Cabbage Soup Recipe

How to make a simple, easy cabbage soup. Forget eating it as a "diet" food, eat it because it's delicious, healthy and a great way to up your vegetable intake. 

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I think we need to treat a cabbage soup recipe less like it’s a diet recipe and more like it’s a fantastic healthy soup that we should eat every once in a while and enjoy it, rather than down it for a week straight as part of a fad diet. 

Checkered red kitchen cloth underneath cabbage soup in a bowl with a cabbage and carrots.

As a Ukrainian gal I am into cabbage soup as a meal, rather than cabbage soup as a diet. Cabbage Soup, AKA the soup that a diet ruined for everyone’s enjoyment. Let’s just take it back and place it into our monthly meal rotation, whether it’s Meatless Mondays or a great soup to enjoy during the cold weather.

Cabbage Soup – The  Healthy, Awesome Soup That a Diet Wrecked

You know exactly what I’m talking about, as almost everyone has heard about the Cabbage Soup Diet.  You know, I bet that the dumb fad diet ruined cabbage soup for tens of thousands of people. I have even seen it shared on Facebook this past January as the DIET SOUP! Cleanse Yourself after Christmas with cabbage soup!

How about we enjoy cabbage soup as a super healthy soup that’s great for lunch? I looooove cabbage soup. It’s delicious as all get out and it’s a really good lunch when you happen to want to eat fried chicken later on that night. Balance my friends, it’s all about trying to find that balance.

Nothing is delicious when you are forced to eat something for a week straight as part of a diet.

Checkered red kitchen cloth underneath cabbage soup in a bowl garnish with parsley leaves
Cabbage Soup with Parsley Garnish

How to Make Simple Cabbage Soup

The base ingredients for a cabbage soup recipe are sparse, you only really need five ingredients to make cabbage soup:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • cabbage
  • canned tomatoes
  • chicken broth

The rest can all be added in as you please. There is nothing wrong with making just the basic cabbage soup with the five ingredients above, just make sure that your chicken ( or vegetable) broth is strong and you have all the flavor you need.

The garlic, onions and cabbage are all wonderfully flavors that simmer together and bring robust flavor to the soup.

cabbage soup in a bowl garnish with parsley leaves
Cabbage Soup

Again, this is super healthy and I’m not surprised that it was featured in a diet that had you eating it for a week straight. I love cabbage soup, however there’s nothing that I can eat for three meals a day, seven days a week.

Except maybe ice cream. Is there an ice cream diet yet?

Other Ingredients You Can Include in Your Cabbage Soup

There are some ingredients that are commonly used in cabbage soup that I sometimes add, and I sometimes don’t. You can add in:

  • chopped carrots
  • chopped celery
  • chopped red pepper
  • mushrooms

The point to this soup is that it IS starch free, so most people don’t add potatoes to it. All of the above ingredients are in line with the diet (if you are doing the actual cabbage soup diet) and with Weight Watchers – a lot of people are now eating this soup because it is low or no points on Weight Watchers.

Close up of ingredients in cabbage soup
Close up of ingredients in cabbage soup

Tips & Tricks

  1. How you chop the cabbage is up to you. Some recipes state to chop it finely, I prefer to give the soup some body and have larger chunks of cabbage.
  2. You can make vegetarian/vegan cabbage soup by switching out the chicken broth for a vegetable broth.
  3. You can simmer this in your slow cooker all day on low, or for 4-5 hours on high if you want to make a crockpot versions as well.
  4. Feel free to play around with the spices, you can add some heat to it by using some Cayenne pepper, you can add in some oregano or basil, whatever you prefer in a soup.
  5. Garnish with some fresh parsley to make it prettier. Man, this is a hard soup to photograph! These are actually new photos (this post is a year old) because the old ones were terrible!

I like to make a big batch of this cabbage soup and eat it for lunch for a few days! Mr Magpie and my son actually love this soup as well, so it was nice that there were three of us eating it throughout the week. We can’t get the Rose to touch it with a ten foot pole, but three out of four of us ain’t bad!

You can try my Ukrainian Cabbage Roll Soup if you want a heartier cabbage soup, or if you are wanting a good way to use up cabbage try my Homemade Coleslaw or my Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Wedges, those are a meal!

So forget the diet, make cabbage soup as something healthy to eat and enjoy!



Cabbage Soup Recipe

How to make a simple, easy cabbage soup. Forget eating it as a “diet” food, eat it because it’s delicious, healthy and a great way to up your vegetable intake. 
5 from 13 votes
Checkered red kitchen cloth underneath cabbage soup in a bowl garnish with parsley leaves
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage chopped
  • 2 cups slivered carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper diced ( optional)
  • 14 ounces can diced tomatoes with spices
  • 4 cups strong chicken broth


  • In a large stockpot, fry the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add in the garlic and sautee until light brown.
  • Add in the rest of the vegetables, the tomatoes and the broth.
  • Simmer until the vegetables are soft , around 40-50 minutes, then serve.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

I like to really reduce down the cabbage and cook it well. It will look like a LOT of cabbage, but the water will release from it into the broth and the cabbage will soften up.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 6g, Calories: 65kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 466mg, Potassium: 421mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 5915IU, Vitamin C: 51.4mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 1.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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How to make a simple, easy cabbage soup. Forget eating it as a "diet" food, eat it because it's delicious, healthy and a great way to up your vegetable intake. #soup #cleaneating #cabbage #recipe #healthy #tomatoes #onions #garlic #dietsoup

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. K McMichael says

    I made this yesterday and it was the perfect warm-up to a chilly day! One reader had commented that she added bay leaf, paprika & thyme & I added those and to make it even a little more hearty, I added Mexican Chorizo & sliced kielbasa. It was so yummy!!! Thank you!5 stars

    • K McMichael says

      Oh and to my comment above, besides the paprika, bay leaf, thyme, chorizo & sliced kielbasa, I also added the Pinto beans that another reader suggested. A bowl of happiness. 🙂5 stars

  2. Ginny Fox Dougan says

    I love cabbage soup. I went on the seven day cabbage soup diet one time and lost a lot of weight and I was hoping I would find a good recipe and I believe this is the one. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Danielle says

    Girrrrrl, I’m Croatian and I feel you so HARD on this soup. It has no correlation to a diet to me either. It’s just a normal way of life lol! I do in fact add in the other veggies, except mushrooms, but if you have a european deli/store I’d highly recommend picking up a jar of a paprika spread called Taste of Hungary! Its soooo good and definitely amps up the flavour! I add in bay leaf and thyme as well …and of course pinto beans 🙂5 stars


      I’m going to make this & I couldn’t find the paprika spread. Is this a paprika paste? Do you have a link to it? I have both sweet and smoked paprika & I guess that could be used. The pinto beans sound interesting too.

  4. Karen Hopkins says

    I make this with spicy V8 juice as the base. Cures a cold every time.

  5. Fern says

    Yeah for Cabbage Soup!! Of Ukrainian Heritage myself I couldn’t agree more! it is delicious and supremely healthy. Even our dutch son-in-law likes it – even Borscht – would you believe it?
    Your recipes are so good! Your attitude is refreshing – like your runnung commentaries – so funny!

  6. Cat A Murphy says

    I screenshotted the ingredients and instructions, lol but then decided I wanted to do a crock pot version of this and couldn’t remember what site I got it from! Thankfully I remembered the photo of your yummy soup and just had to keep scrolling. So, I know 4 to 5 hours in the crockpot, but you didn’t mention if you just throw in everything, put the lid on and turn it on, or if you needed to do any sautéing of the veggies first and then dump it into crockpot??? I’m not going to saute, and see how it goes! Looks delicious! 🙂

  7. Ed Matthews says

    Love cabbage soup sweetheart but ya gotta add the other veggies, and a few spices of our choice….I would leave the mushrooms out tho. Happy Holidays All
    Semper Fi 66′-5 stars

5 from 13 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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