Instant Pot Traditional Kapusta: sauerkraut and dried peas

Instant Pot Traditional Kapusta: sauerkraut and peas

Sauerkraut and peas, admittedly not my favourite dish for Sviata Vecheria, but the traditional recipe is far easier and faster to make in the Instant Pot. Made with dried green split peas, this Instant Pot version eliminates the overnight soaking time.  Also, the cooking time is decreased, and you can make it ahead and reheat for your Sviata Vecheria.

Most of the traditional recipe books just call this “Kapusta” [kah-poo-sta]. Odd because kapusta just means cabbage. But, on the other hand, this is a lot of cabbage.

The traditional recipes for Kapusta use three separate pans. I’m only using the Instant Pot and a frying pan – so one pan saved. You have to soak the dried peas overnight, and this recipe throws them straight into the Instant Pot.

Time saved: about 24 hours

  • Overnight soaking for the dried peas – 24 hours saved
  • Separate cooking times for sauerkraut and peas – about 30 minutes saved

My mom approved of this recipe during our socially-distanced Christmas Eve 2020.  Our family shared the cooking three ways, swapped our take-out containers, and came together over a video call.
Traditional Instant Pot Kutia in a small Mason jar
Sviata vecheria in 3 take-out containers with perohe, 5 vegetable/bean dishes and salmon

Instant Pot stewed fruit with cookies and sweets

Because this recipe is intended for Sviata Vecheria, it’s essentially vegan. No animal products are used in the 12 dishes.  But, then there’s a fish dish the vegans can avoid.

Hengstenberg Mildessa Mild Wine Sauerkraut 796ml

Because I don’t have a rain barrel full of sauerkraut and sour cabbage heads in my garage, I bought a German sauerkraut in a can.  It’s best to buy sauerkraut in cans or glass jars – avoid the sauerkraut in a plastic bag.

Split dried green peas

Following the traditional recipe, I’m using dried green split peas. If you’re using the same, make sure to rinse the dried peas well.

Instant Pot Traditional Sauerkraut and Peas

Instant Pot Traditional Kapusta: sauerkraut and peas

For Sviata Vecheria, this is a traditional recipe for sauerkraut with dried peas. It's vegetarian-vegan friendly. While it's thickened with wheat flour, you could use the thickener of your choice for a gluten-free dish.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Ukrainian-Canadian
Servings 8 servings


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • Colander
  • 10 inch non-stick frying pan


  • 28 oz sauerkraut, canned rinse, drained, finely chopped
  • 1 cup split green peas dried
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup cooked onions or 1 onion finely chopped and cooked
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2-5 garlic cloves


  • Using a colander, rinse the dried peas well
    Rinsing dried peas in a colander
  • Arrange the peas in an even layer on the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add 2 cups of water. Layer the drained sauerkraut on top
    Dried peas and sauerkraut getting ready to cook in the Instant Pot
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set it to Manual on High Pressure for 20 minutes.
    Layering the sauerkraut over the peas in the Instant Pot
  • On low heat, fry the chopped onion in 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil until soft and not browned. Or use Instant All-Purpose onions.
    Cooked onions in a frying pan
  • Add flour and cook for a few minutes until thickened.
    Adding flour to the onions cooked in oil
  • After the cooking time is up, wait 10 minutes and release the pressure from the Instant Pot. Mix the flour-onion mixture into the sauerkraut and peas
    Layers of cooked peas and sauerkraut
  • Mix in the chopped garlic.
    Adding minced garlic to the cooked sauerkraut and peas


  • Can be prepared ahead of time
  • Great for the Sviata Vecheria Christmas Eve meal


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