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.

Cabbage Soup Recipe [Keto & Low Carb]

You can't go wrong with this hearty, straightforward cabbage soup.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course, One pot meal, Soup
Cuisine: American
Special Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Tasha Metcalf


  • 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


  • Brown ground beef over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  • Transfer ground beef and onion mixture to stock pot.
  • Add garlic, cumin, cabbage, bouillon cubes, Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, and water to the stock pot.
  • Mix ingredients thoroughly and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 30 - 45 minutes.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 33.5mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @KETOGASM or tag #ketogasm!

Cabbage Soup Recipe Keto


  • 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.

      • 5 stars
        Yes, just break it down into 10 portions. I personally do 5 containers with 2 portions. This is soo good I can’t have just a small bowl!
        I also used concentrated stock gels from Knorrs instead of bouillon cubes – came out 1 gram carb higher per serving when I put it in myfitnesspal recipie calculator. Don’t be afraid to crunch the numbers if you deviate at all!

  • 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 – 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: 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! 🙂

    • 5 stars
      Ah, but you’re forgetting that a gram of fat is 9 calories, while a gram of protein is only 4.

      260 total C

      18 x 9 = 162 CFF
      17 x 4 = 68 CFP
      6 x 4 = 24 CFC

      So it’s really 162/260 fat, simplifies to 81/130, or just over 60%

    • 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!

      • This looks very tasty, and I am also looking forward to checking out some of the links you posted explaining more of the science behind keto. Who would be satisfied with a 1 cup serving? My husband and I find many keto recipes to be somewhat unrealistic in their assessment of serving size, so I guess just go with your gut if you’ll pardon the pun! Still figuring this all out, so appreciate the work you are putting into this.

        • Thanks for the feedback, Betty! I try to base my serving sizes similarly to what is listed on nutrition labels to keep things standard. For example, a can of soup will usually list 1 cup as the serving size. You can certainly enjoy larger portions and eat to fit your needs! If you are tallying and tracking macronutrients, you’ll want to adjust the nutrition info to fit your intake. Apps like Cronometer and MyFitnessPal do the heavy lifting for the nutrition data once you enter the ingredients and quantities.

          One thing that does help with hunger is eating more protein. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and has been shown to help with appetite control in dieters. Increasing the amount of meat in the recipe would bump up the protein content.

          Increased volume may also help feeling full and satisfied. Instead of increasing the meat, consider increased broth/water. For example, doubling the liquid would allow a two-cup serving size without dramatically changing the carbs and other nutrient content. More without really being “more”.

          Just a couple thoughts and ideas!

          But yes, absolutely–going with your gut on serving sizes and listening to cues from your body can certainly work with keto diets. Many people practice intuitive eating and keto with great success. It doesn’t have to be complicated! ❤️

    • 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!

  • 1 star
    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

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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.

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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?

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 5 stars
    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.

  • 5 stars
    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!

  • 4 stars
    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.

  • Thanks for your delicious sounding recipe. Going to give it a go for this evening’s supper! What flavor of bullion did you use? Would the liquid broth also work?

  • 5 stars
    So to stay in ketosis 1 1/2 cup will do or add cheese i also like spicy foods so i used chorizo mild sausages and it smells really good my children like Mom you need to make this more often ?????

  • My friend hates cabbage rolls and she had followed another cabbage roll soup recipe but I decided I would give this a try. With ingredients so simple, how can you go wrong? Boy was I glad!! This is so simple but very yummy!! I also used concentrated beef stock than boullion which gave me an extra carb per serving but so worth it. I have a feeling this is going to be a go to meal in my keto living – thank you!

  • 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I used two cans of Rotel, one regular and one spicy. The thing I have only seen one more person mention was I needed twice the amount of water. Maybe my cabbage head was super large, but the 8 cups of water was perfect.

  • SO delish! I used beef broth rather than bouillon, and added red pepper flakes. Used Parmesan and flax seeds on top for garnish when served. Best ever! Thanks!

  • 4 stars
    I made this amazing soup tonight. Absolutely yummy. As a bariatric patient I need all the protein I can get. My husband is trying to drop 10 pounds. I could loose 10 as well. This is the first recipe I have made with the Keto diet in mind. I am looking forward to making other recipes. Thank you so much.

  • 5 stars
    This is a solid gold recipe. I do some additions: 2x yellow squash, 1 bunch celery. Helps to add bulk and fiber. Sometimes I add spinach or kale at the end.

  • 5 stars
    I really loved this! Just like a cabbage roll in soup form. I did add more water as the 4 cups didn’t seem like enough and it still turned out great.

  • 5 stars
    Love how versatile this recipe is! I’ve made it countless times–each one different. I can whip up a mirepoix with whatever veggies I have on hand (That wilting celery? Yup. Those almost-too-slimy mushrooms? Sure.) and dump in whatever else Ifind in the fridge. My favorite so far was using the leftovers from the whole chicken I cooked in the IP the night before. I prefer it spicier than what the recipe calls for, but that’s an easy fix. I too could eat this all the. damn. time. Thanks for sharing!

  • 5 stars
    Just started eating Keto this week and I sure do appreciate your simple, down to earth recipes. Nothing too fancy and easy for someone like me to get used to this way of eating without feeling like I need to buy a ton of spices and things I normally would not use. Thanks for your site!!!
    This soup is simmering on my stove right now and smells wonderful!

  • 5 stars
    We are having a super cold Oklahoma day so my husband suggested soup for dinner. My mind went to corned beef and cabbage. I googled and saw this. So. I made it because it sounded amazing and very nearly what I was craving. Aaaaaand it was amazing. I could have eaten whole pot, husband also would have loved thirdsy’s. Lol
    Thank you so much! Is a keeper!

  • Made this tonight and it was amazing 🙌🏽 The only thing I did differently was added more liquid. It was delicious and perfect on this rainy day! Thanks again!

  • 5 stars
    I love this and replaced the cabbage with sauerkraut because sauerkraut is fermented and probiotic. The sauerkraut must be a very good quality- I like “Wild Brine” or Trader Joe’s. Do not make this with a low quality sauerkraut or canned sauerkraut. Rinse the sauerkraut very well and strain and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

  • 5 stars
    I used sliced up Brats instead of ground beef( for their fat content), and browned it in butter first. I was looking for a way to add more fat to my day and this was awesome!

  • 5 stars
    I made this soup last night and it was sooooo good! I had been looking for an easy keto friendly soup to make and this one was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I’ve made this twice using a 28 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes. I serve with a dollop of sour cream, crushed red pepper, and chopped cilantro. It’s delicious! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  • 5 stars
    I just started keto about a week and a half ago, and I decided one of the things I’d do is make a big pot of soup every week or so and freeze some bowls of it to have a quick meal when I don’t know what to eat, or want an entrée other than some kinda meat or a salad. I’ve been looking up keto soup recipes like crazy and decided to try this one out this week.

    This soup is so good I called my mom after I made it to tell her how good it was. I hate cooking (it’s one of the things I’m having to get used to on keto… I almost never cooked my own food before) but this was super simple and easy to make. The only thing I changed was I used a whole (small) onion and maybe a little bit more cumin (I was kind of eyeballing it, but I think what went in was probably more than a teaspoon). I love that you can kinda just throw everything into a pot together and it doesn’t have to be perfect to still taste delicious.

  • 5 stars
    Hi Tasha! I have a double recipe of this made just now and have all the ground beef grease on the side. Should I dump it into the soup, too?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  • I would love to replace the Rotel canned tomatoes with chillies for the same brand Rotel diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime. I wonder if this has been done? Thank you
    Still beginning and trying to get into ketosis and loosing.

  • 5 stars
    Thanks so much for these tasty recipes. I love both the cabbage soup and the cabbage roll in a bowl. I can’t wait to try out others!

  • This recipe sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it 🙂 but I have a question… what brand of boulion cubes do you use that are gluten free? I feel like all the ones I’ve come across contain some sort of gluten.

  • Love this soup, thank you so much! I’m home sick and this soup is perfect. Next time I’d just add another head of cabbage. I guess I’d need to up the seasoning too then. I added some carrots to add a little more color too. Will definitely make this again!

  • 5 stars
    YUM! I have it simmering on the stove now! I just started this keto journey after my brother lost over 100lbs. I was struggling to find recipes I felt good about. glad I found this site!!!!!

  • 5 stars
    I made this recipe about a month ago and it was a hit! Even for my twin 3 year olds! I did make one change if you like a little spice instead of the Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies use the Rotel Habaneros & green chilies its not hot but does give it a little kick!

  • 5 stars
    This soup is amazingly delicious! I love that it is so easy to make, no hard to find (or expensive) ingredients. I had made a similar soup years ago…cabbage soup diet or fat flush diet….anyway, there was so many ingredients. This is simple, as promised and delish! Another thing I love is that it is exactly as promised. So many keto recipes claim “tastes great / you cant tell the difference / so good!! / you will love this / just like the real thing”….and almost always disappoint. I know many things are hard to recreate on Keto, but please dont exaggerate. Thanks for a great recipe! Cant wait to try more of yours…..maybe the egg roll in a bowl!

  • 5 stars
    My husband & I both enjoyed this soup. Easy to put together & very tasty!!!! I did mine in my instant pot + used sweet Italian sausages.

    • You could swap out the bouillon broth for bone broth and a high-quality salt. That would likely be a lot more flavorful too! Bouillon cubes are my quick and easy crutch, but you can’t beat real broth.

  • I just ran across this recipe I’ve been on keto for a month and am getting tired of the same old thing. It’s on my stove right now. I only had Rotel without chilies. I thought about adding a little green pepper but I’ll try next time maybe. I’ll post results after dinner. 😀

  • This was delicious I used better than bouillon in the water rather than bouillon cubes also used roasted herb seasoning rather than cumin amazing flavor. Add chili garlic sauce to your bowl for some extra heat. 5 stars

  • 5 stars
    Great base recipe, but I added waaaay more spices. 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and a packet of sazon.

  • Amazing recipe, so delicious. I’ve made this soup 4 times in the last month. Only thing I do different is add about 2 ounces of tomatoe sauce.

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe! We have been eating this and similar variants of the recipe just about once a week ever since the weather cooled down. It’s definitely a hit!

  • I made this soup last week and already made another pot today. I used regular diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel because I don’t care for spicy stuff but I love this soup. Using the 4 cups of water really wasn’t enough so I added beef stock, still thick more like a stew but I love it that way. Thanks for the recipe, this is a keeper.

  • Well, now that fall is upon us once again and seven months in and 80lb down on the keto diet thanks to really delicious recipes such as this one!
    Super easy to make and really satisfying and delicious! I made this during the beginning of this year a few times and it’s a hit!
    I do use low sodium broth in the box in place of the water and boullion, and kick the cumin up a bit but other than that it’s a real good dish!

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