For the media

White bean and cabbage stew (recipe)

By The Health News Team | March 17, 2023
White bean and cabbage stew

Cabbage may not be the most beloved leafy green, but when it comes to health benefits, it sure gives lettuce and spinach a run for their money. This recipe pairs cabbage with white beans, potatoes and seasoning — perfect for a hungry crowd on a cool afternoon.

“This stew contains the perfect balance of whole grains and lean protein — and is loaded with veggies,” says Jamie Degagne, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Sharp Rees-Stealy Center for Health Management. “It’s an Irish classic, so be sure to pair it with a slice of warm, whole-wheat Irish soda bread for an extra nutrient-rich meal.”

Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

Prep time:
15 minutes
Total time:
1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 carrots, sliced

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut in large dices

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped

  • 1/3 cup pearled barley

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 to 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth

  • 3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)

  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes, diced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, divided

  • Salt to taste

  • Smoked salt or liquid smoke, optional



Slow Cooker Preparation

In a large slow cooker (at least 5 quarts), toss the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, potatoes and cabbage together. Add the barley, herbs and seasoning. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours. Add beans, tomatoes, parsley and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.


Stovetop Preparation

In a large stockpot, place vegetables, seasonings, barley and broth. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Instant Pot Preparation

In an 8-quart Instant Pot, place vegetables, seasonings, barley and 6 cups broth into the pot, seal the cooker, and set the timer to 12 minutes at high pressure. Once done, allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes and then quick release. Add the beans, tomatoes, parsley and salt to taste, as well as extra seasonings. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes using the sauté setting on low.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories = 254; Fat = 1 gram; Fiber = 12 grams

This recipe adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.


Jamie Degagne


Jamie Degagne is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the Sharp Rees-Stealy Center for Health Management.

You might also like:

Get the best of Sharp Health News in your inbox

Our weekly email brings you the latest health tips, recipes and stories.