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This Whole30-compliant Instant Pot pork and cabbage stew is so easy and delicious to make from pantry staples, it almost feels like you’re cheating in the kitchen! Hallelujah for quick shortcuts to healthy one-pot meals!
Years ago when I was working the night shift as a hospital pharmacist (a.k.a. zombie drug dealer), I accidentally came up with a fabulous and simple Slow Cooker Cheater Pork stew recipe by haphazardly dumping some umami-packed ingredients and cubed pork shoulder along with some vegetables into a Crock-Pot. It’s an OG Nom Nom Paleo classic recipe, but after I discovered the wonders of pressure cooking in an Instant Pot, I stopped making it in a slow cooker. After gentle prodding from Nomsters like you, I finally wrote up the directions on how to cook it effortlessly in an Instant Pot!
How is the Instant Pot version different?
Because this version is cooked under high pressure, the stew is done in just a fraction of the time. However, just like with a slow cooker, you can set the Instant Pot and forget it—and the stew will be warm and ready to eat when you get home. I also updated the seasoning to include my indispensable Magic Mushroom Powder, and it really adds an extra oomph. No Instant Pot? Make the original recipe in a slow cooker!
Psst! No Extra Liquid is Needed!
The ingredients for the stew are as written—you don’t need to add an extra cup of liquid to the Instant Pot! The pork, onions, and marinara sauce will release enough liquid for the stew to come up to pressure. Really.
What do you serve with this pork stew?
I usually serve this stew on top of cauliflower rice or alongside a big green salad or roasted vegetables (e.g. Whole Roasted Cauliflower). You can also ladle it on top of raw zucchini noodles (a.k.a. zoodles) and the hot liquid will cook them al dente.
How do you save leftovers?
The leftover pork stew can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Leftover makeover ideas?
One of my favorite leftover makeovers to make with this stew (or any leftover stew) is to convert it into a hearty soup! Simply add broth in about a 1:1 ratio to the stew and throw in some vegetables to bulk it up. Then, simmer the soup until vegetables cook to your desired tenderness. You can also use the stew as a filling for omelets or in tasty lettuce wraps!
Time to make Instant Pot Cheater Pork Stew!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 3½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Magic Mushroom Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley (optional)
- All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here.
- My favorite Instant Pot models are listed here.
Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot. When the metal insert is hot, swirl in olive oil or your favorite cooking fat.
Toss in the onions and cook until slightly softened.
Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Don’t burn it!
Plop in the cubed pork and add the Magic Mushroom Powder and fish sauce.
Stir well to distribute the seasonings.
Pour marinara sauce on top of the pork, but don’t stir it. (Some of the newer Instant Pots will show a “Burn” error message if the tomato sauce scalds.)
Turn off the sauté function. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and program it to cook for 35 minutes under high pressure.
When the pork is finished cooking, release the pressure manually. (If you’re not around, no biggie. The pressure drop can naturally while you’re out and about.)
Add the carrots and cabbage to the stew and cook under high pressure for 3 minutes.
Release pressure manually…
…and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste the stew for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Top the stew with fresh Italian parsley and serve!
Looking for more Whole30-friendly Instant Pot recipes?
Head to my ever-growing Instant Pot recipe roundup post right here!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).
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