Low Carb Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe

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How To Make Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef – Crock Pot or Instant Pot Recipe

Learn how to make cabbage soup with ground beef, in a Crock Pot or Instant Pot. Simply the BEST cabbage soup diet recipe - or just a delicious dinner! Continue Reading How To Make Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef – Crock Pot or Instant Pot Recipe

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Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had an amazing celebration with friends or family. After all the holiday festivities, it’s time for some healthier detox food. Don’t you think so? If you do, you need this recipe for easy cabbage soup with ground beef – Crock Pot or Instant Pot methods included!

The cabbage soup diet might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cabbage soup. It was really popular at one point. You’re actually better off including this low carb cabbage soup recipe in a balanced low carb diet, instead.

Let me explain what the cabbage soup diet was about first. Then, we’ll see why there are better options, and how to make cabbage soup the better way…

What is the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan for Weight Loss?

The original cabbage soup diet plan gained popularity in the 80’s and 90’s. It was a fad diet, which I generally do not support. That term alone should tell you that there are issues with it.

But, that doesn’t mean that cabbage soup isn’t great as part of a healthy eating plan. That is a much better way to enjoy it.

For those that want to know, I’ll still go over what the cabbage soup diet involves. You start with a huge batch of homemade cabbage soup, which you can have in unlimited amounts. There are recipes to make it in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or the stove top. Also, each day of the week allows certain other foods.

In a nutshell, here is the summary of the 7-day cabbage soup diet:

  • Day 1: Unlimited cabbage soup and fruit (except bananas).
  • Day 2: Unlimited cabbage soup and non-starchy vegetables. One baked potato with butter or oil.
  • Day 3: Unlimited cabbage soup, fruit (except bananas), and non-starchy vegetables.
  • Day 4: Unlimited cabbage soup, bananas, and skim milk.
  • Day 5: Unlimited cabbage soup, 6 tomatoes, and 20 oz beef or chicken.
  • Day 6: Unlimited cabbage soup and non-starchy vegetables, plus 20 oz beef or fish.
  • Day 7: Unlimited cabbage soup, non-starchy vegetables, brown rice, and unsweetened juice.

As you can see, it involves a lot of cabbage soup! It’s also far from low carb, especially with the bananas, potatoes, milk, and rice in there. In fact, it much more closely follows the old premise of a low-fat, low-calorie diet.

This is why the original recipe for how to make cabbage soup does not include ground beef. It’s vegetables only, which means lower fat and calories. This is not necessarily a good thing, and is not sustainable. But does it work?

Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?

So, does the cabbage soup diet plan work? Yes and no. Let’s talk about the how and why.

The cabbage soup diet works at first, simply because it inadvertently restricts calorie intake. It will happen even with the unlimited cabbage soup and the starches allowed.

The small food selection combined with the volume of soup makes it difficult to eat enough calories to maintain weight. This results in short-term weight loss.

Unfortunately, it does not work in the long term. It’s a way to shed weight quickly in a week, but like any fad diet, most people gain it back quickly.

That being said, a healthy cabbage soup recipe can still be a way to kick start a diet if it helps to motivate you. The diet plan above is not recommended for a keto or low carb diet, though. I think you could modify it if you wanted to, by replacing the starchy foods with low carb ones.

Pros & Cons of the Cabbage Soup Diet

The cabbage soup diet does have some advantages:

  • It’s very high in fiber
  • It focuses on fresh, real, unprocessed food
  • It’s inexpensive and doesn’t require fancy ingredients
  • Unlimited cabbage soup means you won’t be hungry
  • It works in the short-term

Unfortunately, the disadvantages outweigh the pros:

  • Low protein intake leads to muscle loss (source)
  • Very low fat intake leaves the body unable to absorb fat soluble vitamins and minerals (source)
  • Very low calorie intake can slow metabolism (source) and lead to feeling weak
  • Most of the weight loss is from glycogen depletion (water weight) and is temporary (source)
  • Many days of the diet are very unbalanced, especially the day of unlimited bananas and skim milk
  • It’s pretty boring and bland
  • It’s a fad diet and does not work in the long-term

Do you know what’s way better than a (fad) cabbage soup diet? A healthy, low carb way of eating that you can maintain in the long term. Seriously.

What To Do Instead of the Cabbage Soup Diet

I know you want fast results if you’re considering the cabbage soup diet, but what’s the point if it doesn’t last?

Instead, a beef cabbage soup can be a delicious meal for lunch or dinner, without actually following a complete cabbage soup diet.

A long-term plan that you can stick with will get you much better results, and I definitely recommend a low carb diet for that. It will stabilize your blood sugar, keep you satisfied, and still produce results. That is why I created this low carb cabbage soup with ground beef.

The soup fits into other diets, too. It’s paleo, whole 30, and packed with nutrients. It’s just wonderful for the New Year’s resolutions going on right now, or any time you want a lighter meal! It will keep you full and can help you lose weight in a more long-term way.

Meanwhile, there’s no reason to impose the unreasonable restrictions of a fad diet. You can enjoy your cabbage soup with ground beef one day, taco salad the next, and even fathead pizza the day after that. Low carb eating gives you infinitely more flexibility than a rigid fad diet.

So, what about the soup? Is cabbage soup low carb? Yes, it absolutely can be!

Traditional cabbage soup is already moderately low carb, but it lacks fat and protein that will satisfy. And, some of the veggies, like carrots, are a little higher in carbs.

With some modifications, cabbage soup can be an even better fit for a low carb diet. There are multiple variations out there, but with this version you get protein and it’s low carb friendly. You’ll get all the benefits of the original, plus it tastes better and has even more nutritional value, as you will see.

Besides, cabbage soup with ground beef makes a meal that’s both filling and light on calories. Even though calories are not top priority on a low carb diet, you won’t lose weight with it if you eat too many. This cabbage soup recipe lightens up your lunch or dinner without making you feel deprived.

A (Better) Recipe for Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef

This low carb spin on a cabbage soup recipe includes ground beef and bone broth. If you want to know how to make cabbage soup that actually tastes good and satisfies, this is it. And, I’m even throwing in options to use the Crock Pot, Instant Pot, or stove top.

With the meat and healthy fat in there, this soup actually feels like a real meal. And, the nutrient profile is incredible. You’re going to love it.

The veggies in this cabbage soup are a little different from the usual, to keep it low carb. For example, carrots are almost entirely omitted. I say almost, because I used shredded coleslaw mix. This has just a little bit of carrots, but not enough to make the carbs too high.

The bagged coleslaw mix makes this recipe super quick and easy. I love the convenience!

If you would rather buy a whole head of cabbage and chop it up, that’s totally fine. Feel free to throw in a handful of shredded carrots if you go that route, or skip them if you want.

The main advantage of the head of cabbage is it will store in the fridge for a longer time than the pre-shredded mix. That’s something to consider, depending on when you will be making the soup. In general, though, cabbage stores pretty well even in a pre-shredded state, so it shouldn’t be a big issue.

Best of all, cabbage soup with ground beef is way more filling and more nutritionally balanced. It incorporates satiating fat and protein, which helps maintain muscle mass and aids in nutrient absorption.

Don’t worry, it’s still a very effective cabbage soup for weight loss.

The bone broth in this beef cabbage soup makes it even healthier. If you’re not familiar with it, the broth made by simmering chicken or beef bones is packed with collagen, glycine, proline, glutamine, and tons of minerals. These compounds have loads of health benefits for the joints, skin, immune system, and leaky gut, among others (sources here, here, here, here, and here).

Which Cabbage Soup Recipe – Crock Pot, Instant Pot or Stove Top?

There are multiple ways to make cabbage soup with ground beef. There are pros and cons to each method, so you can choose the one right for you.

Keep in mind that you might see cabbage soup recipes like this under multiple names, such as beef cabbage soup, stuffed cabbage soup, and unstuffed cabbage soup, among others. Don’t ask me what the difference is between the last two! 😉

The Instant Pot is the fastest way to cook cabbage soup. It takes just 30 minutes total! It also requires the least cleanup, since you can saute and cook the soup in the Instant Pot only.

The stove top is middle of the road in terms of time. It takes the same amount of time to saute the ground beef, but you’ll need to simmer it for longer. Since it doesn’t require any special tools, it’s a great option if you don’t have a Crock Pot or Instant Pot. The recipe below is for cabbage soup in the Crock Pot or Instant Pot, but the stove top will work just fine, too.

The Crock Pot cabbage soup method is great for preparing in advance. It takes the longest, but the time is hands off. After you saute the beef, let the Crock Pot do all the work for you.

How To Make Cabbage Soup with Hamburger

Okay, so we’ve covered what the original cabbage soup diet was all about, why this cabbage soup recipe with ground beef is even better, and the various methods for cooking.

Now, how do you make cabbage soup with ground beef? It’s easy!

And, all you need are simple, common ingredients. It’s yet another reason I think it’s the best cabbage soup recipe ever.

First, saute the onions in avocado oil. Feel free to use another oil or even grass-fed butter, if you’d like. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. These steps are done directly in the Instant Pot if you’re using that, or otherwise on the stove.

Next, all that’s left is to mix all the ingredients together and simmer the cabbage soup. The remaining things to add include shredded coleslaw mix, diced tomatoes, bone broth, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and bay leaves.

Either dump these into the Instant Pot, or transfer everything to the Crock Pot. Simmering the soup takes 20 minutes in the pressure cooker or a few hours in the slow cooker. Either way, it takes almost no effort.

That’s all it takes! Whether you’re looking to try a low carb version of the cabbage soup diet, or simply wanting an easy cabbage soup recipe to have as a healthy meal, this one is a must-try. And, I highly recommend the latter option!

How To Make Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef - Crock Pot or Instant Pot Recipe:

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How To Make Cabbage Soup with Ground Beef - Crock Pot or Instant Pot Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes

Servings 14 1-cup servings

Calories 111 kcal


  • 1 tbsp Avocado oil (or any oil of choice)
  • 1 large Onion (chopped)
  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 lb Shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 15-oz can Diced tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 6 cups Beef bone broth (or any broth - beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder (or more if you love garlic)
  • 2 medium Bay leaf (optional)


Crock Pot Cabbage Soup - Slow Cooker Instructions

Instant Pot Cabbage Soup - Pressure Cooker Instructions

Recipe Notes


Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and we strive to keep it as accurate as possible. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate with this information, but please feel free to make your own calculations.

Wondering about low carb sweetener options? Check out the sweetener guide & conversion chart here!

All text & images © Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum.

Shares are encouraged & greatly appreciated! Please feel free to share this recipe by sharing a link, not a screenshot.

Copy/pasting full recipe text to websites or social media is prohibited. You may share an excerpt and/or single photo, provided that full and clear credit is given to Wholesome Yum with a link back.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Easy Low-Carb Cabbage Soup Recipe

Many of us do not like cabbage. But cabbage is a herbaceous plant that is ideal for diet nutrition. The only thing that is negative is the fact that you need a lot of time to cook cabbage. But you need to eat something with a spoon. So do not miss this recipe for low-carb cabbage soup.

  • Prep time – 10 minutes
  • Cook time – 50 minutes
  • Total time – 1 hour

For this low-carb cabbage soup, you will need the following

  • 2 packages Miracle Rice – zero carbs & gluten-free (7 ounces each) optional
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 head cabbage sliced into strips
  • extra chicken broth optional


  • At first of all, prepare Miracle Rice (if using) by draining, soaking in water for 5 minutes, draining again, then boiling dry. Set aside.
  • In large stock pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic unit tender.
  • Add ground beef to stockpot and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned.
  • Stir in tomatoes: tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the cabbage and stir in. Cover and cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes or until cabbage become softened.
  • Stir in prepared Miracle Rice if using.
  • Add additional chicken broth, if desired.
  • Therefore, simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

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8:52 pm Updated by

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