How to cook a whole cabbage in an Instant Pot or your oven is here! Steamed and then crisped a bit, buttered and served as a side dish.
I cook this green vegetable a lot. One thing I hadn’t shared yet is how to cook a whole cabbage, so here it is. If you have tried all of our other simple cabbage recipes you’ll be up for something new. Becomes tender and can be quartered and served in no time. (affiliate links present)
Whole Cabbage Recipe
There are so many ways to slice and cook this. It took me many many years to become a lover of this crunchy veggie but now I love it all different ways. From air fryer cabbage to our most requested Instant Pot fried cabbage it is a cheap side to serve with any meal.
You may not have thought you could even cook the whole thing to tender, but you can. I will explain two different methods. It is by far better to pressure cooker whole cabbage first, then pop it into your oven. If you don’t have that device, it can still be done.
Instant Pot Whole Cabbage
As you can imagine, it would take quite a while to get the middle tender. Let’s compare…..in the oven method that part will take 60 minutes, when making IP or Ninja Foodi cabbage it is just 5 minutes! When it comes to the brand you might have at home it doesn’t matter. They all have the high pressure function so any will work.
Since I use this device on a daily basis, and like to save time, I will always use it for the first step. If you did not want to use your oven at all and just steam it like this, I’d increase to 7 minutes. I like a little crisping on the top so 5 works, and then 20 in the oven.
You could decrease that time even if you wanted to use the broil setting, but I just set to 400 to finish the job. Now let’s talk about the steamer basket you see here, it’s killer.
Dutch Oven Cabbage
After it’s steamed to the center I want a bit of texture on the outside. The easiest way is to just transfer the basket into a dutch oven or oven safe pot. A little water on the bottom, or broth, helps keep it moist while it bakes the rest of the way. This is what you’ll need to get started:
- Head of cabbage
- This steamer basket works best
- I love using my dutch oven for things like this, almost all my recipes with cabbage use it
- Seasonings of your choice
- I like paprika, garlic salt and onion powder
Once you slice it and serve you may want a pat of butter on top of each serving + a sprinkle of salt and pepper too. We like bold flavors when it comes this, you can see what we are talking about with our last creation, swamp cabbage.
I included both methods of cooking a whole head of cabbage below but here is a quick look. You can print it out below and keep it in your recipe book or come back again and again.
First slice the end with the stem off and discard. Remove outer 2 cabbage leaves. Then on the very top of the head cut a 1x1x1″ hole so steam and butter can soak in later too.
- Pressure cooker: Add 1 cup water to the pot. Remove stem from head of cabbage and set into steamer basket or on a trivet.
- Close lid and set to high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. *Set to 7 minutes if you aren’t going to bake it at the end instead.
- Then preheat oven to 400 F. Lift steamer basket out and into a dutch oven with 1 c water or broth in bottom.
- Core out top just so butter will sit on top.
- Sprinkle on seasonings and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
- Quarter, season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
The middle won’t get a lot of seasonings so you’ll want a bit more when eating but some of the butter will seep in and give it some flavor.
Baking Cabbage in the Oven
- Oven only directions: Cut the cabbage stem off and discard outer leaves too. Pour 1 c water in pot, place trivet or this basket in middle so it can sit on it. (could sit potatoes on the sides to keep it up and enjoy those later too)
- Add cabbage with stem side up into dutch oven or pot with lid.
- Put butter in center core + sprinkle on all seasonings.
- Bake at 400 F for 1 hour covered. (cabbage is tender now, but will continue to soften)
- Then flip head over and pour 2 tbsp melted butter (or olive oil can be used) over the top in that hole you created.
- To get roasted cabbage, uncover for another 20-25 minutes to get a little brown on top.
Then we shared how to cut cabbage, boiled it with butter and onions, oh my. Will share that as soon as it is posted. Until then enjoy a few others like stuffed cabbage in Crockpot with ground beef as well as our dutch oven corned beef and cabbage recipe.
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How to Cook a Whole Cabbage
- 1 head cabbage
- 1-2 c water depending on how you're cooking it
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- For both methods, slice end with stem off. Then on the very top of the head cut a 1x1x1" hole so steam and butter can soak in
- Using pressure cooker first: Add 1 cup water to the pot. Remove stem from head of cabbage and set into steamer basket or on a trivet. Close lid and set to high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. * If you're not browning after, set to 7 minutes instead.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Lift steamer basket out and into a dutch oven with 1 c water or broth in bottom. Core out top just so butter will sit on top, sprinkle on seasonings and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden browned on top. Quarter, season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
- Using only the oven: Remove stem from cabbage head + a bit more so butter will sit inside, pour 1 c water in pot, place trivet in middle so it can sit on it, place stem side up into dutch oven or pot with lid. Put butter in center core + sprinkle on all seasonings. Bake at 400 F for 1 hour covered.
- Then flip head over and pour 2 tbsp melted butter over the top, bake uncovered for another 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown on edges.