Super easy Instant Pot cabbage soup makes quick and nutritious meal
Instant Pot cabbage soup is seriously one of the easiest meals I make. The pressure cooker does most of the work, and since it’s electric, I don’t even need to be in the kitchen with it for most of the cook time. The pressure cooker takes a soup that otherwise would have simmered for at least an hour and knocks it out in barely 30 minutes.
I include steps to sauté the onion and carrot, but you can just as easily skip this step, and throw everything but the cabbage in and get right to pressure cooking the chicken if you want to. Then just add the cabbage and cook again. Sauteing the vegetables helps to unlock some of their deeper flavors, but pressure cooking everything together will still make a fantastic soup.
Now that we see how easy this is to make, it’s also incredibly nutritious. Instant Pot cabbage soup is loaded with veggies: tomatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage! And you could add any others that you want. Other veggies you could add are:
- Potatoes – add some potatoes for some extra starch and bite in your soup. Add potatoes when you add the chicken for best results.
- Spinach – if you’re looking for some extra color in the soup, what better to add than spinach! After the cabbage has cooked, at the very end, add your spinach and set the pressure cooker to saute or simmer mode. Just let the soup simmer and stir the spinach in for a few minutes until it is just wilted.
- Celery – for an added burst of fresh flavor, saute celery with the onions and carrots for a classic mirepoix!
Smoked tomatoes elevate the flavor in Instant Pot cabbage soup
Reading the ingredients list, you’ll notice there are not a lot of spices in Instant Pot cabbage soup. The reason for that is that I used my smoked tomatoes to give this soup its primary flavor. The smoked tomatoes themselves have a deep, smokey flavor that seeps into all the other ingredients in the pressure cooker. The depth of flavor in them is incredible. If you don’t have smoked tomatoes, I would recommend you use canned fire roasted tomatoes in this soup. The flavor will be different, but absolutely delicious. You could also add a dried chile pepper into the soup when pressure cooking the chicken. That would add an additional very deep flavor that would be fantastic.
Frozen chicken works as well as fresh
My favorite part about Instant Pot cabbage soup is that it doesn’t matter if the chicken is fresh or frozen. With everything else going on, it’s hard to remember to defrost chicken, and if I needed to defrost the chicken, it would add that much more time to the recipe. Luckily, the pressure cooker removes that obstacle. Just throw in your frozen chicken and set to cook, the pressure cooker will do the rest.
Another option in this recipe is to use leftover shredded chicken. It could be chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, my smoked chicken, really any shredded chicken will work. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, just follow the instructions for thawed chicken. The flavor of the shredded chicken will meld with the other ingredients and will make this dish even more unique!
Fresh cabbage adds extra volume without extra calories
Fresh cabbage is a great way to add volume to any meal without adding extra calories. Cabbage itself is very low in calories, so you can eat a lot of it, but you need to flavor it well, otherwise it gets boring quickly. Cooking it with chicken, tomatoes, basil, and broth gives the cabbage a delightful flavor. But, maybe more important than flavor, is the texture. When cooked too long or at too high of heat, cabbage quickly turns to mush.
For my Instant Pot cabbage soup, you’ll notice the cabbage only pressure cooks for 1 minute. This may seem like a weird step, but hear me out. When you set your pressure cooker to cook for 1 minute, first it has to come up to pressure. It does that by heating the soup inside to a boil. Since you just added a whole head of shredded cabbage, this will take a little time, 5-10 minutes. Then, it comes to pressure, and maintains that pressure, boil, and temperature for 1 minute.
Still doesn’t sound like long enough to cook down all the cabbage, does it? That’s why you wait 10 minutes to release the pressure. Even after cooking ends, the soup in the pressure cooker continues to cook as the pressure naturally dissipates. So, while you only set a timer for 1 minute, the soup actually cooks for closer to 20-30 minutes. And when it finishes, you have cabbage that is thoroughly cooked into the soup, but still maintains just the right bite.
Recipe for Smoked Pot Roast
Instant Pot Cabbage Soup
- 1 Pressure Cooker
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 32 oz whole peeled tomatoes (I used my canned tomatoes)
- 1 large onion, cut into large cubes
- 2 small carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small head of cabbage
- 4 cups chicken broth (or 4tsp bullion and 4 cups water)
- 5-10 fresh basil leaves, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set your pressure cooker to sauté mode, pour in about ½ tbsp oil, and let it heat up. Once hot, add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- When the onions have turned translucent or have started to brown, add the carrots and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Fry together for another 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The carrots will soften slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken breast, and chicken broth to the pressure cooker.
- If your chicken breast is frozen, cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes before opening the release valve.
- If your chicken breast is thawed, cook on high pressure for 7 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes before opening the release valve.
- After the pressure is released, remove the chicken breast to a cutting board and shred it. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Add the cabbage and basil to the pressure cooker, and set it to cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Allow pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes then open the pressure cooker.Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!