This cabbage soup made in the Instant Pot is comforting, cozy and packed with wholesome ingredients in a flavorful tomato base. It’s a healthy, gluten-free and Whole30 compliant easy recipe you’ll love!
This recipe is sponsored by Zoup! Specialty Products. All content and opinions are my own.
If you’re anything like me, cabbage is one of those vegetables that seems to take up perpetual residence in the fridge during the colder months. While you can freeze it — and I often do — it’s just one of the only things available when buying local in New York during the winter.
As the produce selection dwindles from the plethora of the summer months, I find myself constantly grabbing a head of cabbage with almost every trip to the store.
Some weeks it’s green cabbage, other weeks, red but it’s almost a guarantee I’ll have at least a quarter of it stashed in the vegetable drawer.
When I’m not simply roasting or air frying cabbage (my go to method), I’m making this Instant Pot cabbage soup.
It’s simple, uses entirely basic soup ingredients but somehow results in the most cozy, hearty and flavorful cabbage soup you can imagine.
Some may think of this Instant Pot recipe as cabbage roll soup or stuffed cabbage soup because it uses ground beef rather than going the vegetarian route.
Whatever you call it, I promise you’ll be delightfully surprised at how much flavor can come from such a basic ingredient list!
WHAT’S IN CABBAGE SOUP?
Typically, cabbage soup is a very straightforward recipe.
It starts with the typical soup trio of onion, celery and carrots and adds flavor with garlic, spices and a good quality broth.
The tomatoes and tomato sauce bring a lovely bit of acidity to complement the savory flavors.
Of course, cabbage is the main vegetable component and protein, like the ground beef used here, can be added in if desired.
You can choose to leave the soup vegetarian and omit the ground beef or substitute it with other vegetables like green beans or peppers but I love the heartiness of combining beef with cabbage.
INSTANT POT CABBAGE SOUP
Making the cabbage soup in the Instant Pot really helps meld all the flavors together.
Pressure cookers like the Instant Pot tenderize vegetables so easily (and quickly!) and the sauté feature is perfect for developing depth of flavor to the soup without having to use multiple pots and pans.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
What’s great about this cabbage roll soup recipe is how accessible and budget-friendly it is! Most of these items probably already live in your fridge or freezer.
- olive oil
- ground beef
- dried oregano
- dried paprika
- salt & pepper
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned tomato sauce
- vegetable broth
- fresh parsley & fresh oregano for garnish at the end
INGREDIENT QUALITY FOR THE BEST TASTING CABBAGE SOUP
Since the ingredient list is so basic to make pressure cooker cabbage soup, it’s important to choose good quality products when it comes to the major flavor components such as the spices, canned tomatoes and broth.
Make sure your spices are fresh and haven’t been sitting around in the spice drawer for years.
Next, choose a canned tomato brand you’d be happy eating straight out of the can.
Seriously, if it doesn’t taste fresh enough to eat like that, why would you use it in your soup?!
And lastly, but probably most importantly, choose a broth with quality ingredients and good depth of flavor.
I used Zoup! Good, Really Good® Veggie Broth for the stuffed cabbage soup recipe as it fits all of those parameters.
All Zoup! Broths are kettle cooked in small batches using the freshest and finest ingredients.
The products feature complex, yet balanced flavors with a wonderful homemade taste and were created by a 20+ year soup industry veteran and the team behind Zoup! Eatery (which you may already be familiar with!).
And from an ingredient perspective, they’re low in calories, paleo-friendly, and completely free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, gluten, GMO’s, fat, trans fat and saturated fat.
Their broths are packaged in glass recyclable jars which is something I love about them. They’re great for repurposing for so many things!
Zoup! broths are something I seek out when I shop. There’s nothing worse than a bland broth to wash out flavors so I always focus on this ingredient the most when preparing any soup recipe.
You may remember previous recipes like my Tuscan kale soup and hot and sour egg drop soup where I use and talk about their broth. When I grab a jar of Zoup! Broth, I always know the end result will be delicious so it’s a brand I buy often.
The Zoup! Good, Really Good® Broth product lineup includes new seafood broth and new spicy chicken bone broth, original and low sodium chicken broth, veggie broth, chicken and beef bone broth, plus certified organic chicken and veggie broth.
Zoup! is also introducing Culinary Concentrates, a super-premium, gourmet broth concentrate lineup available in chicken, beef and savory vegan.
Needless to say, there are plenty of options for all your soup making needs!
HOW TO MAKE CABBAGE SOUP USING THE INSTANT POT
STEP BY STEP DIRECTIONS:
- Heat the olive oil in the insert of the Instant Pot using the Sauté mode.
- Once hot, add the onions and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ground beef, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper to the pot and cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery to the mixture and continue cooking another 3 minutes.
- Turn the Instant Pot off and add the cabbage, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth.
- Close the lid, turn the dial to the “sealing” position and cook on Manual for 10 minutes. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before it starts cooking.
- Once done cooking and the timer goes off, manually release the pressure by turning the dial to “venting”.
- Remove the lid, stir in the fresh parsley and oregano, season with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.
(ALTERNATE METHOD) HOW TO MAKE CABBAGE SOUP ON THE STOVE TOP:
If you don’t have an Instant Pot and want to make this cabbage soup on the stove top instead, follow steps 1-4 using a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the remaining ingredients at this point and bring the mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low-medium simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
Finish the soup by stirring in the fresh herbs and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
VARIATIONS TO CABBAGE SOUP WITH GROUND BEEF
I personally love this soup as it is.
It’s the perfect balance of vegetables and hearty meat. It kind of reminds me of a more vegetable heavy version of this Italian tomato pasta soup. Give that recipe a try too this season!
But, if you’d like to change things up, there are plenty of ways to do that with this cabbage soup:
- Switch up the protein – instead of ground beef, try any ground meat you prefer. Turkey and chicken are great but bison, elk, venison or lamb are also great red meat alternatives.
- Swap out the meat for vegetables – not feeling meat at all? No problem! Add some additional vegetables to the recipe in its place and make a vegetarian/vegan version of cabbage soup instead. Green beans, peppers, mushrooms and even beans are great options.
- Add a grain – rice, pasta or quinoa are great additions to bulk up the soup even more. These can be added either with or without the meat. I’m partial to rice with cabbage. When added to this soup, it really makes it taste just like a stuffed cabbage roll! Alternatively, make a batch of vegan gluten-free cornbread or easy oat bread and serve that on the side.
HOW TO STORE THIS INSTANT POT CABBAGE SOUP RECIPE
Not only is this an easy Instant Pot soup recipe, it stores and freezes really well too!
To store in the refrigerator, let the cabbage soup cool to room temperature then transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Beyond 5 days, you should freeze any leftovers.
To freeze the cabbage soup, place individual sized portions in either air-tight containers or freezer-safe silicone bags. Leave enough space at the top of the container or bag for expansion when freezing.
The soup can be frozen for up to 3-4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave to serve.
CAN I USE RED CABBAGE TO MAKE CABBAGE SOUP?
While traditionally made with green cabbage, you can absolutely use red cabbage if preferred in this soup recipe.
Since this recipe uses half a head of cabbage, try this easy ground beef and cabbage skillet recipe for the other half later in the week.
Need other red cabbage recipe ideas? Try these sheet pan pork chops with cabbage and apples or roasted red cabbage with lime peanut sauce. For the casserole version of this soup, try this stuffed cabbage casserole. Kids will love this one as it’s finished with a delicious cheesy topping!
MORE SOUP RECIPES TO TRY!
Instant Pot Cabbage Soup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 6 cups chopped cabbage about 1/2 head of cabbage
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 32 ounces Zoup! Good Really Good® Veggie Broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- Place the olive oil in the insert of the Instant Pot and turn on Sauté mode.
- Once hot, add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the garlic, ground beef, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper to the Instant Pot and cook until beef is browned, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Turn off Sauté mode and add the remaining ingredients to the insert of the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid, turn the dial to the "sealing" position and cook on Manual mode for 10 minutes. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before cooking time starts.
- After the 10 minutes of cooking time when the timer alerts, manually release the pressure by turning the dial to "venting".
- Open the lid and stir in the fresh parsley and oregano. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed and serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.