This Cabbage Soup is seriously so delicious, it will become a staple in your rotation. Packed with ground turkey, tomatoes, green cabbage, garlic, onion, and cauliflower rice - this soup has all the flavor of a traditional cabbage roll in soup form. Jump to Recipe
When the weather gets cold, all I want is a big bowl of soup and this healthy cabbage soup delivers. It's filling, packed with veggies, and tastes just like a cabbage roll! Plus it is low carb, Whole30, and Paleo friendly. When it comes to soup, this is one of our favorites along with this Healthy Taco Soup and Easy Turkey Chili.
Cabbage soup is a classic recipe that has been popular in the diet and health space for years. There was even a popular cabbage soup diet at one point. Traditionally cabbage soup is made with green cabbage, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and spices. It's low calorie and packed with vitamins and minerals.
After all those years, it seemed like cabbage soup was due for a makeover. So today I am sharing a heartier version that is a mash-up between traditional cabbage soup and a meat filled cabbage roll. It's easy to make, affordable, and works for all different diets and dietary needs. plus it is so much more filling than traditional cabbage soup since it gets a dose of protein from the ground turkey and even more veggie goodness from the cauliflower rice.
To keep things light and healthy - this cabbage soup recipe uses 99% lean ground turkey and cauliflower rice. The cauliflower rice also keeps it low carb, Whole30, and paleo friendly. With that said, you could definitely swap in lean ground beef and either white or brown rice for a more classic version. Barley, quinoa, and farro would also work. And I have made this with turkey sausage, chicken sausage, chicken breast, and leftover rotisserie chicken as well. It turns out great with all of it.
Tips for Making Healthy Cabbage Soup
There are so many ways to customize this cabbage soup depending on what you have at home and what you like. Here are some of the best tips for making this recipe:
- Protein: When it comes to protein, it is a great way to make this soup more filling. However, ground turkey isn't the only option. For an unstuffed cabbage soup, add ground beef. To amp up the flavor, use ground or sliced chicken or turkey sausage. Chicken thighs or chicken breast also work and will stay nice and tender in the soup. Rotisserie chicken is another easy option.
- Spice: If you like things spicy, you have a few different options.The quickest is to add red pepper flakes to the dish at the same time you add the garlic. Chili powder works as well. You can also add some diced jalapeno or serrano peppers for lots of heat or a poblano pepper for mild heat. Believe it or not, I have even added straight hot sauce to this soup and it works.
- Extra veggies: You can defintiely pack even more veggies into this soup. Popular options include green beans, corn, zucchini, spinach, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. Depending on how many veggies you add, you may need to add more broth and seasoning. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and regular potatoes are another option and make the soup heartier.
- Add grains: To make this soup more filling, you could use rice instead of the cauliflower rice. Either brown rice or white rice would work. I like to cook the rice separately and add it right before serving so it doesn't get mushy. Quinoa, barley, orzo, couscous, and farro would also work.
- Kick up the flavor: If you want to add some extra spice and flavor to this recipe, you have all kinds of options. For a spicy version, add red pepper flakes, paprika, and cumin. For an onion forward version, add a packet of onion soup mix. Another popular option is Italian seasoning. And personally, I love adding some grilling seasoning to the soup for an extra kick.
- Vegetarian options: If you want to make a vegetarian version of this soup, you can use vegetarian crumbles, canned chickpeas, or canned white beans.
Can I freeze cabbage soup?
There are two options for freezing cabbage soup depending on if you want to cook it and freeze it OR prep the entire recipe and then cook it later.
- Meal Prep Cabbage Soup: If you want to prep this meal to cook at a later time, it's actually fairly simple. Start by browning the turkey with onion, salt, and pepper. Then add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Let this cool. Then add to a freezer safe bag with the cabbage, cauliflower rice, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves. Freeze for later use. When you are ready to cook it, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. Add the contents to the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or stove-top and add the broth. Cook according to the directions below.
- If you want to simply freeze the cabbage soup after it is cooked, simply place it in a freezer safe container. It will last in the fridge for 2-3 months in the freezer. Personally, I always freeze it in individual servings that can be pulled out for a quick dinner or lunch.
How long will cabbage soup stay good in the fridge?
Cabbage soup will stay good in the fridge for between 4-5 days. If you don't finish it before then, simply freeze it for later use. It will last a couple of months in the freezer.
How do I make Cabbage Soup in the Instant Pot?
To make cabbage soup in the Instant Pot, you will want to start by cooking the turkey, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic on the Saute mode until the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables are softening. Then you can add the diced tomatoes, cauliflower rice, broth, and bay leaves. Close the Instant Pot and cook on Manual mode for 18-20 minutes. Let the pot naturally release and then season with salt and pepper as needed.
Can I make Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup?
This soup works great in the slow cooker, however, you will want to brown the turkey before adding it to the slow cooker. Simply brown the turkey along with the onion. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Once that is cooked, add everything to the slow cooker and top with tomatoes, cauliflower rice, and broth. Cook on low for 4 hours (longer is fine) until the cabbage is tender.
Can I make this Cabbage Soup with beef?
If you are looking for a more traditional unstuffed cabbage roll soup, make this with lean ground beef instead. When this is made with ground beef, the nutritional info will change.
What can I serve with Cabbage Soup?
There are all kinds of options when it comes to serving soup. Normally when we have soup for dinner, I serve it with a nice green salad and some hearty bread. For lunches, I will often pair it with some sliced fruit or a quick salad. Here are some more ideas:
- Quiche and soup is a great combination and these Broccoli Cheddar Mini Quiche Muffins are perfect alongside this soup. Plus they can be prepped in advance.
- For a heartier salad, consider this delicious Healthy Kale Caesar Salad.
- Another option for a heartier side dish is this Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Salad.
Healthy Cabbage Soup
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- 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 1 U onion, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 U carrot, diced
- 1 U celery stalk, diced
- 4 U garlic cloves, diced
- 4 cups green cabbage, chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (or beef broth)
- 2 U bay leaves
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Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker: Turn the Instant Pot to saute. Once it is hot, spray it with cooking spray and add the ground turkey, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until turkey is browned and cooked through. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add the cabbage, cauliflower rice, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and broth. Close the lid and set to cook on Manual for 18 minutes. Let naturally release and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Stove Top: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the turkey, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until turkey is browned and cooked through. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients - cabbage, cauliflower rice, diced tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes until cabbage is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Slow Cooker:Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the ground turkey, onion, salt, and pepper. Brown for 4-5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with the cabbage, cauliflower rice, tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves. Cook on low for 4 hours or until cabbage is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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