Hearty and filling Cabbage and Sausage Soup with bacon and vegetables.  Slow cooked with aromatic spices, this hearty soup is delicious comfort food no matter the time of year. 

Sausage and cabbage stew in two bowls with a pot of soup in the background

The next time you’re looking for a hearty meal to satisfy the soul on busy weeknights, whip up a big pot of this cabbage and sausage soup! 

It is one of those easy recipes that results in so much flavor that it’s a winner for putting on repeat.

Similar to my Crock Pot Sausage and Cabbage Soup, this easy soup features similar ingredients but is even bigger in flavor due to the heavy presence of bacon. Plus, it is made on the stove top instead of the slow cooker.

The Inspiration For This Recipe:

When I first tried the paleo diet back in 2011, I made this Transylvanian Stockpot from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. I instantly fell in love! Paleo or not, the soup is incredibly flavorful and so cozy.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this stew ever since! It’s super filling and comforting and is worth the time it takes to prepare it! If you have a ginormous stock pot, you can even double the recipe to have enough food for the whole family for several days.

The first time we made Transylvanian stockpot, we made a double batch, which meant we used an entire package of bacon. So you know it was a great time 😉 

We ended up eating stock pot for a week and a half straight. Breakfast included.

Gluten-free and paleo friendly, this lower carb meal is ideal for those looking for a clean meal that is also packed with delicious flavors.

top down transylvanian stockpot - two bowls and a pot

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this hearty cabbage soup.

Ingredients for Cabbage and Sausage Soup:

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the onion and brown the meat, we need a quality cooking oil. I prefer using avocado oil but olive oil works too.

Onion and Garlic: Yellow onion and fresh garlic make this cabbage roll soup taste so inviting by providing a big boost of flavor.

Bacon: Thick cut bacon gets chopped up and added in to bring so much delicious flavor and richness to the soup.

There are many quality brands of bacon available that are nitrate-free, sugar-free and contain all natural ingredients.

I don’t recommend skipping this ingredient unless absolutely necessary because it brings such a unique experience. 

Italian Sausage: Pick a brand of Italian sausage you’ve used in the past and love. I use Italian ground turkey sausage that doesn’t include any funky ingredients and is nitrate-free.

Be sure to read the label on any sausage you use to ensure you’re fine with all of the ingredients.

There are a lot of brands of quality sausage available, but there are also many brands that contain unnecessary ingredients like sugar and nitrates.

Diced Tomatoes: Bringing a zesty acidic flavor to cut through the richness, we add diced tomatoes. 

Chicken Broth: Making up much of the liquid, we need some form of broth. Chicken broth, chicken stock, or bone broth are delicious here.

Green Cabbage: A head of green cabbage gets chopped up and added to the big pot of soup to bring hearty texture. The fiber in cabbage makes for a filling and satisfying meal.

While red cabbage and savoy cabbage work, I prefer the taste and texture of regular head of cabbage.

Paprika, Cinnamon Stick, Sea Salt, Black Pepper: The seasonings here. It may sound strange to add a cinnamon stick, but trust me: it adds such beautiful warmth! You can also add in some fresh parsley if you have it on hand.

I love adding a dollop of whole milk Greek yogurt to top the soup, and I often stir yogurt into the soup to make it nice and creamy. If you’re dairy-free, ignore these words.

Recipe Customizations:

  • Use smoky sausage like polish sausage, kielbasa sausage, or andouille sausage works great too. Chicken sausage and ground beef are also great options.
  • Add in any additional fresh vegetables you enjoy, like carrots, green beans, peas, cauliflower, hearty potatoes or zucchini.
  • Swap out the canned tomatoes for chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • Bean lovers, add a can of white beans, kidney beans, or garbanzo beans. 
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for more tomato flavor.
  • For some spice, add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
  • This recipe can also be prepared in a crock pot instead of a large stockpot.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, let’s make this sausage cabbage soup recipe.

How to Make Sausage and Cabbage Soup: 

In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat the oil over medium heat on the stove top. Sauté the chopped onion until very fragrant and nearly translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Onions sautéing in a large pot.

Add the chopped bacon and continue to cook until the bacon fat begins cooking out. Add the minced garlic and sausage.

Onions, garlic, and bacon cooking in a large pot.

Cook just until sausage is browned on one side, then add the paprika, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, the cinnamon stick and sea salt and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat.

Italian sausage, bacon, onion and seasonings cooking in a large pot

Once soup hits a boiling point, add the chopped cabbage. If you’re using a 6-quart Dutch oven, this will fill up the entire pot. Fear not. Cabbage cooks down quite a bit and you can push the cabbage down into the soup if need be.

Cabbage on top of soup in a large pot, ready to be mixed in.

Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 to 60 minutes, until the cabbage is very soft and the soup is incredibly fragrant.

Remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Serve big bowls of soup with plain yogurt on top.

Tongs taking cinnamon stick out of the soup pot.

How to Store Soup:

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze soup for up to 3 months. To do so, allow it to cool off completely (if it isn’t already cold) and transfer it to a large freezer bag. Seal the bag and place it inside another freezer bag so that it is double bagged. Store in the freezer for 3 months or less.

Two bowls full of sausage and cabbage soup with a spoon lifting a bite out.

With simple ingredients and a large soup pot, we’re left with a delicious hot bowl of soup to impress the taste buds!

The perfect soup with great flavor for a cold day or chilly evening. This great recipe is one of those family favorites that we make on constant rotation during the fall and winter months. 

This cabbage sausage soup recipe can easily be customized to your personal taste using any type of sausage and fresh vegetables.

If you enjoy hearty soup recipes like this one, also try out these reader favorites.

More Healthy Soup Recipes:

Stock up!

Sausage and cabbage stew in two bowls with a pot of soup in the background

Cabbage and Sausage Soup

4.75 from 4 votes
Hearty and filling Cabbage and Sausage Soup with bacon and vegetables.  Slow cooked with aromatic spices, this hearty soup is delicious comfort food no matter the time of year. Serve it with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream on top!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 5 strips thick cut bacon chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey Italian sausage either ground or cased works*
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes drained
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 head green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • Plain yogurt for serving optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion until very fragrant and nearly translucent.
  • Add the chopped bacon and continue to cook until the bacon fat begins cooking out. Add the minced garlic and Italian sausage.
  • Cook until the sausage is browned on one side then mix it in with the veggies. Add the paprika, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, the cinnamon stick and bring to a gently boil.
  • Once soup hits a boiling point, add the chopped up cabbage. If you’re using a 6-quart Dutch oven, this will fill up the entire pot. Cabbage cooks down quite a bit and you can push the cabbage down into the soup as it begins to soften.
  • Cover the pot, return it to a full boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. The longer the soup cooks the more flavorful it will become!
  • Remove the cinnamon stick, serve with plain yogurt or sour cream on top.

Video

Notes

*Original recipe calls for 1 pound of Polish kielbasa, thinly sliced instead of turkey sausage. Original recipe also calls for 6 ounces of bacon, a couple of bay leaves, 1/3 cup golden raisins, and a cup less chicken stock than I used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4 · Calories: 447kcal · Carbohydrates: 24g · Protein: 31g · Fat: 19g · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 6g
Author: Julia
Course: Main Dishes, Soups, Stews, & Chilies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy, low-carb, paleo, sausage stew, whole30
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. HAHA! you busted out the count voice, I love you. Great soup recipe! and for us non-paleo types I’ll throw in a big old hunk of crusty bread 🙂

    1. @Abby, you should boil your bacon in water 7 minutes and then remove strips throw first water out it’s gets rid of the unhealthy fat. Return bacon strips to two cups of water and boil 45 minutes . Use this water to substitute half of the chicken broth . The bacon should be a smoke dry bacon better known as spec. You will experience a whole new added flavour. Oh and add teaspoon of paprika when cooking the onions

  2. haha. this had me in stitches! The soup looks great, and the addition of the bacon is obviously the best part! yum!

  3. I agree too much bacon is too much of a good thing! I don’t know much about Transylvania, but the soup would certainly be a scrumptious winter dinner!

  4. SO excited to try this recipe! My dutch oven should be arriving this week and this might have to be the first recipe to make in it!

  5. this soup sounds so flavorful! cabbage is a favorite in our house. my boys will definitely eat it with the bacon, sausage in it. lol! can’t wait to try this!

  6. This looks and sounds AMAZING! And great timing as we have everything but the cinnamon sticks at the ready. This is on the menu at our house this week!

      1. I made your Transylvania Stockpot tonight to RAVE reviews! I didn’t have bacon or cinnamon but did have some cooked brown rice so we combined a bit of that with your recipe and it was awesome! We will definitely make this recipe again and again. A new staple for us. Thank you for sharing! My night-time pics weren’t too great but I’ll try again with leftovers at lunch tomorrow. If I get a decent shot I’ll put it on your FB page.

        1. Beth! Woohoo, so happy you made it!! One of the best parts of this recipe is you get to have tons of leftovers…and the stew is always better the next day! Next time you make it, try it with the bacon and cinnamon – they do wonderful things for the flavor! Thanks for trying it and thanks for the feedback!! 🙂

  7. So not only did you bust out your Transylvanian accent, but this dish looks pretty darn fabulous. I’ve never even *heard* of Transylvanian Stockpot before, but you’d better believe I’ll be trying it after reading this. And speaking in that Transylvanian accent for the ENTIRETY of the cooking experience, probably much to my husband’s dismay… and my delight. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, girl!

  8. You are so my hero! P.S. How do you get your picture to show up next to your comment? I can’t wait to make this protein-o-lishous dish.

  9. I made this last night and it’s great! I converted the recipe to cook in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, which made it much quicker to make. All-in-all it took me about 40 minutes to make it, start to finish.

    The flavors are really nice. I think the cinnamon gives it a sweetness you don’t expect.

  10. I made this recipe last night and it turned out amazing beyond all my expectations. Will DEFINITELY be making this again!

    1. I’m so happy to hear it, Richard! I’ve made this recipe time and again over the years, myself! It’s definitely a keeper! Thanks for the sweet note! xo