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Hearty Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Skip the fuss and use this kitchen hack to make a classic recipe easier! This Cabbage Roll Soup is an easy way to serve a classic dish but without all the fuss. Hearty and full of vegetables, this soup tastes like it’s been simmering all day long but made in less than 30 minutes!

white bowl with deconstructed cabbage rolls

Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

This recipe is a remake of my aunt’s recipe. She made the best cabbage rolls for Thanksgiving every year. What makes them special are a few secret ingredients.

They have a sweet, sour, and tangy flavor and are the ultimate comfort food. I love them so much, but when I am not in the mood for all the rolling, I make them into a hearty soup.

Not because I’m lazy (I really am LOL) but because I just want to eat them without all the fuss.

Some of my other favorite hearty soups are my Busy Day Soup, my Cowboy Soup, and my Stuffed Pepper Soup. Check them out!

Ready to know the secret ingredients?

vegetable broth and the rest of the ingredients for traditional cabbage rolls

Ingredients Needed

Ground beef – Use lean ground beef or substitute ground turkey or ground pork.

Cabbage – Use green cabbage or substitute red cabbage.

Rice – Use long grain white rice. Substitute brown rice if needed. *See Notes

Tomatoes – Diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. Substitute tomato sauce if needed.

Onion – I prefer a sweet onion or white onion for this.

Tomato juice – This is the secret ingredient. Try it with spicy too!

Lemon juice – Also a secret ingredient to balance out the richness of the tomatoes.

Pantry staples – Beef broth, salt, black pepper.

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How to Make Cabbage Roll Soup

First: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.

Second: Add the spices and ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain if desired. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, and broth and bring to a boil.

Third: Add the rice and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir to combine.

Fourth: Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage is tender and rice is cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

best cabbage roll soup recipe in a pot being stirred with a wooden spoon

What to Serve with It

This delicious cabbage roll soup is great on it’s own but if you want to make a full meal of it, I like a crispy green salad and a hunk of crusty bread to soak up any leftover juices.

How long does it last?

The flavor intensifies as it sits so leftovers are amazing! Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can even freeze cabbage roll soup for up to 3 months. I like to portion it out in freezer safe containers or freezer bags so I can take them for lunch.

Just thaw overnight and reheat until warm enough to eat.

a hearty meal of cabbage rolls in soup form

Can you make it in a crock pot or slow cooker?

If you want to make this delicious soup in the slow cooker you certainly can! Just saute the onion and ground beef separately.

Then add it and all the other ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

You can add the rice in the beginning or you can wait and add it 30 minutes before serving. I like to let the soup cook on low all day and when I am getting ready for dinner, add the rice.

It’s ready by the time the whole family sits down.

soup in a spoon above a bowl

Can you make this in an instant pot?

Yes! Using the sauté function, cook the onions and ground beef. Then add all the other ingredients and set the instant pot to the soup setting.

Cook for 5 minutes and let the steam self release for 10 minutes. It’s ready to go!

soup pot and bowl of soup

Tips for No Leftovers

  • If you don’t have tomato juice, you can use tomato paste and water, canned tomato soup, or tomato puree.
  • Try V8 juice if you want to pack in more veggies per serving. The spicy flavor is really good for this recipe.
  • If you are making this soup ahead of time and are freezing all of it, I recommend leaving out the rice and adding cooked rice before serving.
  • Want to make it a low carb meal? Use cauliflower rice instead of white rice.
  • Italian sausage is also a great beef alternative that will add lots of flavor.
  • Don’t eat red meat? Make this with ground turkey or chicken and substitute chicken broth for the beef broth.
  • Toss in a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a dash of garlic powder for an extra flavor twist.
  • Two acidic for you? Add a bit of artificial sweetener like stevia or add two tablespoons of brown sugar to sweeten it a bit.
  • Not a fan of sugar? Add in some finely chopped carrot with the onion and it will naturally sweeten the soup.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of cabbage soup pics with text "one pot meal"

This unstuffed cabbage roll soup is full of delicious flavors, takes 30 minutes, and a dish the whole family will love. Perfect for a chilly night!

square photo of soup in a white bowl

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Cabbage Roll Soup is an easy way to serve your favorite stuffed cabbage rolls but without all the fuss. One Pot, 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium onion (chopped fine)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3 ½ cups tomato juice
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 medium head of cabbage chopped (roughly 6 cups)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the spices and ground beef and cook until no longer pink. (drain if desired)
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice, and broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in the rice and stir.
  6. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the cabbage and stir to combine.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage is tender and rice is cooked through.
  9. Stir in lemon juice and serve warm.

Notes

  • If you don’t have tomato juice, you can use tomato paste and water, canned tomato soup, or tomato puree.
  • Try V8 juice if you want to pack in more veggies per serving. The spicy flavor is really good for this recipe.
  • If you are making this soup ahead of time and are freezing all of it, I recommend leaving out the rice and adding cooked rice before serving.
  • Want to make it a low carb meal? Use cauliflower rice instead of white rice.
  • Italian sausage is also a great beef alternative that will add lots of flavor.
  • Don’t eat red meat? Make this with ground turkey or chicken and substitute chicken broth for the beef broth.
  • Toss in a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a dash of garlic powder for an extra flavor twist.
  • Two acidic for you? Add a bit of artificial sweetener like stevia or add two tablespoons of brown sugar to sweeten it a bit.
  • Not a fan of sugar? Add in some finely chopped carrot with the onion and it will naturally sweeten the soup.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 978mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 23g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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Tressa

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Love this stays good for a few weeks so good

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