Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup is perfect if you love stuffed cabbage but don’t love to assemble it. Look no further than this easy one pot recipe! Packed with ground beef, rice, and roughly chopped cabbage, with spices and other veggies, it’s everything you love about stuffed cabbage in convenient soup form. Plus, it’s freezable, makes a TON, is CHEAP, and a super nourishing complete meal-in-a-bowl.
I realize that I may have a soup problem – it seems I’ve been posting soup recipes non-stop this winter! But you know what? Soup is my absolute favorite thing to make and eat. Why? Because it’s usually made in one pot, it’s usually freezable, it’s often cheap, and it’s easy to pack it full of everything you need for a meal – protein, healthy carbs, and tons of veggies. Fitting for “Bowl” of Delicious!
This stuffed cabbage roll soup is no exception. Inspired by my Stuffed Pepper Soup, It’s packed with healthy veggies including lots of cabbage, rounded out with lean ground beef and rice. All incredibly cheap and nutritious ingredients, and since this recipe makes a huge amount, you can easily stash half (or more!) in your freezer for a meal in the future.
Don’t skimp on the salt and butter in this recipe. You need salt to help season the relatively bland ingredients in this recipe. And four tablespoons may seem like you’re using a lot of butter, but trust me, it will make the cabbage shine as the star ingredient. Don’t forget – this batch makes a HUGE pot of soup!
So let’s stay on this soup train at least for a little while. Let’s learn how to make Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup together!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Green Cabbage – in theory, you could substitute another kind of cabbage here, but green cabbage is firm and holds its shape well in this soup. Red cabbage will turn the soup into a color that some may find unappetizing, so proceed with caution here!
- Lean ground beef – or another ground meat like turkey or pork. Sausage can be used, but use caution when adding extra salt and seasoning since it is already seasoned. Fattier beef may be used, but remove some of the fat from the pot after it’s cooked (see recipe notes for more).
- Rice – I recommend parboiled (converted) rice, like Ben’s Original, because it holds its shape well. Other kinds can be used (more on this below).
- Butter – or olive oil or ghee for a dairy-free version.
- Herbs – fresh parsley, dried oregano, and dried mint. These can be substituted with Italian seasoning, or played around with different combinations of herbs if you like. Use what you have!
- Crushed red pepper – leave out if you want a very mild soup.
- Canned diced tomatoes – fresh can be used, or canned crushed tomatoes.
- Chicken broth – or vegetable or beef broth.
- Red wine – optional, but adds a little something-something.
- Onion and garlic
- Romano or Parmesan cheese for topping – optional.
How to make Cabbage Roll Soup
Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions and cook. Brown the beef with the garlic in the pot. Then, add the cabbage and stir, cooking for a few minutes. Then the tomatoes, herbs and spices, salt and pepper, red wine (if using), and broth get added to the pot. Bring it to a boil, stir in the rice, cover, and simmer on low until the rice is cooked. Finally, turn off the heat, and melt in a little more butter to the soup and season to taste. Yum!
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
What kind of rice is best in soup?
I almost always recommend using converted/parboiled rice in soups, such as Ben’s Original. The reason for this is that it’s less starchy than other kinds, and it holds its shape well even when submerged in liquid for a long time. This makes it easy to freeze for later, and you don’t have to worry about cooking rice separately from the soup.
That said, feel free to use another kind of rice here – a long grain white or brown rice such as basmati works well and cooks quickly. Or, a wild rice blend would work as well and add a nutty earthy flavor.
Can I freeze cabbage roll soup?
Yes! This soup freezes beautifully. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months in the freezer. I like to use a plastic container. Then, I run hot water over it to dislodge it from being frozen. I’ll pop the frozen block into a pot with a little extra water, cover, and cook until it’s heated through. Easy peasy!
Can I make vegetarian stuffed cabbage soup?
Yes! Just use a vegetarian substitute for the ground beef and make sure to use vegetable broth.
Other Cabbage Recipes
Got leftover cabbage? Try one of these recipes to use it up!
Other Soup Recipes you’ll Love
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Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup
- Large Pot with a lid or Dutch Oven
- 4 tablespoons butter divided (see notes)
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 – 1½ pounds ground beef (preferably lean, or other ground meat, see notes)
- 4 cups roughly chopped green cabbage (about 1 small head or ½ large head, the exact measurement isn't important here)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 2 teaspoons dried mint (or 2 tablespoons fresh, can be omitted if you don't have any)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional, more or less according to spice level preference
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable or beef broth)
- 1 cup rice (any kind; I used converted, see notes)
- Romano or Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and/or chopped parsley/herbs for serving (optional)
- Melt half the butter (2 tablespoons) in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Add the ground beef (1 lb.) and minced garlic (3 cloves) and brown the beef, breaking apart with a wooden spoon as needed until fully cooked.
- Add the cabbage to the pot (roughly 4 cups, give or take), and stir to coat. Let the cabbage soften up a bit for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped fresh parsley (¼ cup), dried oregano (1 teaspoon), dried mint (2 teaspoons), crushed red pepper, if using (½ teaspoon), kosher salt (1 teaspoon), black pepper (½ teaspoon), canned diced tomatoes (15 oz.), and red wine, if using (½ cup). Stir together, then pour in the chicken broth (6 cups) and bring to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, stir in the rice (1 cup). Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked (this may take less time depending on the kind of rice you use).
- Turn off the heat. Add the remaining butter (2 tablespoons) to the pot and stir in until it's melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the soup is too thick, you can add more water or broth until it's thinned to your liking.
- Serve, topped with Romano or parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and/or more herbs if desired.
- For the butter: You can use olive oil instead for a dairy-free version. You can also take the amount down to two tablespoons if you really want to reduce the amount of added fat, using one tablespoon to sauté the onion and one tablespoon to stir in at the end, though you will end up with a less rich tasting result.
- For the beef: Lean beef if best, but if you want to use a fattier kind, just spoon some of the grease out from the bottom of the pan after it browns, otherwise your soup may taste greasy. You can also use another ground meat, like turkey or pork. Ground sausage may also be used, but it will add flavor and salt, so keep that in mind when adding extra salt and herbs/spices to the soup.
- About the salt: many people make recipes for cabbage soup and think it tastes bland. Chances are, they haven’t added enough salt! This soup has a base of fairly bland ingredients – plain rice, beef, and cabbage – that need a lot of seasoning to shine. If your soup tastes bland, try adding more salt. But do be careful of adding extra salt if you are using a chicken broth or chicken bouillon with lots of salt already in it (you may need less than the 1 teaspoon in this case).
- Italian seasoning may be used in place of the herbs and spices in this soup.
- I usually recommend converted (parboiled) rice in soups, such as Ben’s Original. The reason for this is that it’s less starchy, and it holds its shape more when submerged in liquid for a long time. This makes it easy to freeze and store leftovers without needing to cook the rice separately so it doesn’t turn mushy. That said, a long grain white or brown rice, or even a wild rice blend, would work in this soup as well.
- Make it vegetarian by using a vegetarian substitute for the ground beef and using vegetable broth instead of chicken.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: