Low Carb Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage is a super easy and delicious cabbage side dish. Fork tender cabbage cooks up quickly in the pressure cooker.
Cabbage is a wonderful vegetable to eat. It has so many benefits. My sweet princess Junie Moon was in kidney failure for over 10 years and as part of her diet, we added raw cabbage to her food. Junie Moon lived to be just over 19 years, which is incredible for a cat in kidney failure. Cabbage is just one of the extras we gave her throughout her life.
Using pressure cookers has become huge with the rise of the Instant Pot brand, there are so many new pressure cooker users. Pressure cookers have been around for a very long time and the Instant Pot pressure cooker function is no different than any other electric pressure cooker in the way pressure cooking works. PSI’s in various models can be different, but other than that, they all work the same. For each individual person, they will be some play. Some people prefer a softer bite, while others prefer a firmer bite. Length of time under pressure can be changed for your personal preference!
For my Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage recipe, the ingredients are few. What is great about this recipe and why it works for anyone who enjoys cabbage is that the seasonings can be changed to different flavors to match the theme of your meal. For instance, buttered cabbage can be made with an American flare, a Mexican flare, an Indian flare, an Italian flare and so on.
We will start with this basic Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage recipe. This version will pair with any type of main course, so if you love the spices here, no need to change it up. However, this basic recipe gives you the tools to turn it into hundreds of flavors just by changing the seasonings and/or liquid flavors.
I know you have seen people one line suggesting (or stating as fact) that anytime you use your Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker regardless of the recipe, at least one cup of water/liquid should be added. This is simply an incorrect statement.
There are too many “recipe creators” who are simply finding recipes and incorrectly posting them as an “Instant Pot” or “pressure cooker” recipe, as well as new users who haven’t yet had the experience of cooking under pressure.
Proper Amount of Water for Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage
- Cabbage gives off a ton of water. Therefore, very little liquid needs to be added to cook this Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage recipe. Otherwise, you would end up with a cabbage soup, which is fine if that is the way you are going. That being said, if you do want cabbage soup, it is easy to take this recipe, add extra liquid with other vegetables, seasonings and meat if you like.
I direct your attention to my very popular Instant Pot Pesto Chicken recipe. Zero liquid is added to the cooking pot because as the pot is heating up, the chicken is releasing water and between that water and the pesto, the pot easily comes to pressure. There is a similar Instant Pot chicken pesto recipe by a popular recipe creator floating around. Her recipe adds at least a cup of water to the cooking pot. After the lid is removed you see the chicken swimming in liquid. She then instructs the viewer to dump out the excess water. With that water dump, flavor is going right down the drain. Then she adds the pesto to the cooking pot. Doesn’t make sense, does it? In my version, all the flavor remains in the pot and the chicken is super flavorful and juicy.
Pro Tip: When a vegetable or meat is prone to giving off considerable liquid, the “at least one cup” statement of water to be added simply won’t work to produce a recipe which should not be watery, like this Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage.
Flavorful salt can make an already wonderful recipe even better. For this Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage recipe, please use any type of salt which you enjoy. It is always fun to change up flavorings each time a recipe is made and it can feel like one recipe can be transformed into many different recipes, just by changing up one seasoning or spice.
One of my favorite types of salts to use are truffle salts. A good Black Truffle Salt or a good White Truffle Salt will take an ordinary fried cabbage recipe and add another layer. As a big fan of bold flavors, I add a little Sabatino Truffle Zest into the bottle of truffle salt to make it more flavorful. Plus it is a cheaper option then buying the already infused salt over and over.
To finish the flavor profile, I like to mix in a little Himalayan Pink Salt just prior to eating.
The amount of pepper used is very different for each person, as well as can vary for each type of recipe. For cabbage, many like just a small subtle dusting of black pepper. So, you might want to start with just a bit, as more can be added after the cabbage has cooked. Personally, I enjoy a good helping of pepper on my cabbage. My preference is the Four Peppercorn Rainbow blend.
Nutmeg when used in small amounts adds a wonderful flavor to many recipes. It is one of the delicious key ingredients in my Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It is amazing how much flavor a pinch of nutmeg will give to a recipe.
Freshly grated whole nutmeg using a microplane will give a stronger and fresh taste.
Pro Tip: If you prefer to use grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder, make sure to buy it in small amounts so that the flavor is always fresh.
Alternatives for Chicken Broth
- Beef broth, vegetable broth and even beer all work well and add nice flavor.
Pro Tip: Add a little Better than Bouillon Chicken Base for a stronger broth which will flavor the cabbage even more.
Watch the video to see how easily I core and chop the cabbage. You will notice that the cabbage is rough chopped since it shrinks down so much.
Can Red Cabbage Be Used?
- Of course. Red cabbage has vitamin c and is an antioxidant rich and immune booster vegetable. It contains 10 times more vitamins and flavonoids than green cabbage.
- The flavor of red cabbage is a bit earthier than green cabbage. Raw red cabbage has a bit of a peppery taste, but sweetens up as it cooks.
- Red cabbage has a slightly higher carb count than green cabbage.
My Instant Pot Cabbage and Sausage recipe can be made with red cabbage as well!
Butter gives a very creamy taste and adding it in prior to cooking makes a wonderful butter sauce, which infuses with the cabbage. Of course, feel free to add more butter to your own individual serving if you like more butter. The combination of the higher fat and vegetable makes buttered cabbage a great addition to a low carb diet!
Unless you know exactly how much salt and pepper you like, start with the amount indicated in the recipe. After cooking you can always add more salt and pepper if you want a more seasoned flavor. I like more, but recipes need to be customized to the person cooking, so building the flavor as you go gives you a chance to season to your own perfection.
Freshly ground pepper combined with cabbage yields a lovely flavor. I tend to use extra. The truffle salt adds a lovely flavor as well and I like to also use Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt for a bit more saltiness. I find the combination is perfect for my taste. Keeping a stainless steel salt and pepper grinder set at the table is always a good idea and each person can adjust their own serving as they choose.
What is so nice about this Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage recipe is that it pairs with so many main courses and anyone can enjoy the dish, not just the low carb and keto folks. The same can be said about my Instant Pot Low Carb Cauliflower Potato Salad and Pressure Cooker Low Carb Deviled Egg Salad Roll Ups recieps and both those recipes make great low carb snacks to enjoy throughout the day or as a meal.
Tips and Tricks for Instant Pot Buttered Cabbage
- Cabbage shrinks – rough chop cabbage.
- Choose seasonings to match your dinner theme.
- Add more butter to serving plate and let it melt on top.
Of course, you can never have too much butter, right!
Pro Tip: This is a dangerous low carb dish. I can seriously sit and eat the whole thing. Many vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are about five carbs for a four ounce serving. Cauliflower is six carbs for the same amount. While it is just a slight difference, be aware, as you are going to want a large serving, so plan your carbs for the day.
For a delicious low carb lunch you’ve got to make my Low Carb Avocado Chicken Salad. The dressing is so good you will want to pour it in a cup and drink it down. Ha!
More Cabbage Recipes to Make:
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe (a/k/a Cole Slaw)
- Pressure Cooker Jewish Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage Holishkes
- Instant Pot Crack Slaw [Low Carb Egg Roll Bowls]
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- Gravity Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder
- My FANTASTIC Teak Cutting & Charcuterie Board
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Here is your handy printable recipe:
- Add chicken broth to Instant Pot cooking pot.
- Add salt and pepper and whisk together.
- Use a stainless steel microplane and grate the nutmeg into the cooking pot.
- Rough chop the cabbage and place into Instant Pot. The pot will be quite full, which is fine.
- Slice butter and add on top of cabbage.
- Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure (most machines default to high pressure) for 1 minute.
- When beep sounds, wait 4 minutes and then switch the pressure valve to open and release the rest of the pressure.
- There will be some liquid in the bottom. Mix the buttery liquid with the cabbage together.
- Taste the cabbage and add more salt and pepper, if needed. I like to grind on a little pink Himalayan salt.
- Serve using a slotted spoon.