Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup

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Have you noticed I have been making a lot of soups with sausage or ground meat lately? I have and I have to say, I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon. It is just so convenient and makes throwing together a pot of soup so much quicker.

This Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup was born out of convenience (and cold weather!). This past weekend, we had pretty much no groceries left in the house except for a head of cabbage, some carrots and a couple packages of Italian Sausage in the freezer. Since I always have garlic, onions and canned tomatoes of some sort in my pantry, I am not counting those.

I had the idea to make this soup a while ago but I always imagined fresh parsley as part of the equation. When I realized that all I had left in my house were these ingredients (except for the parsley!), I decided to go for it anyway.

This is a hardy winter soup, loaded with vegetables and sausage in every bite. Mild in flavor but with a nice balance from the tomatoes, this will please everyone in the family (kid approved!). Since I prefer a bit of heat, I sprinkled some crushed red pepper flakes on mine but that is totally optional.

If you have fresh parsley on hand, I think a tablespoon or so (finely chopped) added in right before serving would be fantastic!

Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup from www.everydaymaven.comNOTES:

  • I used a local brand of Italian Sausage (Isernio’s) that is free of Gluten, MSG and anything artificial. Be sure to read your labels carefully and note that the seasonings in the brand you buy may slightly change the flavor of the soup. Subbing Spicy Sausage would be excellent if you want more of a kick!
  • If you want to use Chicken or Turkey Sausage, you may need to add an additional tablespoon of oil and use it for cooking the Chicken Sausage, as the meat is lower in fat and may stick.

4.9 from 10 reviews
Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup
8 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 8 -- Individual Serving Size is Approximately 2 Heaping Cups
Serves: 8
  • 1½ pounds Mild Italian Sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
  • 1½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium or 1 extra large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5 to 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, cleaned and cut into ¼" rounds
  • 1 head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), core removed and shredded
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus a couple pinches
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (unsalted)
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • crushed red pepper flakes for serving (optional)
  1. Remove sausage meat from casing. The easiest way to remove the uncooked sausage from the casings is to slice a vertical cut down the center of each sausage. Then just pick them up and “peel” off the casing – takes seconds and not that messy. (Warning: Gross Picture Alert!)
  2. Peel and thinly slice onion (I used my food processor to save time (with the slicing blade inserted).
  3. Finely chop garlic (Again, I used the food processor with the chopping blade inserted).
  4. Clean carrots (peel if necessary) and cut into ¼" rounds.
  5. Remove core from cabbage and shred. I used the food processor with the shredding blade inserted. Alternately, you could cut the cabbage into very thin slices.
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add crumbled sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, mostly to break up the sausage with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until most of the pink is gone.
  2. Remove sausage from pot and set aside.
  3. Keep the pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, toss in sliced onions along with a pinch of kosher salt and a couple turns of freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are soft.
  4. Add in garlic and carrots, stir continuously for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
  5. Raise heat to medium high and add in cabbage along with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and about 25 turns of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until cabbage begins to wilt and release some moisture.
  6. Add cooked sausage back in along with diced tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from heat and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and Enjoy!

Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup from

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  1. Daniel says

    Absolutely LOVE this recipe. Made it last week. Making it again this week. The only modification I made was to add cayenne pepper directly to the soup and also added some caraway seed when I added the carrots onions and garlic.

    Easy, healthy, filling, delicious. What more could you want.

  2. chloe says

    This soup has become one of my go to recipes. Tonight we were leaving for vacation so I threw in some extras to clean out the produce drawer – a few red peppers and a pack of mushrooms. Turned out super tasty as usual! So simple and healthy but so delicious and satisfying. Thanks!

  3. Parwald says

    i just turned off the burner after making a double-batch of this soup (with my own homemade chicken broth), and it is delicious. I know my kids will love it, too. They love cabbage and sausage. Thank you for sharing. Next time, though, I’m going to try throwing it all in the crockpot.

  4. Catina says

    Had leftover cooked onions & sausage from our recent campout and a head of red cabbage & carrots in the frig. I opened a can of Rotel instead of tomatoes, and boy, did this turn out well! Not too much kick, but some heat.

    It was quite easy, very tasty, and required only a little energy which is great after camping, or on a week night. 😉 I’ll fix this meal again!

  5. Kelly McDermott DDS says

    So Easy AND Delicious! I used a pressure cooker and cooked the whole meal in it. From browning the sausage and onions to cutting up the veggies, the soup was ready to eat in 45 minutes. My picky daughter even loved it! Thanks so much. I’m on to trying the Cheesy Stuffed Delicata Squash!

  6. Rachel says

    Sooo delicious!! I did not even think I like cabbage till after making this soup for a friend. I make it all the time now! My 2 year old loves it!!

  7. GabrielleP. says

    My family LOVES this recipe! We use purple cabbage in place of green because my mother gave me a 4 heads of it.

  8. MJ says

    Great recipe. Thank you. I took the liberty of adding a small glug of red wine to the sausage after it was browned and let it cook down for a few minutes and I also used some fire roasted dice tomatoes. Would make again for sure.

  9. cutismama says

    I finally made this last night. The texture created by shredding in the food processor was perfect. The soup was nice and thick. I halved the recipe because we have too many leftovers (i need to get that extra freezer!). Wonderful flavor. My sausage had a nice taste of fennel it it too. Thanks!

  10. Gloria says

    Another snowy day, another wonderful Everyday Maven soup recipe made! I used turkey and chicken sausage, turkey stock, and didn’t shred the cabbage, but it tastes most delicious. Thanks for posting.

  11. says

    Ground meat is indeed a timesaver and delicious! I love that you shredded the cabbage here. I usually just slice it, but shredding it must infuse it into the soup so you get some in every bite. This is such a delicious, satisfying soup and even better since it uses pantry and fridge staples.
    Hannah recently posted..Moroccan PopcornMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      It is and you could make this soup with chicken sausage or turkey sausage – I think any of them will give it a great flavor!

  12. Cutismama says

    Alyssa, do you take photos of every meal you make in the hopes of sharing it with us? You are a good woman. Thanks again for an accessible meal.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Not even close! If there is still good light and I know the recipe is ready to share, I’ll take photos otherwise if it’s something I know I want to share, I’ll make a point to remake it when I think there will be some light. It is a challenge though because I don’t cook “for the blog”, I cook for my family and then share what I am cooking, which doesn’t always coincide with good light (especially in this season!).

  13. says

    Your soup looks delicious. I’m a fan of ‘born of desperation’ soups, as those are frequently memorable. I nearly always have onions on hand, and though I’m emptying quart jars of crushed tomatoes weekly there’s still plenty in the pantry. Thanks!
    Kirsten recently posted..Orange Date Olive Oil MuffinsMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      Seriously! It hasn’t been as cold here as most of the US but I like to have soup almost everyday in winter no matter what!

  14. Mary says

    This soup looks delicious! I am going to make it this week for sure as I have all the ingredients. The only thing I would change is I would not shred my cabbage but cut it into 1/2″-1″ cubes for a more rustic feel. One less item to clean in the kitchen :) I do believe they sell pre-shredded cabbage in bags at the grocery store for those who do not want to chop or do not have a food processor.

    • EverydayMaven says

      They do Mary! In fact, Trader Joe’s has a nice size bag of already shredded cabbage for $1.19 (at least here). Enjoy!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I love Bison – especially for Chili. It is just so convenient and such a time saver to use something crumbled :)

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