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Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup

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This Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup recipe is chock-full of healthy veggies, it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and so hearty and delicious. Feel free to make it as mild or knock-your-socks-off spicy as you’d like.

Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe

Somehow I missed the whole cabbage soup diet fad of the 90s. But I finally discovered the magic of a really good bowl of cabbage soup a few years ago, and have been completely hooked on it ever since. And sounds like many of you are too! Thousands of you have made and loved my favorite Cabbage, Sausage and Potato Soup recipe, which I still make and enjoy often. But I thought it was high time we had a vegetarian (and vegan) option here on the blog too. So today I present to you the most delicious meatless alternative — this Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup. ♡

Talk about a feel-good kind of recipe. This soup is filled with a freaking mountain of veggies, simmered down together in the most flavorful, comforting, delicious broth, resulting in a hearty meal that is sure to warm you up on the chilliest of winter days. It’s the ultimate clean-out-the-produce-drawer kind of soup, completely customizable with whatever leftover veggies you happen to have on hand. (Or you can save yourself some chopping and just add in a bag or two of frozen veggies.)  It’s also super-easy to make in either the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), Crock-Pot (slow cooker), or on the stovetop — you pick. It freezes beautifully, if you’d like to save the leftovers or make a big batch in advance for meal planning. And it is downright delicious.

So if you’re looking for a lighter yet still super-hearty meal to make this winter, grab a cabbage at the market (it’s in season!) and let’s simmer a big pot of soup together.

Green Cabbage for Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup

Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Ingredients:

So as I said, the ingredient list for this vegetarian cabbage soup recipe is super flexible! Especially when it comes to veggies/potatoes/beans. Feel free to just use whatever you love and already have on hand, and skip what you don’t. :)  To make this cabbage soup, you will need:

  • Onion and garlic: These two are a must to help flavor the soup.
  • Cabbage: I recommend using standard green cabbage for this soup. For a shortcut, feel free to just purchase a bag of shredded green cabbage instead of chopping it yourself.
  • Diced tomatoes and green chiles: I used two cans of fire-roasted Ro*Tel tomatoes and green chiles here, which were delicious. Feel free to use hot or mild varieties. Or if you would like to skip the chiles altogether, you can just use cans of regular or fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Other veggies: I cleaned out my fridge with this batch, using carrots, celery, Yukon gold potatoes, and spinach…plus a jar of roasted red peppers. But please use whatever veggies you love! (For a shortcut, you can also use a bag of frozen mixed veggies…plus a small bag of frozen diced potatoes, if you’d like.)
  • Veggie stock: This will help to season the soup, so find a good one.
  • Beans: These are totally optional, but feel free to add in a can of any type of beans you like for extra protein.
  • Seasonings: I used ground cumin, a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and lots of freshly-cracked black pepper. A pinch of dried oregano would also be delicious here. Or if you prefer a more Italian-seasoned soup, see notes below under “Variations.”

Healthy Spicy Cabbage Soup Recipe | Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free

How To Make Cabbage Soup:

This soup is easy to make on the stovetop, or also in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or Crock-Pot (slow cooker) — you pick! The method is basically the same for each. Simply:

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic: Small step that adds big flavor. Or if you’re in a hurry (or using a slow cooker), you can skip this step and just add them in with everything else in the next step.
  2. Add just about everything else: Except the greens. We’ll stir those in at the very end.
  3. Cook until soft: Depending on your cooking method, either:
    • Stovetop: Bring the soup to a simmer. Then reduce heat to maintain the simmer, cover, and cook until the veggies have softened.
    • Pressure cooker: Cover and cook on high pressure until the veggies have softened.
    • Slow cooker: Cover and cook on high or low heat (your preference) until the veggies have softened.
  4. Season: Stir in the greens. Then taste and season the soup with salt and pepper, as needed. And if you think it needs more cumin and/or crushed red pepper flakes too, add ’em in.
  5. Serve: Then garnish with some fresh herbs if you’d like (optional), and serve nice and warm!

Healthy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe


  • Want a faster soup? Feel free to use any of these shortcuts:
    • Use a bag of frozen mixed veggies and frozen diced potatoes, instead of chopping everything by hand
    • Use a bag of shredded green cabbage, instead of chopping a head of cabbage by hand
  • Want a spicier soup? Feel free to either:
    • Opt for the “hot” variety of Ro*Tel tomatoes and green chiles
    • Add in more crushed red pepper flakes
    • Add in a finely-diced jalapeño or two (sauté it along with the onions)
  • Want a milder soup? Feel free to either:
    • Omit the crushed red pepper flakes
    • Use cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (instead of a tomato and green chile mixture)
  • Prefer Italian seasonings? No prob, simply:
    • Omit the cumin and add in 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • Use cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (instead of a tomato and green chile mixture)
    • Garnish with fresh Italian parsley, fresh basil, and/or lots of Parmesan cheese
  • Have other veggies on hand? Toss ’em in! The veggie list in this recipe is super-flexible, so feel free to just use whatever you like or already have on hand.

Storage Instructions:

To store cabbage soup, let it cool close to room temperature. Then transfer it to sealed containers and either refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. (This soup freezes beautifully!)

Enjoy, everyone! 

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Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe

Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 21 reviews
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10 servings 1x


This Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup recipe is chock-full of healthy veggies, it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and so hearty and delicious!  See notes above for possible variations, including how to make the soup more spicy or mild.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes and green chiles (or simply fire-roasted tomatoes, for a milder soup)
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more/less, to taste)
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach or kale
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Stir in garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Add in the vegetable stock, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, roasted red peppers, beans, cabbage, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the greens until combined.  Then taste and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with toppings if desired.


Crockpot Cabbage Soup Instructions:

  1. Add onion, garlic, vegetable stock, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, roasted red peppers, beans, cabbage, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl of a large (6-quart) slow cooker.  Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the greens until combined.  Then taste and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with toppings if desired.

Instant Pot Cabbage Soup Instructions:

  1. Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot.  Add oil.  Then once it is heated and shimmering, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Stir in garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
  2. Add in the vegetable stock, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and green chiles, roasted red peppers, beans, cabbage, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.  Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 25 minutes.  Cook.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove lid.
  3. Stir in the greens until combined.  Then taste and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with toppings if desired.

Vegetarian Cabbage Soup Recipe | Gimme Some Oven

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39 comments on “Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup”

  1. Yummy! This is going to be my favorite recipe!

  2. I never think of using cabbage anymore (weird, because I had it all the time as a kid– my grandma used it a lot!), but I’ve been on the hunt for new soup recipes for the fall. This looks like the perfect addition to our biweekly meal plan– totally going to try this in our Instant Pot! Thank you so much!!!

  3. I vote for the Italian version! I’ll be making this often through the winter, partly to keep some of the winter fat at bay :-) Bay leaf would be a good flavor add too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I love that you provided so many different variations! Makes this so easy to cook. You mentioned finding a good vegetable stock – any tips on doing that? I’m always flummoxed by so many different brands of veggie stocks and broths at the store!

  5. Excellent recipe! I froze half of it. After assembling it into the slow cooker on my lunch hour, it was already smelling good when we walked in the door after work. Then I threw in 3 handfuls of baby spinach and chopped parsley, and a short 10-15 minutes later, wow! The full carnivore I reside w/ couldn’t help himself, and inhaled a large bowlful.

  6. I followed the recipe exactly. We loved this recipe! Do you have the nutritional information on this soup?

  7. I love anything spicy and anything with cabbage! I added some broccoli slaw and cauliflower rice over the potato… next time I’ll try a turnip or parsnip for more “cruch” or add some cabbage later — but loved it!

  8. A new fave of mine during the flu season! I make it with spicy chorizo diced instead of adding the spices, it gives a nice twist :)

    Thanks again for an awesome recipe!

  9. very best ! make several times a month in winter

  10. Super awesome recipe

  11. wow great i love doge he amazing

  12. Made this soup last week – was the first fit when I literally typed “spicy cabbage soup” and this result said vegetarian, which I am! Loved the whole article. I added a can of Del Monte Mexican corn for extra color, kick and flavor – which I humbly suggest others follow suit. As for kale vs spinach, I opted for kale as I wanted to avoid slimy cooked spinach. Another good choice as it adds color, texture and antioxidants/vitamins.

    Will he making SEVERAL more times and can’t wait to vary the recipe each time!

  13. Love this soup. One tip to make it even quicker. Use a jar of chunky salsa (your preference) to add the heat .

  14. I put my own little spin on this recipe I use carrots, green beans, both yellow and green zucchini, a small butternut squash, onion and a small head of cabbage. I used the time and basil with garlic and crushed red pepper; OMG! I can’t seem to get enough. I get a week’s worth of food out of one pot of soup either as a snack or as a side dish of my dinner and I averaged about 3.5 to 4 lb of weight loss a week. I love the smell of it in my refrigerator and I love the taste of it on a chilly afternoon. You should give it a try! It is very tasteful and is gotten more results than I ever thought I could imagine. Peace and love give it a shot.

  15. Very thorough and let you do all your own options but I really love that you give the different ways to cook it

  16. Mmmm made this in my crockpot yesterday! Great recipe! I threw in some soy chorizo ? I’ll definitely be making this often this winter! And it’s guilt free after eating too much over Thanksgiving ?

  17. I made this tonight and we all loved it! I plan to make it again and serve it with cheddar biscuits. Highly recommend! ?

  18. I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and all the variation tips given. It definitely gave me more confidence to create my own variations, especially when I don’t have certain ingredients on hand!

    I personally don’t like tomato chunks in soup (I love them fresh, just not cooked), so I puree the fire roasted tomatoes to take away the texture I don’t like. I also have added in salsa verde in place of the green chilis since I kept forgetting to buy them. I add about 1/3 cup of medium salsa verde to get the level of heat I like. I have also tried adding in sun-dried tomatoes when I didn’t have fire roasted peppers, I didn’t think it added much for me, but I don’t like cooked tomatoes in chunky. I also routinely leave out the roasted red peppers, it’s just not an ingredient I often have stocked in the pantry.

    My husband, mom, and teenage sister love this soup! My older sister after she tried it traveled 2 hours home and made it herself the next day =) I also brought a small container to my coworker when she mentioned she liked the smell of my food but had never eaten cabbage before. She liked the soup (although mine was a bit spicy for her) and asked for the recipe and bought everything to make it over the weekend.

  19. Very tasty! Didn’t have tomatoes sauce or roasted peppers. Used a jar of medium salsa and didn’t add the red pepper flakes because it had enough heat. Next time I will probably add an extra can of beans. Hubby loved!! We will make this again again! Thank you for sharing ?

  20. I just made a soup based on this recipe. You know how soups are… I added some stuff I wanted to use up and substituted some stuff I didn’t have. Celery seed instead of celery. A few mushrooms. White kidney beans instead of great northern. I went with the cumin seasoning. And sadly, I had no greens. I wouldn’t say it was spicy, but it was very, very flavorful. I had 2 bowls and I feel totally comfortable taking some to work tomorrow for my co-workers since my husband doesn’t eat cabbage soup. Thanks for a good recipe!

  21. OMG! I’m so glad I saw this recipe….I bought cabbage a couple days ago and this sounds yummy!

  22. Oh my goodness. This recipe is AMAZING. I made it in my pressure cooker and it turned out perfectly. I added zucchini and used chickpeas instead of great northern beans. I also added a half can of jalapeños I had in the fridge for an extra kick. I am adding this to my regular rotation. Yum!

  23. I don’t white beans or chickpeas. Do you think that lentils or pinto beans would be a better substitute in this?

  24. I made this last night for dinner; made several alterations because of what I had. I had one can of 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes but had a can of diced green chilis. I added a can of white beans and 1/2 pound of andouille sausage. I had some left over mashed potatoes which I also added. So that may have altered the consistency of the soup. So I guess I really didn’t make this soup but the end product was REALLY good. It’s adaptable which is my final take.

  25. This soup is delicious as written but also adaptable. I used 1 14-oz. can of regular diced tomatoes and added some cayenne pepper. Left out the jarred peppers. Very tasty and highly recommend.

  26. I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious!!! I made a few substitutions, using purple cabbage, pinto beans instead of great northern beans, and used 1/4 tsp of the red pepper flakes. It makes a large amount, so I’m able to freeze some of it. Thanks for helping me with my WFPB lifestyle!

  27. Wow We could not believe how wonderful, and flavorful this soup is..
    This soup was so easy and healthy to make.
    I served it with a good sourdough bread, and everyone loved this .
    I has enough for dinner for the next night, and froze the rest.

    My husband said, I can’t Believe I love this soup.
    Willl certainly make this again.

  28. If I do change up the veggies…how many cups of veggies would I need?

  29. This soup is absolutely delicious. I use fire roasted tomatoes without the chilies, but otherwise cook it exactly according to the recipe. I’ve made it 3 times thus far and it never disappointed. I freeze three quarters of it and can confirm that it tastes just as good reheated. Bonus points for its effects of my digestive system as well (I have occasional IBS issues and this soup treats / regulates my stomach very well)
    Thanks so much for this recipe!

  30. Looks delicious and satisfying ?

  31. How should I make vegetable stock

  32. Omg, this soup is so satisfying! I was surprised that “just” a veggie soup could be so delicious and filling, yet light…this recipe is a keeper for sure, and thank you for opening my eyes to the glory of cabbage soup!

  33. I’ve made many vege soup recipes over the years.
    I like this the best. Lots of flexibility too with spicyness, frozen/fresh vege options
    I’ve made it several times.
    Always a big hit !!!

  34. So delicious! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  35. Hi. I have never had any success with freezing potatoes in dishes. They have always gotten spongy. Is there a trick to freezing them?

  36. I have made this soup at least 8 or 9 times over the winter and love it that much! I have made an adaptation that I think has big benefits. First, I do cut added stock back to about 4.5 to 5 cups, depending on how much cabbage I’m using since it does add to the cooked liquid content. I am a huge fan of dried beans, and have used several different varieties of Ranch Gordo dried white beans in all the times I’ve made this recipe. I cook a half pound and use all of them and their cooking liquid, upping the quantity of beans. I use the bean pot liquor to replace an equal portion of the stock and add an appropriate amount of concentrated broth to give the bean liquid the flavor of the veg stock. This makes the soup more bean-y and much thicker and richer with the addition of the bean cooking liquid. To be fair, when I pre-cook my beans, I do add a few aromatics and a good dollop of olive oil so that might up the richness. I assume it would be possible to adjust the liquid content so that the beans would to have to be cooked ahead of time but have not done this since it would be a little more tricky to gauge how much water would be needed. Also, since I make a larger volume with the beans and often find that my cabbage is a bit bigger than the recipe calls for, I do use an 8 qt instant pot.