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It doesn’t get much easier than a healthy, nourishing pot of Grandma’s Crockpot Cabbage Soup with hamburger, beans, and loads of veggies. Prep a big batch in advance and stash it in the fridge or freezer for easy lunches and satisfying dinners on chilly days. Serve each comforting bowl with a loaf of crusty bread, a skillet of cornbread, or a basket of flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon.

Beef Cabbage Soup

Forget any negative thoughts that you might have about the boring, bland, cabbage soup diet! Even though it’s good for you, this crockpot cabbage soup recipe doesn’t taste like diet food, and it certainly won’t leave you hungry an hour later. Instead, each bowl is packed with satisfying ground beef, fiber-rich beans, sweet, tender cabbage, plenty of spice, and many nourishing vegetables. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just looking for a delicious bowl of classic comfort food, my grandmother’s slow cooker cabbage soup recipe is sure to become a favorite!

Adding ground beef to a crock pot

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of crockpot cabbage soup. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Onions, carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage, and garlic: vegetables that flavor the soup, bulk it up, and add nourishing vitamins and minerals.
  • Ground beef: my grandmother always added hamburger to her cabbage soup for extra nutrients and filling protein. You can omit the meat and substitute with an extra can of beans, or use ground Italian sausage or ground turkey instead.
  • Kidney beans: rinsed and drained. Feel free to substitute with just about any of your favorite beans. Other good options include navy beans (or Great Northern beans), cannellini beans, pinto beans, pink beans, black beans, and Garbanzo beans.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the soup.
  • Chili powder, bay leaf, and curry powder: seasonings that add so much flavor to the pot! See my notes below to use other herbs and seasonings of your choice (such as Italian seasoning, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary, and parsley).
  • Crushed tomatoes: give the broth a nice tomato flavor.
  • Beef broth: use the low-sodium variety so that you can adjust the salt to suit your taste. You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth if you prefer.
  • Water: just enough to thin the soup to reach the desired consistency. Start with less, because you can always add more at the end.
Pouring beef broth into a slow cooker.

How to Make Cabbage Soup in the Crock Pot

My grandmother was known for her beef cabbage soup, which she prepared almost every week and often served to friends. I’ve taken her classic recipe and adapted it for the slow cooker, making it a convenient option for busy days.

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet; drain off excess fat.
  2. Layer the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Top with the beef, beans, and seasoning.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and water over top.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until the vegetables are nice and tender.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Square overhead image of crockpot cabbage soup with hamburger on a wooden dinner table.

What to Serve with Slow Cooker Cabbage Soup

Pair a warm bowl of crockpot cabbage soup with any of these easy sides:

Dipping crusty bread in a bowl of crockpot cabbage soup.

Storage

  • Leftover cabbage soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: This soup freezes very well! Let it cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge. Once chilled, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Place the cooked soup in a saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop. Cover and warm over low heat, just until the soup reaches the desired temperature.

Crock Pot Cabbage Soup Recipe Variations

  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half, and freeze any leftovers. As written, the recipe makes a very large pot of soup!
  • Try ground Italian sausage in the soup rather than ground beef. If using Italian sausage, substitute Italian seasoning for the chili powder and curry.
  • Just about any vegetables will work in this recipe, so feel free to clean out your fridge or freezer! Diced zucchini or squash, sliced mushrooms, frozen corn or peas, or peeled, diced potatoes would also be good additions.
  • Give the soup a stronger, richer tomato flavor by adding tomato paste to the pot. You may need to thin the broth with a little bit more water at the end.
  • Stir in cooked rice or pasta to bulk up the beef and vegetable soup.
  • For a vegetarian cabbage soup recipe, substitute an extra can of beans for the ground beef, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Make it spicy with a dash of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes.
Side shot of two bowls of slow cooker cabbage soup with ground beef and a side of crusty bread on a dinner table.

Tips for the Best Cabbage Soup Recipe

  • Change the seasonings! My grandmother always added chili powder and curry powder to her cabbage soup with hamburger, giving the dish a really unique, delicious flavor. That said, you can feel free to substitute with other flavors, such as an Italian seasoning blend. Try adding fresh herbs to the pot as well! Good options include thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary and chives.
  • Whether you’re using ground beef, ground turkey, or sausage, make sure to brown the meat in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. This allows you to drain off the excess fat so that your soup isn’t too greasy at the end.
  • Adjust the amount of water to suit your preference. For a very thick soup (that’s more like a stew), omit the water altogether. For a thinner soup, add an extra 1-2 cups at the end.
  • Fresh herbs or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice add a bright finishing touch to each bowl of soup.
Overhead image of a bowl of slow cooker cabbage soup with hamburger on a wooden table.

More Crock Pot Soup Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon.

Crockpot Cabbage Soup with Hamburger

4.88 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 cups
Calories 131 kcal
It doesn't get much easier than a healthy, nourishing Crockpot Cabbage Soup with hamburger, beans, and loads of veggies!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cups cut green beans (frozen is fine)
  • ½ head of green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and excess fat drained (or substitute with an additional can of beans for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can red kidney beans (about 1 ¾ cup), rinsed and drained (or substitute with a different type of beans)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water (thin with extra water at the end, as needed, or omit the water completely for a thicker soup)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley, rosemary, or thyme

Instructions

  • Place onions, carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage, and garlic at the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Top with cooked beef and drained, rinsed beans. Add brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, bay leaf, and optional curry powder, if desired. Pour crushed tomatoes, beef broth, and water into the pot.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.

Notes

  • Change the seasonings! My grandmother always added chili powder and curry powder to her cabbage soup with hamburger, giving the dish a really unique, delicious flavor. That said, you can feel free to substitute with other flavors, such as an Italian seasoning blend. Try adding fresh herbs to the pot as well! Good options include thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary and chives.
  • Whether you’re using ground beef, ground turkey, or sausage, make sure to brown the meat in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. This allows you to drain off the excess fat so that your soup isn’t too greasy at the end.
  • Adjust the amount of water to suit your preference. For a very thick soup (that’s more like a stew), omit the water altogether. For a thinner soup, add an extra 1-2 cups at the end.
  • Fresh herbs or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice add a bright finishing touch to each bowl of soup.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half, and freeze any leftovers. As written, the recipe makes a very large pot of soup!
  • Try ground Italian sausage in the soup rather than ground beef. If using Italian sausage, substitute Italian seasoning for the chili powder and curry.
  • Just about any vegetables will work in this recipe, so feel free to clean out your fridge or freezer! Diced zucchini or squash, sliced mushrooms, frozen corn or peas, or peeled, diced potatoes would also be good additions.
  • Give the soup a stronger, richer tomato flavor by adding tomato paste to the pot. You may need to thin the broth with a little bit more water at the end.
  • Stir in cooked rice or pasta to bulk up the beef and vegetable soup.
  • For a vegetarian cabbage soup recipe, substitute an extra can of beans for the ground beef, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Make it spicy with a dash of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 11gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 359mgPotassium: 624mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2231IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: beef cabbage soup, cabbage soup, cabbage soup with hamburger, crock pot cabbage soup, detox soup, slow cooker cabbage soup
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in January, 2017. The photos were updated in January, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This soup is so good! My entire family enjoyed it. It fed all five of us with lots of leftovers. Perfect meal for a cold snowy day! Thank you for this great recipe!

  2. After putting all the ingrdients into the slow cooker, do you stir it up or wait until the soup is done?

  3. 5 stars
    Just reading the recipe aroused my curiosity and so I made a big pt of this wonderful soup. The house smelled good while it was cooking as well! Very enticing! This is a very unusual way to make cabbage soup and it turned out absolutely delicious! I shall make this again many more times! What a creative way to use up leftover cabbage!

    1. Yes, ma’am! I would saute the veggies in olive oil first to soften, then add the cooked ground beef, seasoning, and other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors come together. 🙂