Cabbage Roll Soup

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!

This soup is easy to make and deliciously flavorful. A tasty new recipe to add to the dinner rotation!

Cabbage roll soup in a large white pot.

Comforting Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

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.

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!

Ladle full of cabbage roll soup, shown up close.

What Ingredients are Needed for Cabbage Roll Soup?

  • Lean ground beef – use at least 80% lean ground beef. If you don’t want to have to drain excess fat use 92% lean.
  • 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 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.
  • Fresh parsley – this adds a nice pop of fresh color and flavor.

Overhead image of cabbage roll soup in a pot.

How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup

  • First you’ll brown the beef then transfer and reserve fat in pot. Transfer.
  • Saute veggies.
  • Pour in broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, seasonings and 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.
  • Actually much easier than it may appear with all those ingredients!

Can I Freeze It?

Yes you can freeze cabbage roll soup.

  • Just remember to leave about 3/4-inch at the top for soup to expand between lid.
  • Freeze up to 3 months.
  • Thaw overnight (or it may take up to 2 days to thaw if you froze a big batch) and reheat the following day.

Serving of cabbage roll soup shown in a white bowl sitting on a small white plate.Can I Make It in a Crock Pot?

Yes you can also cook it in a crock pot. To do so:

  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.

More Cabbage Recipes to Enjoy

Cabbage Roll Soup
4.92 from 36 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.
Servings: 8
Prep15 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour


  • 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


  • 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, 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.
Nutrition Facts
Cabbage Roll Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 342 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 874mg38%
Potassium 1333mg38%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 3604IU72%
Vitamin C 47mg57%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.