Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The best thing about cold weather? It’s the best excuse to make a big pot of soup or stew! This recipe is an Italian take on our standby cabbage soup. More a stew than a soup, it uses Savoy cabbage (you could also use Napa cabbage), which is milder than regular cabbage, Italian sausage, white beans, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

I’m so used to German treatments of cabbage, I’m surprised at how good this stew is with the Italian sausage and Parmesan. I don’t usually think of Parmesan and cabbage paired together, but they really do work in this stew.

Easy to make and easy on the budget. Buon appetito!

Italian Sausage Cabbage Stew

Updated from the recipe archive, first published 2011.

Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10

We use savoy cabbage for this recipe, but you could use regular cabbage, or even collard greens or dinosaur kale. If you want to make this stew vegetarian, leave out the sausage and double the beans.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk, or removed from casings
  • 1 large yellow onion, half sliced and half minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or Navy), drained
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 2-pound savoy cabbage, quartered, then sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup to a cup of freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish


1 Brown the sausage: Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (8-quart), thick-bottomed pot. Add the sausage, breaking it up into pieces as you put it into the pot in a single layer.

When the sausage has nicely browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.


2 Sauté onions, garlic: Add the minced onion (save the sliced onion for later) and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

Once the onions give up some of their water, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.


3 Add wine, beans, boil, lower heat to simmer: Add the white wine and the beans and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. If you want, for a thicker base, use an immersion blender to blend some (or all) of the beans and onions.

4 Add water, stock, salt, cabbage, sliced onion, bay leaves sausage, then simmer: Add the water, stock, salt, cabbage, sliced onion half, bay leaves and browned sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until the cabbage is tender, about another 10-20 minutes.

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To serve, sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated cheese.

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Italian Sausage Cabbage Stew

Showing 4 of 79 Comments

  • Laura

    My first stew for this “fall,” and wonderfully comforting. Used what I had, so it was regular cabbage and lager, and it was still “just right.” I also added orzo for extra body, and there was still plenty of flavor. Honestly, with quality sausage and parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley, onions, and garlic, you can only go wrong if you don’t know how to season food to compensate for variability in ingredients. This quick and easy recipe is a keeper.

  • Jessica

    This stew a was big hit with my family. For a bit more green I threw in some kale. Delish!

  • Laila Marshall

    I made this soup precisely as written. It was bland and boring. It should not be diluted with water. It lacked flavour, no herbs or spices added. I doubt that I’ll make it again. There are far better cabbage soups online to make. I suspected that it would be boring when reviewing the ingredients but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. The recipe also calls for far too much cabbage. I made another recipe recently from Simply Recipes, pasta fagioli, and that was bland and boring as well. In that case, too much pasta was called for.

  • Foodiewife

    I made this soup, with one tweak. I didn’t add the beans, because I wanted to add Yukon gold potatoes that I needed to use. I didn’t add extra water, instead adding a little chicken demi glace to a low-sodium chicken broth and little thyme. I also made this in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. Can I just say, that this soup was outstanding! It was so comforting, and I love cabbage. I think the white wine gave the perfect balance of acidity. This one is a keeper.

  • Brad

    Can this be cut in half?

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