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This Keto Cabbage Roll Soup aka Unstuffed Cabbage Soup recipe is a delicious hot hearty meal for a chilly fall or winter night. It delivers all of the flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage with very little work and it is gluten-free too!
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Living in Western Washington has its perks. We have soup weather about 8 months out of the year, if not more. So I am not limited in my ability to enjoy this amazing Cabbage Roll Soup.
But, for those of you less fortunate than me, this soup is a MUST make during those cold nights when you need something hot and hearty to fill your tummy and warm you from the inside out,
It is also a must-make if you love stuffed cabbage but, like me, have found yourself frustrated and tired with torn cabbage leaves all around and very few actual stuffed cabbage rolls to consume.
I honestly think that Cabbage Roll Soup came about out of the sheer need to be able to eat all of the mistakes made when trying to make stuffed cabbage. The original cook decided to toss it all in a pot, add some broth, and be done with it!
This Cabbage Roll Soup is also naturally low carb, keto, and gluten-free! I love it when I don't have to tinker with a recipe too much to get it to fit my dietary needs.
🥘 Cabbage Roll Soup Ingredients
As I said this Cabbage Roll Soup recipe was fairly low carb, to begin with, but with just a few little tweaks I was able to make it even better tasting and lower in carbs. I always use my homemade keto Italian sausage because many brands sneak in high fructose corn syrup as a "preservative" but it is not needed and only adds empty carbs. My homemade sausage has less than 1 net carb per serving and is SUPER easy to make.
- ground beef
- keto Italian sausage
- green cabbage
- beef bone broth
- Rao's marinara sauce
- Frozen cauliflower rice
- bay leaves
- Italian seasoning blend
- pink salt
- cracked black pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
🔪Cabbage Roll Soup Instructions
This is a basic breakdown of a few of the steps involved in making Cabbage Roll Soup. You will find the full directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the beef and Italian sausage. Break it apart with a meat chopper or wooden spoon.
Push the meat to the outside of the pot and add the onion to the center. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage, bone broth, marinara sauce, cauliflower rice, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 25 minutes.
Hint: If you want to make this recipe in the slow cooker so it is ready when you get home from work, brown your meats and saute the onion and garlic in a skillet and then dump everything into your slow cooker, set it to high for 4 hours or low for 8 and this Cabbage Roll Soup will be ready and waiting.
There really aren't many things that would need substitutions, but there are a couple.
- Italian Sausage - if you don't want to make my keto sausage you can buy storebought, just check the ingredients and carb count. Remember, mine has less than 1 net carb per serving.
- Onions and Garlic - you can substitute 1 tablespoon of onion powder for the fresh onion which will reduce to carbs by a little under 1 carb per serving. Substituting fresh garlic with garlic powder only saves you .75 carbs so it is up to you.
- Marinara Sauce - if I am not making homemade I always use Rao's marinara. Not only do I like the way it tastes but it has the lowest carbs of the store-bought marinaras I have found. There are some that are only slightly higher in carbs but less expensive so you can always use whatever you prefer and your budget allows.
This recipe is perfect for gluten-free as well as dairy-free diets as well.
📖Variations of Cabbage Roll Soup
We all like to change things up once in a while so here are a few ways we like to make this Cabbage Roll Soup a little different.
- Spicy Cabbage Roll Soup - add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes while cooking to add a little zip!
- Mexican Cabbage Roll Soup - use 2 lbs of ground beef and remove the Italian sausage. Add 2 tbsp of my homemade Mexican spice blend instead of the Italian seasoning. Swap out the marinara for 1 can of crushed tomatoes and either my homemade enchilada sauce or your favorite storebought enchilada sauce.
- Cajun Cabbage Roll Soup - Swap 1 lb sliced andouille sausage for the Italian sausage. Add 1 diced bell pepper, and 3 stalks of celery, diced, to the onions and garlic step. Use a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes instead of the marinara sauce and 2 tablespoons of my Cajun seasoning blend in place of the Italian seasoning.
I love a one-pot recipe and I know y'all do too, so this Cabbage Roll Soup recipe either requires a large (6-quart) Dutch oven or, if you want to go the slow cooker route, an Instant Pot with the slow cooker function or a regular slow cooker.
The leftovers of this Cabbage Roll Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Don't drain the fat after you brown the meat! I know this goes against everything that we have been taught BUT #1 if you are low carb or keto your body is running on fat not carbs anymore so you need fat to fuel your body. If you are still not used to that whole idea yet try using 85/15 instead of 80/20 ground beef. #2 fat is FLAVOR so if you throw it away you are dumping the flavor for this Cabbage Roll Soup right down the drain!
Frequently Asked Questions
The cabbage traditionally used in cabbage rolls is savoy cabbage. Savoy's leaves have a waffle-like texture that makes them not only pretty but that texture adds a slight elasticity, which makes the leaves ideal for dishes like stuffed cabbage or cabbage rolls. However, since there is no rolling required in this recipe, the less expensive green cabbage is what I use. Also, green cabbage holds up well to the simmering getting tender but not soggy.
If you store your leftover Cabbage Roll Soup in an airtight container it should keep for up to 5 days with no problem.
This Cabbage Soup recipe has 428 calories per serving and 8 net carbs. For the remaining nutritional information please see the recipe carb below.
Low Carb & Keto Soup Recipes
Looking for other soup recipes? Try these:
- Low Carb Zuppa Toscana
- Spicy Chicken Ramen (Keto & Gluten-Free)
- Cheesy Ham Chowder
- Crockpot Chicken Fajita Soup
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Keto French Onion Soup
Keto Cabbage Roll Soup
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb keto Italian sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups chopped green cabbage about half of a medium sized head
- 4 cups beef bone broth
- 1 jar (28 ounces) Rao's marinara sauce
- 12 ounces frozen (or fresh) cauliflower rice
- 2 organic bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
- 1 tsp pink salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the beef and Italian sausage. Break it apart with a meat chopper or wooden spoon.
- Cook until the meat is browned (about 7 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Push the meat to the outside of the pot and add the onion to the center. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add the cabbage, bone broth, marinara sauce, cauliflower rice, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and remove the bay leaves before serving.
Most of my recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs will not be included as it has a glycemic index of 0 (meaning it does not spike blood sugar) and it’s not metabolized. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
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