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

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 large (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 83 Comments

  • Christi Hamm

    Made this this morning! I left out the wine and just used chicken stock, a bit of apple cider vinagar helps add acidity. ..I also added carrots because I was sure recipe called for them….lol……any chace you have a calorie and protien count????

  • Scott

    Omg this is so good. Subtle and satisfying. Made it precisely as written and was surprised by how well-rounded the flavor was. Total winner. Thanks!

  • Liya

    This recipe was amazing! I followed it exactly and cannot wait to make the tweaks others suggested! Thank you for a great recipe :)

  • Kathy Kreiter

    I made this soup tonight and it was incredibly delicious. I added two cans of beans and red pepper flakes as we like things rather spicy. This will be a favorite.

  • 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.

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