This cabbage roll soup has all the same flavors as classic baked cabbage rolls, but with way less work! This unstuffed cabbage soup is hearty, filling and the perfect choice for an easy dinner option.
If you love cabbage rolls, but don’t love all the work involved, this quick cooking cabbage soup is for you!
Baked cabbage rolls are one of those nostalgic dishes that my grandma used to make. While I love the flavors, I don’t love all the work involved. Between boiling the cabbage, making the filling, wrapping everything up and then the bake time, it can turn into an all day affair! This cabbage roll soup has all the same flavors as the classic dish, but with a fraction of the prep time.
How to make cabbage roll soup
To make your unstuffed cabbage soup, you’ll need to start with some ground beef. I use 90% lean beef, it’s got great flavor but doesn’t make the soup overly greased. The beef is browned along with some onion before the rest of the ingredients get added to the pot.
After your beef is ready to go, everything else goes into the pot, including rice, carrots, tomato, spices and of course, cabbage. Bring the whole thing to a simmer and in about 25 minutes dinner is done!
What you end up with is a rich and hearty soup that has complex flavors. I know in many cases simmering a soup for longer helps to develop the flavors, but in this case you don’t want to over-cook the soup or else the rice will get mushy.
There is so much going on here, between the meat, veggies and rice, that it’s really a complete meal in one pot. I do often serve this cabbage roll soup with a side of crusty bread or a green salad, just to round out the meal. Even my kids love this one, they didn’t even mind the cabbage pieces which normally they might not eat.
I often make a double batch of this soup just so we have leftovers to eat for a few days, that’s how good it is! It’s absolutely perfect for a cold night, and the quick prep time makes it ideal for a busy weeknight.
More soup recipes
Cabbage Roll Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
- 2 carrots peeled, quartered and sliced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until beef is browned, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, carrots, beef broth, tomato sauce, rice, bay leaf and brown sugar to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaf and discard.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
- Recipe adapted from The Wholesome Dish.
- Not a fan of ground beef? Try ground turkey instead!
- You can substitute brown rice for white rice, but that will require about 20 more minutes of cook time.