Cabbage Roll Soup transforms the flavors of this classic dish into soup form! This easy recipes comes together when beef, cabbage, and rice are simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce base. Whether you love stuffed or unstuffed rolls, try this deconstructed recipe for a real treat that’s ready in half the time.

An overhead shot of cabbage roll soup in a white bowl.

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

I made these Stuffed Cabbage Rolls one St. Patrick’s Day and fell in love with the rich tomato flavors, hearty beef, and tender cabbage. But man, was it a lot of work!

Last year, I simplified the recipe by creating this Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe. Plop everything in one skillet – yup, no tedious rolling of the meat filling into delicate leaves!

But, this year I wanted something even cozier… so let me introduce you to the BEST Cabbage Roll Soup recipe! (If you’re not a big meat eater, you’ll want to check out this Cabbage and Vegetable Soup instead—it’s vegan and vegetarian!)

This recipe has all of the flavors of cabbage rolls you know and love, but in soup form. It’s a fraction of the work and is ready in half the time! The whole family will love the delicious flavors, making it an easy soup recipe perfect for busy weeknights.

Win-win!

Cabbage, beef, vegetables, broth, and seasonings are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this easy cabbage roll soup recipe are:

  • Beef. Avoid a fatty blend. Look for lean ground beef, 85/15 or 90/10 is best. For a change, you can use ground pork, as well.
  • Cabbage. The main ingredient! Fresh cabbage is key. Go for green; purple will turn your soup a dark maroon color. You only need a small head or half of a medium-large sized head of cabbage. If you do get a bigger one than you need, use up the rest with this Sautéed Cabbage or this Egg Roll in a Bowl.
  • Rice. Make sure the rice is UNCOOKED. Yup! It all cooks up in the pot together. You can also sub in cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
  • Oil. Either olive oil or avocado oil work great.
  • Onion. You need a finely diced onion, preferably a small, sweet one. White or yellow will work, but avoid a red onion.
  • Garlic. 3 cloves of minced garlic create a rich, depth of flavor in the sauce. Avoid garlic powder if you can.
  • Broth. Beef broth will add the most to the soup, but you can use a vegetable or chicken broth if needed.
  • Canned tomatoes. BOTH crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce are needed. Look for a brand without added sodium. Tomato paste won’t work here.
  • Sweetener. You only need a little, but it balances out the acidity of the tomatoes. You can choose white or brown sugar, or even coconut sugar.
  • Herbs. Dried oregano and parsley round out the flavor profile. And fresh parsley is the perfect topping.

How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup

The basic steps for making this delicious recipe are simple to follow:

Prep the Veggies

The first step is to chop the onions, carrots and cabbage.

Be sure to dice the onion into very small pieces. Simply slice the carrots into thin rounds.

The cabbage needs to be cut into 1-inch pieces. Here is a guide on how to shred cabbage.

Chopped carrots, onion, and cabbage are on a cutting board.

Sauté the Base

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Toss the onions in and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.

When the onions are translucent, add in the garlic and continue sautéing for another 30 seconds.

Add the Meat

Push the onions and garlic to the side of the pot. Pour in another tablespoon of oil.

Add the ground meat and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes. Be sure to crumble the meat with a potato masher. Smaller pieces will disperse through the soup best.

Combine the Rest of the Ingredients

Once the meat is cooked, add the cabbage, carrots, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika into the pot.

Give everything a good stir and bring it to a boil.

When you can’t stir down the bubbles, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on the size of the pot and the ingredients used.

Mix in the fresh parsley just before serving.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: The cabbage, carrots, and onions can be cut 1-2 days before you cook the dish.
  • How to store: Place the leftover soup in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze leftover soup in an airtight container or in individual portions in freezer bags for up to 3 months
  • How to reheat: Allow the cabbage soup to thaw in the fridge. For best results, reheat in a saucepan over medium heat.

Is cabbage soup good for you?

Depending on how you make it, cabbage soup can be incredibly healthy. By itself, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and manganese. It also helps reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol.

What is the difference in types of cabbage?

You will find two to three types of cabbage at most grocery stores. Green cabbage is similar to iceberg lettuce and is peppery when raw. However, it becomes sweeter after cooking. Red or purple cabbage is common, but it will bleed color into the rest of your dish and it has a stronger flavor. Less common types are Savoy cabbage, which has crinkly leaves and is generally the sweetest, along with Napa cabbage, which is the most tender and is generally sweet, too.

Can you overcook cabbage in soup?

Unfortunately, you can definitely overcook the cabbage in your soup. If you do, it will become limp and smell strongly. While you can still eat it, the soup will not taste as good. Don’t let the soup simmer for too long before enjoying.

An overhead shot of cabbage roll soup in a white bowl with a spoon.

Dietary Modifications

This recipe is already gluten-free and dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements.

  • Keto-friendly: Opt for cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice and leave out the sugar.
  • Refined sugar-free: Sub honey for the sugar and ensure canned tomatoes and sauce are free from refined sugar.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it lean. Opt for a cut of meat with less fat, or you will see excess grease in the soup.
  • Consistency is key. Be sure to cut the cabbage, onion, and carrots the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Stir, then stir. The onion can burn if you let it cook for too long, so be sure to move it around consistently.
  • Add more veggies. While only a few types of vegetables are called for, feel free to add in other types to increase the health benefits.
  • Let it simmer. Cover the skillet tightly so you don’t lose too much liquid and allow the mixture to simmer.
A ladle scoops out cabbage roll soup.

More Irish Recipes

You can’t go wrong with ANY of these Irish favorites. Put these recipes on your menu soon.

Start your day with Corned Beef Hash and Eggs.

And if you really love corned beef, try this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Irish Beef Stew is a hearty and flavorful dish. Fried Cabbage with Bacon is an easy recipe everyone will love.

More Hearty Soup Recipes

Soup is the ultimate comfort food on a cold day. If you’re craving another hearty recipe, go for one of these next.

Stuffed Pepper Soup and Italian Wedding Soup are the perfect combinations of meat and veggies.

If you like recreating restaurant favorites at home, try this Olive Garden Minestrone Soup, Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup, or Olive Garden Zupa Toscana Soup.

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5 from 1 vote

Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

Cabbage Roll Soup transforms the flavors of this classic dish into soup form! This easy recipes comes together when beef, cabbage, and rice are simmered in a seasoned tomato sauce base.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive, divided
  • 1 small sweet onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 lb. ground beef venison or turkey, 90/10 or 93/7
  • 4-5 cups cabbage cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups beef broth regular sodium
  • 15 oz. crushed tomatoes canned
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce canned
  • ½ cup rice uncooked, white or brown*
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar white or coconut sugar
  • 1 ¾ tsp. salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. oregano dried
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped

Instructions 

  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil and onion to a large Dutch oven over medium heat and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and continue sauteing for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Push the onions to the side and add another tablespoon of oil along with the ground meat. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Crumble the meat with a potato masher.
  • Add the cabbage, carrots, broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, Worcestershire, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Mix in the fresh parsley just before serving. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

  • How to prep ahead of time: The cabbage and onions can be cut 1-2 days before you cook the dish.
  • How to store: Place the leftover soup in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze leftovers in an airtight container or in individual portions in freezer bags for up to 3 months
  • How to reheat: Allow the cabbage soup to thaw in the fridge. For best results, reheat in a saucepan over medium heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 1267mg, Potassium: 1137mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 4397IU, Vitamin C: 36mg, Calcium: 112mg, Iron: 4mg

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

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