Cabbage Beef Soup Recipe – Perfect For Cozy Dinner

Discover a cozy classic: cabbage beef soup recipe. This heartwarming dish combines the succulent savoriness of slow-cooked beef and the comforting crunch of fresh cabbage. A single spoonful unlocks a world of rustic flavors and homestyle cooking. 

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 Cabbage Beef Soup Recipe

It’s not just a soup; it’s a journey back to your grandmother’s kitchen, a celebration of humble ingredients transformed into culinary magic. Our recipe pays homage to tradition while adding a sprinkle of modern creativity. Whether seeking comfort on a cold day or exploring new culinary landscapes, this cabbage beef soup answers the call. 

Each serving embodies wholesome, hearty satisfaction. Prepare for a foodie adventure that begins in your kitchen and warms you from the inside out. This cabbage beef soup – it’s not merely food. It’s a bowlful of memories, a taste of heritage, and an invitation to savor every delicious moment. 

Relish the taste journey; let your senses guide you.

What Is A Cabbage Beef Soup? 

Cabbage beef soup is a hearty, comforting dish that combines tender chunks of beef and fresh cabbage in a flavorful broth. It’s known for its rich, savory taste and satisfying texture from rustic home cooking traditions. The soup often includes additional ingredients like carrots, onions, and tomatoes, each contributing depth to the overall flavor profile. 

It’s a perfect meal for colder days, providing warmth and nourishment. Loved by many cultures, this soup represents a marriage of simple ingredients creating a symphony of flavors. Each spoonful promises a delightful taste experience, making cabbage beef soup a perennial favorite.

History Of Cabbage Beef Soup

Cabbage beef soup traces its roots back to European peasant cuisine. Historically, families utilized every part of the food they grew or raised. Cabbage, easy to grow and store, and beef, often from older cattle, made for economical meals. As immigrants moved to America, they brought this hearty soup recipe. 

Variations sprouted across regions adapting to local ingredients. Today, cabbage beef soup symbolizes comfort and homestyle cooking, retaining its reputation as a versatile and satisfying meal across various cultures.

Interesting Facts About Cabbage Beef Soup

  • Multicultural Dish: Cabbage beef soup is enjoyed in many cultures, each adding a unique twist to the basic recipe, influenced by local ingredients and culinary traditions.
  • Nutritious: This soup contains vitamins and minerals from cabbage and other vegetables. Beef provides protein, making it a balanced meal.
  • Long Shelf-Life: The soup can be stored for several days in the refrigerator and improves in flavor over time, making it ideal for meal prepping.
  • Customizable: It’s a versatile recipe that can be modified based on personal preferences or dietary restrictions.
  • Easy Preparation: The simple process of making cabbage beef soup is part of its appeal. It’s an ideal dish for beginners in the kitchen.
  • Winter Warmer: Traditionally, it is consumed during colder months due to its warming and filling nature.
  • Cabbage Power: Cabbage, a key ingredient, has been linked to health benefits, including improved digestion and a strengthened immune system.

What Makes Cabbage Beef Soup Special?

  • Comfort Food: Its warming, hearty nature makes cabbage beef soup a perfect comfort food, especially during colder months.
  • Nutrient Rich: Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein, this soup is a nutritionally balanced meal.
  • Versatile: It allows for customization based on personal tastes and dietary needs. You can add or swap vegetables and herbs to vary their flavor profile.
  • Easy to Make: The simple, one-pot process makes it an accessible dish for cooks of all skill levels.
  • Shelf Life: Its flavor develops over time, making it even tastier after a day or two; perfect for leftovers or meal prep.
  • Cross-Cultural Appeal: It’s a global dish, loved in many cultures, each adding a unique twist to the basic recipe.
  • A Story in a Bowl: Every spoonful represents a history of rustic, home cooking traditions, making the experience more than just a meal.

Ingredients List 

Vegetable oil2 tablespoons
Ground beef1 pound
Large onion, chopped1/2
Cabbage, chopped5 cups
Red kidney beans, drained2 (16 oz) cans
Water2 cups
Tomato sauce24 ounces
Beef bouillon cubes4 cubes
Ground cumin1 1/2 tsp
Salt1 tsp
Pepper1 tsp

Ingredient Tips

  • Cabbage: Choose a firm cabbage with crisp, tightly packed leaves. Avoid ones with blemishes or discoloration.
  • Beef: Opt for a cut like a chuck roast or stew meat that becomes tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.
  • Broth: Homemade beef or vegetable broth can elevate the soup’s flavor. However, good quality store-bought broth works fine if you’re short on time.
  • Vegetables: Fresh carrots, onions, and celery add depth to the soup. Don’t shy away from seasonal veggies for variety.
  • Tomatoes: Both fresh and canned tomatoes work well. Ensure canned tomatoes don’t have added sugars or preservatives.
  • Seasonings: Fresh herbs like thyme, bay leaves, and parsley enhance the soup’s flavor. Adjust the seasonings to your preference.
  • Oil: A good quality olive oil or butter can improve the overall taste of the soup. However, avoid using too much to keep it heart-healthy.
  • Cooking Pot: Use a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. It distributes heat evenly, ensuring all ingredients cook at the same pace.
  • Garnish: Freshly chopped parsley or a dollop of sour cream can add a finishing touch. A slice of crusty bread on the side is always a good idea.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto/Paleo: Focus on high-fat, low-carb ingredients for a keto-friendly version. Replace starchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes with more cabbage, celery, or other low-carb vegetables. For a paleo-friendly soup, stick to all-natural ingredients and use grass-fed beef.
  • Gluten-Free: This soup is inherently gluten-free as it doesn’t require flour or any gluten-containing ingredients. Just ensure the broth you’re using is gluten-free, as some brands might contain additives with gluten.
  • Whole30: Make sure you use Whole30-compliant broth and fresh ingredients. Check the labels for any non-compliant additives.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: For a vegetarian or vegan version, replace beef with hearty vegetables like mushrooms or beans for protein. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Add spices and herbs to enhance the flavor.

Recipe Directions 

  • In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. 
  • Brown the ground beef and onion until thoroughly cooked. 
  • Drain excess fat and transfer the flavorful beef mixture into a slow cooker. 
  • Add water, kidney beans, tomato sauce, cumin, beef bouillon, salt, and pepper to embrace the wholesome goodness of cabbage. 
  • Stir to dissolve the bouillon, then cover the slow cooker. 
  • Set it to high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours, occasionally stirring to ensure even cooking. 
  • Once the savory concoction is ready, serve it piping hot and revel in the heartwarming goodness of this satisfying dish.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a leaner soup.
  • Add other vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for nutrition.
  • Swap kidney beans with chickpeas, lentils, or black beans for a change.
  • For a spicy kick, add crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos.


  • Include barley or brown rice to make the soup more filling.
  • For a creamier texture, stir in some coconut milk or cream.
  • Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce for a deeper flavor.


  • Sprinkle shredded cheese such as cheddar or mozzarella on top.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill.
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt for a creamy finish.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice for a tangy twist.
  • Serve with crusty bread on the side for dipping.

Scaling The Recipe

To Scale Up

  • Double or triple the ingredients’ quantities to make twice or thrice as much soup. Ensure your slow cooker or pot is big enough to handle the increased volume.
  • Cooking time may need to be increased slightly when scaling up, particularly if the soup is much deeper in the pot. Keep an eye on it and use your judgment.

To Scale Down

  • Halve the quantities of all ingredients if you want to make less soup.
  • When scaling down, cooking time may need to be reduced slightly to prevent overcooking the ingredients.
  • Consider using a smaller pot to ensure the ingredients cook evenly if you make a small quantity.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro can add a new flavor and a pop of green color.
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A small dollop can create a creamy contrast to the savory soup.
  • Shredded Cheese: A sprinkle of cheddar or Parmesan adds a layer of rich, melty goodness.
  • Croutons: They provide a crunchy contrast to the soft soup ingredients.
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper: A dash on top can add a bit of heat and visual interest.
  • Lemon or Lime Wedges: Served on the side, they allow diners to add a tangy twist to their soup.

Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Brown the beef and onions in a pan first, then transfer them to the slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients into the slow cooker, stir well, and cover.
  • Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Instant Pot

  • Use the ‘Saute’ function to brown the beef and onions in the Instant Pot directly.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and secure the lid.
  • Cook on the ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook‘ setting for 15-20 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought broth for making cabbage beef soup. It’s a time-saving option and can deliver excellent results if you choose a good-quality brand. Look for broths with natural ingredients and low sodium, allowing you to control your soup’s salt level.

On the other hand, making your broth can elevate the soup’s flavor. Homemade broth often has a deeper flavor compared to store-bought versions. It’s a great way to use up leftover bones and vegetable scraps. Plus, you have total control over what goes into it.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

  • Meat/Fish: Besides beef, you could use chicken, turkey, pork, or even sausage. If you want to incorporate fish, firm varieties like cod or salmon could hold up well in the soup.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like macaroni, orzo, or shells can be added to make the soup more filling. If using pasta, add it towards the end of cooking to prevent it from becoming too soft.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to include other vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, peas, or corn. Root vegetables like potatoes or sweet potatoes could also work well.

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For The Recipe 

Success Tips

  • Brown the ground beef well for a rich flavor base.
  • Sauté onions till golden to enhance sweetness.
  • Simmer the soup on low heat for a depth of flavors.
  • Add cumin for a warm, aromatic touch.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste for balance.
  • Let the soup sit for a while before serving for intensified flavors.

Prepping Tips

  • Chop Ingredients Evenly: Cut all the ingredients into similar-sized pieces to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use the freshest ingredients possible for the best flavor.
  • Prepare Ahead: Gather and prep all your ingredients before cooking to make the process smooth.

Cooking Tips

  • Sauté Aromatics: Sautéing ingredients like onions, garlic, and spices, in the beginning, can enhance the soup’s flavor.
  • Deglaze: After browning the meat, deglaze the pot with broth to remove all the flavorful bits at the bottom.
  • Simmer Gently: Let the soup simmer gently rather than boil to keep the ingredients’ integrity and avoid overcooking.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Always taste and adjust the seasoning before serving, as the flavors can change during cooking.
  • Time Add-ins: Add quick-cooking vegetables or pasta towards the end to prevent them from getting mushy.
  • Rest: If time allows, let the soup rest before serving. This rest time allows the flavors to meld together better.

Nutritional Values 

Cabbage beef soup is a nutritional powerhouse featuring a hearty blend of vegetables and lean meat. It’s packed with protein from beef, fiber from cabbage and beans, and essential vitamins from other veggies. This soup is a satisfying, balanced meal that fuels your body and keeps you full.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

The exact calorie count of the cabbage beef soup can vary depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used. However, a general estimate for a large bowl (approximately 2 cups) of cabbage beef soup made with lean ground beef, cabbage, kidney beans, onions, tomato sauce, and seasonings is around 250-300 calories. 

For the most accurate nutritional information, consider using an online calorie counter or nutritional calculator, entering the exact ingredients and amounts you’re using.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Soup

  • Vegetarian/Vegan: This soup contains beef, which isn’t suitable for vegetarians or vegans. It can be modified with plant-based proteins and vegetable broth.
  • Gluten-Free: Although the soup is generally gluten-free, some broth or bouillon brands may contain gluten. Always check the labels if you’re sensitive to gluten.
  • Dairy-Free: The basic recipe is dairy-free, but adding toppings like sour cream or cheese won’t suit people with dairy intolerance.
  • Low-FODMAP: This diet restricts certain carbohydrates that can cause digestive issues in some people. Ingredients like onions and beans in the soup are high in FODMAPs.
  • Keto/Low-Carb: While the soup has low-carb ingredients like beef and cabbage, it also contains beans, which are higher in carbs.

Health Benefits Of The Soup

  • High in Protein: The beef in the soup provides good protein, essential for muscle building and repair.
  • Rich in Fiber: Cabbage and kidney beans are excellent sources of dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness.
  • Packed with Vitamins: Cabbage is rich in vitamins K, C, and B6, while tomatoes provide vitamin A. These vitamins support overall health and well-being.
  • Low in Calories: Despite its hearty nature, the soup is relatively low in calories, making it a good choice for those watching their calorie intake.
  • Hydrating: As with all soups, the high water content can help keep you hydrated.
  • Boosts Immunity: The vegetables in the soup contain antioxidants and immune-boosting nutrients.
  • Heart Healthy: Lean beef and vegetables contribute to heart health by providing nutrients and moderate calorie content.

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sodium?

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables and meats usually have less sodium than their canned or processed counterparts.
  • Choose Low-Sodium Broth: Select a broth labeled as low-sodium or no-sodium.
  • Avoid Added Salt: Limit or omit added salt. You can often reduce the salt in a recipe without significantly impacting taste.
  • Spice it Up: Increase the use of herbs, spices, and acids (like lemon juice or vinegar) to enhance flavor without adding sodium.
  • Rinse Canned Beans: Rinse canned beans thoroughly under cold water to remove excess sodium.
  • Make Homemade Broth: You control sodium by making your own broth.

How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sugar?

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh vegetables, meats, and beans generally don’t contain added sugars.
  • Check Labels: Some canned goods or broths may contain added sugars. Always read the labels to ensure they’re sugar-free.
  • Make Homemade Broth: When you make your broth, you control the ingredients, which can help avoid unnecessary sugars.
  • Watch Your Toppings: Some toppings, like certain bread or croutons, may contain added sugar. Choose your toppings wisely.

How To Serve The Soup At Its Best?

  • Serve Hot: This soup tastes best when it’s served hot. Reheat if needed before serving.
  • Use Deep Bowls: Serve the soup in deep, wide bowls to accommodate the chunky ingredients and broth.
  • Garnish: Add your selected garnishes just before serving to keep them fresh and vibrant.
  • Accompaniments: Offer crusty bread, a side salad, or a grilled cheese sandwich on the side for a complete meal.
  • Serve Individually: Rather than a communal pot, serve individual portions to maintain temperature and presentation.
  • Seasoning on the Side: Keep salt, pepper, and hot sauce on the table so guests can adjust the seasoning to their liking.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Recipe

  • Crusty Bread: A fresh, warm loaf of bread is perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up its delicious flavors.
  • Green Salad: A light, refreshing salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance out the hearty soup.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: This comforting classic pairs well with any soup and adds a bit of protein and crunch.
  • Steamed Vegetables: For a healthier option, serve with steamed veggies seasoned with herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Baked Potato: A simple baked potato with butter and chives can round the meal nicely.
  • Cornbread: This sweet and savory side is particularly good with soups and stews.

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

You can store leftover cabbage beef soup in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Cool the soup to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent bacterial growth.

If you need to store the soup longer, you can freeze it. The soup can last up to 2-3 months in the freezer. To freeze, portion the soup into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.

Can I Make The Soup In Advance?

Yes, you can make cabbage beef soup in advance. It’s an excellent meal prep option as the flavors often improve after a day or two.

After cooking the soup:

  1. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  3. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the soup on the stovetop or microwave until it’s hot.

If you plan to freeze the soup, cool it quickly in an ice bath before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. This quick cooling method can help maintain the soup’s quality and prevent bacterial growth. Remember to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Second Serving: The easiest option is to enjoy a second serving of soup the next day. Reheat it and enjoy it just as it is.
  • New Soup Base: You can use the leftover cabbage beef soup as a base for a new soup. Add different vegetables, proteins, or grains to change it up.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Use the beef and vegetable mixture from the soup to stuff bell peppers. Top with cheese and bake until the peppers are tender.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stove until thick and use it as a hearty sauce for pasta.
  • Shepherd’s Pie Filling: Use the leftovers as a pie base. Top with mashed potatoes and bake until golden.
  • Casserole: Mix in cooked rice or noodles, top with cheese, and bake for a quick casserole.
  • Quesadilla or Taco Filling: Drain off excess liquid and use the remaining beef and vegetables for quesadillas or tacos.

Special Tools/Equipment Needed 

  • Large soup pot or Dutch oven: For cooking and simmering the soup.
  • Cutting board and knife: To chop the onions and cabbage.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula: For stirring the ingredients while cooking.
  • Can opener: To open the cans of red kidney beans and tomato sauce.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: For precise measurements of ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make This Soup Vegetarian-Friendly?

Absolutely! Replace ground beef with plant-based alternatives like lentils, tofu, or textured vegetable protein for a delicious vegetarian version.

Can I Use Canned Kidney Beans, Or Should I Opt For Dried Beans?

Canned kidney beans work perfectly fine and save you time. If using dried beans, soak them overnight before cooking.

Can I Freeze The Soup With The Cabbage In It?

Yes, you can freeze the soup with cabbage. However, remember that the cabbage’s texture may change slightly upon thawing.

How Do I Adjust The Spice Level?

If you prefer a spicier soup, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to suit your taste.

Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead Of Beef?

Absolutely! Ground turkey is a great alternative, providing a leaner option while maintaining a delicious flavor profile.

Cabbage Beef Soup Recipe - Perfect For Cozy Dinner

Cabbage Beef Soup Recipe – Perfect For Cozy Dinner

5 from 6 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





Cabbage beef soup is a wholesome, comforting meal. Warm, satisfying, and packed with nutrients, this soup is perfect for a cozy dinner at home. With its robust taste and textured appeal, cabbage beef soup is a crowd-pleaser, ready to grace your dining table any day. 


  • 2 tablespoons 2 Vegetable oil

  • 1 pound 1 Ground beef

  • 1/2 1/2 Large onion

  • 5 cups 5 cups Cabbage

  • 16 oz 16 Red kidney beans

  • 2 cups 2 Water

  • 24 ounces 24 Tomato sauce

  • 4 cubes 4 Beef bouillon cubes

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Ground cumin

  • 1 tsp 1 Salt

  • 1 tsp 1 Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Begin by gathering all your ingredients. Ensure they are fresh and ready to use.
  • Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil, ensuring it spreads across the bottom.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the ground beef and onion. Break up the beef into smaller pieces as it cooks.
  • Keep stirring until the beef is well browned, and the onion becomes translucent.
  • Drain off the beef’s fat to keep the soup lean and healthy.
  • Carefully transfer the browned beef and onions to a slow cooker.
  • Add the chopped cabbage to the slow cooker, followed by kidney beans.
  • Pour in the water, ensuring all ingredients are submerged. Add the tomato sauce next.
  • Season with bouillon, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together.
  • Make sure the bouillon completely dissolves in the mixture.
  • Cover the slow cooker. If you’re in a rush, cook on the high setting for about 4 hours. If you have more time, use the low setting and let it cook for 6-8 hours.
  • Make sure to stir the soup occasionally so the flavors meld together well.
  • Once done, ladle the hot soup into bowls. Serve immediately for the best flavor.

Recipe Video


  • Customization: Feel free to customize the recipe by adding vegetables like carrots, celery, or bell peppers for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Storage: The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, making it a great make-ahead meal.
  • Freezing: This soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or bags. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the soup with crusty bread, garlic bread, or a side salad for a complete and hearty meal.
  • Broth Alternatives: Substitute water with beef or vegetable broth for a lighter soup.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or grated cheese on top before serving to add color and flavor.
  • Reheating: When reheating, add a splash of water or broth to the soup to maintain the desired consistency.
  • Seasoning: Taste the soup before serving and adjust seasonings as needed to suit your preference.
  • Meal Prep: This recipe is excellent for meal prep. Divide the soup into individual portions for easy and quick lunches or dinners.
Hanna Barnes

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