Pressure Cooker (Un) Stuffed Cabbage

The Comfort Food Classic, Stuffed Cabbage, Minus The Pesky Stuffing

Unstuffed Cabbage2

On the weekend when I do my shopping, when I have all the time in the world, I make big plans for my weekday meals. Visions of meatloaf, roast beef, chicken kiev and other such things dance in my head. This week, I had plans to make stuffed cabbage, so I purchased all the ingredients. And then on Tuesday evening, after I dragged myself in from work and took a shower after my ten-mile bike ride home, it was pushing 8 PM by the time I was able to start preparing dinner. By that time I was thinking, “I don’t want to have to steam the cabbage, mix all the ingredients together, roll the filling mixture in the cabbage leaves, then cook the dang things.”

Unstuffed Cabbage Ingredients

As is often my solution on weekdays, I use the “throw it all in the pressure cooker and see what happens” method.

I suppose that if this were made in a baking dish and cooked in the oven, it would be called a “casserole” or “hot dish”. But, since it was cooked in the pressure cooker, I will continue to call it “Unstuffed Cabbage”.

And as usual, just when I think I’ve come up with a great new invention, I do a search and find similar things all over the internet, such as here and this one. And not even the name, which I thought to be so clever, was not original.

But even these “quicker” stuffed cabbage recipes can take as long as a couple hours, but using the pressure cooker, the entire process can be done in less than an hour.

Beef, Pork and Onions2

I considered adding in the rice as well, but in the end I chickened out and cooked the rice separately, then served the cabbage concoction on top. Perhaps in the future I will experiment with adding the rice, but for now this works just fine.

Ingredients, Minus Cabbage

I used a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground pork, but all beef would work fine, or maybe some pork sausage mixed with ground beef to zip things up a bit. (I have since made it with all beef, and it was good, but I prefer the beef/pork combo.)

Unstuffed Cabbage, Pot

I got several compliments from the S.O. on this, so I guess it was a success. And I must admit that the leftovers I took to work the next day were even better than the night before.

Unstuffed Cabbage, Cooked

Pressure Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A quick and easy take on the classic comfort food "Stuffed Cabbage", using the pressure cooker
  • 1 tbs. coconut oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 pkg. strained tomatoes, approx. 26 oz. (Such as Pomi brand)
  • 3 tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Over medium-high heat, melt the oil
  2. Lightly brown the beef and pork (it doesn't need to be completely brown, it will continue to cook under pressure)
  3. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain all but a couple tablespoons
  4. Add the onion
  5. Continue to heat until the onion becomes translucent
  6. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder and salt and pepper
  7. Stir, then add cabbage on top
  8. Turn heat to high and place top on pressure cooker
  9. When high pressure has been reached, reduce heat to maintain pressure and set the timer for 5 minutes
  10. When timer sounds, use the quick-release method
  11. If sauce looks thin, place over medium-high heat for a couple minutes and reduce a bit
  12. Remove from heat and stir to mix in the cabbage well
  13. Serve over rice


25 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker (Un) Stuffed Cabbage

  1. This looks deelish. My husband hates cabbage- but if I mixed it all in with that delicious concoction he might not even notice. Stuffed cabbege de-constructed? Waaay easier than shoking the leaves, stuffing and wrapping.

    Now, to find Worcestershire sauce or make it!

    Keep up the great cooking!



  2. I made a half-ish batch of Unstuffed Cabbage in rush last night, with a few minor substitutions. It was delicious; even if my 15 yo son wasn’t thrilled to sit down to “another cabbage dinner”, he ate two large portions without further comment, which is a good sign.

    I actually was trying to find another Unstuffed Cabbage recipe I’d seen recently, to use up a small head of green cabbage from my CSA farm share box that has been taking up too much space in my fridge for a few weeks. But your recipe came up first in my search results, which was even better, because I was planning to make it in my electric Instant Pot pressure cooker anyway – you saved me the trouble of converting a recipe for pressure cooking.

    I didn’t have any ground pork, so I just used a pound of frozen grass fed ground beef, thawed in a pan of warm water just long enough to loosen the packaging before I added it to the pot to thaw and brown at the same time. I used a little rendered pork fat that I had skimmed from the juice of last week’s roasted pork shoulder, to add flavor as well as grease the pan (grassfed beef is so lean, so I always add either pork fat or ghee/butter).

    I also didn’t have any Worcestershire sauce so I used a bit of Red Boat artisanal fish sauce instead – like worcestershire sauce, fish sauce is also fermented with anchovies and salt, so it’s a source of umami (5th) flavor. Fish sauce is quite salty, so I held off on additional salt until right before serving, when I tasted it, then added a few grinds of grey sea salt.

    I also discovered that I was completely out of sweet paprika – both Spanish and Hungarian, so instead I tossed in a handful of dried diced roasted red bell peppers from Whole Spice (in Napa, CA) that had just arrived the same day in an Amazon Subscribe & Save order. I now buy these dried diced roasted red sweet peppers by the pound after going through my first 4 ounce bag (fits in a 1 pint jar) in short order, because they are so good in all sorts of recipes for flavor & color – they plump up quickly in moist dishes, are diced smaller bough not to bother the family member who doesn’t like peppers, and the slightly smokey roasted flavor is far more interesting than plain fresh diced red bell pepper.

    Since I was only making roughly a half batch, I only used just over half of a box of Pomi strained tomatoes (I first poured off 12 oz into a jar to save in the fridge for another use, then added the rest to the pressure cooker plus a little water to get all the tomato out of the box). The mixture wasn’t soupy at all when it was finished cooking, so it didn’t ooze liquid all over the plates (good thing, because I didn’t make rice). I served it with some grated parmesan on the side for garnish.

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I know it’s going to be a great template for more unstuffed cabbage variations in my kitchen.

    • It’s good to hear that the recipe worked out for you. I enjoyed reading your comments and seeing what changes you made. I always take it as I good sign whenever anybody tells me that their kids ate it. Whole Spice looks like a good place to try sometime. I usually get my spices at Penzey’s, just because I have one within walking distance of home.
      I hope you visit again and that you can find other recipes that you can use.



  4. I halved the recipe and using only beef and no oil. Had to substitute smoked paprika and added a half cup of uncooked white rice. Cooked all of it on the rice setting for 5 minutes. Delish …. A great one pot meal!!

  5. I googled “cabbage, ground beef, pressure cooker” and came up with this recipe. I threw my ingredients together in less than 10 minutes (Cuisinart food processer helped speed the process with chopping up the onion and cabbage). I only used grass fed ground beef for the meat and didn’t have any Worcestershire sauce, but it turned out phenomenal! I love the mixture of the apple cider vinegar and dry mustard, paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. This is a keeper!! I’m Hungarian, and stuffed cabbage rolls are one of my favorite dishes. Don’t know if I’ll make them the regular away again. This is soooo much easier! Next time I will cut the brown sugar to 1T and see how I like it. I substituted Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce for the Worcestershire. The only problem I ran into, is it tasted so good, I ate too much!

  7. This recipe is awesome. I love stuffed cabbage but hate stuffing lol. I am going to use my electric Power Pressure Cooker XL. the only thing is i dont know if the pressure time is the same and will it be different if i throw in rice? thanks so much

    • I haven’t made it in my electric, but based on other things I have made I would probably add two minutes for the electric. Were you planning on throwing in cooked rice or dry? For cooked it should work with the same time. If dry, then you would need to add some liquid also. I would say 1/2 cup rice and 3/4 cup water or broth. Also, if adding dry rice let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. Let me know how it turns out.

  8. I made this recipe again earlier in the week using 3/4 of a small head of green cabbage. I used 1.5 lbs of ground grassfed beef and 1 lb of (raw, not heat & serve) bratwurst sausage squeezed out of the casings because I didn’t have any plain ground pork. I thought the bratwurst worked pretty well with this recipe.

    Like the first time I made this, I also added a handful or two of of dried diced roasted red bell pepper (Whole Spice, Napa, CA). The slightly smokey flavor and color work well (a bit of smoked paprika would be similar).

    I garnished with a bit of minced parsley before serving and sour cream at the table .

    Once again, this recipe was delicious (teenager had two helpings) and the leftovers were delicious for my lunch the next two days.

    • If you are not allergic, raw honey would work. I often use brown sugar and honey interchangeably and I believe honey is paleo. I can’t vouch for this idea, but a co-worker of mine sometimes sweetens dishes with grated carrots. I don’t know the exact amount you would use. Since it is a “sweet and sour” type sauce, it needs some type of sweetening. If you happen to try the carrot idea, be sure to let me know how it works out. I hope this is helpful.

  9. I made this recipe last night with a few minor variations and the first thing my wife said when she tasted it was that I could make it again. My variation was: Pork Sausage instead of the ground pork, 2 cans of Diced, fire roasted Tomatoes (drained) instead of the strained tomatoes, and I added a cup of white rice and 2 cups of chicken stock and then ran the Rice Cycle on my Instant Pot.

    Next time I make it I think I will try using beef stock instead of the chicken stock and replace half of the sweet paprika with smoked.

  10. I made this for my family and they loved it!! My substitutions were 1/2 c Trader Joe’s green lentils, 1/2 lb cooked grass fed ground beef and 2 minced garlic cloves instead of the powder. I got bold and added 1 cup uncooked rice making, sure to add enough water. I used leftover thick spaghetti sauce and added a 14oz diced tomatoes to the pot. I wish I had added the chopped cabbage at the start because I waited till the rice timing was up (12 min)and and added it, cooking for 3 min. at the end. It came out a bit crunchy but no one complained. :) Thank you for your recipe!

  11. This was awesome. I used one large heirloom tomato instead of the other tomatos and only grass fed ground beef. I substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar!

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