Stuffed Cabbage Soup


Turn family-favorite stuffed cabbage rolls into a hearty soup.

Stuffed cabbage soup in a dutch oven with a ladle on a green table with a napkin, salt shaker and lemon slices.

Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Lydia Pursell

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins

If you’re not already a big fan of stuffed cabbage rolls, you will be after tasting this hearty and comforting stuffed cabbage soup.

Forget the stuffing and rolling: This recipe is much easier to prepare—simply brown ground beef in your favorite Dutch oven with plenty of onion, garlic, and spices, then give it all a good simmer with lots of broth, tomato sauce, carrots, rice, and, of course, cabbage. The cabbage cooks down to a tender, silky texture, yielding a filling soup that will warm you up on cold winter nights.

What Kind of Cabbage Is Best in Stuffed Cabbage Soup?

Technically, you can use any cabbage you like in this soup, but there are a few things your should know before you go hog-wild on the cabbage aisle.

Purple cabbage will affect the color of your soup. If you’re not afraid of purple-tinted soup, then go right ahead. Napa cabbage is also widely available in grocery stores these days. More oblong than round in shape, Napa cabbage has leaves that are more pebbly in texture. This won’t impact the flavor or the soup at all, but it’s a little departure from the straightforward cabbage you may be used to.

For this soup, we recommend using plain old green cabbage. It’s sturdy, crunchy, tasty, inexpensive, and it won’t imbue your stew with a pink hue.

Can I Swap the Beef for Another Meat?

All meats are welcome in this hearty soup, as long as it’s ground. Ground turkey or chicken are perfectly delicious options, as is ground pork. For a little more flavor, use hot or mild Italian sausage.

If you don’t want to give up your beloved red meat but want to eat a little better, opt for lean ground beef or ground bison. And if you want to try something completely different, give plant-based meat a try—they’re a lot more delicious than you might think.

Is Cabbage Soup Good for You?

This version of cabbage soup is definitely not bad for you, but it’s not the “diet” cabbage soup that’s running laps around the internet these days. This version isn’t concerned with cutting carbs or slashing fat—it’s focused on delivering big, comforting flavor.

However, cabbage is packed with antioxidants and lots of healthy fiber, so you’re getting some great health benefits along with all the deliciousness.

Does Cabbage Soup Make Good Leftovers?

Absolutely. Keep it covered in the refrigerator, and heat up individual portions on the stovetop or in the microwave. Leftovers will last 3 to 5 days in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to two months.


  • 1 lb. ground round

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic (4 garlic cloves)

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 3 3/4 cups beef consommé (from 3 [10 1/2-oz. each] cans)

  • 3 1/2 cups tomato sauce (from 2 [15-oz. each] cans)

  • 6 cups chopped green cabbage (from 1 small head)

  • 2 medium (6 oz. total) carrots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus lemon wedges for serving

  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus dill sprigs for garnish


  1. Cook ground round, onion, salt, and pepper in a small Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high, stirring often, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cinnamon, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

  2. Stir in consommé and tomato sauce. Bring to a low boil over medium. Stir in cabbage, carrots, rice, brown sugar, Worcestershire, and bay leaf. Return to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat, and let stand, uncovered, 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; stir in lemon juice and chopped fresh dill. Ladle evenly into 6 bowls. Garnish with dill sprigs; serve with lemon wedges.

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