round white pan with two handles of cooked cabbage and plant-based bacon recipe on gray background

Fried Cabbage with Apples and Fakin’ Bacon is an oil-free plant-based vegan stovetop sauté recipe using apple for the sweetness that includes instructions for how to cook cabbage in an Instant Pot! Though we typically sauté cabbage on the stovetop, we sometimes use an Instant Pot for cooking cabbage to free up cooking space.

In this recipe article, we’ll provide the steps for how to cook cabbage in an Instant Pot. And in the recipe portion, we will give instructions for the easy stovetop cooking for vegan cabbage and bacon.

What Does it Mean When our Recipe for Fried Cabbage with Apples and Bacon Says to Sauté?

To sauté is simply a term to describe a quick-cooking food method. Sautéing uses a minimal amount of fat and a high level of heat.

Sauté is a French word from the French action word, or verb, sauter, which, according to our Google search, means; to jump.  

Sauteeing (sautéing) describes how food reacts when placed in a hot pan and the method of tossing the food in the pan.

In our recipe for Fried Cabbage with Apples and Bacon, we sauté using vegetable broth in place of fats. So rather than oil or butter to keep the veggies from sticking, we use broth or water. We choose to avoid using oils for cooking whenever possible. Oils heated at high temperatures may become terribly problematic for the body.  

All of the recipes we create are plant-based, oil-free, and gluten-free.

gray marble background white bowl of cooked cabbage topped with bacon in center half view of cook pan and fork at bottom

How to Cook Cabbage in an Instant Pot

Cabbage is a water-rich vegetable which generally causes it to cook quickly. So, we typically prepare our oil-free Fried Cabbage, Apples & Bacon on the stovetop.

But on those occasions when we’re preparing multiple dishes at a time, an Instant Pot comes in handy. You can easily cook most of the ingredients for this cabbage and bacon recipe in an Instant Pot.

And generally speaking, using an Instant Pot to prepare one part of a meal allows you to focus on something else while it cooks.

Easiest Way to Cook Cabbage in an Instant Pot:

First, set your Instant Pot to the Sauté setting and give it a moment or two to get hot.

Add the splash of vegetable broth and cook the onions and fennel seeds for a couple of minutes, at most. 

Next, add the rest of the ingredients, other than the cabbage and Fakin’ Bacon, stirring and cooking for another minute or two.

Then, change the Instant Pot setting to manual and add another little splash of vegetable broth if it looks dry. Add the chopped cabbage to the pot and stir. Secure the lid, and be sure to turn the venting knob to the sealing position. 

Now, set to cook on high pressure for one minute.

After the minute of cooking time completes, allow the pressure to release naturally or carefully release by doing a quick release if you prefer firmly cooked cabbage.

Remove the lid, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Stir one last time if you’ve added seasoning. Serve your oil-free Fried Cabbage with Apples and Bacon topped with delicious bits of Fakin’ Bacon.

cooking pan and wood fork in back bowl of cooked cabbage with plant-based bacon sprinkled on top

How Long Does it Take to Cook Cabbage in an Instant Pot?

Allowing your Instant Pot to naturally release its pressure enables the cabbage to finish cooking and become more tender. Quickly removing or manually releasing the pressure stops the cooking, allowing the cabbage to remain a bit more firm.

It’s important to remember that most Instant Pot recipes require more cooking time than described to accommodate the time it takes for the pot to reach pressure. You will need to add around 15 minutes to the Instant Pot’s cooking time to allow it to come to pressure. 

For the approximate suggested cooking times for other foods in an Instant Pot, refer to this helpful site.

parchment paper background full of vegan bacon with metal spatula full of bacon

More Recipes to Sauté on Stovetop or in an Instant Pot

We appreciate options, how about you? The following recipes give you plenty of choices when it comes to cooking methods.

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup, 3 Ways

1-Pot Enchilada Lentil Rice

Instant Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash

Vegan Carrot Hot Dogs

bowl of cooked cabbage topped with oil-free vegan bacon
cooked cabbage recipe how to cook cabbage in an Instant Pot

Thank You for Reading About Vegan Fried Cabbage with Apples and Bacon!

As always, we want to thank you for sharing your time with us. Whether you decide to sauté this dish on the stovetop or let your Instant Pot cook your oil-free cabbage, we’re glad you’re here!  

Since there’s very little we enjoy more than creating new plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free recipes, we value the time you spend trying our ideas. And that’s also why we do things like share two cooking methods in one recipe—we want you to experience, first hand, the helpful nature we intend for this site.

Happy Eating!

white bowl of pale green oil-free cabbage and red bacon spatula bacon bits fork marble white skillet cooking scene
full pan of fried cabbage with apples and vegan fakin' bacon on gray marbled counter wooden cooking fork

Fried Cabbage with Apples and Fakin’ Bacon | Oil-Free

  • 10
  • 10
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 8 Servings

If you’ve ever had traditionally prepared southern fried cabbage and bacon, you know how exciting it is to find this recipe for Vegan Fried Cabbage with Apples and Bacon that’s plant-based and oil-free! ___ Here we have a stovetop cooking method for you using wholesome fresh apples for natural sweetness. And in the article above, we share step-by-step instructions for successfully cooking cabbage in an Instant Pot. Either method tastes just like Mom used to make, only this recipe is oil-free, so it’s probably way healthier than any you’ve ever eaten! ___ This recipe makes enough cooked cabbage for eight one-cup servings or four generous servings of two cups each.


  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of fennel seeds, crushed just a bit
  • 1/4 cup or so of vegetable broth or water
  • two medium-sized apples, grated or chopped small - We used organic Granny Smith apples.
  • one onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thin - A sweet onion, such as Vidalia, works well if you happen to have one, but any onion will do.
  • 4 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp of pure maple syrup, unrefined organic coconut sugar, or another sweetener of choice
  • a pinch or about 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
  • one medium to large-size head of green cabbage, cleaned and chopped into wide, chunkier-size strips or slices - We used about two pounds.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/2 cup of our easy Vegan Fakin' Bacon for topping - Try our easy recipe for oil-free Fakin' Bacon—it's amazing and practically makes itself!  If you need to use store-bought, here's a plant-based option you may want to try.


  1. Begin by heating a large and roomy sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, adding the crushed fennel seeds, broth, apples, and onions once the pan gets hot. Sauté the apple mixture for about five minutes or until the ingredients begin to soften.
  2. Next, add the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, or another sweetener, and nutmeg and sauté for just a minute.  You're going to adore how delicious this combo of seasonings taste with fresh cabbage!
  3. Finally, add the cabbage, stirring to distribute the pan's contents evenly—season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for only two or three minutes or so while stirring gently now and then. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  4. Serve your delicious cabbage topped with a hearty sprinkling of our mess-free Vegan Fakin' Bacon.


  • Cooking Methods:  In the article above the recipe, we explain what it means to sauté on the stovetop. And for those of you who enjoy cooking in an Instant Pot, we include step by step instructions and a suggested amount of cooking time.
  • Suggested Uses for Extra Fakin' Bacon:  After you manage to make yourself stop munching on the batch of oil-free Fakin' Bacon you make for this recipe, here are some other recipes we know you'll enjoy. Try making our hearty 7-Layer Salad complete with Fakin' Bacon topping—it eats like a meal! And for dessert, why not melt some plant-based chocolate and make no-fuss, easy-peasy, Chocolate Fakin' Bacon Bark Candy!
  • Cookware: It's not in our cupboards yet, but this brand of cast iron cookware is made in the USA, and boy, do we want some!  For this recipe we'd love a nice deep Dutch oven for cooking the cabbage on the stovetop—a large skillet would also do the trick.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 104
  • Total Fat 3.5 g 5 %
  • Saturated Fat 2.9 g 14 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 146.5 mg 6 %
  • Carbohydrates 18.2 g 6 %
  • Fiber 5.2 g 21 %
  • Sugar 10.6 g ---
  • Protein 2.8 g 6 %
  • Vitamin A 4 %
  • Vitamin C 96 %
  • Iron 3 %
  • Calcium 8 %

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