Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

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Unstuffed cabbage roll soup has all the great flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, without all the fuss.  It’s hearty, beefy, and full of veggies.white bowl full of Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage rolls.  They’re pretty tasty.  But, if you’ve ever tried to make them, then you know they can be quite tedious.  They’re cabbage leaves stuffed with a flavorful beef and rice filling; smothered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce; and baked until tender.

This recipe has all those flavors in easy to make form.  Soup!

white bowl full of Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

This soup has a rich, sweet, and tangy tomato based broth.  It’s loaded with vegetables.  And, it’s hearty from beef and rice.

It’s a perfect healthy cold weather meal.  A huge 2 cup serving has less than 250 calories, but you’d never guess that.

white bowl full of Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

This recipe makes a lot of soup.  And, that’s a good thing because this soup makes great leftovers.  The hubs and I had it for dinner one night, then made several lunches out of it.

As the rice sits it will keep absorbing more of the broth.  So, the leftovers will be thick like a stew.  I loved it.  But, if you prefer a thinner soup consistency, you may want to add a little more broth or tomato sauce to thin it out a bit.

Check out the step by step recipe video for Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup below.

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bowl of soup with ground beef, cabbage, vegetables, and rice

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

4.98 from 104 votes
Unstuffed cabbage roll soup has all the great flavors of traditional cabbage rolls, without all the fuss.  It's hearty, beefy, and full of veggies.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


Servings 6 (2 cup) servings
Calories 242 kcal


  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef I used 96% lean
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 5 cups chopped green cabbage about half of a medium sized head
  • 4 cups 32 oz. low-sodium beef broth
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (24 oz.)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white or brown long grain rice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice


  • In a large soup pot, add the beef and place over medium-high heat. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the onion. Cook about 8 minutes until the beef is brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic. Stir and cook 1 minute.
  • Add the cabbage, beef broth, tomato sauce, carrots, rice, bay leaves, brown sugar, salt, oregano, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook until rice is tender (25 minutes for white rice and 45 minutes for brown rice).
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Let the soup rest uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken up before serving. Remove the bay leaves before serving.


Nutrition information based on using brown rice.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.4g | Protein: 19.8g | Fat: 3.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.4g | Fiber: 5.4g
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course, Soup
Keyword beef and cabbage soup, beef and rice soup, cabbage roll soup, healthy soup recipe
Cuisine American
Author Amanda Finks


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Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was the best! I didnt have enough beef broth so I drained a large can of vegetable soup. Worked perfect. So very good!

  2. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe. Can’t wait to invite my hick brother over for cabbage soup and see the surprised look on his face about how delicious it is!

  3. 5 stars
    So Excellent on a cold day! LOVE this soup. Just added a chopped green bell to the onion during the saute and served the soup over a big scoop of rice instead of adding the rice to the soup. Amazing flavors. Hearty, healthy, easy. Couldn’t ask for more. Thank you Wholesome Dish!!! *next time will make with ground chicken instead of beef*

  4. 5 stars
    I mean wow! I didn’t know what to expect but this is a delicious recipe! My boyfriend said it for sure reminded him of his grandmothers glonki’s! (I know I spelled that wrong). Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Can’t believe I haven’t commented before, this is on regular rotation when the weather starts getting cooler. I use ground Turkey and chicken broth. I sauté everything in instant pot, add some broth to deglaze the bottom, then add everything else in and stir. For white rice I do 4 min high pressure, 22 for brown rice, and then 10 min natural pressure release. Is always a big hit!

    1. 5 stars
      I made this soup tonight and it was delicious! Easy to make and a wonderful flavor. I used to make the rolls but my son wouldn’t eat the cabbage. I then started to make a casserole and he would eat that. We he is in his 50’s now and that is still the only way he will eat cabbage. Maybe he will like this soup. I want try it on him next time. This time it’s all for me!

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About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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