Beef and Cabbage Soup

$9.63 recipe / $1.61 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.94 from 44 votes
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Yesterday may have technically been the first day of Spring, but when I took my dog out last night before we went to bed, I looked up to see that it was SNOWING. Yeah, so I’m still over here making hot soup because I’ve got a chill that I can’t seem to shake. I decided to make a Beef and Cabbage Soup this week because I’m taking advantage of post-St. Patrick’s Day cabbage sales and I’ve kind of been craving red meat lately. I love combining beef and cabbage because it has this awesome ability to fill you up without weighing you down. This soup is filling, but still surprisingly light, similar to my Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry.

A bowl of Beef and Cabbage Soup with chunks of crusty bread near by

Use Up Leftover Vegetables

Another reason I love this recipe is that it’s the perfect catch all for leftover vegetables that you may need to use up. I kept this base recipe super simple (and it’s still delish), but there are a number of other vegetables that I think would go really great in this soup, like celery, potato (small cubes), green bell pepper, or carrots. BUT, I would limit it to adding just 2 or 3 to avoid the pot getting too full.

What Type of Tomatoes Can I Use?

I took advantage of canned “stewed” tomatoes for this recipe because I love their subtle sweetness and herb-infused flavor. These are quite common in grocery stores in the U.S., but I’m not sure if there is something similar in other countries. If not, I would substitute a large can of whole peeled tomatoes with juices, and perhaps double the herbs and add a small dose of brown sugar to the soup.

A full pot of finished Beef and Cabbage Soup with bread on the side and a wooden spoon

Looking for a vegetarian cabbage soup? Try my classic Cabbage Soup recipe.

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Beef and Cabbage Soup

4.94 from 44 votes
Light, but filling, this Beef and Cabbage Soup will fill you up without weighing you down, and will keep you warm from the inside out. 
Light, but filling, this Beef and Cabbage Soup will fill you up without weighing you down, and will keep you warm from the inside out.
Servings 6 about 2 cups each
Prep 10 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr


  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.26)
  • 1 lb. ground beef ($5.99)
  • 5 cups cabbage, shredded (about 1 lb.) ($0.29)
  • 2 15oz. cans stewed tomatoes ($0.98)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.07)
  • 6 cups beef broth* ($0.78)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce ($0.06)
  • 1 lemon ($0.32)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley ($0.25)


  • Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the ground beef and continue to sauté until browned. If using a higher fat content beef, drain the fat once the beef has browned.
  • Add the shredded cabbage, stewed tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, some freshly cracked pepper (I like it peppery, so about 20 cranks of a pepper mill), the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Stir everything to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is very soft.
  • Taste the soup and add salt if needed (I did not add salt, but you may need to depending on the type of broth you use). Use a spoon to break any larger pieces of tomato into smaller pieces. Squeeze about 1 Tbsp of lemon juice into the soup and add a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine, taste once more and make adjustments if needed, then serve.

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*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my broth, which is less expensive and more flavorful (IMHO) than canned or boxed broths.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 284.95kcalCarbohydrates: 17.43gProtein: 18.57gFat: 16gSodium: 1219.77mgFiber: 3.67g
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Front view of a bowl of Beef and Cabbage Soup with parsley on top

How to Make Beef and Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sauté Onion and Garlic in soup pot

Finely dice a yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add them to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and then sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

Brown Beef with onion and garlic

Add one pound of ground beef and continue to sauté until it is fully browned. If you’re using a higher fat content beef (15% or higher), you may want to drain the fat off after browning. I used 90% lean, so there wasn’t really anything to drain off.

Add Stewed Tomatoes and Cabbage to soup pot

Add two 15oz. cans of stewed tomatoes (with their juices) and about 5 cups of shredded cabbage. This was half of a small cabbage that weighed about 2 lbs. total (so about one pound was used for the soup). Also add 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, and a healthy does of freshly cracked pepper.

Add Beef Broth and Worcestershire Sauce to soup pot

Add 6 cups beef broth and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Stir everything to combine. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high. Let the soup come to a boil, then once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the cabbage is very soft.

Simmered Beef and Cabbage Soup

Once it’s done simmering, use a spoon to break up the larger pieces of tomatoes into smaller bits (they should be quite soft and easy to break apart). Give the soup a taste and add salt if needed.

Add Fresh Parsley and Lemon to finish soup

Squeeze about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into the soup and add a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Stir to combine, give it one last taste to check to needed adjustments, and then serve. :)

Finished Beef and Cabbage Soup with a wooden spoon

Eat up!

A bowl of Beef and Cabbage Soup ready to be eaten


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  1. Soup looks good.?I’m going to make it with ground turkey. I’ve been eating it without any meat that looks really good.

  2. I made this soup for the first time and it was seriously good – comforting and satisfying without be too heavy . The only changes I made were adding frozen green beans and, since I am a carb addict, some macaroni that I cooked separately. This was the perfect dinner when combined with a sourdough roll and glass of milk. I can already tell that this is a recipe I will be making on a regular basis. Thanks so much for all of the good recipes!

  3. This soup is seriously one of my favourite things to eat. We make it all the time, and it’s so darn good. Thank you!

  4. Very tasty and simple! I added some frozen peas and green beans because they’d been languishing in my freezer. Additionally, I used extra garlic because garlic is life. I also haven’t seen stewed tomatoes in the grocery store for a while – pandemic supply issue, maybe? – so used a can of diced tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes with chiles. It turned out delicious. Thank you, Beth, for such a tasty and versatile recipe!

  5. I really loved the simplicity of this. Very pleased I have so much left over to enjoy the rest of the week.

  6. I’m a bit tired these days, pandemic life is wearing indeed, and looking for good, but VERY easy peasy and budgety meals.  This is one of those. Pretty home spun, but very delicious and healthy, too. I will make this again, thank you to Beth and co for all you do.

  7. This was great. Did not miss the noodles at all. The cabbage made up for that. This perfect. 

  8. Delicious as is but so easy to add black beans and whatever other veggies you have on hand.

  9. Super yummy and easy to make! I added one habanero and made 9 servings instead of 6. Perfect spicy level for us! Unfortunately I didn’t have 3 15oz cans stewed tomatoes so I subbed in 1 28oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and about 3oz of tomato paste. Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Loved this recipe. I made it pretty much as written. I used half a very large cabbage and ground beef/pork mix. One large can of Italian diced tomatoes and a small can of Rotel as another commenter recommended which gave it a really subtle kick. I had some carrots and a turnip to use up so added those in small cubes. It was so good!! I had to use 8 cups of broth as I think I had more veggies and meat than the recipe called for. My family loved it. 

  11. Made this for dinner tonight. Everyone loved it. I added a can of Rotel tomatoes with green chili’s to punch it up a bit. One small can is enough to add just the right amount of spice.

  12. Hi Beth,

    My wife makes an awesome wild rice soup (authentic, Mil Lacs lake in MN) and it is great, but we both love cabbage, too. What do you think? Would wild rice be a hit in this recipe?

    1. Hmm, personally I’m having a hard time imagining rice in this soup, but sometimes with unexpected combos like that you never really know until you try it. :)

  13. I’d love to try this in the slow cooker since I don’t have a large soup pot, if you feel comfortable recommending cooking times? Thank you :)