Skip to Content

Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup with ground beef, vegetables and a rich tomato broth produces dreamy comfort food for the fall and winter months. This hearty soup recipe is easy to prepare and takes the edge off of chilly weather.

Big wooden bowl of unstuffed cabbage soup with a blue napkin to the side and dried herbs.

If you’re all in when it comes to ground beef, a cabbage, or a true soup lover, this easy, healthy cabbage roll soup will tantalize your taste buds!

What is cabbage roll soup, you may wonder?

We’re taking the concept of traditional cabbage rolls and preparing them in soup form. The main reason I love enjoying the trappings of cabbage rolls in this way is that the soup version is so much easier and less time consuming to prepare.

If you are wondering to yourself the last time you made cabbage rolls, it’s likely because they take so much time. The shorter cooking time of this unstuffed cabbage roll soup recipe makes a big difference so that you can enjoy all the flavors of cabbage rolls in this great recipe.

And if this is your first time experiencing deconstructed cabbage rolls, you’re in for a real treat because the prep is super simple.

We simply cook everything up in a large pot like deconstructed cabbage rolls on the stove top, let it simmer to flavorful perfection, and enjoy it in big bowls. Look at it as a a bowl of unstuffed cabbage rolls with comforting broth.

In addition to the ease of preparation, the high-fiber cabbage and protein-packed beef make the soup so nice and filling. 

You end up with a satisfying meal that is relatively low in calories and such a belly pleaser!

Two wooden bowls of cabbage roll soup.

Let’s discuss the healthy ingredients in the best cabbage roll soup recipe.

Ingredients for Cabbage Roll Soup:

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the vegetables and brown the beef, we use avocado oil as a great high-temperature cooking oil. If you typically cook with olive oil, you can use it here.

Ground Beef: One of the main characters in this delicious pot of soup, ground beef generates rich and inviting flavor and also brings plenty of protein to the meal.

If you love your soups meaty, use 1.5 to 2 pounds of ground beef instead of one pound of ground beef.

I like using grass-fed ground beef with an 80/20 blend of meat to fat. For me, this yields the tastiest results because the fat brings so much flavor.

You can absolutely use lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner), ground bison, ground venison, ground sausage, ground pork, or any ground meat you enjoy.

Fresh Cabbage: The second main character in this cabbage roll bowl of soup, we need a small head of cabbage.  One small head of green cabbage yields about 4 to 6 cups of chopped cabbage leaves.

Yellow Onion, Carrots, Garlic, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes: Supporting the main ingredients, these delicious veggies add sweet, tangy, bold flavors to the soup to bump up the flavor profile. Feel free to scale up the onion and garlic if you’d like.

You can swap the vine-ripened tomatoes for one can of diced tomatoes or any type of tomato you have on hand.

Beef Broth and Tomato Sauce: The broth is a combination of tomato sauce and beef broth (or chicken broth) to make a rich broth that brings all the cozy vibes. You can substitute tomato paste for the tomato sauce. 

Italian Seasoning, Sea Salt, Black Pepper: The seasonings here! Italian seasoning adds herby delicious flavors to the soup and we season the unstuffed cabbage soup with salt and pepper to taste. If you have garlic powder on hand, you can add more to bump up the flavor. 

Cooked Brown Rice (or White Rice): Cooked rice adds a tender texture and a heartiness that makes the soup a complete sou[. You can leave it out for a low carb meal or adjust the amount depending on your personal taste. You can also add cauliflower rice for a low-carb or keto option.

Wooden bowl of unstuffed cabbage roll soup.

Optional Additions:

  • Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, brown sugar, or cane sugar to take the edge off of some of the acidity and create a slightly sweet counterbalance.
  • Toss in any of your favorite vegetables. Cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and zucchini are all great options. If you have vegetables in the refrigerator that need to be used up, toss them in!
  • Use any type of broth, including vegetable broth, bone broth, beef stock, chicken stock, etc. for this delicious cabbage roll soup.
  • If you prefer ground turkey or ground chicken over ground beef, feel free to make the switch.
  • For some umami flavor, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. 
  • Mix in fresh herbs like fresh parsley, fresh rosemary, or oregano if you have them on hand.

Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients list for this hearty meal, let’s make some ground beef and cabbage soup!

How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup:

Heat the avocado oil in a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrots, garlic, and cabbage and stir well. Cover the pot and allow the vegetables to cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Cabbage, carrots, and onions cooking in a big pot.

Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the pot and transfer the ground beef to the empty surface. Brown the ground beef in that one area of the pot before mixing it in with the vegetables.

Ground beef, cabbage, and carrots cooking in a large pot.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sea salt (the rest of the ingredients) Cover, and bring the soup to a full boil.

Tomato sauce, cabbage, carrots, onions and beef in a stock pot.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. You can keep the soup going at a gentle simmer for an hour if you have the time, but it will be ready within 20 minutes of boiling. 

Soup ingredients in a large pot, ready to simmer.

Stir in the cooked brown rice (if adding). 

Serve cabbage roll soup in big bowls with fresh parsley sprinkled on top. If you’d like, you can top this easy soup recipe with sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can also freeze the soup in freezer bags (or a freezer-safe container) for up to 3 months. 

Large pot of cabbage roll soup with a ladle ladling some of it out.

The soup tastes even better the next day and the 2-3 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t be afraid to make it well in advance of when you need it.

If you prefer slow cooker recipes or using your Instant Pot, you can prepare this recipe in your crock pot or pressure cooker for an easy dinner. 

Two wooden bowls of cabbage roll soup with golden spoons and a blue napkin to the side.

And that’s it! A comforting soup recipe the whole family will love. 

Make it any night of the week for a delicious healthy weeknight meal, or meal prep it in advance for weekday lunches and busy weeknight dinners. It’s one of those simple recipes that makes the perfect meal for family gatherings and cold winter nights.

If you’re looking for more healthy soup recipes, also try out these reader favorites!

More Healthy Soups:

Deconstructed cabbage roll soup for days!

Big wooden bowl of unstuffed cabbage soup with a blue napkin to the side and dried herbs.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe
4.41 from 45 votes

Cabbage Roll Soup

A hearty soup recipe the whole family will love, this unstuffed cabbage roll soup recipe includes all the delicious flavors of traditional cabbage rolls in the form of soup. Mix it up with various veggies to customize it.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small head green cabbage chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 lb ground beef *
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes chopped**
  • 1 (16-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ tsp black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice or white rice optional***

Instructions

  • Heat the avocado oil in a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, carrots, garlic, and cabbage and stir well. Cover the pot and allow the vegetables to cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  • Scoot the vegetables off to one side of the pot and transfer the ground beef to the empty surface. Brown the ground beef in that one area of the pot before mixing it in with the vegetables.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sea salt (the rest of the ingredients) Cover, and bring the soup to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. You can keep the soup going at a gentle simmer for an hour if you have the time, but it will be ready within 20 minutes of boiling.
  • Stir in the cooked brown rice (if adding).
  • Serve cabbage roll soup in big bowls with fresh parsley sprinkled on top. If you’d like, you can top this easy soup recipe with sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Notes

*Use 1.5 to 2 lbs of ground beef (or ground meat of choice) for higher protein and a heartier soup.
**Use 1 can of diced tomatoes instead of 2 fresh tomatoes if you’d like. 
***You can use 1 cup of uncooked white rice and add an additional 2 cups of broth. Note that the soup will take more time to cook if you use uncooked rice. I don’t recommend using uncooked brown rice because the soup will take over an hour to make.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) | Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 683mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 25g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Jan Bergin

Monday 1st of January 2024

This soup is delicious! I made it with red cabbage because that’s what I had. Both my husband I enjoyed it so much we had second servings. When I went to put the leftover soup away, the white rice had absorbed most of the liquid. I added more chicken broth to get it back to soup consistency.

Julia

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

I'm so happy to hear it turned out well with purple cabbage too! I'll have to try this myself. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Jan! xo

Celina

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Absolutely delicious. Hubby had three helpings. I used canned, diced tomatoes as that's what I had. I cooked the ground beef separately to avoid the grease and than added it to the vegetables. The rice was cooked separately and added to the bowl because I'm avoiding carbs. I'm making it again tonight 😁

Julia

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Great success! I love hearing that your husband enjoyed the soup enough to go back for more and that you've made it work for your current nutritional needs as well! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Celina! xo

Hope

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Wow! Absolutely delicious! So much more flavor as a soup compared to stuffed cabbage rolls (at least I think so). I used a can of diced tomatoes as I had them on hand. The rice did soak up a lot of the liquid, but that's okay by me. Next time, I can just put a scoop in my bowl instead of in the pot. Thanks for a great recipe!

Julia

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Hope! Thanks so much for sharing your experience - that's great information regarding the rice! xo

Marsha Jones

Saturday 16th of September 2023

Definitely will try the cabbage soup Did see others soups I like minestrone glad you can use a crock pot

Penny

Tuesday 12th of September 2023

Made this for supper, it was so easy and very tasty! Definitely will be making this again.

Julia

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Great success! I'm so happy to hear that, Penny! Thanks so much for swinging back around to share your experience! xo

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.