Instant Pot cabbage roll stew

All the flavour, none of the fuss!

I had never tasted cabbage rolls until I was in university and my roommate decided she needed to teach me how to make one of her favourite dishes. What a revelation – so many fantastic flavours all in one yummy comfort food! I have to admit that I’ve only made cabbage rolls a few times on my own since then and found the process cumbersome and long. This dish is the perfect solution – it takes just 20 minutes from start to finish if you use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker; 30 minutes if cooked in a conventional pot. I’m sure it would be perfect if made in a slow cooker as well, provided you saute the meat, onions and garlic first. Use ground chicken, turkey or lamb if you prefer and for a vegan option, replace the ground beef with lentils and use vegetable broth in place of the beef broth. The stew is delicious right away and even more flavourful the next day. As a bonus, it freezes really well too!


  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 pound (454 grams) lean ground beef
  • kosher salt, pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced garlic
  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped green cabbage (1/2 inch or 1.25 cm pieces)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) diced carrots
  • 8 cups (2 L) beef broth
  • 3 cups (750 mL) passata (crushed, strained tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each celery seed, cumin, dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) uncooked basmati rice
  • garnish: chopped parsley or sliced green onion tops


  • In an Instant Pot set to sauté (or large regular pot or Dutch oven placed over medium-high heat) heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the ground beef, stirring and breaking up any clumps, for about 5 minutes or until browned.
  • While the beef cooks, prepare the vegetables.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the cabbage, carrots, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, spices and rice.
  • Cover and select the Rice function on the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure valve is closed.
  • If cooking in a Dutch oven or conventional pot, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to medium-low; cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley or sliced green onions. Serve hot.

Serve 8 – 10.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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