbage. Seal the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
- Quickly release the pressure. Remove the lid and let the cabbage sit in the sauce for 5 minutes before serving. Remove cabbage rolls carefully with rubber-tipped tongs and serve with additional sauce.
If you've enjoyed this Instant Pot recipe, please let me know in the comments below!
More Instant Pot Recipes You'll Enjoy
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- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup