Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage

Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage

For Christmas Eve, I like to make braised red cabbage.  It’s not a Ukrainian recipe – but what Ukrainian doesn’t like cabbage?  (Ukrainians are allowed to not like cabbage)

This braised red cabbage is colourful and easy to make ahead of time.  Just refrigerate and reheat when you’re ready to serve it.

Jump to straight to the recipe

Starfrit drum slicer with a large red cabbage cut into quarters

Start off by grating cabbage.  I find that half of a cabbage head is enough for a side dish.  Here, I’m using a drum slicer but you could use the slicing attachment on a food processor or slice the cabbage into thin strips.


After slicing the cabbage, chop two peeled apples and one small onion.  Add all of this to the Instant Pot.

Chopped apples sitting on top of the sliced red cabbage in the Instant Pot

Then, add the liquid: 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of molasses (or brown sugar), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Set the Instant Pot to cook for 5 minutes on High Pressure on Manual.  Seal up the Instant Pot and walk away for 45 minutes – then it’ll release the pressure naturally.

Cooked apples and cabbage after just a few minutes in the Instant Pot

Combine the ingredients together and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish leaving most of the cooking liquid behind.

Braised red cabbage in a serving dish

This is a great recipe because it’s better if it sits for a day. Reheat in the microwave to serve it.

Time saved

  • The traditional recipe first wilts the cabbage – which requires constant stirring for about half an hour – 30 minutes saved!
  • Then, the traditional recipe then simmers the cabbage for an hour – at least 15 more minutes saved!

Equipment needed

  • Drum slicer or food processor or sharp knife
  • Instant Pot

Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage

Braised red cabbage isn't a traditional Ukrainian dish. But, it makes for a colourful side for Christmas Eve. It's easy to make ahead!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side, Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 6 to 8 servings


  • ½ red cabbage head core removed and sliced
  • 2 tart apples chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • Slice the cabbage into ¼ inch strips using a slicer, food processor or knife.
  • Chop the apple and onion.
  • Layer the cabbage, apple and onion in the Instant Pot.
  • Add the 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 cups water, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.
  • Set the Instant Pot to cook for 5 minutes on High Pressure using the Manual setting.
  • Wait 45 minutes (from the start time) to allow the Instant Pot to release the pressure naturally.
  • Stir the ingredients to combine. Add the 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • Serve right away or keep 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.


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