cabbage roll soup

cabbage roll soup

My Mom’s Croatian cabbage rolls were to die for. Now I’ve taken parts of her recipe and made it into a belly-warming cabbage roll soup!

Old Fashioned Cabbage Soup

Aromas, scents and food are the most provocative memory stimulators for me.

When I go out very early in the morning on a warm summer day, the scent of dew, grass, leaves, and nature immediately evoke memories of being at camp as a kid.

Cabbage and Potato Soup

In the Fall, when I smell newly fallen leaves or hear the crunch as I walk over them, I think of the days back in West Virginia when we’d rake the yard and build a huge mound of dried leaves, then the prize for doing all this work? Jumping in them, rolling, crunching and squealing with joy!

Food also enhances and stimulates my memories of the past. And, this cabbage roll soup is one that makes my heart sing.

Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

Mom used to make cabbage rolls, or Croatian sarma, all the time when I was growing up.

She’d make huge pots of cabbage rolls. And, we kids would eat on them for days. As we warmed the cabbage rolls, they’d sometimes just ‘disintegrate’ into a souplike mixture! 

Easy Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe

I remember her steaming the large cabbage leaves in the stock pot, pulling them out, letting them cool, then meticulously rolling them, like precious gifts, and securing the cabbage roll with a toothpick.

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup

Oh, the scents and the aromas that would bombard the house, all about a thousand square feet of it, as we’d await a glorious meal!

Deconstructed Cabbage Roll Soup

This cabbage roll soup is a take off on Mom’s cabbage rolls. I’ve really made it simple and easy by using prepackaged cooked rice.

This recipe’s perfect for using leftover rice, too. 

Easy Cabbage Roll Soup

I chose the long grain and wild to get more flavor, but there’s a selection of types of pre-cooked rice from jasmine to brown to others.

Cabbage and Pork Soup

The Italian sausage adds more layers of flavor, and I chose the hot version.

Making the soup even more flavorful is the dried beefy onion soup; it’s just a quick and simple way to ramp up the taste and cut down on some time in preparation.

Yugoslavian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This soup will keep for several days. And, it’s perfect for freezing. Think about doing individual servings and taking to work for lunch.

Nothing like remembering your childhood and past with food. And, I’m delighted to bring this new version of Mom’s cabbage rolls to you big stock pot! 

cabbage roll soup

cabbage roll soup

cabbage roll soup

Yield: 8+ servings


  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground sausage, hot Italian (preferred)
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 Tbl. No-Salt Spice Mixture, i.e., Costco brand, Mrs. Dash brand
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes + one can filled with water
  • 1 prepackaged rice (8.8 oz.), long grain and wild, or leftover rice works fine
  • 5 cups cabbage, chopped


  1. In a large Dutch pot, put the oil. Turn heat to medium high. Add the beef and sausage and brown.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, red chili flakes and tomato paste and blend in well. Reduce heat to medium, cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes/water, blend into the meat well. Add the spice mixture Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and cabbage. Cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir once or twice. Ready to eat!


If you don't want to add pork, just increase the amount of beef or add another ground meat, lamb, turkey, chicken and some red chili flakes (about 1/2 teaspoon).

Add more water if needed. If you want more tomatoes, feel free to add more!

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

cabbage roll soup

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Just saw this recipe and thought it would be the perfect thing for the coming week’s lunches. I have read the instructions several times and am still a bit confused. The ingredient list looks like there is just canned tomatoes and water for the wet ingredients yet the instructions say “Add the beefy onion soup, blend into the meat well then add the tomatoes and water”. Beefy onion soup? I don’t see that listed Please help!

    1. Hi, Elizabeth! Well, I can certainly see why you were somewhat confused! I’m so so sorry. And, thanks very much for pointing this out to me. I’ve made the edits. Enjoy and please don’t be a stranger~ xoxx ally

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