Instant Pot Cabbage is the perfect side dish with minimal prep time, made with a whole head of cabbage, savory vegetable broth, spices, and butter, topped with crispy bacon and ready in 15 minutes!

I love using the instant pot to free up oven space. For more side dish ideas, check out Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes, and Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli!

An instant pot full of cooked buttered cabbage topped with crispy bacon pieces.

Instant Pot Cabbage is the easiest way to make tender cabbage, and a really fast side dish for a weeknight dinner. I love making this cabbage because it’s quick, easy, and you get a lot of food from an entire cabbage.

This is also perfect for leftovers to meal prep for the week, because it’s a really low cost side dish. Add a few extra tablespoons of butter for a really buttery cabbage!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients needed to make instant pot cabbage on a table.

Cabbage. For this recipe, you can use a regular green cabbage. This is what’s available at most grocery stores and works well in the instant pot. Try to find a firmer cabbage that’s on the heavy side. 

You can also use a savoy cabbage for this recipe, which has a wrinkle pattern on the leaves. They will work and taste very similar. 

Butter. I always use unsalted butter, because the amount of salt in salted butter can vary. But this is a personal preference. If you use salted butter, leave the salt out later and add as needed. 

Vegetable broth. I usually use a cup of broth (make sure it’s gluten free). This recipe works well with veggie broth or chicken broth. This just adds a little bit of flavor. 

If you don’t have broth, you can just use the same amount of water in the instant pot. 

Spices. Salt, black pepper, and onion powder help add some flavor without covering up the flavor of the cabbage. 

You can get creative and add whatever you’d like here, if you want something more spicy try red pepper flakes, or more flavorful with garlic powder. 

Bacon. Top the finished dish with bacon for a salty crunch, that goes really well with the soft cabbage. 

I just microwave bacon for topping so I don’t have to deal with the bacon grease during cleanup. Instructions for how to do that are below. 

How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage

Step by step instructions for how to make instant pot cabbage.
  1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Cut cabbage into 1 inch pieces. Place the trivet into the instant pot, then add the cabbage. 
  2. Add the broth and spices to the instant pot, pouring over the cabbage. Add butter on top of the cabbage and close the lid of the instant pot, making sure the steam vent is closed. 
  3. Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes. It should take 5-6 minutes to come to temperature, then the cook time will begin. After the time is over, use an oven mitt to flip the steam valve to venting. 
  4. Once the instant pot is completely done releasing steam (2-3 minutes) and the pressure is gone, open the lid and stir the cabbage (or transfer to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon). Top the cabbage with bacon and serve. 

How to Make the Bacon in the Microwave

We’re topping this with bacon, and frying bacon is not my favorite activity. Here’s a really easy way to cook bacon in the microwave! When you cover the bacon, make sure it’s completely covered so it doesn’t make a mess in the microwave!

  1. Line a plate with 3-4 pieces of paper towel. Place the bacon strips on the paper towel, with a small amount of space between each piece. Cover with an additional 2-3 paper towels. 
  2. Set for 4 minutes on high. Once done, allow to cool, then discard the paper towels. Chop the bacon into pieces and set aside for the cabbage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cook cabbage so it’s not soggy?

Cooking cabbage for too long can make it soggy. Cabbage is done cooking when it’s tender, but still has some structure and texture to it.

For the instant pot, the cooking time is 5 minutes plus the time it takes to come to temperature. For more crunchy cabbage, set the pot for 4 minutes. For softer cabbage, try 6 minutes. 

Why is my cooked cabbage bitter?

Cabbage can sometimes turn out bitter depending on when it was harvested, and how it’s prepared. 

If your cabbage turned out bitter, try adding a small amount of salt or sugar to balance the flavor.
You can also add other vegetables that are on the sweeter side, like Vidalia onion, bell peppers, or chopped carrots before cooking to balance the bitterness. 

How to Make Instant Pot Cabbage Vegan

You can very easily make this vegan by swapping the butter for extra virgin olive oil, or a vegan butter substitute.

Storage

Store finished cabbage refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 

Freeze cooked cabbage in an airtight container for 5-6 months. For the best quality though, make cabbage fresh that day. 

More Cabbage Recipes

Cooking Tips

  • Try to make the cabbage pieces all around the same size, so they cook evenly. 
  • You have to add a small amount of liquid to the pressure cooker. If you don’t want to add vegetable or chicken broth, you can add water. But if you don’t have liquid you’ll get a ‘burn’ warning on the pot. 
  • I remove the outer leaves because the outermost part of the cabbage head comes in contact with pesticides or other people’s hands at the store.
  • Mix the finished cabbage with cooked ground beef and potatoes for a full meal. If you’re going to do this, then beef broth will work when you pressure cook the cabbage. 
  • You can also cut the cabbage into quarters and add the quarters to the instant pot. 
  • Add cabbage to noodles with fresh black pepper, thyme, and garlic powder for an easy lunch. Chop up a few extra cooked crispy slices bacon for a topping. 
A spoon lifting a scoop of cooked cabbage topped with bacon pieces from an instant pot.

If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!

An instant pot full of cooked buttered cabbage topped with crispy bacon pieces.

Instant Pot Cabbage

Instant Pot Cabbage is the perfect side dish with minimal prep time, made with a whole head of cabbage, savory vegetable broth, spices, and butter, topped with crispy bacon and ready in 15 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Pressure Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Irish
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 head cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces (discard outer leaves)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth , gluten free
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 slices fully cooked bacon, roughly chopped

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot (pressure cooker)

Instructions
 

  • Place the trivet into the instant pot, then add the cabbage. Pour broth over the cabbage, then place the butter pieces on top and sprinkle with onion powder. Place the lid on the instant pot and move the steam vent to closed.
  • Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes. It should take about 5 minutes to come to pressure, then the cook time will begin. After the time is over, use an oven mitt to flip the steam valve to venting.
  • Once the pressure is completely released, open the lid and stir the cabbage (or transfer to a serving bowl). Top the cabbage with bacon and serve.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Store finished cabbage refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 
Freeze cooked cabbage in an airtight container for 5-6 months. For the best quality, make cabbage fresh that day. 
How to Make Bacon Topping in the Microwave
  1. Line a plate with 3-4 pieces of paper towels. Place the bacon strips on the paper towel, with a small amount of space between each piece. Cover with an additional 2-3 paper towel. 
  2. Set for 4 minutes on high. Once done, allow to cool, then discard the paper towels. Chop the bacon into pieces and set aside for the cabbage.
Cooking Tips
  • Try to make the cabbage pieces all around the same size, so they cook evenly. 
  • You have to add a small amount of liquid to the pressure cooker. If you don’t want to add vegetable or chicken broth, you can add water. 

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 20mg (7%)Sodium: 223mg (10%)Potassium: 222mg (6%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 351IU (7%)Vitamin C: 42mg (51%)Calcium: 49mg (5%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
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