Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole

Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole

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Cabbage rolls made simple! Introducing: unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole, made in the Instant Pot to boot!

Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole

If you ever made classic stuffed cabbage rolls, you know that they are quite labor intensive, as you have to wrap the meat and rice filling into individual cabbage leaves.  So how do you simplify it? By turning the “stuffed” cabbage rolls into “unstuffed”! With unstuffed cabbage rolls version, there are no cabbage leaves to stuff.  Instead, the cabbage leaves are chopped up and cooked together with meat, rice and tomato sauce.  The exact same flavor with so much less effort – what a winner!

Lazy cabbage rolls

Unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole is also often called “lazy cabbage rolls”.  Yes, I’m super lazy so the name really speaks to me :) And to make this dish even lazier, I cook it in the Instant Pot.  Instant Pot is a perfect gadget for lazy people who are short on time!

Instant Pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls

This Instant Pot unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe is so easy, you won’t believe it.  All you need to do is dump all ingredients in the Instant Pot, set it to pressure cook and come back in 30 minutes to a steaming hot delicious unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole!  Just like my Instant Pot dump chili, this is a true “dump” recipe as no pre-cooking of any kind is needed!

How To Make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls In Instant Pot

If you search for other recipes for Instant Pot lazy cabbage rolls, they all require browning of the meat before adding other ingredients.  In my world the browning is absolutely unnecessary :) Lazy people always seek shortcuts! Meat will cook together with all other ingredients at the same time, and everything will taste amazing!

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Casserole

Simple down-to-earth ingredients produce the most amazing comfort food! Here we have ground beef, cabbage, rice and tomato sauce simmered together to perfection – so yummy!  If you like the “unstuffed” concept, I have a similar recipe that simplifies the egg rolls by turning them into a hot pop of egg roll filling… in the Instant Pot.  Interested?  Check out my recipe for Instant Pot egg roll in a bowl.

Pressure Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

If you like Instant Pot unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole, you will also love these easy recipes:

Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo – so easy to make in the Instant Pot and so flavorful! You’ll love this chicken!

Chicken Adobo In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Cabbage And Sausage – cook the sausage and cabbage together in the Instant Pot and enjoy this classic combo!

Instant Pot Chili – put all ingredients in the pot and come back to a pot of hot chili! Easiest chili ever!

Instant Pot Bone Broth – turn rotisserie chicken carcass into amazing chicken stock! Instant Pot is like magic!

Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts – perfectly steamed in minutes! Super easy, healthy and yummy!

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Instant Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Casserole

This Instant Pot unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole is amazing! Super easy to make, just dump the ingredients in the Instant Pot and come back to a delicious dinner!
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 small head of cabbage cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large jar 24 oz pasta sauce
  • 6 cups water


  • Add water to the Instant Pot.
  • Add rice, salt, pepper, ground beef and minced garlic.
  • Add tomato sauce on top (don't mix with other ingredients).
  • Add cabbage to the Instant Pot (make sure the pot doesn't get filled past the "Max Fill" line, if it does, remove some of the cabbage).
  • Close the lid and turn the vent to a "Sealing" position. Press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button and set the time to 20 minutes.
  • After it's done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release (QR) the remaining steam.
  • Open the lid and stir the unstuffed cabbage rolls casserole so everything is combined and serve.


If you want this recipe to be grain-free, simply omit the rice and reduce water to 2 cups.
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13 replies
  1. Sue
    Sue says:

    Am gonna try this recipe, but 6 cups water for 1 cup white rice seems WAY too much. max would be 3 to 1 ratio water to rice (again-depends on the rice you’re using), plus the liquid from the tomato sauce would make more like soup. I will let you know results.

    • Emily
      Emily says:

      Made this tonight and flavors were very good. I will make again but with some adjustments. I used quinoa instead of rice and cut the amount to 1/2c instead and 3 c water instead of 6. It was still little too soupy. I also didn’t break up the ground turkey enough and was too big of chunks same with cabbage. I think would have cooked better by breaking these up more. Overall a keeper to have again!


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