Sausage and Cabbage Stew (with Instant Pot option)

By Ann Fulton

Sausage and Cabbage Stew
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Comforting and loaded with flavor, this one-pot meal has quickly become a new favorite-and it’s loaded with wholesome veggies! 


One of my favorite job-related tasks is the occasional cookbook review. Pouring over the recipes of a soon-to-be-published book evokes a sort of kid-in-the-candy-store feeling.

In that spirit, today’s recipe is complements of Paleo Power Bowls, a recently published hardcover by Julia Mueller. The beautifully photographed pages are filled with a wholesome mix of anti-inflammatory recipes that accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, from paleo, vegan, gluten-free, keto and low-FODMAP.

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Labels aside, I originally chose to test the following recipe because it checked a few other metaphorical boxes that so many of us deem important-wholesome, quick and easy. I’ve since returned to this veggie-rich, one-pot meal because my family and I think it’s pretty tasty, too!

Julia, the cook and photographer behind The Roasted Root blog, and I became acquainted several years ago through our mutual work in the world of food.

After testing some of her recipes early on, I quickly learned that they could be trusted. As someone who takes great pride in a reliable recipe, I wouldn’t introduce you to someone without the same exacting standards!

Likewise, Julia’s recipes are wholesome (with a big emphasis on gut health) and often quirky in the best sense of the word. For example, I’ve been a longtime fan of her singular overnight “oats” recipe, which has nary an oat in it -but it’s delicious and stays with me all morning.

Paleo Power Bowls reflects Julia’s commitment to wellness, fitness and nutrition and serves as a concrete tool to navigate the concept of clean eating. Importantly, it does so in a balanced, doable and delicious way.

In the photo below, you can just see along the top edge of this gorgeous book that I have a half dozen or so pages marked. There is no shortage of recipes that beg to be tried.

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

I was curious, however, as to Julia’s favorite recipes. She kindly shared with me her top picks, as well as those that ranked especially high among her recipe testers. (More on that below the recipe.)

The following recipe for Sausage and Cabbage Stew is one of Julia’s favorites, one that she claims to have made countless times over the years-and I can see why. It’s wholesome, comforting and brimming with flavor.

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Plus this one-pot meal is truly easy, which removes a potential hurdle. Think of all those recipes that you really enjoy but they’re a little fussy. If you’re like me, this typically leads to a lack of follow through despite the best of intentions.

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

I’ve tweaked Julia’s recipe ever-so-slightly-a little less oregano, included the tomato juices and a few other small details, but absolutely stayed true to the glory of her original recipe.

My family will tell you that cornbread (or muffins!) makes a delightful side.

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Sausage and Cabbage Stew (with Instant Pot option)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Comforting and loaded with flavor (and lots of veggies), this one-pot meal may become a new favorite!
  • 3 slices thick cut bacon (or 5 regular), chopped
  • ½ a yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (omit if not fan)
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, bulk or removed from casings*
  • 2 teaspoons regular sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (Julia uses 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken bone broth**
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 head cabbage (about 2 to 2½ pounds), thinly sliced or chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Fresh, chopped parsley to garnish, optional
  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add the bacon. Cook until it begins to soften and sweat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and garlic, and continue cooking until the vegetables have softened but are still al dente, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the pot and add the sausage, paprika, oregano and salt. Allow the meat to brown on one side for 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another minute or so, breaking it up as it continues to cook. Add the bone broth and diced tomatoes with juices.
  3. Bring to a full boil, and then add the cabbage. (The pot may seem very full, but the cabbage will wilt and cook down a lot.) Stir to incorporate, and then cover and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
  4. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with a dusting of optional fresh parsley. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days – and the flavor improves with age!
Instant Pot variation:

To date, I have only cooked this delicious meal on the stovetop, but Julia has made it often in her Instant Pot using the following method:

  1. Plug in your Instant Pot and put it on the ‘Sauté’ mode. Allow it to heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until much of the fat has rendered but the bacon is still tender.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Scoot the vegetables off to the side of the Instant Pot and add the ground turkey Italian sausage. Allow the meat to brown for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and allow it to brown another 2 minutes, breaking it up as it cooks. Stir the turkey into the vegetables.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot in the order in which they appear on the list. Stir well. Note that the cabbage will sit on top and will not fully be submerged – this is perfectly fine. Just do your best to stir.
  6. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and place it on the ‘Stew/Meat’ setting. Set the time for 30 minutes. Once the Instant Pot has finished pressure-cooking, allow it to go into the ‘Keep Warm’ mode for 30 minutes. Set the release to venting to release the steam.
  7. Stir everything well and serve.

*May substitute pork sausage if preferred.
**You may use regular chicken broth instead of the bone broth if preferred. Bone broth usually has no salt added, so you may find you need less added salt when using regular broth. (I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon, adding more to taste.)

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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Julia reports that the Slow Cooker Cuban Shredded Beef (a.k.a. Ropa Vieja; page 139) was another favorite among her testers (and a staple in her own household). Following is a list of other recipes that scored especially high with the Paleo Power Bowls recipe testers:

  • Sausage, Potato and Kale Scramble-page 71
  • Barbacoa Beef Bowls-page  87
  • Grain-Free Blackberry Cobbler-page 274
  • Mango Cashew Chicken-page 125
  • Slow Cooker Lamb Curry-page 132
  • Salmon Red Curry-page 134
  • The Best Vegan Kale Caesar Salad-page 207
  • Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup-page 243

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    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Linda, I provided several direct links. One is at the top of the page and another is below the recipe card. The links are to Amazon, but I believe the book is available through Barnes & Noble as well.

    1. Ann Post author

      I think you will love it, Marcia! As for your question, my concern is that a a double batch may be borderline too much for the 6 quart Instant Pot. I’d lean towards preparing it on the stovetop in this case.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Tracey, As I mention, Julia prepares the dish in her Instant Pot although I have not-and now that you mention it, that time does seem long. I reached out to Julia for clarification and will report back as soon as I hear. Thank you for taking the time to ask the question, as I want people to have consistently good results with what is truly a delicious recipe.

      1. Ann Post author

        Julia kindly weighed in and this is what she said: While you can definitely cook for less than 30 minutes (15 will work great), I actually always cook my stews in the Instant Pot for 30. The cabbage doesn’t turn out over-cooked, but I suppose it’s a matter of preference…if your reader likes al dente cabbage, the 10-15 minute timeframe will work better. I haven’t had feedback about the recipe turning out badly regarding cook time, but I say she can do whatever her heart desires : )

  1. Vicky

    I made the cabbage soup today and it was so so yummy. I added green onion and sausage and it can out so good. I also made a pan of cornbread. It was just what I needed on a rainy day.

    1. Ann Post author

      Vicky, This is a perfect rainy day meal, especially with a side of cornbread. I’m glad it was a hit and appreciate your comment!

  2. Laura Post author

    Made this on Sunday and enjoyed leftovers last night. We really loved this!! I’ll double it next time!

    1. Ann Post author

      Laura, This is a great recipe to double…the leftovers taste so good. I’m delighted it’s a keeper for you, too!