When the weather is snowy or icy and the air is crisp, you can’t do much better for dinner than cabbage. Whether you prefer it alongside corn beef or in a roll, this humble-but-delicious veggie seems to make its way into all the wintry classics. Just because it’s traditional, though, doesn’t mean it has to stay boring, so as we do – remember our Egg Roll In A Bowl?! – we did some experimenting and came up with a fun transformation: Cabbage Roll Soup!

That’s right, Cabbage Roll Soup. This soup takes all the elements of a traditional cabbage roll and turns it into a delicious, satisfying soup, and it’s definitely not as difficult as it sounds. Let us show you, then read on for the full recipe.

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Cabbage Roll Soup

Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • ¼ pound chopped bacon
  • 2 cups large-diced onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork or pork sausage
  • ¾ cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups (about 1 small head) chopped cabbage, core removed
  • 1 – 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-½ tablespoons red wine vinegar (or your favorite non-balsamic vinegar)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • Salt, to taste (optional)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just browned.
  2. Add the diced onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the ground beef and ground pork, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the meat is cooked halfway.
  5. Add the long grain rice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the crushed chili flakes and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add the smoked paprika and bay leaf. Stir in the chopped cabbage, and let cook for 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.
    Adding cabbage leaves to cabbage roll soupTipHero
  9. Add the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, beef broth, vegetable stock, oregano and thyme to the pot.
    Add diced tomatoes and spices to cabbage roll soupTipHero
  10. Cover with the lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked.
    Simmer cabbage roll soup for 12 to 15 minutesTipHero
  11. Stir to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm.

Chef’s Tips

  • You can absolutely use lean ground beef in this recipe, if that’s your preference.
  • When it comes time to choose your vinegar for this recipe, use anything BUT balsamic.
Bowl of cabbage roll soupTipHero

Yum! And did you notice— it’s a one-pot dish! Every part of it gets cooked right in the same heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Easy clean-up, delicious meal— what could be better?

So what do you think of this Cabbage Roll Soup? Will you give it a try, or do you prefer your cabbage rolls in their more traditional form? Are there any changes you would make to this recipe? Let us know if you give it a try, and be sure to tell us how it turns out for you!

Recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies