Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

I have a thing for Cabbage Rolls and try to make a pan of them every year. This year, though, I decided to “roll” all those flavors into Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup, instead. No worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot because the stove-top instructions are here, too.

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

If you love Cabbage Rolls like I do, you’ll want to try this Cabbage Roll Soup. It’s based on my Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet Sour Sauce. If you have your own treasured Cabbage Roll recipe, feel free to tweak the flavors in this soup to match.

About Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup:

My Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup is a perfect late spring meal. Whether the days are warm and the evening’s cool, or it’s just been a blustery, rainy day, you’ll be glad for a big pot of soup to warm you up. Even better, this is one of those soups that just gets better with a little time, so it makes great leftovers for lunch later in the week.

The down-home flavors of Cabbage Rolls translate really well into soup…honestly it’s so good you’ll probably be craving it. It’s that little bit of sweet/sour taste that is going to make you want to come back for more and more…that and a good amount of pepper that plays off the cabbage.

My Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup leans towards the beefier rather than tomato-ey side, just like my Cabbage Rolls. If you’re into a more tomato-based soup, sub tomato juice for some of the broth. It’s nice to have extra broth on hand when you make a rice-based soup. First of all, you can make the soup thick or thinner, and secondly, rice can swell and absorb the broth so you might want to add more broth when reheating.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet Sour Sauce

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sweet Sour Sauce

About using the Instant Pot:

You’ll notice that this soup is set for 12 minutes cook time in the Instant Pot. If you’re familiar with pressure cooking, the actual cook time includes a heat up and release. Because this is a big pot of soup, by the time that pressure is built, the soup is cooked and the pressure released, the soup could also be cooked on the stove-top.

What’s gained by using the IP is that this is truly hands-off (after the beef is browned) soup. There’s no waiting for it to come to a boil, no stirring, no adjusting, and no fiddling. The clean up is easier – you need a big pot for the stovetop cooking and there will be spattering.

Even though I’m not saving a lot of time by using the IP, I like it because it’s (for me) more convenient. Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup is just as delicious cooked on the stove-top, though!

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

Saving money on Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup:

The ground beef is the biggest cost of this hearty but economical soup. Pick up ground beef at a low and toss it in your freezer. Potion it in sizes to suit your family if it comes in a larger pack. Watch the pricing in your area and note the highs and lows. There can be as much as a three to five dollar difference between the highs and lows.

Believe it or not, I just used the extra cabbage I bought on sale during St. Patrick’s Day. It should be almost second nature, but it’s easy to forget: watch your ads and buy low. When prices are great, buy extra and use more of it, whether it’s cabbage or any other item. Do watch the per head vs. the per pound pricing on cabbage and you won’t have a huge shock at the checkout lane.

I picked up my beef broth & diced tomatoes at Aldi but basic pantry items are one thing I do try to watch at my favorite coupon matching site. A great site will alert you to sales whether you’re using coupons or not. Another tomato product, like crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes you crush by hand, will work well in this soup, too, as long as you have about 29 to 30 ounces of tomatoes & the juice.

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup


Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

This soup has all the flavors of a traditional cabbage roll in an easy to make form.

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: German


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 6 cups beef broth, more to thin if necessary
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3/4 cup rice, raw
  • 1 small head cabbage or 1/2 large head, cut into about 1” dice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon or white wine vinegar, to taste


Add ground beef, onion and carrots to a large pan or to the instant pot. Heat over medium heat if cooking stove-top or set Instant Pot to Saute, medium.

Cook, stirring, until beef is no longer pink and slightly browned. Drain excess fat.

Add the broth to the pot and stir, deglazing the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the lemon or vinegar.

If cooking stove-top, bring to a boil, then adjust to a simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes, partially covered, stirring now and then until rice is tender. If using Instant Pot, seal the pot and set to manual pressure 12 minutes. When finished, use a quick release.

Both versions: taste and adjust seasonings and add lemon or vinegar to taste.


If you like your soup with more tomato flavor, substitute some of the beef broth with tomato juice.

Stir pot as serving. The pepper has a tendency to sink to the bottom.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef Stock, Cabbage, canned tomatoes, Carrots, German, Ground Beef, Instant Pot, Rice, Soup, Tomatoes, Vinegar

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I’ll be bringing my Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup to Fiesta Friday #221, hosted this week by Jenni of Dragonfly Home Recipes. Stop by and take a peek, and if you’re a blogger, join in. We’d love to have you!

If you like Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup, you might also like:


A quick and easy Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup (with stove-top instructions included, too). Hearty, beefy cabbage & rice with just a bit of a sweet/sour twang, just like Grandma's Cabbage Rolls. One of my very fave soups - just thinking about it makes my mouth water! #CabbageRollSoup #InstantPotCabbageRollSoup #SarmaSoup #InstantPotSoup


20 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup

  1. I had cabbage rolls on my to make list all winter, but never actually convinced myself to go through with the effort. This is a great way to get the flavor without the work!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Carlee, I know it’s hard to find time sometimes to do a project like cabbage rolls! I was so sad when this soup was gone!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks Jenny – the soup is just as easy on the stove top. I always forget my crockpot these days, lol1! And yes that little sweet sour kick reallly makes the soup.

  2. Here you go cooking up something amazing in that instant pot again! My cheap nature isn’t going to hold out much longer if you keep this up. Going to have to break down and buy one! This looks so,so good!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Kara, I did include the stove top instructions, too, but I really do like cooking in the IP. It was a surprise to me how much I like it because I have a stove top pressure cooker that I didn’t use that much.

  3. I haven’t had my mom’s cabbage rolls in over 10 yrs and now that she’s passed, no chance of doing so ever again. My dad used to hand cut the tender pork into tiny little morsels. In my memory, I can still picture him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee, the butcher’s wrapped parcel of meat, a bowl for the chopped meat and a very sharp knife. I will never reproduce that meal but when I saw the picture of your bowl of cabbage soup I had the thought … I could do THAT.

    Thank you for the memory and what promises to be a great dish.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh, memories like that can be so bittersweet, but cherished. That is a labor of love. I usually use all beef in my cabbage rolls (and this soup) but always think when I make them, how good a mix of beef and pork would be.

      This soup makes a big pot, but I loved it so much I didn’t mind eating it for a couple days…I already want it again!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks much! Make it and soon…it’s so easy to customize, too, if you want to tweak it a bit towards your own cabbage roll recipe.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I was thinking as I made this that this is a soup my son could get behind! He’s not a huge fan of soup that he has to carefully spoon…he likes hearty chowders and chilis and big flavors. 🙂

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