Instant Pot Keto Cabbage Rolls
Ah, cabbage rolls.
Theyre one of the healthiest and tastiest foods you can make if you want to incorporate leafy green vegetables – like cabbage – into your diet naturally.
And since I had some cabbage leftover from a keto coleslaw I made, I figured I might as well use it to make some high-quality keto cabbage rolls!
So, that’s exactly what I did.
And, let me tell you, keto-fying some cabbage rolls is pretty easy to do…it’s also pretty tasty.
All you have to do is replace some of the “normal” ingredients – like white rice – with keto alternatives, like cauliflower rice.
Honestly, there really isn’t that much substituting to do!
So let’s dive into the recipe.
Instant Pot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Instant pot stuffed cabbage rolls are equally delicious as the oven or stove top 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.
Its 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.
Make The Cabbage Rolls
Fold one of the cabbage in half, and cut off the very thick part of the stem…usually up to one inch. Take your knife and gently slice partially through the middle of the being careful not to cut all the way through. This will make it easier to roll.
Lay the cabbage leaf flat, and place some filling near the bottom. Fold one half over the meat mixture, and then fold over the other side.
Roll vertically, and set aside with the seam side down. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all your meat mixture.
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Authentic Romanian Sauerkraut Stuffed Cabbage Rolls:
I am ashamed for taking such a long time to post this recipe on my blog. If I want to show you my traditions and heritage through food, this recipe is a must!
As we are going through holidays and this recipe is the most traditional one for Christmas and New Year in Romania, I had to share it with you!
Many countries eat stuffed cabbage rolls, but I think it is more prominent in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. We make them with fresh cabbage in the summer or with pickled cabbage in the winter.
This recipe is an authentic traditional Romanian one and it is truly the way my grandma and my mom used to make it.
There are different versions around Romania, due to the fact that each region of the country has a different cuisine or different influences.
Romanians eat more pork than beef, and the traditional stuffed cabbage rolls are made with ground pork, especially in the winter and around Christmas time.
However, you can also make them only with ground beef or a mixture of 50-50 pork and beef.
They become tastier after a few days, for some reason, so the majority of Romanians when cooking them, will always make a million of them, so they can enjoy leftovers.
My grandmother, for example, took pride in telling us how many cabbage rolls she made, and there were never less than a hundred!
We tend to keep ourselves rooted in our own culture through food, so cabbage rolls are very important to us. We make them for weddings, funerals, and any other important occasions.
Ingredients For Cabbage Rolls Instant Pot
- Ground meat: Ground beef, pork, chicken, and turkey can be used. Ground beef is traditional, but I used ground turkey as a leaner choice. You can also use less meat and not change the recipe. Did you know you can cook ground meat from frozen in an Instant Pot, too?
- Cabbage: Green, red , napa, or savoy cabbage are all great choices. I have tried all of them. The colour will be masked by the tomatoes anyway.
- Rice: Brown rice and white rice will both work, however, keep an eye out for the different cook times. Youll use the same amount of water, no matter which type you use. If you use purple rice, treat it the same as brown rice. Wild rice is not recommended for this recipe.
- Tomato products: You can use 28 oz of each or a combination of diced or pureed tomatoes, or tomato sauce. Then one small can of tomato paste adds a depth of flavor, especially if you use only diced tomatoes that contain more water and have a more diluted flavour.
- Spices: Dried herbs like thyme and oregano. If youre not a fan of thyme, feel free to use basil or rosemary.
Tip: Brown rice and white rice will have very different cook times. If youre using brown rice, cook it for 22 minutes. If youre using white rice, youll only cook it for 10 minutes.
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Delicious Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
Depending upon how long you’re gone for the day and how hot your slow cooker cooks, you might find it over cooks. Because my sweet mother lives up the road, I’ve often dropped off my slow cooker so she could turn it off for me, but now that I’ve discovered my beloved Instant Pot , I won’t have to try and fit putting my slow cooker in day care while I’m gone.
My picky seven-year-old will eat these slow cooker cabbage rolls with gusto and it’s even better the second day.
Boil a pot of water and add head of cabbage, cook for 2 minutes and drain.
Combine rice, egg, liquid, onion, garlic, beef, salt, and seasonings in large bowl. Tip: If you want more veggies, try grated carrots or cauliflower in place of the rice or quinoa. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture in center of leaf and roll, tucking ends. Place cabbage rolls seam side down in slow cooker.
Mix all sauce ingredients together and pour over rolls. Depending upon the size of the cabbage, I sometimes double the sauce if I have more than 10 rolls, or if I want extra sauce to sop up my bread.
Why This Recipe For Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls Works
- A time saver recipe. You get all of the flavours of a cabbage roll in a fraction of the time because there is no stuffing, rolling, or simmering!
- A quick and easy recipe that will have dinner ready in just over 30 minutes.
- One-pot meal for easy clean-up.
- Its budget-friendly comfort food that tastes amazing which means you can serve a large crowd and still save money.
- Take leftovers for work the next day or pack them in a thermos for school lunch. Meal prep made easy!
- Its healthy, satisfying, and always a hit. Its make-ahead and freezer-friendly too.
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How To Make Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls
I used a 6 quart Instant Pot and the entire batch fit in with no problem. The recipe was tested in 8 quart as well so you can definitely use it if thats the size you have. For 3 quart, cut recipe ingredients in half and keep same cook time.
- Sauté onion and garlic first, just until fragrant. I like to place my Instant Pot under the hood fan to do this. Just make sure the stove is OFF!
- Then, sauté ground turkey and spices for about 4-5 minutes, crumbling up the turkey into small pieces as you go. Pink pieces are OK. It will continue to cook under pressure.
- Add cabbage and stir. This step helps to prevent the dreaded Burn and shrink the cabbage a bit.
- Then, add remaining ingredients: Pour in broth, uncooked rice, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes, in that order. Do not stir.
- Cancel Sauté and cook: If youre using brown rice, cook for 22 minutes. If youre using white rice, cook for 10 minutes. High pressure for both.
- Release pressure right awayQuick Release. Again, I like to do so outside or under a hood fan as it can release a smell in all of that intense steam being released.
- Season more with the freshly grated garlic clove and add fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
Tip: See below for my the best most special way to serve this dish!
How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot
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Can You Cook Cabbage Too Long
Cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be boiled, steamed, braised, sautéed, stir-fried, and microwaved. Overcooking will result in limp, pasty cabbage and produce a very unpleasant smell. The unpleasant smell is caused by the sulfur compounds that are released when the cabbage is cooked too long.
Frozen Soup And Broth
Use the pressure-cooker function and a frozen block of soup or broth will be ready to eat in no time. Add frozen soup straight into the Instant Pot insert, set the timer to high pressure for five minutes, and then release the pressure using the quick release method.
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Removing The Leaves From The Cabbage
Once the cabbage has finished steaming, remove the lid and place the cabbage on a cutting board or plate to cool until you can comfortably handle it.
If the time is up on the Ninja Foodi and the pin is still popped up, preventing the lid from opening, don’t worry. Simply turn the Ninja Foodi and within a minute or so the pin will drop and you can open the lid.
Once cool enough, begin to roll the cabbage leaves off of the head of cabbage. Please see video above for demonstration.
Continue to do that will all of the large cabbage leaves. When you get closer to the center, the leaves are a little more difficult to remove. Just do your best to gently lift them up on all sides and lift them off of the head of cabbage.
The small inner leaves are going to be used to line the pot and not roll into cabbage rolls, so don’t worry if they tear.
The very center, where the leaves are good for much of anything, I chop up into small pieces and add to the sauce. I love the texture it gives.
Pressure Cooking The Cabbage Rolls
Once all the cabbage rolls are layered in the inner pot, pour over the sauce and don’t stir. Mine looks chunky because I add the chopped up cabbage from the very inner part to the sauce.
Place the pressure lid on the Ninja Foodi and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook for 10 minutes and when the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 10 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining pressure.
Don’t worry how it looks right now, it’s about to become beautiful, I promise!
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Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls
We have fallen in love with these Pressure Cooker Cabbage Rolls and they cook in just 20 minutes! Have you jumped on the Pressure cooking or Instapot cooking trend yet? If you havent, why not? It makes preparing dinner so fast and it cooks in one pot. My pressure cooker is made by Cusinart but there are many different pressure cookers on the market today. Ive seen huge Instapot groups on Facebook so there is no shortage of recipes for them.
You might want to double the recipe, Ive already been asked to make them again.
Gather together your ingredients.
2nd layer of cabbage rolls on top of chopped cabbage. I love adding the chopped cabbage to the cabbage rolls. It cooks up so tender and makes it so there is no shortage of cabbage. It always seems to me just one leaf of the cabbage just isnt enough. Then you pour the tomato mixture over all. Cook on Low Pressure.
Ready for a bite? I usually serve these with mashed potatoes.
- 1/2 cup regular raw rice
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 14.5 can petite tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- salt and pepper
Baked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Baked stuffed cabbage rolls are an easy to make dinner that is loaded with veggies. Tender cabbage stuffed with ground beef and veggies, this dish is an all in one meal if you want it to be.
To make life easier I like to make meals that can be good for a meal and then also good for sticking in the freezer. This baked cabbage rolls recipe can be made right away or you can freeze the cabbage rolls to be used later. I have included the directions for making them right away and how to freeze cabbage rolls to use later.
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What To Do With Leftover Cabbage When Making Instant Pot 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 in air-tight container for later use. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can turn it into 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. Its delicious!
Tips for making instant pot stuffed cabbage rolls
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 dont 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 up to 3 days.
Instant Pot Stuffed Cabbage
Youre only going to use the outer largest cabbage leaves of it though. With the rest you can make all sorts of things like our Instant Pot fried cabbage.
Salt and pepper to taste, and any other seasonings that are your musts.
This is what your stuffed cabbage rolls will look like when theyre put in the pan and on the trivet inside your pot.
This is how to make this:
First youll want to get your rice cooking in any way you prefer. I pressure cook it but that is up to you, set aside when done.
On the stove top get a pot of water boiling and add blanch cabbage leaf in order to soften them a bit.
- Take your cooked cabbage out and place on a paper towel
Set Instant Pot to saute, add sausage, olive oil, onions and cook until meat is no longer pink. Turn pot off now. Add cooked rice and tomato sauce into your mixture, stir.
- Move this meat mixture to a bowl and rinse out your pot.
- Pour water into your pot with a trivet inside.
Put 1 cabbage leaf on a cutting board, spoon in meat rice mix and roll up like a present
Place this with folded side facing down into a 6-7 oven safe dish or springform pan
- Then pour diced tomatoes on top of it all like in the photo above.
- You can add any seasonings now, at least salt and pepper is great
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Pioneering Today Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Recipe
In Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way, I explain practical and easy methods to cook from scratch, garden, preserve your own food, and see Gods fingerprint in your everyday busy life. Read the first chapter for FREE and bring simple back to your home.
The sauce is especially good when made with homemade tomato sauce and sopped up with some homemade bread made in less than 5 minutes a day.
What’s your favorite slow cooker dish?
This recipe is featured on Kelly The Kitchen Hop’s Bog, This Chick Cooks Whole Foods Recipe Swap, and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Recipe Swap, and The Prairie Homestead and Traditional Tuesdays.
Looking for more healthy slow cooker recipes?
Try our gluten free frugal Ham and Bean soup at only $.54 cents a serving!