Cabbage Roll Soup


I’ve been wanting to try Russian/Ukranian cabbage rolls for a long time, basically since I got a Pinterest account because I always see them on there and they look delicious. I finally got around to it but instead I decided to go the easier route and made them in soup form instead. I’m sure this soup is so much faster than making the real deal yet I can bet this tastes just as good. If I ever try a real cabbage roll I’ll let you know how they compare, although I loved this soup so much I might not ever want to go the long route and take all that time to cook cabbage, stuff, roll and top cabbage rolls. One pot just sounds better right? Especially after a long day of work.

Cabbage Roll Soup | Cooking Classy

This soup is total hearty comfort food. It’s packed with veggies, the rice will help fill you up and you get a fair amount of protein from the beef so this soup is an all around win! It’s so good that if you do make the classic cabbage rolls you might just find yourself converting to this easier method and making it as soup from now on instead! This Cabbage Roll Soup was also kid approved so it’s definitely a family friendly dinner! I already look forward to making it again this fall and winter, there’s nothing like a bowl of perfectly warm, good homestyle soup on a cold day.

Cabbage Roll Soup | Cooking ClassyCabbage Roll Soup | Cooking ClassyCabbage Roll Soup | Cooking ClassyCabbage Roll Soup | Cooking Classy


Cabbage Roll Soup

4.64 from 11 votes

Yield: About 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion , chopped (1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 large carrots , chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 5 cups packed chopped cabbage (16 - 19 oz)
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme or 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup dry long-grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up beef occasionally, until browned. Transfer beef to a plate lined with paper towels while reserving 2 Tbsp of the rendered fat in pan (or drain off all fat and use 2 more tbsp olive oil), set beef aside. Add onion and carrots to pan and saute 1 minute, then add cabbage and saute 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Pour in beef broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire, paprika, oregano, thyme and bay leaves. Return beef to soup mixture. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a light boil, then add rice, cover pot and reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir in up to 1 cup water or more beef broth to thin as desired (it will thicken as it rests and become almost like a stew), then stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve warm.
  2. Recipe source: inspired by Spending with Pennies and Simply Stacie



  • Krystle: Oh yum, SO much easier than cabbage rolls. I’d love to come home to this on a chilly fall evening! September 21, 2015 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Nancy: Pinning! Looks totally amazing.can’t wait to give it a try. September 22, 2015 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: This looks so flavorful, Jaclyn! Your soups are always so good. Such a great idea to put all the ingredients of a cabbage roll in soup form. I can’t wait to give this one a try. September 22, 2015 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Esther: What a great recipe. Thank you for sharing. September 22, 2015 at 4:47pm Reply

  • Elena: Hi Jaclyn,

    I’m from Russia and I just wanted to let you know that what you’ve created here is quite popular in Russia – it is called “lazy cabbage rolls”! :)

    You could also try adding a dollop of sour cream into each plate when serving this dish – it makes it even creamier.

    Thanks and keep posting! September 29, 2015 at 6:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: My family and I actually tried it with sour cream too it was delicious, I forgot to mention it above :). Thanks for your comment Elena! September 30, 2015 at 4:57pm Reply

  • JoAnn: Made this today. It’s a chilly day in Kansas. It was delicious, I didn’t have beef broth so I used reduced sodium chicken broth. I make Polsh Golabki and this is a similar flavor. The recipe is definitely staying in my soup rotation! Thanks. October 4, 2015 at 5:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Joann! Thanks for your feedback! October 6, 2015 at 11:22pm Reply

  • Rebeca: This looks delicious. I want to make it right now! I have red cabbage on hand. Do you think I could use that instead of green cabbage? October 10, 2015 at 11:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend the red for this the color and flavor probably wouldn’t go so well. October 10, 2015 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Nikki: I just made this and it is great. Thank you! October 20, 2015 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Hola me encanto siempre lo he querido probarlo y por fin lo hice excelente gracias a mi esposo encantado de probar un plato ruso.Soy de Nicaragua y pues no se ve mucho esta comida!!!! October 23, 2015 at 8:00am Reply

  • Jolene: I’ve made this, but I substituted ground pork for the ground beef. It was really delicious. Great recipe! October 27, 2015 at 8:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Jolene! October 27, 2015 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Elyse: Hi! Soooo excited to try this! Any thoughts on freezing this without the rice and adding rice right before serving? I like to make soups for lunches and freeze what I don’t need for the week. October 31, 2015 at 6:17am Reply

    • Nancy: Thought too much tomato sauce so i cut it back. Also halved the tomatoes. Let u know how it goes. March 5, 2018 at 7:19pm Reply

  • Outi Carson: I will certainly try this version, it looks very tasty.

    Here’s my Finnish version of “lazy cabbage rolls,” without tomatoes. If you want a “soupier” version, add more water and bouillon granules at the end.

    Warning: this is a very large batch as I like to freeze leftovers. It freezes beautifully.

    2 lbs very lean ground beef
    2 medium onions, chopped
    At least 10 cups of cabbage (small head)
    3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
    2.5 cups water
    1 cup white rice, uncooked
    3 tbsp Herb-Ox beef bouillon granules
    2 tsp dried chervil or marjoram or both
    8 whole allspice in a sachet

    Brown meat. Add onion, cabbage and carrots. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, covered, then add water and spices. Bring to boil, let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add rice and simmer for 20 minutes more. Remove allspice. Serve with whole berry cranberry sauce. Enjoy! November 6, 2015 at 12:51am Reply

  • Shelly: Do you think you could use quinoa instead of rice? November 6, 2015 at 6:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would obviously give it a different flavor but it should work fine. November 12, 2015 at 5:27pm Reply

  • Stephanie: I made this last week & both me and my husband LOVED IT! My husband said over and over again “this is so good. you need to save this recipe” and we shared some with a friend who also agreed that it is amazing. It was even better the next day when some of the liquid was absorbed into the rice. Yummy! November 19, 2015 at 11:47am Reply

  • Mia: Do want!

    I don’t eat beef; do you think I’d be able to make a satisfying version of this recipe with a ground turkey substitute? November 23, 2015 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Linda: I’ve made a very similar soup like this for years with ground turkey. It will still taste delicious. Those pictures look gorgeous Jaclyn! Sometimes I add chopped green pepper too. (And if you’re in a big hurry, I have a friend who just adds a bag of pre-cut cole-slaw mix instead of chopping up carrots and cabbage.) December 29, 2015 at 8:23pm Reply

      • Janet: I used Cole slaw mix but still chopped the carrots. Added some extra rough chopped cabbage. We love cabbage, January 10, 2016 at 3:57pm Reply

    • Shaunna: I made it with Ground Turkey tonight and it was amazing! I bet it would be great with ground chicken as well! January 6, 2016 at 6:32pm Reply

  • Malcolm W.: This soup is delicious! I made it for Christmas Eve. Very filling. I have also made your carmelitas now on two different occasions and they were a hit also. I can’t wait to try other recipes that you have shared.
    Malcolm W. December 26, 2015 at 8:57am Reply

  • Heidi: Just made this and it is sooooooo good!!!! Thank you for the recipe! December 31, 2015 at 8:35am Reply

  • Katy: Delicious! I just made it tonight for my husband and I (who doesn’t love to try new things) and we both loved it! He did ask me how many calories are in a serving of this soup. Do you have an estimate? January 4, 2016 at 7:54pm Reply

  • Shaunna: Has anyone worked out the nutritional content of this soup yet? Just curious. January 6, 2016 at 6:35pm Reply

  • Sue: OMG so good and easy. Thx for sharing January 8, 2016 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Marilee Alvey: It’s 409 calories a serving. The soup is supposed to serve 8. I wish I knew how many cups a serving is because it’s not easy logging it in this way. January 8, 2016 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Jocelyn Kinchelow: I made this dish this past Sunday in order to eat it for lunch that coming week……I’ve been eating it for lunch and dinner everyday😩. It is sooooooooo good. I used turkey instead of beef, chicken broth instead of beef broth, rotel instead of diced tomatoes, and brown rice instead of white rice. This was/is amazingness!!!! Seriously……..amazingness. Everyday it tasted better. Amazingness……. February 3, 2016 at 1:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this soup Jocelyn! Thanks for your feedback :)! February 4, 2016 at 6:04pm Reply

  • Kate: I made this on the weekend and absolutely loved it! The leftovers were perfect for my lunches for a few days! This is going to become a regular for me! I used brown rice instead of white and cooked it for 10 minutes then added the broccoli on top for another 5 and it was perfect. Thanks for sharing! February 24, 2016 at 8:35am Reply

  • Katherine G: I’ve never had this kind of soup before. This looks so delicious! February 25, 2016 at 5:54pm Reply

  • Charlotte: Perfect soup for today! The only change I made is to add some chopped cooked bacon. Sour cream is a must. Now, it’s total comfort back to childhood! Thank you! February 28, 2016 at 8:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it Charlotte and that it reminds you of your childhood :), I love recipes like that! February 28, 2016 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Karla: Hey there! Great recipe! Is there any way I could pressure can this. I know I’d have to omit the rice, but was wondering,if so how long would it process for? Thanks :) May 19, 2016 at 10:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I’ve never canned before so I’m clueless there, I know there’s quite a few rules to it. May 19, 2016 at 11:19am Reply

    • Katie Jensen: Karla, with the meat, I would process this dish at 10 lbs for 90 minutes in a quart and 75 minutes for pints- this is the standard meat processing time and weight. November 1, 2016 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Gina Malone: I made this soup a couple of weeks ago and loved it! I’ve made unstuffed cabbage rolls before, but never as a soup. Will definitely be making again! :) I also added a link to your recipe in my blog: June 20, 2016 at 6:22pm Reply

  • Pat: Made this tonight. Followed your recipe as written, and we thought it was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing. t is a keeper! September 17, 2016 at 5:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it Pat! Thanks for your comment! September 18, 2016 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Heather: This is seriously one of the best things I have ever made! This soup will definitely be a staple in our house this Fall/Winter. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! September 17, 2016 at 7:17pm Reply

  • Lara: Hi there, what do you mean by cans of tomato sauce? As in ketchup? Or passata? Thanks! September 18, 2016 at 9:12am Reply

  • Debbi: Oh Mygosh! Delicious! September 21, 2016 at 10:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Debbi! September 21, 2016 at 12:22pm Reply

  • C.C.: Very yummy! I replaced the rice with riced cauliflower. This healthy veggie gives it the same texture of rice and won’t soak up all the broth! September 22, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

  • Susan: What a fabulous recipe! This is SOO delicious! I used ground turkey as that’s what I had on hand. Thanks so much for sharing! This will become a regular recipe for my family!! October 8, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Susan! October 18, 2016 at 11:29am Reply

  • katie: Hi Jaclyn, Is it tomato sauce or tomato paste I want for this? Making tomorrow;) October 9, 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Tomato sauce. Hope you love it! October 9, 2016 at 11:12pm Reply

  • Carly Smith: Hi Jaclyn! Is there a way to make this in a crock pot? October 16, 2016 at 11:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m guessing you could after cooking the beef in a skillet. November 22, 2016 at 9:46pm Reply

  • Pamela: I made this last night and followed the recipe to a T. It took some prep work but WOW, so yummy. Just be sure to add a dollop of sour cream in each bowl. Kudos Jaclyn!! October 16, 2016 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Jacqueline: Have you made this in the slow cooker? October 16, 2016 at 5:47pm Reply

  • Jo Lynn: Made this tonight for dinner and it was a hit with the whole family. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipes. October 16, 2016 at 6:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Jo! October 18, 2016 at 10:57am Reply

  • Pam: I’m making this right this minute it’s my second time doing it. So very delicious, my family and I so enjoy this soup. The only change I’ve me too it is I add some celery and I put the rice on the side because every time I put rice in any soup I end up with a stew and I do tend to like the broth too! Thank you for all the recipes you give us! October 23, 2016 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your comment Pam! Glad you enjoyed this soup! October 24, 2016 at 12:04am Reply

  • Jennie: Iam not a fan of cabbage but my sister made this and I love it…….its so flavorful….we are making another batch this weekend..
    😊 October 26, 2016 at 6:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you both liked it Jennie! October 26, 2016 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Les: Can it be frozen November 5, 2016 at 7:33am Reply

  • Kristi stavrinides: Can I make it and let it cook on low all day on my stove? I have with other soups but never with cabbage . Looks delicious December 4, 2016 at 11:23pm Reply

  • Jennie: DELICIOUS and turned out perfect. I made it this weekend while my parents visited, and we agreed that we will never go to the trouble of traditional cabbage rolls again! December 19, 2016 at 9:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Jennie! December 20, 2016 at 2:44pm Reply

  • Betsy: Thank you for this recipe. All the family went back for seconds, even my somewhat picky eater! Great job! December 22, 2016 at 9:59pm Reply

  • Cathy: Wonderful soup and such great flavors. Will definitely make again. We have forgotten how wonderful cabbage rolls are and this is so much easier and less time consuming. January 3, 2017 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Kristina: Cooked it today, and let me tell you, i won’t ever came back to stuffed cabbage rolls again, this recipe tasted the same, and it’s si much easier to cook it, thank you for this recipe. January 19, 2017 at 3:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this soup Kristina! Thanks for your comment! January 19, 2017 at 9:22pm Reply

  • Kristina: Making this once again! Delicious. January 22, 2017 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Chantelle: This was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing. February 19, 2017 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Linda: This was excellent! I adapted the recipe for my slow cooker – 5 hours on high was just right. First, I browned the ground beef with the onion, then drained. I put it back into the skillet and added the garlic and the spices, cooking for about a minute. I skipped precooking the carrot and cabbage. I steamed the rice separately because I didn’t want it to absorb soup liquid later. Just placed a little in the bottom of each soup bowl and stirred into the soup. February 27, 2017 at 8:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great review! Thanks! March 27, 2017 at 12:00pm Reply

  • Judy: I made this soup today and it is so good, Yummy, March 16, 2017 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Nicole: Can u freeze this? May 13, 2017 at 2:16pm Reply

    • Keith Mahannah: First time I made it, I freezed some… was ok….but found that the cabbage didn’t freeze & reheat well.
      I wouldn’t try it again…. January 1, 2018 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Scott: Making it now. Also added peas, corn and carrots. Smells so good, I can hardly wait. I also substituted cooked chicken. Thank you for the recipe. August 1, 2017 at 2:59pm Reply

  • Mia: This is one of my favorite soup recipes!! I am making it now can’t wait to eat September 10, 2017 at 2:52pm Reply

  • Suzanne Snyder: Best soup EVER November 12, 2017 at 8:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Suzanne! November 13, 2017 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Marianne: Overall, not bad but needs some tweaking. If I make this again, I’ll use my stuffed cabbage recipe as a guideline because this soup didn’t taste anything like stuffed cabbage, IMO. Still, it was pretty good despite being a little on the bland side. I thought carrots was an odd addition and will leave that out next time. It’s definitely worth trying at least once. November 29, 2017 at 9:18am Reply

  • Lisa Crawford: Really good; I made a few adjustments due to what was in my pantry, and cooked the rice separately so my low-carb husband would be happy – but it was still outstanding. Even my cabbage-hating 17 year old son gave it a whole-hearted thumbs up! December 21, 2017 at 5:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it Lisa! December 28, 2017 at 6:40pm Reply

  • cece: You can make this without the rice for paleo. Also can skip the 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
    1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    and beef broth. The thing is, you can just use the very basic ingredients and it is still delicious. December 31, 2017 at 9:53am Reply

  • Keith Mahannah: Fantastic Recipe…Delicious!!
    Some tweaks I’ve made in repeated makings….
    I’ve used 1/2 beef & 1/2 hot Italian sausage… it a really nice little kick & depth of flavor….
    I’ve sometimes added much more cabbage than recipe calls for….the way cabbage cooks down….it’s just not a problem.
    Last time I substituted diced potates for the rice… was great too. January 1, 2018 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the tips and review Keith! January 4, 2018 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Miriam: This is possibly the best soup I’ve ever made. I love how hearty it turned out. The herbs are perfect and the vegetables keep their shape and firmness. As a mom of 6, I can say it was kid approved, also. You can bet I’ll be making this again, and soon! January 2, 2018 at 8:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it Miriam! January 4, 2018 at 12:54pm Reply

  • jan: this soup is fabulous. I will likely stop making cabbage rolls since this is go good & easy. I didn’t have tomatoes or tomato sauce, so I had to substitute tomato past and water. I used Minor’s beef base. I also added a bit of caraway seed. The lemon & parsley make this sing. January 16, 2018 at 5:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Jan! January 23, 2018 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Amber: I loved this recipe!! I cannot say enough good things about it! It’s hearty, filling, packed full of healthy delicious foods. I opted to use tomato soup instead of tomato sauce. Ended up sharing this with all the girls at work, we cannot get enough of it!! January 18, 2018 at 10:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Amber! January 23, 2018 at 1:58pm Reply

  • Danny: Instant classic in my house. I replace the beef with ground venison for a wonderful flavor that goes really nicely with this soup! January 24, 2018 at 11:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! January 26, 2018 at 9:35am Reply

  • Debbie S.: Made this tonight. Excellent soup! Will make again with some suggestions made above. I love finding different things to make with cabbage. Thanks for sharing the recipe! January 29, 2018 at 4:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment Debbie! January 30, 2018 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Carthy B: I read all the wonderful comments but I personally found it lacking in flavor. It was much like any tomato based sauce….. kind of ordinary. The sour cream on top helped a bit. Has anyone tried unusual spices such as cardamom? February 13, 2018 at 8:03pm Reply

    • Outi: My go-to spice with cabbage is marjoram. I don’t think cardamom would be “at home” here, it goes better with very meaty dishes. February 14, 2018 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Carthy B: See above comment February 13, 2018 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Pamela: Delicious soup. Doesn’t need the teaspoon of sugar. Will make it again. May do half beef, half hot Italian sausage to give it a kick February 20, 2018 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Pamela! February 21, 2018 at 11:03am Reply

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