Healthy Cabbage Soup

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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.

174 CAL 14g CARBS 3g FAT 24g PROTEIN 0

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.

Cabbage soup in a wooden bowl with fresh parsley and two spoons.

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 breasts 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 definitely 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 other options and make the soup heartier.
  • Add grains: To make this soup more filling, you could use rice instead of 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 stovetop 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.

Turkey and cabbage soup made with ground turkey, green cabbage, and tomatoes in a bowl with parlsey,

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:

The Recipe
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Healthy Cabbage Soup

174 CAL 14g CARBS 3g FAT 24g PROTEIN 0
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  • 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 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 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.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 42mg
Sodium 649mg
Total Carbohydrate 14g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 6g
Protein 24g

* 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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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Healthy Cabbage Soup
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Heather Polizzi
January 19, 2024 - 09:52
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Omitted cauliflower because I didn’t have any. Added paprika, spinach, and diced Yukon gold potato. Also I used a can of Rotel chili tomato. Delicious!! Thank you
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September 24, 2023 - 08:56
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Just made this....DELICIOUS! Just have to say that I had to go buy everything except the spices, garlic, carrot, and celery.....$36.00 - Crazy!
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Marcia Johnson
March 5, 2023 - 15:43
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This is so delicious! However, I did scan all the ingredients into the WW app and created the recipe and it was 4 points for 1.5 cups and not 0 because the ground turkey I found was 93% fat free instead of 99%. Still worth every point! Highly recommend!
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February 26, 2023 - 07:45
Could I use shredded cabbage, (i.e. fresh coleslaw without the dressing) instead of having to chop up a whole cabbage? (I’m all about meal prep simplicity in my world.) :-)
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February 27, 2023 - 10:53
Definitely! The cabbage may end up slightly softer in the soup since fresh cabbage usually has a little more crunch. With that said - it will still be delicious!!
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March 4, 2023 - 08:46
Thank you! I made it that way, and it was fantastic! So easy. (Actually, the first homemade soup I’ve ever made.) And I’m making another pot today. Absolutely delicious! Thanks again for the great recipe!
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March 13, 2022 - 06:36
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Thanks for this recipe. I made it in the Instant Pot and it was very tasty! I doubled the carrots and celery and added about 1 teaspoon of paprika.
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Krystle Goverick
December 4, 2019 - 12:56
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Best zero soup I've tried yet :)
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Mary Johnson
November 11, 2019 - 11:00
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Just made this. I used turkey sausage and added just a touch of Zatarain's concentrated shrimp and crab boil. Wow!
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April 21, 2019 - 03:20
I make a pot of this soup every sunday and take it to work every day with a sandwich for lunch,it is awesome
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March 26, 2019 - 10:10
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I made this soup last night and the flavor was AMAZING! I'm not on WW, so I used ground beef and regular jasmine rice in my soup.
Not sure if 2 cups of rice is what did me in, but I found myself needing to add a lot more water to the pot in order for all of the veggies and meat to be covered--the broth just didn't cover it all! Now that the soup has cooled, it's a very thick texture. Seems like I might need to add more water when reheating, but I'm nervous to lose the flavor!

Any other suggestions so I can keep this a soup instead of a cabbage stew?
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April 11, 2021 - 15:24
I prefer the rice on the side, not in the soup - - makes reheating easier and less thick (and tastes better after freezing because you add fresh rice then). Plate with a scoop of rice, and then pour the soup on top. Delicious recipe. Thank you
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May 6, 2019 - 12:35
Regarding the rice you added: If you added 2 cups of UNcooked rice in place of 2 cups of cauliflower rice then you would need 4 cups of liquid to cook it, thus the need to add all that liquid. Just a thought.
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March 26, 2019 - 10:59
Hmm - it is definitely a thicker soup but I am surprised you needed extra water with the broth and undrained tomatoes. However, you shouldn't lose too much flavor as long as you use a flavorful chicken broth instead of water. Let me know if that works!
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March 24, 2019 - 09:59
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So good!!! Thank you!
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January 2, 2019 - 20:09
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I use to make the cabbage soup very plain. I really likke this verrsion and am going to try it.
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