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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

(Un) Stuffed Cabbage [Instant Pot Pressure Cooker]

(Un) Stuffed Cabbage

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If you’ve ever made stuffed cabbage, God Bless ya!

I have only eaten stuffed cabbage made by others, but I have always loved it. Making it is certainly a labor of love, and the cook time requires patience. I couldn’t even tell you how long the total process takes, but I can only guess several hours.

I wanted to get the flavors, but I wanted to do it the lazy way. Yeah, I said it. I wanted a lazy version of stuffed cabbage, and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

(Un) stuffed Cabbage!

I have made this on the stove top in my dutch oven. Same process, but the cook time takes about an hour and a half between prep, sauté, bringing to a boil, simmering…during which I stir ever 10 minutes or so. Did I mention I always make quite a mess on my stove top, too? Stove top unstuffed cabbage is lazier than stuffed cabbage, but not lazy enough! 😛

This Instant Pot Pressure Cooker version takes 5 minutes of prep, 5 minutes of hands on cook time, 10 minutes cook time in the pressure cooker - all in all, with the time it takes to pressurize your cooker and depressurize it, You can be eating this delicious UnStuffed Cabbage in under an hour - with only 10 minutes of hands on work?!

Though I will quote the Instant Pot in this recipe, it can be adapted for any pressure cooker!

Doesn’t it look good enough to DEVOUR?

(Un) Stuffed Cabbage


1 1/4 lbs ground beef or turkey (I use ground turkey!)
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 small or 1/2 large green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage (about 4 cups), cut into large chunks (about 2-3 inch)
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. paprika
1 t. fennel
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4-1/2 t. crushed red pepper, optional depending on your heat preference
1 T. Worcestershire
2 small cans or 1 large diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (can sub water - but add additional 1/2 t salt)

Step by Step Directions

Turn Instant Pot on Sauté. Add olive oil, allow to heat for 1 minute. Add ground beef or turkey and brown. Push meat to one side of pot, use a towel or oven bit to tilt inner pot, and remove as much grease as possible.

Add onion, green pepper and fresh garlic. Stir.

Add cabbage, seasonings, diced tomatoes and broth. Stir.

Close lid, turn Vent knob to “Sealing”.

Press  “Manual” button and adjust cook time to 10 minutes.
Note: it will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. Until it reaches pressure, the pot display will read “On”. Once pressurized, cook time countdown will begin.

Once cook time is complete, Instant Pot will beep and automatically change to “Keep Warm” setting.

IMPORTANT: Allow Instant Pot to naturally depressurize (NPR) for 15 minutes - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO quickly release pressure (QPR), if you do you will likely find a hot mess on your cabinets… 

Be patient during cook time and NPR, and go cook rice or something - this unstuffed cabbage is delicious served over rice!

After 15 minutes of NPR, QPR the remaining pressure. Make sure to place a towel over vent knob, and turn vent knob to “Venting” to allow remaining pressure to release.

Remove the lid, and smile.

The easiest, fastest stuffed Un(Stuffed) Cabbage ever!

Serve in a bowl, perhaps over rice, and maybe even with some parmesan cheese on top.


(Un) Stuffed Cabbage

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  1. Any tips as to cooking some brown rice along with the rest of the ingredients (in keeping with the cabbage roll theme)?

    1. Hi Ed! I don't think this would work with brown rice. Brown rice takes about 20 minutes on manual high pressure in the Instant Pot and other pressure cookers. If you cooked the Unstuffed cabbage that long, you'd have a mushy cabbage result for sure! I'd recommend making your rice right before the Unstuffed cabbage, and stirring in the brown rice to the finished Unstuffed cabbage if that's your desire. Or, just serve it over the rice!

      Unlike the issue with brown rice needing more cook time, White rice, on the other hand, would over cook because it's cook time is about 4 minutes in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.
      Unfortunately, I just don't see this working.if you experiment and it works, let me know!

      Thanks for your comment and a great question!

  2. I have been doing "deconstructed" piggys for a number of years now. We use pork, instead of beef, and I make them into pork balls with the rice in them and an egg, then a small can of V-8 juice, onion, cabbage, diced tomatoes, to the pot (usually the dutch oven on the stove). But now that we have an instant pot..... I plan to try it in the near future.

    Thank you Jessica for the great photos on your posts.

    1. Awesome CMM! Let me know how your version comes out in the Instant Pot! Mine is truly the “lazy man’s” way - and I fully admit it :) Your way sounds delish, and probably only takes 15 more minutes of prep… perhaps I will find the time to try it out one day! Happy InstantPot’ing!

  3. Um, you never actually mention adding the cabbage. I assume it goes in with the diced tomatoes and broth?

    1. OH BOY!!! Out of the 1000’s of people who have viewed this, you are the FIRST to tell me that. Yes, ma’am it does. Thank you! I will edit :) -Jessica

  4. Awesome recipe! I made it and served it over brown rice! I left out the crushed red pepper flakes and just added it to my serving after it was cooked since my husband is not a fan of real spicy or hot foods! It was PERFECT!!

    1. So good to hear! This is TRULY one of my FAVE meals! I feel good about eating it, yet it is so tasty and satisfying. So glad you enjoyed! -Jessica

  5. Is there a one page print option ??

    1. Not at this time. Stay Tuned! New website with that option coming soon!

  6. Are you using fennel seed, or ground fennel?