The classic Irish-American dish is getting a fast and easy makeover in this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe! Cured corned beef brisket is pressure cooked with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and a homemade pickling spice mix until pink and fork-tender. The quick turnaround of this traditional meal is guaranteed to not have you pinched for time this St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish corned beef and cabbage is served on a plate for dinner.

Wearing green to avoid a pinch, hunting for four-leaf clovers, dancing, singing, and drinking – at length – to the health and wealth of all your loved ones… there’s something for nearly everybody to enjoy among the many traditions of St. Patrick’s Day.

But the one thing that unites all people, Irish or not, is a love of good, hearty food. And there are few dishes heartier, or better suited to the season, than a large pot of corned beef and cabbage. 

This classic stew was popularized by Irish-American immigrants in the mid-19th century, who frequently settled in urban Jewish neighborhoods. Buying from the local kosher butchers, they adapted many traditional sausage- or pork-based dishes to kosher-friendly proteins like beef or chicken.

A thick cut of meat like beef brisket usually has to cook for several hours in a large Dutch oven on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker. But this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe reduces the cooking time by more than HALF, while still letting it come out juicy and tender.

This is an extremely easy one-pot recipe to make in bulk, so it’s the perfect dish for inviting friends over, or freezing for later. To cure that traditional St. Patty’s Day hangover, you can even use the leftovers to make Corned Beef Hash or a Reuben in a Bowl.

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a cut of beef brisket that has been cured with large grains of salt – or “corns” of salt – and brined for an extended period of time. This gives the dish its characteristic saltiness and tenderness, while making the most of an inexpensive cut of beef.

The process of curing is also what enables the beef to retain its bright pink color even after cooking at medium-high heat for an extended period of time.

Corned Beef, onion, vinegar, sugar, water, pickling spice, salt, pepper, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots are the ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

To make this easy Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe you need:

  • Corned beef brisket. Buying it already cured from the store saves a lot of time and effort, as it can be found at most butcher counters, or in a package as shown above. Aim for one weighing in at 3-4 pounds, as the brisket will shrink by roughly half as it cooks, yielding around 1 ½ pounds of meat.
  • Water. Pressure cooking requires some type of liquid; the brisket should be almost completely soaked, so that it stays moist while cooking. Water is recommended, as broth makes the beef too salty, but half of the water may be swapped for a dark beer for more flavor. 
  • Pickling Spice. Either homemade or store-bought pickling spice, made with black peppercorns, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and other ingredients. This gives the beef a spicy-sweet undertone that helps balance out the saltiness.
  • Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is recommended for the flavor it adds, but white wine vinegar may be substituted. The acidity helps to tenderize the meat as it cooks.
  • Sugar. Sweetness balances out the tartness of the vinegar, and the salt of the beef. Honey may be used as a substitute.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves are recommended for this recipe, but if unavailable, ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder may be substituted for each clove.
  • Onion. A sweet onion variety like Vidalia is recommended. It should be quartered with the root end still intact, so that it doesn’t fall apart while cooking with the beef.
  • Green cabbage. One small head, or half of a large head, cut into large wedges so as to not overcook. It should be about 5 cups total.
  • Potatoes. Red or Yukon Gold potatoes are recommended. These should be cut into roughly 1-inch chunks.
  • Carrots. These should be peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about the same size as the potatoes. 

How to Cook Instant Pot Corned Beef

The basic steps for making Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Cook Corned Beef

Pour the water into a 6-quart Instant Pot, and whisk in the garlic, sugar, and vinegar. These ingredients will help to flavor and tenderize the meat as it cooks.

To remove any excess salt left over from the brining process, place the corned beef in a large mixing bowl and rinse it under fresh water for at least one minute. Drain the salty water, and the beef is ready to cook.

Place the corned beef into the cooking liquid with the fat facing downward, and tuck the wedges of quartered onion along the sides of the brisket.

Sprinkle the pickling spice on top of the beef, and place the lid on the Instant Pot. The spices should sit atop the beef so that it can be infused with their flavor, without them falling off into the vegetables or liquid later.

Ensure the pressure release valve is sealed, and use the manual function to turn the Instant Pot to high pressure, setting the timer for 80 minutes. 

Note: This time is recommended for a 2-inch thick corned beef brisket. If it is ½ an inch thicker, increase cooking time to 90 minutes. If it is ½ thinner, decrease cooking time to 70 minutes.

Add Cabbage and Vegetables

While the beef cooks, wash and prepare the vegetables. The potatoes should be cut into 1-inch chunks, the cabbage into 3-inch wedges, and the carrots peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces.

By cutting the vegetables to these sizes, and keeping them relatively uniform, they can cook evenly without turning mushy as they simmer under the pressure of the Instant Pot.

When the timer for the beef goes off, quick release the valve and wait for the pressure to release fully before taking off the lid.

Carefully remove the whole corned beef, add the vegetables to the bottom of the pot, and stir to coat them in the vinegar mixture.

Place the beef back on top of the vegetables, low enough to remain immersed in some of the liquid. This ensures that the meat not only remains moist, but continues to flavor the liquid and the vegetables as they boil.

Finish and Serve

As soon as the timer on the Instant Pot goes off, quick release the valve again and wait for the pressure to release fully before removing the lid. 

Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board, and slice it ½-1 inch thick against the grain, according to preference.

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the meat and vegetables stacked generously together in a large bowl. Enjoy!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Pre-cured corned beef brisket is recommended, to save the time of preparing the meat from scratch. The onion and carrots can be cut up to 3-4 days in advance. The potatoes should be cut at most 1 day ahead, and should be submerged in cold water in the fridge to avoid spoiling. 
  • To Store: Leftovers should be cooled to room temperature, and then may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Leftovers may be stored in a freezer-friendly bag or airtight container, and frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • To Reheat: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the corned beef and vegetables in a medium-sized baking dish. Add a small splash of water or leftover broth, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and reheat in the oven just until the meat is warmed through.

FAQs

Do you have to rinse corned beef before cooking?

Most recipes recommend rinsing corned beef under fresh water so as to remove any excess salt left over from the curing and brining process. This ensures the final dish isn’t too salty. To remove even more salt, the corned beef can be soaked in periodically changed fresh water for a few hours, or overnight.

How long should corned beef boil to become tender?

When cooking corned beef on the stovetop, it is recommended to only bring the cooking liquid to a boil at first. Then reduce the heat, and let the brisket simmer, tightly covered, over low heat for 3 to 3½ hours. In a slow cooker set to low, it can take between 8 ½ to 10 hours.

Is it better to bake or boil corned beef?

Boiling is recommended for any stew-style dishes like corned beef and cabbage, but corned beef alone can be baked at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly one hour per pound of meat. Water should still be added to the baking dish, so that the meat doesn’t dry out while cooking.

Potatoes, cabbage, and carrots are served with classic corned beef.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Watch the sodium. Corned beef is extremely salty, so hold off on the urge to salt the vegetables until they’ve finished simmering alongside the beef. 
  • Slice against the grain. Cutting the meat against the grain helps to ensure more tender servings by severing the long strings of fiber running along the length of the meat.
  • Boost the flavor. While water works well on its own, either a water-beer combo or water and a reduced-sodium beef broth can be used to add more flavor.
  • Don’t take shortcuts. While the meat may come up to a safe internal temperature before 80 minutes have passed, the brisket also needs that time to tenderize properly.
  • Add some zest. Serving corned beef with some Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, or a sour cream-based horseradish sauce in a small bowl provides a tangy contrast to the saltiness of the dish.
  • Try something different. Cabbage and root vegetables are the most traditionally Irish fare, but this dish can be adapted to make a corned beef stew with tomatoes, celery, green beans, or any other ingredients.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

Cook up an entire Pressure Cooker Ham or make this delicious Instant Pot Chuck Roast.

Or you can get your veggies in with this Instant Pot Beef Stew.

More Irish Recipes

With these healthy and hearty Irish-inspired recipes, you can take a guilt-free trip to the Emerald Isle any time you like:

Corned Beef Hash

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Soup

Reuben in a Bowl

Brats in the Oven

Air Fryer Corned Beef

Sautéed Cabbage

Instant Pot Cube Steaks

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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

The classic Irish-American dish is getting a fast and easy makeover in this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe! Cured corned beef brisket is pressure cooked with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and a homemade pickling spice mix until pink and fork-tender.
Instant pot corned beef and cabbage is shown for a St. Patrick's meal.
Yield 8 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups water
  • 5 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 ½ lbs. corned beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion quartered
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. pickling spice homemade or spice packet
  • 1 lb. red potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 5 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small head cabbage cut into wedges
  • ¾-1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Pour water into a 6-quart Instant Pot. Whisk in garlic, sugar, and vinegar.
    2 cups water, 5 cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Rinse corned beef under water to remove excess solution and it to the Instant Pot, fat side-down. Tuck the quartered onion along the sides and sprinkle the pickling spices on top of the beef.
    3 ½ lbs. corned beef, 1 medium sweet onion, 1 ½ Tbsp. pickling spice, ¾-1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Close the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealed position. Using the manual function, set the pressure to High and the timer for 80 minutes. Quick release the pressure once the timer goes off.
  • While the corned beef is cooking, prepare the vegetables by cutting the potatoes into 1-inch chunks, peeling and cutting the carrots into 1-2 inch pieces, and cutting the cabbage into 3-inch wedges.
    1 lb. red potatoes, 5 large carrots, 1 small head cabbage
  • Remove the corned beef from the pot and add in the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Place the corned beef back on top of the vegetables, immersing it in some of the liquid. Close the lid again and turn the pressure release valve to the sealed position. Cook for 2 more minutes on high pressure. Quick release the pressure as soon as the timer goes off.
  • Cut the corned beef against the grain for serving. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

  • Nutrition information is calculated based on ~2 lbs. of corned beef being left after cooking.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Pre-cured corned beef brisket is recommended, to save the time of preparing the meat from scratch. The onion and carrots can be cut up to 3-4 days in advance. The potatoes should be cut at most 1 day ahead, and should be submerged in cold water in the fridge to avoid spoiling. 
  • To Store: Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Leftovers may be stored in a freezer-friendly bag or airtight container, and frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • To Reheat: Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the corned beef and vegetables in a medium-size baking dish. Add a small splash of water or leftover broth, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and reheat in the oven just until the meat is warmed through.
  • 3 ½ pounds comes out to roughly 1 ½ pounds of cooked corned beef.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 1625mg, Potassium: 1000mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 6501IU, Vitamin C: 83mg, Calcium: 104mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. How do I make your homemade pickling spice? By the way I need your recipe is delicious came out perfect I bought store-bought pickling spice, but I didn’t really care for it as it was a little spicy.