Cabbage Roll Soup



There is a new year tradition of having a meal consisting of cooked greens and black-eyed peas seasoned with ham or sausage, and cornbread. It is eaten in hope of having good luck in the new year. Well, the ELMM Clinic has some great news for you as you dine for good luck. We have a way for you to enjoy some of the same elements of the traditional new year’s meal while still maintaining a healthful dietary balance.

Introducing cabbage roll soup! If you are not familiar with a cabbage roll, it is a Polish dish of a beef and/or pork and rice mixture that is rolled in cabbage leaves, covered with a tomato sauce, and baked. Our recipe takes the same elements and seasoning profile of a cabbage roll and turns it into a simple and foolproof crockpot dish that is certain to bring you luck AND help you to maintain or change your body composition. It is lower in carbohydrates thanks to the elimination of the rice and decreased amount of tomato sauce while still providing a hearty and comforting meal.

photo credit: wuestenigel Cabbage on a White Backgrounf

Recipe, adapted from Sugarfreemom:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup green onions, chopped
2 pounds ground beef, turkey, or chicken
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
16 ounces marinara sauce
½ head cauliflower, riced or 2 cups pre-riced cauliflower (optional as a rice substitute)
5 cups low sodium beef broth if using beef or chicken broth if using turkey or chicken
1 large cabbage, chopped


  1. Heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and shallots. Cook until softened.
  3. Add ground meat and cook until browned and no longer pink.
  4. Add seasonings to meat and then add the marinara sauce.
  5. Add the riced cauliflower, if using, and stir to coat.
  6. Pour the meat mixture into the crock pot.
  7. Pour broth into crock pot and add cabbage.
  8. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. If you don’t have a crock pot, simply cook the meat in a dutch oven or heavy soup pot, add the ingredients according to the instructions above, and simmer on low, covered, for about an hour or until the cabbage is tender.

One serving size of this soup, made with ground beef, is 1.5 cups and totals only 312 calories and 12.6 grams of carbohydrates. Calorie content may vary depending on type and leanness of meat used. You can add this recipe to your MyFitnessPal food blog by searching for ELMM- Unstuffed Cabbage Soup.


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