Known as the traditional or classic Irish dish for St. Patrick’s Day, this slow cooker or pressure cooker version of corned beef and cabbage is super easy & healthy.
Updated 2019 with Instant Pot instructions
I recently read a an article about the history of corned beef and cabbage that referred to it “as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs”. In short, the story goes that back in the day in Ireland, a common dish to serve for dinner was pork and potatoes.
When the Irish immigrated to America, the working class Irish-Americans started eating corned beef rather than pork because it was more affordable. From there a new tradition was born and pork and potatoes was replaced with corned beef and cabbage. Who knew???
This was a very easy recipe to keep to five or less ingredients because most times corned beef comes with a spice packet. I’m counting those together as one ingredient. I definitely buy corned beef with the spice packet. I’m not even going to pretend like I created my own.
Corned beef is a tougher cut of beef so it needs to cook a little longer than other cuts. I usually cook mine overnight on low for 8-10 hours (mine cooks in 10) and add the cabbage in the morning when I wake up then let it sit on WARM all day. You don’t have to do this. Add the cabbage on top the last 30 minutes or so of cook time.
Your corned beef might cook in 8 hours, it might take 12. It will depend on how your slow cooker heats and how big your corned beef is. You’ll know the meat is done when it’s so tender it should slice very easily when you take it out. I used 4 cups of liquid. I say liquid because sometimes I will use only water and other times half water and half low-sodium broth or even 4 cups of broth.
Looking for other St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Check these out:
Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage (Paleo/Whole30)
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 hours
- Total Time: 10 hours 5 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 2–3 lb corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 1 head green cabbage, chopped
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes or sweet potatoes, chopped or cut in half (depending on size)
- 3–4 medium size carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cups water
- Add potatoes, carrots and onion to bottom of slow cooker.
- Add corned beef brisket on top.
- Pour water on top of all the food.
- Sprinkle spice packet on top of meat and potatoes, vegetables.
- Cook HIGH 4-6 hours or LOW 8-12.
- Add cabbage and cook an 30-45 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
- Add trivet or wire rack to pressure cooker and place corned beef brisket on top, fat side UP.
- Add enough water to cover the corned beef. Approximately 6 cups.
- Add spice packet, garlic, and onion on top of corned beef. Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 80 minutes. Natural release pressure 10 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure.
- Remove corned beef and add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on top. Add lid, close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 3 minutes. Quick release pressure and serve.
- Place the brisket directly in the bottom of the pressure cooker, fat side UP. Add enough water to cover the corned beef, approximately 4 cups.
- Add spice packet, garlic, and onion on top of corned beef. Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 80 minutes. Quick release pressure.
- Open pressure cooker and add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on top of corned beef. Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 3 minutes. Quick release pressure and serve.
I used a 2 pound corned beef brisket. You might need to increase the cook time for a larger cut, particularly for the pressure cooker.
This is whole30 compliant! To make this paleo, use sweet potatoes or even butternut squash. I used a 6-quart slow cooker. If the brisket looks grey when it’s done cooking, don’t fret. It will have a nice, pink center when you slice it. Got leftover corned beef? Make my Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Hash Breakfast Casserole!
The potatoes and carrots stay whole at the bottom. If you over-cook them, they might turn a bit mushy but usually if they’re in the bottom of the slow cooker they should be okay as long at they’re left undisturbed.
Am I the only one that eats corned beef and cabbage only once a year? I actually like it but for some reason I only eat it around St. Patrick’s Day. Anyone else?
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