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Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Recipe

When there is a chill in the air, I want soup. Good, hearty, stick to your ribs type of soup.

This Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley is all that but healthy and nourishing too. I added barley instead of rice and my family really liked the twist.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Photo

It’s filling enough for dinner but also delicious heated up for lunch the next day.

If you’ve ever made cabbage rolls, you are aware of the work involved. I love eating cabbage rolls but never seem to have the time to make them.

My son went to a preschool run by nuns. They have a Polish festival every year where they sell homemade food including Golumpki, which are authentic Polish stuffed cabbage rolls.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Picture

I get them once a year, but make this soup whenever I’m short on time but craving stuffed cabbage. If you want to make cabbage soup even quicker, try this Instant Pot Cabbage Soup.

I prefer to cook it simmering on my stove and this only takes 50 minutes from start to finish including prep time.

Traditional stuffed cabbage rolls usually contain rice but I decided to add barley. It gives the soup a bit of a nuttier texture but it does contain gluten.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Image

Feel free to swap to rice if you want this recipe to be gluten free. Brown rice is a little healthier and it is closer to the texture of barley that white rice.

If you prefer white rice, then go ahead and add it!

I used lean ground beef in this recipe so that the fat doesn’t need to be drained after I browned the meat. Ground turkey or ground chicken can also be substituted if you prefer.

Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Pic

This soup is a hearty meal so it really doesn’t need any side dishes to go with it. I like to serve some biscuits or whole grain bread and concentrate on what I’m serving for dessert.

Since the meal is fairly healthy, I don’t feel guilty making Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie or another decadent dessert.

Make some soup when there is a chill in the air. Try some Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley. I know you won’t be disappointed.

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Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Photo

Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley Recipe

Lisa Grant
Stuffed Cabbage Soup with Barley has all the great flavors of stuffed cabbage rolls without all the work. You get hearty beef, vegetables and delicious broth all in one bowl. Soup is always good food!
3.45 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 450 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Lean Ground Beef (I used 90% lean)
  • 1 small Onion peeled and diced
  • 1 small head Cabbage cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 14.5 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 32 ounces Beef Stock or broth
  • 2 cups Tomato Juice or V8 Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Pearled Barley (dried)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes until beef is browned. Make sure to break beef up with a spatula or wooden spoon. If beef is not lean, drain meat in a colander to get rid of excessive fat.
  • Add the onion and cook for another 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  • Add the cabbage, tomatoes, beef broth, and tomato juice.
  • Bring to a simmer and add thyme, garlic powder, brown sugar, tomato paste and barley. Stir well. Cover with a lid, turn heat to low and cook for 25 minutes or until barley is tender. If the soup gets too thick, a little water can be added to thin it out.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.


Calories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 23gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1049mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8g
Keyword Barley, Cabbage, Easy Dinners, Ground Beef, Simmered, Soups, Tomatoes
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