Cabbage Stew Recipe

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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. 

Cabbage Stew

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!

Cabbage Stew

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

This soup is meant to feed a crowd and makes excellent leftovers. It’s actually even better the next day. It can be stored in the fridge in glass containers up to five days or frozen up to six months in freezer proof lidded containers. Remember to thaw it out in the fridge before re-heating.

Serving Suggestions

Vegan Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Stew with Sauerkraut, Soy Curls,Tomatoes and Brown Rice.

Vegan Cabbage Recipes

How To Make Cabbage Stew

Cabbage Stew
5 from 2 votes

Cabbage Stew

A hearty vegan cabbage stew / unstuffed cabbage roll soup with sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, brown rice, tomato and meaty soy curls. Incredibly delicious and perfectly smoky from fire roasted tomatoes + smoked paprika. A whole food plant based recipe, meatless, gluten and dairy free!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:55 minutes
soaking the soy curls:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.
    Certified Plantricious Recipe

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1611IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Soup, Stew
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: cabbage soup, cabbage stew, plant based, wfpb
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Florentina

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11 Comments

    1. Sorry Tia, for some reason one line of the instructions didn’t get uploaded in the recipe card. All fixed now, you’ll need to soak the soy curls first so you can easily chop them up then add them to the soup with the brown rice, tomatoes and all the spice. Enjoy!

  1. My favorite soup from my childhood, I can’t believe how amazing soy curls are and how perfectly they work in this recipe. Thank you for sharing, this one is also a keeper I’ll be making all winter long.

    1. did you put lentils in at time alotted for the soy curls? and what type of lentil do you think is best for this? I think I may try it this way!! thx!

  2. I was not able to find “fire roasted tomatoes” in any of the stories in my neighborhood, but I do have cans of San Marzano tomatoes. How do I fire roast them? Or can I use them instead? Please advise.

    1. Hi Esther, you can definitely use the San Marzano tomatoes they are my favorite actually. You’ll have enough smokiness from the smoked paprika here so it is most definitely going to be delicious.

    1. I’m sure it could but I have not made it in the IP myself, it’s really easy to make on stovetop and easier clean up in my opinion so I just use my dutch oven for most soups and stews.

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