Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup Instant Pot recipe is the deconstructed version of your classic cabbage rolls in the soup form. This savory Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup get’s done in less than 30 minutes and is filled with huge flavors. Don’t miss the tips & the recipe video.
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Note: This post has been updated with Ingredients photo, reheating directions, serving Ideas, leftovers and storage and also frequently asked questions!
Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup
Instant Pot Cabbage Roll Soup is packed with hot Italian Sausage (you can also use ground beef or even pork & beef in equal proportions), white rice, fresh cabbage and lots of great seasoning in a tomato based soup base.
This soup is an insanely filling, economical and extremely flavorful healthy meal so perfect to feed a large crowd or a big family. We love garlic bread as a side or sometimes need nothing at all.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Ground Meat: We used hot Italian Pork Sausage casings removed. You can use both ground beef and pork in equal proportions or use only ground beef. Choice is yours.
- Cabbage: We picked fresh organic cabbage and used half head of a medium cabbage.
- Uncooked white rice: Use long grain white rice or White Jasmine rice. We would not recommend using Basmati rice because it has a distinct aroma which will change the aroma of the unstuffed cabbage roll soup.
- Tomatoes: 3 varieties is all you’ll need. Crushed Tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and garlic.
- Seasonings: Paprika, ground black pepper powder, Italian Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. This combo will give the soup amazing flavor boost. You can certainly play around with the quantities and make it your own. For a spicy kick you can also throw in some red pepper flakes. We didn’t use any.
- Bay Leaf.
- Oil: You can use any neutral oil. We use light olive oil.
- Stock: You can use chicken stock, vegetable stock or even beef stock. We chose better than Bouillon (chicken) and diluted the amazing paste in warm water.
Tips & Tricks
- Low Carb Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup: Omit the white rice and reduce the stock quantity ( 1 cup). You can also replace the white rice with cauliflower rice (⅔ cups cauliflower rice for todays recipe). In that case do not change the stock quantity.
- Cabbage: Chop the cabbage into large squares about 1 inch, this will make a hefty soup. If you chop the cabbage fine it’ll completely disintegrate and turn mushy in the soup.
- Amount of stock: Todays Instant Pot cabbage roll soup is thicker and resembles the consistency of a stew. We love it that way. However, If you prefer a thinner soup use 7 cups stock.
- Ground Meat: For a complex flavor make the recipe with 1:1 ground beef : ground pork or sausage. You can also make the recipe with exclusively ground beef. We used hot Italian Pork sausages with casings removed and skipped beef.
- Brown the meat: This will add tons of complexity and bold flavor to the soup.
- Seasoning: There’s no right amount of seasoning for a cabbage roll soup recipe. Add as much as you love or as little as you want 🙂 We love well seasoned unstuffed cabbage roll soup that’s so rustic.
- Canned Tomatoes: Use crushed or diced canned tomatoes. You can always go for extra flavors and use fire roasted spicy canned tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes with oregano, garlic and chilies. We used regular caned crushed tomatoes and went heavy on the seasoning part.
- Rice: Pick either long grain white rice or Jasmine rice. Do not use minute cooking rice. You can also use left over rice from previous day. In that case mix the rice after the pressure cooking cycle is over. The consistency of the soup will change and it will be slightly on the thinner side as there will be no starch from the rice to thicken the soup.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Brown the Meat
Brown the ground meat first. I nicely browned the hot Italian sausage with casings removed in olive oil and use the SAUTE on HIGH heat setting. This will add tons of hefty flavor to the cabbage roll soup and make it taste outstanding.
Once the meat is nicely browned you may drain the excess fat or use it. I drained the fat with the help of a ladle.
Step #2 Pressure Cook the soup
Add the onion and garlic and saute with the meat until the onions begin to become translucent. Now, pour in the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well with the help of a spatula scarping the sides and the bottom of the pot.
This will help loosen any stuck food particles. This step is absolutely essential to avoid the BURN error!
Add all the seasonings and salt. Add the rice, tomatoes, give everything a good stir. This will help incorporate the tomatoes in the stock, especially the tomato paste. Add the cabbage, CANCEL the SAUTE function, close the lid and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 4 minutes followed by a quick pressure release (QPR).
Open the lid carefully, check for seasoning, add more salt if needed. Serve the Instant Pot unstuffed cabbage roll soup with chopped fresh parsley. We love it with garlic bread, so Yum!
What goes with Cabbage Roll Soup?
We even love this soup with pastas like this instant pot cajun chicken pasta, instant pot crack chicken pasta, instant pot pesto chicken pasta, instant pot Italian sausage pasta , instant pot salmon pasta , instant pot penne pasta and meatballs, instant pot rigatoni and meatballs. You can also make it more of a complete meal by serving it with the below items:
- Cheesy Garlic Bread.
- Bread Sticks.
- A light crisp salad.
- Lightly toasted sour dough bread.
- Corn bread.
- Regular crusty bread like sourdough.
Leftovers and storage
Fridge: You can store this stuffed cabbage roll soup in the fridge in air tight containers for 4-5 days. Follow the reheating directions shared below.
Freezer: You can freeze cabbage roll soup for upto 2 months. We love to freeze it in individual freezer safe bags. Thaw them over night in the fridge and re-heat on the stove top over medium heat.
The consistency of the soup will not remain the same once thawed and re-heated. The rice will become slightly over cooked and also the cabbage.
How to reheat
Microwave Oven: Thaw the healthy cabbage roll soup in the fridge overnight. Re-heat in the microwave oven until warm or hot. You may add splashes of stock or water to bring back the right consistency.
Stove-top: You can also reheat this soup in a heavy bottomed saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir the soup frequently to prevent it from burning. You can also add a splash of water or stock before reheating the stuffed cabbage roll soup with rice. This will help to thin out the fridge cold soup!
Cabbage soup is good for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Yes, you can definitely overcook cabbage soup if you cook it too long. The cabbage will become limp, pasty, disintegrate in the soup and leave an unpleasant smell.
The bitterness in cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables is due to organic compounds known as glucosinolates. These compounds contain sulfur, which has a distinctive odor and flavor. Under cooking the cabbage might leave a bitter flavor.
Yes, you can freeze homemade cabbage soup for 2 months. Store the soup in individual portion sized containers or heavy duty freezer safe bags for convenience.
More instant pot soups you’ll love
- Lemon chicken orzo soup instant pot.
- Tom Kha Gai Soup Instant Pot.
- Alaskan salmon chowder.
- Instant pot creamy chicken noodle soup.
- Instant pot chicken wild rice soup.
- Chili’s chicken enchilada soup instant pot.
- Chicken gnocchi soup instant pot.
- Instant pot stuffed pepper soup with sausage.
- Creamy chicken tortilla soup instant pot.
- Instant pot chicken corn chowder.
- New England clam chowder instant pot.
- Instant pot Olive Garden zuppa toscana copycat.
- Instant pot cheesy potato soup.
- Creamy chicken tortellini soup.
- Herbed white bean and sausage stew.
- Lamb stew recipe instant pot.
- Instant pot easy lasagna soup.
Thoughts from readers who tried this soup
I made this on Monday.., loved it so much, made a second batch on Tuesday and froze it!”– Loraine Kenemy.
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! If you try this Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup instant pot recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I would love to hear how it turned out for you, or any changes you make. You can also follow me on Pinterest or subscribe our free NEWLETTER for new recipes every week!
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup Instant PotPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 1 pound Hot Italian Pork Sausage (**casings removed. You can use ground beef and pork in the 1:1 ratio or use only ground beef.)
- 5 cups cabbage (**½ head of a small cabbage. Chopped into large ½ inch squares.)
- ½ cup long grain white rice (**or jasmine rice)
- 1 cup onion (**roughly chopped yellow onion)
- 2 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 15 oz crushed tomatoes (**1 can. 425 g or use canned diced tomatoes.)
- 8 oz tomato sauce (**1 can)
- 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 5.5 cups chicken stock (**use 7 cups for a thin soup. I used 3 tbsp better than bouillon dissolved in warm water.)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt (**according to taste.)
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function and keep it at HIGH heat setting. Add oil and when the oil becomes really hot gently release the hot Italian Sausage meat casings removed and brown the sausage really well. You may either drain out the excess sausage fat or use it in the recipe.
- Once the meat is well browned add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until the onion becomes translucent.
- Now, pour the chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This is to avoid the BURN error.
- Now, add the seasonings like paprika, black pepper powder, Italian seasoning and Worcestershire Sauce and give everything a quick stir. If you prefer a slight heat add red pepper flakes. We did not add any.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes , tomato sauce and the tomato paste and stir well to incorporate them into the the stock.
- Add the long grain white rice and the chopped cabbage. Also, throw in the bay leaves and salt. Give everything a quick stir. CANCEL the SAUTE function.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 4 minutes.
- Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Immediately do a quick pressure release (QPR). Open the lid carefully.
- The unstuffed cabbage roll soup is ready. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot. This is a thick soup, more like a stew like consistency. If you prefer a thinner consistency read NOTES below. Enjoy!
- Want the soup spicy: Add ½ tbsp red pepper flakes while adding the other seasonings. You can also add choppe Jalapeno peppers for extra heat. We didnot add any kind of peppers.
- Thinner consistency Soup: Add 7 cups chicken stock. Todays recipe is more like a stew, a thick soup. That’s how we love our cabbage roll soup.
- Seasonings amount: Well, we would recommend that you play around with the seasonings and certainly can add more than what’s recommended in the recipe. It’s totally upto you.
- Cabbage Size: Do not chop the cabbage finely or into smaller pieces, The cabbage will totally disintegrate into the soup. Chop the cabbage into 1 inch squares for a good mouthfeel.
- Ground meat which one to use? You may use Italian sausage + ground beef in 1:1 ratio. You can also make the recipe with only ground beef or with only Italian pork sausage just like we did.
- Rice: Use either white long grain rice or Jasmine rice. DO NOT use any other rice variety.
- Something about crushed tomatoes: You can use regular crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano. If you love spicy food you can also use Rotel diced Tomatoes. We used regular crushed tomatoes. Honestly I make the soup with whatever I have in my pantry.
- Storing Tips: The unstuffed cabbage roll soup will last for 4 days in the fridge. Store it in air tight containers. The soup tends to thicken in the fridge. You can add splashes of water while re-heating.