Cabbage Roll Soup

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you  may remember this recipe for Cabbage Roll Soup. It’s been a newsletter exclusive for 5 years, but it’s so good and so sad and forgotten that I feel like now is the time for it to shine.

I love cabbage rolls. A lot. However, I can’t find good cabbage rolls in small-town Louisiana. And I tried making them exactly one time, which was enough times to make me know I’m not the kind of person that makes homemade cabbage rolls (or sourdough…RIP, Mrs. Blankenship.) This cabbage roll soup transforms a labor-intensive comfort food into comfort food perfect for a chilly winter night.

What about cabbage?

You can use a whole head of cabbage like I have in these photos, but you can also buy a 16-oz. bag of shredded cabbage (just not angel shreds–they’re too fine and I think it would be a Mouthful of Weirdness, which is the sequel song to “Spoonful of Sugar.”) I also like cooking the rice separately and then ladling the soup over the rice (like you would for gumbo); keeping the rice in soup causes the rice to absorb the liquid until it turns into more of a stovetop casserole. If you have an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker), I highly recommend using our methods for those–easiest, most failproof rice EVER! You can use either white or brown rice it won’t really impact the flavor of the soup.

Cabbage Roll Soup

A twist on traditional cabbage rolls, this comforting soup - served atop a scoop of hot rice - combines warm and rich beef and tomato flavors.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean 10% or leaner ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound green cabbage cored and roughly chopped OR 16 oz. shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
  • 2 14.5- ounce cans stewed tomatoes pulsed in a blender so they're broken down but not completely smooth
  • 1 16- ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 quart 2 cans beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2-3 cups hot cooked rice


  • If you're not using leftover rice, prepare the rice.
  • In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently. When the beef is about halfway cooked, add the onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until the cabbage begins to soften. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, parsley, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Season to taste.
  • To serve, add a scoop of hot rice to each bowl and then top with the soup.


Serving: 8g
Author: Our Best Bites
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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