Cabbage Roll Soup

September 26, 2021  ·  Published September 21, 2015

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The best Cabbage Roll Soup recipe! You get all the flavors of cabbage rolls with out all the hassle, it’s easy to make and deliciously flavorful. A tasty new recipe to add to the dinner rotation!

Cabbage Roll Soup shown in a large white pot on a blue cloth.

A Comforting Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

This Cabbage Roll Soup is so much faster than making traditional cabbage rolls yet it tastes just as good! It’s a hassle-free, cooked in one pot recipe!

You have a quick prep of ingredients, veggies are sauteed, then everything is just simmered until the cabbage and rice are tender. And during that time all those delicious herby, beefy, tomato-y flavors meld together perfectly.

It’s a soup that is made with basic ingredients, it’s incredibly hearty, and I think you’ll agree it’s just super satisfying comfort food. It’s made up of an abundance of veggies, the rice will help fill you up, and you get a fair amount of protein from the beef so it’s an all around win!

This is so delicious that you’ll likely find yourself converting from the traditional, more labor intensive cabbage rolls to this easier soup method from here on out instead!

Close up photo of laddle full of cabbage soup.

Photo of ingredients used to make homemade Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup Ingredients and Possible Substitutes

  • Lean ground beef – use at least 80% lean ground beef. If you don’t want to have to drain excess fat use 92% lean. Ground turkey will work great too.
  • Olive oil – needed for browning the beef.
  • Yellow onion – wondering how to chop an onion? Check out how Gordon Ramsey does it here.
  • Carrots – I prefer to chop them up small rather than just into round disks.
  • Garlic – maybe not standard to traditional cabbage rolls but who can resist garlic?
  • Cabbage – key ingredient! Just use regular green cabbage.
  • Beef broth – chicken broth will work great too.
  • Tomato sauce – similar to tomato passata or puree in other countries if you are looking for an alternative.
  • Canned petite diced tomatoes – the standard cut are fine too, I just like that mini size.
  • Brown sugar – this adds a nice background sweetness. White sugar would be fine too.
  • Worcestershire sauce – this adds great depth of flavor. A little goes a long ways.
  • Paprika – just use the standard sweet paprika not smoked.
  • Dried oregano, thyme, bay leaves – of course if you have fresh herbs even better. General rule, use 3 times as much when going with fresh (except for the bay leaves, use the same quantity).
  • White rice – brown rice won’t really work here because it takes over twice as long to cook. You could try pre-cooked brown rice, adding near the end and reduce the broth slightly.
  • Fresh parsley – this adds a nice pop of fresh color and flavor.

Scroll down for full recipe and print option (in recipe box below).

Collage of six photos showing steps of making cabbage roll soup in a pot. Includes browning beef then sauteing carrots and onion, then sauteing cabbage. Collage of four photos showing continued steps of making cabbage roll soup.

How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup

Here’s a quick breakdown of the recipe steps:

  • First you’ll brown the beef then transfer and reserve fat in pot.
  • Saute the veggies in batches.
  • Pour in broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, seasonings and return cooked beef.
  • Bring to a light boil, add rice. Cover and simmer until rice is tender.
  • Stir in more broth to thin as desired, stir in lemon and parsley. So easy!

How Much Does the Recipe Yield?

The recipe makes approximately 4 quarts, or 8 2-cup servings.

How to Freeze Cabbage Roll Soup

  1. Let the soup cool for a while (I like to let it cool about 30 minutes).
  2. Transfer to airtight containers.
  3. Remember to leave about 3/4-inch at the top for soup to expand so the container doesn’t break.
  4. Transfer to freezer and freeze up to 3 months.
  5. Thaw overnight (or it may take up to 2 days to thaw if you froze a big batch) and reheat the following day on the stove or in the microwave.

How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup in a Crockpot

  1. First brown the beef, transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Saute onion, then garlic, transfer to slow cooker along with other ingredients up to and including rice.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat 6 – 7 hours until rice is tender.
  4. Stir in more broth as needed, lemon and parsley.

What to Serve with Cabbage Roll Soup

I love to serve this with buttered fresh bread of some sort. Here are a few great options:

Single serving of cabbage roll soup in a white bowl set over a blue plate with fresh bread shown as a serving suggestion on the side.

More Delicious Cabbage Recipes to Enjoy

Cabbage Roll Soup shown in a large white pot on a blue cloth.
4.98 from 39 votes

Cabbage Roll Soup

All the flavors of cabbage rolls with out all the hassle! This soup is easy to make and deliciously flavorful. A delicious new recipe to add to the dinner rotation. Recipe makes about 4 quarts.
Servings: 8
Prep15 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth, then more to thin if desired
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 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

Instructions

  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large 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 pot. 
  • Add onion and carrots to pot and saute 2 minutes, then add cabbage and garlic and saute 3 minutes 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 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.

Notes

  • *Recipe originally listed using 2 Tbsp brown sugar but I've the years I've found 1 Tbsp is plenty.
Nutrition Facts
Cabbage Roll Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 902mg39%
Potassium 1369mg39%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 4391IU88%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 112mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe originally shared Sept. 2015, photos updated Sept. 2021.

 

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179 Comments

  • Barbara Maclean

    I loved your soup but next time I would leave out the Tbsp. of
    fresh lemon juice .
    I think it took the dish over too much .
    Did you have a purpose for using lemon juice , was it because
    of tomatoes and tomato sauce .
    Thank you

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It was just to add a little extra zip and brightness to the soup but it can definitely be omitted. Thanks for your input on it!

  • Katherine

    What a great recipe!! The second time I made this I only had 1 15oz can of beef stock, so I had a pkg of beef rice-a-roni. I used the seasoning packet and 2cups of water and then duh, I dumped the rice mix in after it came back up to a boil… stellar idea right?? It worked great and today I purposely used the rice-a-roni!!! It’s really got a nice depth of flavor. My family loves it!!

  • Natasha

    We grew cabbage this year for the first time and had a bumper crop of 6 lb Filderkraut cabbages. We have made several other Cooking Classy recipes with success so I thought I’d search the cabbage recipes and was delighted to find this cabbage roll soup! Followed the recipe as written and incorporated fresh carrots plus herbs from our garden and made the best soup I’ve had in years!! My family raved about the taste and cozy feeling eating this soup! We all commented this morning about how we can’t wait for leftovers tonight! The freezer is stocked full of cabbage so this recipe will be rotation all winter long!