Easy Cabbage Roll Soup takes all the flavors you love from stuffed cabbage rolls but turns it into soup form! Full of flavor, filling, and simple, this unstuffed cabbage roll soup is sure to be a family favorite.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Soup
I love cabbage rolls, but I have to say, making them is a lot of work. Unstuffed cabbage roll soup is the best of both worlds – you get all the delicious flavors of traditional cabbage rolls but with way less effort!
Tools you’ll need
- Stock Pot – A Stock pot (aka dutch oven) is great to have if you make soup often! This one is perfect for stovetop but it’s also oven safe.
- Meat Masher – I use this masher all the time! I love it because it breaks the meat up quickly.
- Veggie Chopper – This veggie chopper will cut your prep time in half! It’s so convenient and way quicker than chopping vegetables up with a knife.
- Souper Cubes – These pre-portioned trays make it so easy to prepare this soup ahead of time and freeze it!
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- GROUND BEEF– Regular, lean, or extra lean ground beef works in this recipe. I like to use sirloin because it is lean and tastes great. If your beef gives off grease, make sure to drain it before proceeding to the next steps so you don’t have greasy soup. To switch up the protein, try ground turkey!
- CABBAGE – Chopped cabbage – how big or small you chop it will be your preference, but remember it will wilt when cooked.
- ONION – I use yellow onion in this soup because it is mild and a bit sweet. White onion is stronger but will work well, too.
- CARROTS – Diced or shredded carrots, up to you.
- BEEF BROTH – Beef broth is used as the base of the soup. You can use stock or bone broth for added nutrients.
- TOMATO SAUCE – Canned tomato sauce gives color, flavor, and depth. It you want more texture, you can use diced tomatoes.
- RICE – I like to use white rice, brown will work as well. It cooks right in the soup.
- GARLIC – Fresh is best but I often use minced garlic packed in oil that I always have on hand.
- OLIVE OIL – Olive oil is used to sautée the ground beef. It is fully cooked fully before it goes in the soup. If you’re using a fattier cut of beef, you can skip the oil.
- SALT & BLACK PEPPER– because everything is better with salt and pepper!
How to make Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Soup
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it’s so easy to make. It’s made in just one pot and takes 40 minutes from start to finish!
- STEP ONE: Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat, then add the beef. Break it up into smaller pieces as it cooks until it’s fully browned and no pink remains.
- STEP TWO: Add the diced onions and carrots into the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- STEP THREE: Next, add in the minced garlic and chopped cabbage. When the cabbage becomes tender, it’s time for step four!
- STEP FOUR: Add the beef broth, tomato sauce, uncooked rice, salt, and pepper into the stock pot and mix everything together until combined.
- STEP FIVE: Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat to let it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. This should take around 30 minutes.
How to store leftovers
Cabbage roll soup makes great leftovers! You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for between 3-5 days. The rice will absorb some of the liquid over time, so the soup will become thicker. If you prefer it a bit thinner, just add in a little extra beef broth when you reheat it!
If you are planning to make the soup ahead of time, you can also leave out the rice and add cooked rice to the soup when serving.
Can you freeze it?
Absolutely you can! You can freeze the soup using a pre-portioned freezer tray, tightly sealed freezer bags, or an airtight container and it will last for around 2 months. It’s a great recipe for meal prep!
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup – Slow Cooker Directions
You can absolutely make this soup in the slow cooker. You’ll still need to do the first step of browning the meat on the stove, but then you can add the rest of the ingredients, except for the rice, to the slow cooker.
Cook it on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, add in the rice so it can cook right in the slow cooker. Longer than that you risk it getting mushy.
If you find your soup to lack flavor, try adding some acid instead of more salt. Try a squeeze of lemon juice or stirk in a dollop of greek yogurt (also adds protein!) or sour cream. If you want some heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Cabbage is rich in vitamin K and antioxidants which can boost immunity and improve your bone health. It’s also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
Need more soup recipes? Try these:
Click here to view my entire collection of soup recipes.
Originally published January 8, 2021
Connect with Persnickety Plates!
Follow along on my social media so you never miss a post!
Also, sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe: