Serve up slow cooker cabbage roll soup for a healthy family favorite soup that's made right in the crockpot! This crockpot cabbage soup is perfect for busy weeknights with minimal prep involved.
Hearty soup recipes are some of my favorite dinner options. During the winter months, you'll see me find every excuse to cook up a good soup.
My favorite lately though, has to be cabbage roll soup. It takes on the flavors of cabbage rolls without the time and energy they take to prepare. Once you brown the meat, this is a true dump it and forget it type recipe. Don't forget to serve it up with a slice of your favorite crusty bread topped with Persimmon Butter, they make the perfect pair for the soup.
Making crockpot soups is perfect for busy weeknights, feeding crowds, or satisfying your winter soup craving we all seem to get this time of year (I can't be the only one, right?).
What is Cabbage Roll Soup?
Also called stuffed cabbage soup, this recipe is a fun twist on classic stuffed cabbage rolls, a delicious yet time-consuming recipe to prepare. A classic stuffed cabbage soup includes cabbage, beef, veggies, and rice cooked in a beef tomato sauce.
It pairs great with a variety of sides too. I love them along with dinner rolls, leafy salads, or even some mashed potatoes. It makes for a real hearty and delicious meal.
You can make a batch of crockpot cabbage roll soup with simple ingredients that are available at most grocery stores.
Oil: The recipe uses just a bit of cooking oil for browning your ground beef, I recommend using extra virgin olive oil as it's full of heart-healthy fats.
Ground beef: Choose a lean ground beef for this recipe, ground turkey can be used as well.
Onion: Onion is a star player in this dish so don't skip this one!
Carrots: Dice up those carrots nice and small for the ideal size and texture.
Garlic: A couple of cloves of garlic add a boost to the flavor profile.
Cabbage: You will want to use regular green cabbage to make cabbage roll sup.
Broth: A good beef broth provides quality flavor in this dish, more can be added for a thinner consistency.
Tomato sauce: A pantry staple that is a must-have ingredient for the beef tomato sauce!
Rice: Just a bit of uncooked rice adds an additional layer of texture to this soup.
Brown sugar: We add just a touch to balance out the flavors in this soup recipe.
How to Select Good Cabbage
Since cabbage is the star ingredient of this dish, you want to make sure to select a good head of cabbage. Below are some things to consider as you're making your selection.
- Pay attention to the appearance: A good, fresh head of lettuce is dense, large, and firm. It should be heavy in size with bright and crisp leaves without cracking or bruising.
- Notice any missing layers: Some stores will peel off the outer layers to make old cabbage appear fresh so pay attention to heads of lettuce that appear to have missing layers.
- Check the bottom: Fresh cabbage should have tightly packed leaves so check to ensure the leaves aren't starting to separate.
For best results, store cabbage in a cool and dry place once you bring it home. Wrap it in a plastic bag and consume immediately upon purchase, if possible.
How to Make Stuffed Cabbage Soup
The crockpot does most of the heavy lifting when making crockpot cabbage soup, but it does require a few minutes at the start to brown the ground beef.
To get started heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the beef to the skillet. As the beef cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the ground beef up into small pieces. The beef is ready when it is browned and fully cooked.
Drain any excess oil from the beef and place it, along with all the other ingredients, into the slow cooker and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve and enjoy!
Leftover crockpot cabbage soup stores great, making it perfect for meal prep and use for multiple meals. You can store it in the fridge, freeze it, and reheat it for later.
Freezer: Allow the soup to cool completely and then store it in an airtight container. I find that soups store great in freezer bags since you can lay them flat to maximize your storage space. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Refrigerator: Store leftover soup in an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat: When you're ready to reheat, thaw out the soup if frozen and warm on the stove for best results. You can also heat in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring in between intervals.
While this stuffed cabbage soup recipe is already near perfection, you can customize it to your liking as well. Here are a few suggestions to try and switch things up!
- Veggies: Add more of your favorite veggies such as chopped celery, diced tomatoes, green beans or peas.
- Spices: Try adding some of your favorite spices or even a "spicy" version by adding some diced up jalapeno or cayenne pepper to the pot.
- Meats: It's easy to change up the meat and use shredded or ground pork, shredded chicken, or even ground turkey would make a delicious stuffed cabbage soup.
- Brown rice: Create a healthier version and swap out the white rice with brown rice. For a lower carb version, you can eliminate the rice.
- Vegetarian: You can also eliminate the meat completely and use vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version of the soup. Leave it veggie or add in some tofu ground beef crumbles to make it more similar to the classic version.
Expert Tips and FAQS
For a less greasy soup, be sure to use lean ground beef and drain off any excess oil in the skillet after browning it.
Cut the carrots and onions into small diced pieces so they blend with the ground beef in the soup.
Slow cooker cabbage roll soup cooks up into a hearty, thick stew-like consistency. If you prefer a thinner soup, add more broth to the pot until it reaches the desired consistency.
The crockpot or any slow cooker is perfect for making soups for so many reasons. For starters, slow cooking foods allows the flavors to really meld together. But most important the slow cooker saves time and allows you to cook soup and other meals without needing to watch it all the time. You can get it started and let it cook during the day while you are at work or busy doing other things.
Yes. You can easily convert this recipe to prepare on the stove instead of the crockpot. Cook the ground beef in a large soup pot and then drain off the grease. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 30 minutes until the rice and vegetables are tender.
I do not recommend making cabbage roll soup with purple cabbage. Not only is not traditionally used to make cabbage rolls, it also bleeds out its blue color giving the soup a strange look.
More Easy Soup Recipes
More Cabbage Recipes
Here are some ideas to use up cabbage if you have some leftover after making this stuffed cabbage soup recipe.
- Instant Pot Cabbage
- Vegan Cabbage Soup Recipe
- Easy Cabbage Rolls Recipe
- Fried Cabbage with Kielbasa
- Bacon Fried Cabbage
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below! You can also write a review in the comment section further down the page I always appreciate your feedback. And don’t forget to tag me @freshcoasteats in your photos on social media, I'd love to see your results!
Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup
- Slow Cooker
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups green cabbage chopped
- 4 cups beef broth
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup uncooked white rice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown the ground beef until fully cooked.
- Add all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve and enjoy!
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