This healthy cabbage stew recipe is perfectly balanced with savory sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, brown rice, tomato and meaty soy curls. A hearty version of unstuffed cabbage roll soup made without meat, incredibly delicious, packed with nutrition and with just the right amount of smokiness from fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.
A hearty veggie packed vegan stew version of unstuffed cabbage roll soup with lots of fresh dill and caraway seeds. Incredibly delicious with just the right amount of smokiness from fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika to keep you warm and cozy through the colder days.
Meatless, dairy free and gluten free, this is an easy 1-Pot savory meal to keep you nourished all winter long. Easy made on the stovetop, in your large dutch oven but can also be adapted for the crock pot if preferred. Freezes well for a great make ahead dinner, budget friendly and really just good for you!
About the Ingredients
- Cabbage – A mix of both fresh green cabbage and sauerkraut is best! This will result in the most delicious flavor profile with deep savory layers of flavors. If only fresh cabbage is used the flavor will be on the sweeter side and lack balance, so I’d recommend balancing that sweetness with some apple cider vinegar and more tomatoes in the broth if going that route. Any type of green Napa or Savoy cabbage will work great here, using red cabbage is not recommended as it will turn brown as it wilts and lose its colorful appeal factor.
- Onion – One yellow onion diced and sauteed until it starts to get a little color is the first layer of flavor. You could use leeks instead and cook them down until collapsed and caramelized around the edges.
- Tomatoes – Fire roasted tomatoes help balance out the sweetness of the cabbage and infuse the broth with a subtle smokiness together with a good amount of smoked paprika. Use them both! (A dash of liquid smoke is also nice if you are a fan).
- Rice – Use a brown rice variety you love here. Short grain, long grain, basmati or quick cook brown rice will all work great. Remember to wash it well in a few changes of water to remove as much of the arsenic as possible, yes even organic rice. Alternatively you could use barley, farro, presoaked wheat berries, quinoa, amaranth, lentils or toasted Fregola.
- Soy Curls – They are totally optional but I love using them to “beef up” the stew with meaty clean protein. Rehydrate for 20 minutes in hot water, squeeze and mince until it resembles ground meat. Easy, good for you and for the environment. Chopped up mushrooms are a great alternative too if that’s what you fancy.
- Toppings – A heavy pouring of sour cream is the traditional way to serve this meal. There are quite a few plant based dairy free options available, I’m partial to Kite Hill for everything from texture, flavor to ingredients. You can load up with smoky tempeh bits, pan seared beyond Italian sausage or sliced up veggie dogs.
- Fresh Dill – It belongs in here, it completes the stew in European fashion. There’s really nothing quite like it and i personally will not make this meal unless i have fresh dill. All things considered if you aren’t a fan then by all means finish with Italian parsley or lots of fresh onion chives.
- Water – pure water is all you need to make the most delicious savory broth straight into the pot. No need for overly salted store bought veggie stocks at all. Save your money for those good fresh veggies and all the spices.
On Storage + Make Ahead
- Crusty bread
- Chimichurri sauce or sour cream
- Homemade dinner rolls
- Potato flatbread
- Garden Focaccia
- Vegan Caesar salad
- Panzanella bread salad
- Skillet Focaccia Bread
- Vegetable Rice Pilaf
- Paprika Roasted Potatoes.
Vegan Cabbage Recipes
- Cabbage and white bean soup
- Sweet and sour cabbage soup
- Cabbage potato soup
- Tuscan white bean and kale soup
- Unstuffed cabbage roll casserole
- Fried Cabbage and Noodles
- Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Zuppa Toscana.
How To Make Cabbage Stew
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 green cabbage thinly sliced (approximately 4+ cups)
- 1.5 - 2 cups sauerkraut
- 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup sliced pickled peperoncini (OPTIONAL)
- 8 oz soy curls (optional)
- 1 cup brown rice rinsed well
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 8 cups water or veggie stock
- sea salt + black pepper to taste
- 5 sprigs fresh dill + more for garnish
- Soak the soy curls in a big bowl covered with hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. Use a sharp knife and chop up the soy curls into small pieces.8 oz soy curls
- Meanwhile saute the onion in a large heavy bottom stock pot over medium heat until translucent. Use a little splash of water or veggie broth (omit oil on WFPB diet). Stir in the caraway seeds and toast a minute or so until fragrant.1 yellow onion, 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- Add the fresh cabbage and continue cooking until wilted. Stir in the brown rice and cook another minute or so.1/2 green cabbage, 1 cup brown rice
- Add the sauerkraut (and peperoncini if using), chopped soy curls, bay leaves, smoked paprika, onion + garlic powders, canned tomatoes and fresh dill.1.5 - 2 cups sauerkraut, 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, 1/4 cup sliced pickled peperoncini, 8 oz soy curls, 2 leaves bay, 3 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp onion powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 5 sprigs fresh dill + more for garnish
- Pour in the water or veggie stock and bring to a constant simmer. Cook 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. (If using quick cook brown rice adjust cooking time according to the package directions.)8 cups water or veggie stock
- Adjust seasonings with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve with fresh dill and cashew cream.sea salt + black pepper to taste
Crock Pot Directions
- Sautee the onion, caraway and green cabbage. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 6 hours or on hight for 3 hours.
WFPB + Plantricious
- To make the recipe Plantricious + WFPB compliant make sure to omit any oil and saute in water or veggie stock.
- Soup or Stew? - As the soup sits the rice will continue to absorb more broth and turn it into a stew. You can thin it out with more veggie stock as desired when re-heating.
- Cabbage - A mix of both fresh green cabbage and sauerkraut is best! This will result in the most delicious flavor profile with deep savory layers of flavors. If only fresh cabbage is used the stew will be on the sweeter side so I'd recommend balancing that sweetness with some apple cider vinegar and more tomatoes in the broth.
- Rice - Use a brown rice variety you love here. Short grain, long grain, basmati or quick cook brown rice will all work great. Remember to wash it well in a few changes of water to remove as much of the arsenic as possible, yes even organic rice. Alternatively you could use barley, farro, presoaked wheat berries, quinoa, amaranth, lentils or toasted Fregola.
- Soy Curls - They are totally optional but I love using them to "beef up" the stew with clean protein. Rehydrate for 20 minutes in hot water, squeeze and mince until it resembles ground meat. Easy, cruelty-free and good for you. Chopped up mushrooms are a great alternative too.
- Liquid Smoke - If an even smokier flavor is desired you can add a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke to the soup just before removing from heat.