Cabbage Soup Recipe [Keto & Low Carb]

A cabbage soup recipe? I know what you’re thinking: why would she put that on her food blog? It’s not fancy, it’s nearly impossible to make it look pretty, and most people with basic cooking skills could probably just throw this together without a recipe.

Here’s why: keto doesn’t have to be complicated.

(And also, cabbage soup is delicious. So there’s that. If you haven’t had this soup yet, jump straight to the recipe and just do it. Sorry, Nike.)

Don’t forget to PIN it for later! 📌

Cabbage and Beef Soup Recipe - Low Carb & Keto

I love sharing some of the more basic things I regularly whip up in my kitchen to show you that the keto diet doesn’t require any fancy pants ingredients or tools. All you need is real food. You can pick that up anywhere! Your local grocery store, butcher, or farm are great places to start.

You don’t have to reinvent keto versions of high carb foods to do the keto diet. After typing it out, it seems a bit silly even to say it. But I’m hoping something as simple as a cabbage soup recipe will help bring that point to light.

Cabbage Soup Recipe Keto

I’m just always surprised by how many people start this way of eating, search for recipes and come to the conclusion that they need to spend all of their time in the kitchen crafting ketofied versions of the junk they were eating before trying to get healthy. Or think the things required to do this diet come from specialty stores or have to be special-ordered online.

Yes, there are keto versions of just about everything you can think of. But you don’t need to overcomplicate everything in the name of keto. You don’t need fancy sweeteners or flours.

Cabbage Soup Recipe Keto

I’m guilty of posting keto versions of the stuff we all miss and crave at one point or another. My fathead pizza rolls and keto chocolates are a couple of my most popular recipes. But they aren’t the foods I eat on a regular basis or what I would recommend to people struggling to figure out how to get started, wrap their head around macros, or figure out what you can eat on the keto diet. These are special sometimes treats and fun cooking projects for people with ketogenic dietary restrictions; not daily diet fare.

In fact, some might even call it a bait and switch. Lure you in with fancy treats only to deliver the following message: 

You don’t have to ketofy everything to do the keto diet.

I’m afraid my cabbage soup recipe may have turned into a rant. Oops! If you’re interested in learning more about starting keto on the right foot, be sure to check out my free Hello Keto course. There’s only a little ranting, pinky promise.

Back to the soup!

We eat cabbage and beef soup at my house all. The. Damn. Time.

For the people wondering what I genuinely eat day-to-day, this is it right here. When the weather is chilly, there is nothing more satisfying than a big hot bowl of cabbage soup with beef. This meal embodies my daily approach to cooking: simple as can be.

Basic ingredients. Uncomplicated, straightforward ingredients that taste amazing and easy to find at your local grocery store.

Easy. If you can chop and turn a burner on, you got this. My partner who “doesn’t know how to cook” fixes this for our family all the time. Hand to heart, if he can do it so can you.

Meal prep godsend. Whip up a batch of this soup, and you have lunch and dinner covered for days. My family usually eats cabbage soup for supper, and I take some to work for lunch the next day. There’s still a few servings leftover to pop in the freezer for when the thought of being in the kitchen pains me. I love to cook, but we all have those days don’t we?

Satisfying and keto friendly. The ingredients used for this soup are low in carbs with a healthy balance of fat and protein. It’s a filling, comforting meal, that doesn’t feel restrictive. It’s also insanely delicious. Healthy without sacrificing flavor, for the win!

Electrolytes. The stuff plants crave! In all seriousness, electrolytes are a pretty big deal when you’re on a ketogenic diet. They can make or break your entire day. Low electrolytes can be the culprit for fatigue, headaches, muscle spasms, and nausea. If you are experiencing the dreaded “keto flu,” have a migraine that just won’t let up or getting leg cramps, throw an extra bouillon cube (or two!) in the pot. Sodium is your friend on keto, and this cabbage soup recipe just might turn your day around.

Cabbage Soup Recipe

I use my Instant Pot (one of the coolest kitchen gadgets ever!) and prep everything all in one pot. Just brown the meat on the saute function, then cook the soup under high pressure for 15 minutes using quick release. You can simmer the cabbage soup in a stock pot for 30 minutes with very similar results and no fancy tools.

4.28 from 29 votes
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Cabbage Soup Recipe [Keto & Low Carb]

You can't go wrong with this hearty, straightforward cabbage soup.

Course Main Course, One pot meal, Soup
Cuisine American
Special Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 261 kcal
Author Tasha Metcalf

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef 90% lean
  • 1/4 onion large, diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 head cabbage large, chopped
  • 4 cubes bouillon
  • 10 oz Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies 1 can
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Transfer ground beef and onion mixture to stock pot.
  3. Add garlic, cumin, cabbage, bouillon cubes, Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, and water to the stock pot.
  4. Mix ingredients thoroughly and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 30 - 45 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Cabbage Soup Recipe [Keto & Low Carb]
Amount Per Serving
Calories 261 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Potassium 406mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 40.6%
Calcium 5.8%
Iron 12.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cabbage Soup Recipe Keto

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Hey babe! I’m Tasha, the founder of Ketogasm. When I’m not in the kitchen crafting low carb recipes and geeking out on nutritional science, I help women transition to a ketogenic lifestyle. Whether you are healing with food or transforming that beautiful body of yours, I hope you find the resources on this site to be helpful on your journey!

38 Comments

  • Hi. Looks good and I will definitely be trying this. I make a non-Keto version that is similar and I love it! I love anything with cabbage.

    I think you may have a typo in the recipe — Ground Beef says 90% FAT — but I noticed later it is 90% LEAN in the directions section. We ketos love our fat, but 90% might be a tad high 🙂

  • Similar to what I eat everyday as well. I saute shredded cabbage, scallions and mushrooms in avocado oil till soft. Fry up a patty’s work of organic ground turkey, and throw it all together with a sliced avocados and a Tabasco sauce. I could eat this EVERYDAY!! And this recipe just confirms I’ve finally found the right diet for me. I’m weary on our food industry and dairy in particulary, so just eating a ton of bacon, cheese, and sour cream is really not what I’m in to. My diet is a lot more plant based with grass fed meat (expensive but worth it) so I really do appreciate this site for giving me food ideas. Thanks a ton! KetoPower!

  • This might be a crazy question but exactly how much is a Serving Equal to ? For examples is one Serving a cup? Or I just split it into 10 different Containers or do I weight it with my food scale and how much should a Serving wieght . Sorry im a newbie.

  • This soup is great! We love spicy food at our house so we swapped the hamburger for Cajun smoked sausage. It was 0 carb and 0 sugar so we just threw it in the pot and that’s some good stuff!

  • Good recipe. But I think it should’ve been pointed out that this recipe isn’t quite keto by itself due to the high amount of protein. You need more than 60% of calories to be from fat to maintain ketosis, and this recipe only has 40%. This will likely lead to gluconeogenesis (the protein being turned into glucose).

    That being said, it’s still a good recipe, and could be keto if combined with other foods, like some avocado.

    • Hey Eli! Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Not all of the recipes I develop are high in fat and *none* of the recipes have been developed with any kind of ratios/percentages, the macronutrient data provided is all based in grams. I offer a variety of recipes with variable fat content, some low and some high. There are a ton of approaches to nutritional ketosis and I hope to offer a little something for everyone. I personally adhere to the Volek and Phinney definition of nutritional ketosis (The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living is such an awesome read if you haven’t checked it out) – limit carbs, adequate amount of protein to support lean body mass, and fat is a variable that you can lower to create a calorie deficit and increase to eat maintenance level calories. Common misconception that everything needs to have a high fat content to be keto. Here is an interview with Dr. Phinney that might be of interest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkdFkPxxDG8 around 06:40 to like 9 minutes in they discuss fat intake during weight loss versus weight maintenance. I also created a little video a while back to illustrate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5caTlPUTUk Hope that helps clarify why you may see lower fat on my site.

      For further reading, here’s a couple great articles written by low carb, keto nutritionist Amy Berger re: fat intake/higher protein with a ketogenic diet and medically therapeutic ratios for people that don’t really need em. Super informative! Keto Train to Crazy Town and How to Cut Fat on Keto Have a good weekend! 🙂

    • Hey Anna! It’s strange, my recipe plugin doesn’t let me specify what exactly a serving size is… just how many servings there are. It drives me crazy! So the nutrition data is the whole recipe divided by # of servings. I always end up divvying things out evenly at the end, but I would say 1 cup is about right (maybe a little more). I’ll try to remember to measure out a serving size next time we make this and update here. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

    • For sure! Crockpots tend to make things a little more watery since the liquid doesn’t cool off, so you might want to reduce the amount of liquid if you are using a slow cooker. Other than that, it should be golden. Crockpots are awesome!

  • Thank you, Thank you I am new to Keto and your recipes are the first down to earth, easy to make recipes. This is how I eat not all of the fancy, don’t have the ingredients stuff.
    We travel a lot and this soup is something I can make up and take with me. Do you think it would freeze well?
    Thanks again for a great site and your user friendly recipes.

    • It definitely freezes well! I sometimes have trouble freezing creamy soups, but since this one is dairy free, it freezes and thaws really nicely. And thank you for the positive feedback! I’m glad the more basic, down to earth stuff resonates with you. Keeping it simple is the way to go! <3

  • I make this but with a fresh ham roast (we have our own meat…thank goodness) cooked with Cumin & oregano….then add all the good stuff! My family is always asking for this soup…I make it with pork roast or whatever I have in the freezer! Will have to try this way with hamburger!

  • Woke up to this crumby wet cold Michigan weather thinking, cabbage soup would be great today. I stumbled across your recipe and omg it really hit the spot. So delicious! Thank you!

  • I’ve been making cabbage soup for years and love it. I use breakfast sausage instead of ground beef. One hot and one regular. We add Parmesan in our bowls.

  • This soup is delicious! I had a chuck roast to use, so I cut that into cubes and seared it instead of using ground beef. The only other change I made was adding a few tablespoons of grass fed butter at the end while it was still hot, to increase the fat content. I will be making this recipe often. Thank you!

  • I’ve tried the “other” cabbage soup for the Cabbage Soup Diet and it was good, but this one is great! I’m more accustomed to eating low carb, and this is delicious and convenient. My first batch was good, but not really on point with your receipe – I had only 2-10oz bags of shredded cabbage (that I would usually fry) and used 2 bouillon cubes and shitake and portobello mushrooms. I just had it for lunch and will probably have it for dinner. I just feel like I need to add some “green” although the cabbage is already there. Thank you for this recipe. It will definitely be my go-to.

    • I am a sucker for the antique store! I just bought a couple Hacienda bowls that I fell in love with and two ridiculous skunk S&P salt shakers that will be making appearances shortly. I’m glad someone appreciates my eclectic dishware collection. 🙂

      I hope you enjoy the recipe! <3

  • I’ve done the regular cabbage soup diet before and I remember being told I could eat it all day anytime and still lose weight. I don’t remember actually losing any weight on it. Wondering if this is something that I can have a couple times a day and still be good?

  • So good and comforting on a cold, wet day. One of the problems I was having with low-carb was how much chewing of raw veggies I seemed to have to do. With all that salad and cabbage and kale, my jaw was TIRED and I felt like I was missing warm food, comfort food. This recipe hits the spot. When my kids have their crock pot full of winter soup (our daily winter lunch), I can make this low-carb option for myself and my husband. Delicious! I made a pot with some leftover taco beef, instead of plain ground beef, and left out the cumin. So good. I also made a pot with 1 cup chopped kale in place of 1 cup of the chopped cabbage. Excellent, and the result was a bit more colorful. There are so many things you could do with this basic recipe. Add chopped celery or scallions or both. We added more garlic, of course! 🙂 Thanks for posting this recipe. You made my day!

  • This recipe is actually delicious. I was a little wary because it sounded bland, but it isn’t. I only used half a head of cabbage because it looked like it was going to be too much, but it would have been fine since the cabbage cooks down. Thanks for the post.

  • Recipe sounds great and I look forward to trying. Double checking the timing for Instant Pot….I make a cabbage & other veggies broth mixture in the IP that only needs to cook for 1-2 minutes or else it gets really mushy. Your recipe noted 15 minutes + quick release for this soup. Is that much time needed to ensure the meat is entirely cooked?

    • When I do this in the Instant Pot, I use the browning function before pressure cooking the soup so the meat is mostly cooked when it goes into the pot. You can definitely shave off pressure time without compromising the cook of the meat.

      At fifteen minutes, it’s got a nice slow cooked flavor that I enjoy and my family (kiddos, mostly) really like the texture of the cabbage a bit on the soft side. If you prefer the cabbage with more of a bite, you can definitely reduce the time in the IP. It’s a lot of cabbage that cooks down pretty drastically, you could start with 1 to 2 minutes at pressure to see how you like the texture and adjust/increase accordingly. If you do experiment with shorter times, please let me know how it worked out! 🙂

  • Made this for dinner tonight and we LOVED it! I’m definitely adding this to my go-to recipes, and expect I’ll be making it very often!

  • I am making this now in a regular pot, but the 4 cups of water does not seem like enough liquid. Will I need more liquid in a regular pot as opposed to an Instant Pot? Looks and smells delicious though.

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