Cabbage Roll Soup? Yes, you read right — this soup is a spin off classic Eastern European stuffed cabbage rolls. The kicker? It takes a fraction of the time.
Cabbage Roll Soup is quick and healthy, yet it eats like comfort food. Trust me, you will have this on repeat in your home after making it the first time!
This recipe was born out of my family’s insatiable craving for classic cabbage rolls. It’s the perfect way to calm a cabbage roll hankering without all the work. It’s also a one-pot dinner, which you know is a favorite at Momsdish.
Ingredients for Cabbage Roll Soup
Here’s a run down of all the ingredients you need for this soup, as well as a couple of recommendations for substitutions:
- Beef: Lean ground beef is recommended for this recipe, but feel free to use ground turkey, chicken or pork if you please. If you are not a big fan of ground beef, feel free to substitute ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Cabbage: Cut the cabbage into large chunks and rinse them well under a colander. It will shrink down significantly as it cooks.
- Rice: You can use whole grain or wild rice. If you are watching your carbs, use riced cauliflower instead (note that this will decrease your cooking time).
- Tomato Paste: You can replace tomato paste with pureed or canned tomatoes if need be.
- Broth: Chicken or beef broth will work great.
- Onions: Yellow, white or sweet onions will do.
- Bay Leaves: These are optional, but I do find that they add a great flavor.
How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup
If you love cabbage rolls, you know how much work they take. While well worth it, you don’t always have the time to whip up these delicious morsels. When the craving calls, put a pot of these easy-to-make soup on the stove! Follow these step-by-step instructions to nail it:
- Brown your ground beef in a large pot.
- Add carrots and onions and cook until softened.
- Add rice, tomato paste, bay leaves, broth and water.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Add cabbage.
- Add heavy cream and remove from heat.
How to Properly Cut a Cabbage
You might already be a pro at cutting cabbage, but if you aren’t, follow these simple steps:
- First, remove any damaged or brown outer leaves from the cabbage head.
- Place the cabbage on a clean work surface, stem side down. Locate the stem, or core, of the cabbage head.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the head in half.
- Some folks like to keep the core in and others like to remove it. It’s completely edible and fine to eat, but if you’re not a fan of how fibrous it is, use your knife to carefully cut it out. Do this but cutting into the head at an angle on both sides of the core.
- Cut your cabbage as desired! For this recipe you can do thin shreds, thick shreds or full wedges.
Can you Freeze Cabbage Roll Soup?
Cabbage soup is a perfect candidate for freezing! Make a huge batch, allow the soup to fully cool down and store in freezer safe containers. Then, enjoy cabbage soup throughout the entire winter. To reheat, let a container of soup thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Over medium heat in a saucepan, reheat the soup until warmed all the way through.
More Cabbage Recipes
Cabbage is the ultimate comfort food. Being Ukrainian, I crave it at least twice a week. Here are some of my favorite go-to recipes:
- One-Pan Braised Cabbage with Rice – One-pan meals mean less mess. This quick and easy braised cabbage hits the spot every time!
- Traditional Cabbage Rolls – If you like cabbage soup, you are probably already a big fan of cabbage rolls. If you have time on your hands and an obsession with this leafy veggie, you must make this family recipe.
- Beet, Carrot and Cabbage Salad – This salad is a staple at Ukrainian get togethers. It’s crisp, delicious and crunchy. You’ll love it!
- 1 cup water
- 1 qt chicken broth
- 5 oz tomato paste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 large cabbage (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup rice
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- Preheat a pot over medium-heat. Add ground beef to the pot and break it down as it cooks.
- Add chopped carrots and onion to the cooked ground beef. Saute until the veggies are softened.
- Add rice, tomato paste, bay leaves, water and broth.
- Bring everything to simmer and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Stir in heavy cream and immediately remove from heat.
I love how versatile this soup seems! Having said that, I have a lot of left over cooked cabbage. Do you see any problem with using that in this soup? Other than decreasing the cook time, should I make any other adjustments?
Hi Terri, Depending on the size of the cabbage you got, sometimes that happens.
I just made this soup and it is great except too much pepper! Is that a typo, or does it really call for one tablespoon? I used that tablespoon and wish I used my common sense instead.
Hi Carol, I appreciate your feedback. I encourage people to adjust the recipe to fit their needs or preferences. I hope you give this recipe a try again in the future!
Excellent recipe. Tasted like my Mom's halupki but without all the work that cabbage rolls require. I left out the cream and added a little paprika (like mom's) and used a mixture of ground beef and pork. Next time I'll add a more cabbage. It's an amazing recipe. Thanks. I'm definitely putting it in the dinner rotation.
Hi Sean - That's so nice to hear! Thank you for the kind words. I love mixing and matching the ground meat and paprika sounds BOMB. Happy New Year!
I've been doing this for years, we don't call it "soup". And I don't add carrots, or cream. I use our favorite spaghetti sauce, and extra garlic. We never put carrots or cream in it. Italian seasoning and some salt& pepper to taste, and a spoon of beef bouillon. That's it! My family have always Loved de-constructed cabbage rolls.....
Hi Becky - That sounds delicious! We actually have a similar recipe that we call "Lazy Cabbage Rolls". Check it out here: https://momsdish.com/recipe/5….
Fantastic recipe! I used Beyond Beef to make this vegetarian and my daughter (who’s not a fan of soup) ate 2 bowls! This will definitely be made many more times this fall!
Hi Laura, I am so glad you loved it, such a great idea to make it vegetarian, thank you for sharing that idea!
It's just my husband and myself and the hubby doesn't like cabbage roll soup. So I make it for my youngest son and myself. My son doesn't like onions so I use onion and garlic powder. I've never put carrots in mine, I don't think carrots are an ingredient in classic cabbage rolls either. I use tomato juice and a little worcestershire sauce and brown rice. I'll be making this delicious dish soon. My son can't wait.
Hi Linda, I hope you love the recipe, let me know how it goes after you make it, I'd love to hear back!
I never put any sort of cream in my cabbage roll soup. And I won't even try it. I love it without.
Thank you for posting this question I was wondering if it could be made without heavy cream
We love heavy cream but my husband is going on a diet .
Hi Pamela - You can definitely skip the sour cream! Hope you try the soup and love it. Happy New Year!
Linda, I am the same way. But most people in Slavic culture add sour cream to their soups.:)
I can appreciate that not everyone spends most of the day in the kitchen cooking, so they look for shortcuts. But when I make Galumpki Soup, I use actual left over Galumpki. The flavor level is a whole different plane. I always make too much filling, and bake large Galumpki meatballs, unwrapped, with my regular Galumpki in a sweet and sour tomato sauce. I freeze the meatballs and pull them out when I make soup. I sautée the onions and carrots until wilted in bacon fat and then add the cabbage and about a tablespoon of minced garlic and sautee until the cabbage is wilted. I add 32 ounces of beef broth, a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 3 bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of marjoram. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of small chopped redskin or Yukon gold potatoes and the chopped up leftover Galumpki meatballs and any sauce they were frozen in (about 2 pounds of Galumpki). Simmer until potatoes are cooked but still firm and the Galumpki pieces are heated through. Serve with crusty bread. The flavor is terrific, and the additional work is when you make the original Galumpki. It does require a little planning, to ensure the frozen leftover Galumpki has a chance to thaw.
Sally, that sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!
I am so excited about all your recipes! Thank you for sharing. I am cooking cabbage roll soup as I'm messaging you. Your website is my new go to for inspiring my taste buds. My appetite has been rejuvenated form your recipes. I am going thru chemotherapy right now and it sometimes depletes the taste buds, however mine have sparked up!!!! Again,thank you for sharing. It's all so easy.
Oh my Diana, I am so sorry that you have to deal with the treatments!!! My father in law is also doing chemotherapy and I have heard a lot about taste buds. I wish you only recovery and many more years of enjoying delicious food. Thank you for taking the time to write me, it really means so much!
The flavors come together so perfectly. Loved it.
Hey Laura, thank you! SO happy you loved it!
Best soup Ive had in long time! Packed with flavor!
Hey Melissa, thank you for sharing that. I am so happy that you loved it!
This soup turned out delicious! Thank you for the easy recipe!
Allyson, thank you! Happy to hear this.
I really love how comforting this is! Perfect any night of the week!
Hey Toni, I am so happy to hear this. Hope you love it!