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This post was sponsored by Hood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Fire up your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking. These Loaded Mashed Potato Cabbage Rolls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes any day of the week. 

cabbage rolls in black bowl topped with a sour cream chive drizzle, potatoes in background, hood sour cream, blue dish with yellow cheddar

Note: You’ll see both Hood Sour Cream 16 oz. and Hood Sour Cream Squeeze pictured within this post. While I most often use the 16 oz. tub, I also like to use the squeeze bottle on certain occasions. I wanted to make it easy for you to know what to look for in the store. 

Growing up my mom made stuffed cabbage rolls every once in a blue moon. I can’t remember if she called them golumpki or halupki, to be honest, but I know she didn’t call them cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage.

Whichever name she called them they were the same thing – cabbage rolls stuffed with a mixture of ground meat, rice, and tomato then topped with some sort of tomato mixture and baked. The perfect comfort food. Who else finds that recipes from childhood (that you might not have even liked as a kid) are the best kind of comfort food?

I decided to change things up and stuff them with mashed potatoes. I am all about a good mashed potato. Amish Mashed Potatoes are a favorite. And Loaded Mashed Potatoes…totally an easy upsell for me. The whole works – bacon bits, cheddar, cheese, green onion/chives, and Hood Sour Cream

I’ll also share why I love using Hood Sour Cream. Hint: It might have to do with the fact it’s high quality deliciousness. Or the fact that it takes an ordinary dish and makes it extraordinary. It may also help that I can buy it as a 16 oz. tub or the new Hood Sour Cream Squeeze. The new squeezable bottle cuts waaaaayy down on mess when kids are involved in making their own tacos, and offers more control when I want to add it to my Mexican street corn pizza.

Let’s dive into all the important details on how to make them, shall we?

instant pot in corner, Hood Sour Cream Squeeze, russet potatoes, head of cabbage, raw bacon on plate, yellow cheddar in blue dish

First Up, The Cabbages

Technically, one cabbage if you get a cabbage that’s big enough but cabbages sounds cooler. Try it! Cabbage. Cabbages. I find a cabbage head that’s a minimum of 6 inches in diameter is good. Since the cabbage leaves are the most finicky part of this whole dish, it’s best to tackle them first.

Well, technically, in the interest of cooking time efficiencies, we tackle the potatoes first but talking about the cabbage first seemed wise here. Likely because the cabbage is the wrapper, or perhaps it’s because C comes before P. Either way, just know, we’re talking cabbage first, potatoes second. But, the potatoes start cooking first.

What kind of cabbage should you use?

The best types of cabbage to use are green cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Napa cabbage or Flat/Chinese Flat Cabbage. I prefer Flat cabbage and talk more about the differences between all four types in this post on How to Prepare Cabbage Leaves for Stuffing.

How to prepare cabbage for cabbage rolls

You need to cook the cabbage leaves before rolling them. First, this method removes the leaves from the head easily and second, it makes the cabbage leaf soft enough to roll. The post I linked above will go into more detail and answer questions such as: 

  • How do you keep the leaves from breaking while stuffing?
  • How do you core cabbage (and keep it whole)?
  • How do you boil cabbage for cabbage rolls?

 You definitely want to do this step right because it saves a ton of frustration when you’re assembling the cabbage rolls no matter what you stuff them with. And once you know how to stuff a cabbage leaf like a pro, you just might make cabbage rolls all the time. 

cored whole cabbage in pot of water

Next up, The Potatoes

This is the perfect recipe to use up leftover mashed potatoes – especially after a holiday meal. Then you’ll skip down to the toppings but mix sour cream into them (if you didn’t already make them with sour cream). However, if you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, simply make a batch of mashed potatoes.

My go-to potatoes for mashing are russet potatoes, which are commonly used for baking, and red-skinned potatoes. Red-skinned potatoes are a nice little shortcut because you don’t need to peel them and the peel adds some color to the dish.

However, feel free to use your favorite mashing potato, or, if instant potatoes are your thing, give it a try. I think making your own is going to be totally worth it though. 

If you need specific steps on how to cook potatoes for mashing on the stove or in the Instant Pot, you can follow the steps in my Amish Mashed Potatoes. Instead of adding the browned butter and cream cheese, you’ll mix in Hood Sour Cream when you mash them.

peeled russet potatoes in instant pot steamer basket

And Now, The Toppings

Loaded mashed potatoes require epic toppings. In this case, we mix them into the mashed potatoes. I mentioned sour cream above. That’s because we’re using sour cream instead of butter here – it adds such a nice tangy flavor and is key to true loaded mashed potatoes.

Once the potatoes are mashed, add the rest of the toppings – bacon bits, cheese, and chives or green onions. Be sure to keep a small amount of the bacon bits, cheese, and chives to the side to use as a garnish.

hood sour cream, chives, yellow cheddar in blue ceramic square bowl, bacon bits on napkin

Why use Hood Sour Cream?

Because Hood Sour Cream is made with high quality ingredients – real Hood Milk and Cream produced by cows on farms whose farmers pledge not to use artificial growth hormones (rBST). One of the things I really love about this company is that they have roots right here in New England. Plus, the taste and texture are fantastic. Have you ever had sour cream that has a chunky somewhat rough weird texture? If you don’t know, you don’t know. But if you KNOW. Well, then you get me.

These are all good reasons I feel good serving it to friends and family, not just for everyday but special occasions too. From adding it to the mushroom cream soup in iconic green bean casserole to a condiment for Thanksgiving turkey leftovers turned into tacos to a dipping sauce (like this Chimichurri-style Sauce) for New Year appetizers, Hood Sour Cream is ready to add that special touch. You can find more great recipes that use Hood Sour Cream here.

What kind of bacon bits should you use?

I find making my own tastes so much better, but in a pinch just buy them pre-made. If you make these yourself, cut the bacon into small bite-sized pieces before frying. Then fry it up until it’s brown but still has a little flexibility. Scoop the fried pieces out of the pan and set them onto a napkin-lined plate or bowl to drain off excess oil. If you choose to buy bacon bits, be careful not to get those bacon bits that are hard crunchy dried out bits but real bacon bits. 

cut up bacon in a frying pan

What kind of cheese should you use?

I’m partial to a sharp cheddar cheese. Loaded Mashed Potatoes always have yellow cheddar so I opted for a sharp yellow cheddar. I bought it pre-shredded because it’s so much easier but you are free to use whatever cheese your heart desires. 

Should you use green onion or chives?

You can use green onion if you can’t find chives or are on a tight budget. You will need less green onion as they taste a little stronger than chives. You’ll also need to mince the green onion really small. If you’re not sure where to find chives in your grocery store, check the herb section in your produce department – not where bunches of parsley and cilantro are, but the little containers of fresh herbs. 

cutting board with cabbage leaf, yellow cheddar in blue ceramic square dish, chives, bacon bits on napkin, hood sour cream, mixing bowl with loaded mashed potatoes

How do you prepare the cabbage rolls?

Lay out a cooked cabbage leaf on a cutting board with the thicker stem piece closest to you. Put approximately 1/4 cup of the loaded mashed potato mixture into the center of the leaf and shape it into an oblong shape – approximately 3 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. Starting with the end closest to you, fold it up over the mixture. If the stem piece up the middle is especially thick and hard to bend still, cut a bit of it off before folding. 

Next, fold either the left or right side of the cabbage leaf over the potato mixture.

Then, fold the top of the cabbage leaf toward you over the potato mixture.

Finally, wrap the final side over the whole thing. If there’s an excess of cabbage leaf left on that side, feel free to take a sharp paring knife and cut the excess off before folding over. Discard the leftover bit of cabbage leaf or set it aside for another day. These scraps are great to flavor soup. 

Set the folded cabbage roll seam side down to the side and repeat process until you have all cabbage rolls ready to cook.

cabbage leaf with loaded mashed potato mixture

Can you prepare cabbage rolls ahead of time?

Yes. If you want to prepare them ahead of time, stop at the step above. Wrap the cabbage rolls well and put in the refrigerator up to a few days before using. 

Can you freeze these cabbage rolls?

I don’t recommend  freezing them because mashed potatoes can get a little grainy when they’re frozen. It’s just not worth the risk of subpar cabbage rolls. 

4 stued cabbage rolls in steamer basket in instant pot

How to Cook Cabbage Rolls in the Instant Pot

Put water in the bottom of your Instant Pot insert. The amount depends on the size of your Instant Pot. A 6-quart pot requires 1 cup and an 8-quart requires 1 and 1/2 cups.

Stack the cabbage rolls in a steamer basket or on an Instant Pot rack in the pot insert. 

Put the lid on the Instant Pot and cook for 5 minutes, high pressure with the vent sealed. The cabbage rolls are fully cooked so only need to be steamed a bit to heat them up and really meld the flavors together. 

I love using the Instant Pot for this because the cabbage rolls turn into nicely sealed together little packages. Also, you can stack them in the pot to cook while you go do other things – like make the sauce below.

No Instant Pot? You’ll really want one for these. You can make them in the oven or slow cooker but steaming them in the Instant Pot allows you to keep the cabbage rolls out of the water you use to steam them since they aren’t cooking in a sauce. If you choose to make them in the oven or slow cooker, use an oven safe/slow cooker safe baking rack in the pan to keep the cabbage rolls out of the steaming liquid and cover the pan with foil.

loaded mashed potato cabbage roll cut in half on white plate with black edge

Sour Cream Chive Sauce

This sauce works well as a drizzle over the whole dish or served as a condiment on the side. Be sure to mince the chive really fine if you use as a drizzle so the bits don’t clog the tip of whatever you use to drizzle the sauce over the cabbage rolls.

Now go enjoy the fruits of your labor. You totally deserve every bite.


Instant Pot Loaded Mashed Potato Cabbage Rolls

Fire up your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking. These Loaded Mashed Potato Cabbage Rolls are the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes any day of the week.

  • Author: Heather McCurdy
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x



Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 large head cabbage (green, Savoy, Napa, or flat)
  • 2 and 1/2 lbs. potatoes (leftover mashed potatoes, russet or red-skinned)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 cup Hood Sour Cream
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream/half and half
  • 2 Tbsp. minced chives + 1 tsp. divided out
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Sour Cream Chive Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Hood Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped chive
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


Preparing the Cabbage Rolls

  1. Put large pot of water on to boil for the cabbage. Wash and core cabbage then set aside until water comes to a boil.
  2. Peel potatoes, cut, and cook potatoes if needed or measure out 3 cups pre-mashed potatoes.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry.
  4. When cabbage water is boiling, put cabbage into water, cored side up. Cover and let cook 7-10 minutes.
  5. Check at 6 minutes to see if outer leaves are starting to soften and fall away from cabbage head. If they are, gently remove those leaves to a bowl.
  6. Check the cabbage often so the water doesn’t boil over and to remove any cabbage leaves as they are soft and easy to remove from the head.
  7. When bacon is brown and still somewhat flexible, remove from pan to a napkin or paper towel lined plate. Set aside until ready to use. Divide, setting aside 1 large pinch for garnish.
  8. Shred cheese if you didn’t buy pre-shredded and chop the chives.
  9. When potatoes are done cooking, drain them and mash with 1 cup of sour cream, minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Add heavy cream a little at a time as mashing until potatoes are nice and fluffy.
  10. Once potatoes are mashed, mix in all but one large pinch of bacon bits, shredded cheese, and 2 tablespoons minced chive.

Rolling the Cabbage Rolls

  1. Lay cabbage leaf in front of you on a cutting board with the stem side toward you.
  2. Add approximately 1/4 cup potato mixture to center of leaf and shape mixture into an oblong shape.
  3. Fold the cabbage leaf over the potato mixture, starting with the end closest to you. If the stem is too thick and doesn’t fold well, trim off thickest part.
  4. Next, fold in either the left or right side of the cabbage leaf.
  5. Next, fold the top of the cabbage leaf down over the potato mixture toward yourself.
  6. Finally, fold the last side of the cabbage leaf over the other 3 sides to make a nice little rectangle. You can trim off any excess cabbage leaf as you like.
  7. Set cabbage roll off to the side, seam side down.
  8. Repeat until all cabbage rolls are made.

Cooking the Cabbage Rolls

  1. Prepare your Instant Pot or pressure cooker with 1-1 and 1/2 cups water, depending on what your pressure cooker calls for.*
  2. Put an Instant Pot rack or steamer basket in the insert and carefully stack your stuffed cabbage rolls, seam side down, in it.
  3. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the vent to closed. Set the time for 5 minutes at Manual High Pressure.
  4. While the cabbage rolls are steaming, make the sour cream chive sauce.
  5. After the Instant Pot completes the cooking time, do a quick release. Leave in the pot on warm until ready to serve.

Sour Cream Chive Sauce

  1. Mix together sour cream, milk, chopped chives, and salt.
  2. Put into a squeeze bottle to drizzle over top the cabbage rolls or serve in a small condiment bowl.


*A 6-quart Instant Pot requires 1 cup water in the bottom of the insert for cooking. An 8-quart calls for 1 and 1/2 cups water.

cabbage rolls garnished with bacon bits, yellow cheddar, chives, sour cream chive drizzle; Hood Sour Cream 16 oz, russet potatoes, and Instant Pot in background

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  1. IMHO this is a very creative recipe. I would change up the procedures to compliment my cooking techniques and practices like not using an instant pot since I don’t have one. But stuffing cabbage with potatoes sounds awesome. Thank you for sharing your comfort recipe!

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