Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Soup and StewBudgetItalianCabbage

EASY, hearty and simple Italian peasant stew with cabbage, parsley and Italian sausage.

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 Cook the sausage: Heat the olive oil on medium 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 cooked on all sides, 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.

To serve, sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated cheese.

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Italian Sausage Cabbage Stew

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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92 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ann M.

    I wasn’t sure my husband would like this but made it anyway! He LOVED it!! All through dinner he was making a list of things we could add to it, or smoked meat he would like to have the next time. Only change I made was adding potatoes, cooking them until al dente. Thank you for the recipe, perfect for a cold, rain/snow mix day!


  • Lisa

    Added carrots, apple cider vinegar and a touch of red pepper. Forgot the parsley -this was fabulous and my family quickly got over the cabbage whining. Thanks for a great recipe


  • Kathryn

    I’ve made this many times over the years, it is one of the few soups/stews my husband actually will eat leftovers of. With just a few ingredients, it does make a mighty fine soup! Making this today for a friend who needs some help- even though it’s the height of oppressive hot humidity down here on the Gulf Coast. Using some italian veal sausage, napa cabbage, and some Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanco’s. Kudos.


  • Chris

    I added a two teaspoons of white balsamic vinegar and a big squirt of sriracha. The vinegar and spice really brought out all the flavors.


  • JoeW

    This was last night’s dinner. VERY good.
    You can pretty much showcase any sort of sausage using this recipe.
    I used smoked sausage and some leftover ham, no bacon.
    Next time, I will use your ingredient lineup, because SOMEONE (she-who-must-be-obeyed) mentioned that “gee, this is a little smokey, isn’t it?”.

    I used all chicken stock (homemade) and it was great. That’s to answer one of the older questions about substituting more stoc for the water.

    Thanks a bunch for the recipe.



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