Cabbage Roll Soup is a hearty one-pot meal made with ground beef, cabbage, veggies, and herbs in a tomato-based broth. It has all the great flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, but with less hassle and as a heartwarming soup form. A perfect comfort dish to enjoy during the cold winter days.
This is such an easy and classic dinner that everyone should give it a try. Soup recipes are easy to make, they are filling, and also are good candidates for freezer meals that you can make in advance. If you are looking for a lighter version, check out this Vegetarian Cabbage Soup recipe.
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe
If you do not have the time to make a cabbage roll casserole, or if you are simply looking for a great recipe make a big pot of this hearty soup.
If you are looking to enjoy a delicious comfort dish, then this easy Cabbage Roll Soup is it! It is the type of hearty meal that you can enjoy during fall or winter times. It is guaranteed to warm up your soul and the whole family will love it.
Also, the flavors are amazing, and you also get a fair amount of protein from the ground beef. It is made in one pan, so you do not need to worry about cleaning too many dishes. This is a family-friendly meal that is also full of vitamins and proteins.
- Lean ground beef: The leaner the better.
- Onion: Use white onion, yellow onion, or sweet onion,
- Fresh garlic: We use minced garlic, but garlic powder works as well, use 1 tablespoon.
- Fresh rosemary: If you do not have fresh, replace it with 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary.
- Dried thyme: Adding lots of dried and fresh herbs will make this dish extra flavorful.
- Dried Italian seasonings
- Tomato paste: For a flavorful tomato broth.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Green cabbage: Use green cabbage or white cabbage.
- Bell pepper
- Beef broth: Use low-sodium.
- Tomato sauce
- Diced tomatoes: To make a savory tomato broth that is not too acidic, make sure to use San Marzano tomatoes, as they are sweeter.
- White rice: Substitute with brown rice or wild rice. You should use uncooked rice.
- Bay leaves
- Brown sugar: To balance the rich tomato sauce we add a little bit of brown sugar.
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and ground black pepper
How do You Make Cabbage Roll Soup?
For the exact ingredient list and step-by-step guidelines, please see the recipe card below. Also, watch the short video tutorial. However, the general steps are as follows:
- Brown the beef: First, place a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add just a drizzle of olive oil and brown the meat along with some salt and pepper. Do not forget to drain the grease, leaving only one or two tablespoons at the bottom of the pot.
- Aromatics: Next, add the onion and garlic, along with the seasoning, herbs, and tomato paste.
- Veggies: After that add the rest of the ingredients: veggies, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, rice, and cabbage. Make sure to season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Simmer: Then, cover the pot and simmer the mixture until the rice is tender, for about 25 minutes.
- Serve: Enjoy warm, and garnish with some chopped parsley.
Easy Recipe Variations:
- Other meats: If you are not a fan of beef, or want to substitute it with another type of ground meat, feel free to do so. For example, swap it with sausage, ground pork, or ground turkey. Also, you can make it with bacon if desired.
- Cauliflower Rice: To make this soup lower in carbs, feel free to substitute the rice with cauliflower rice. Also, it is recommended for diabetic people and has fewer calories.
- Spices: Add any of your favorite spices, like red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, onion powder. In addition, adjust the saltiness based on your preference.
- Vegetarian: Make this healthy soup vegetarian by omitting the meat and using more cabbage leaves and by adding beans.
- More veggies: Since this simple recipe is also very versatile, pack it with your favorite veggies. You can add into the mix green beans, zucchini, squash, leafy greens, and legumes.
How to make it in the Crockpot?
This easy and delicious recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. First, simply brown the meat on the stovetop. Then, drain the fat and add the spices and onions. After, add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Check our Slow Cooker Unstaffed Cabbage Roll Soup recipe for all the details.
Cover the lid, and cook on HIGH for about 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-7 hours, or until the rice is properly cooked.
How to make it in the Instant Pot?
As an alternative, this dish can be made in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker. We already have this Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup recipe on our blog, just give it a try.
The steps are easy, brown the beef, add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release. Also, in the instant pot version we use bacon, you can skip it, but we all know that bacon makes everything better! Pro tip: don’t forget to drain the grease.
How to serve:
- Serve it with some crunchy breadsticks or fluffy dinner rolls on the side.
- Add it to these homemade bread bowls.
- Top it with freshly chopped parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
- As an alternative, add some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.
- Other delicious toppings include sliced avocado, jalapeno peppers, sweet corn.
- Also, if you made it without the rice, serve with rice on the side or with noodles.
How to store leftovers:
- Make it in advance: This hearty meal is the perfect recipe to make in advance and store for days to come. Actually, it will taste even better as the soup will absorb all the flavors together, making it so much more delicious!
- Store: To store it, simply let it cool. Then, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: We prefer to freeze this in individual portions. Just cool it first and after that add it to freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. However, keep in mind the rice might get a little mushy when frozen and then reheated. Also, you could make it without rice and freeze it, and then simply add the cooked rice prior to serving.
- Thaw: To thaw, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and thaw overnight.
- Reheat: Microwave it or as an alternative, reheat it on medium heat on the stove.
- Choose and use fresh cabbage, that is crisp, without black spots, and not wilted.
- If the rice absorbs too much liquid add more broth while cooking or when reheating.
- As an alternative cook the rice separately and add it to the individual bowl when serving the meal.
Cabbage Roll Soup
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning herbs
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
- 2 carrots (peeled and diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 4 cups Zoup! Good, Really Good® Beef Broth
- 2 cans (8-ounce each) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup white long-grain rice (uncooked)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is simmering, add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook unmoved for 1-2 minutes to get a nice sear on it. After that, break it down with a wooden spoon and cook until beef is browned, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add rosemary, thyme, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rice, bay leaf, and brown sugar to the pot.
- Add beef broth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove bay leaf and discard.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.