Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew

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.

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


  • 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.

sausage-cabbage-stew-method-3 sausage-cabbage-stew-method-4

To serve, sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated cheese.

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  • 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.



  • Kathleen

    Delicious, had a ton of flavor. Made it two days in a row to share with family. A keeper.

  • Emily

    Hi Elise,

    Can this be made with just a regular green cabbage as well?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Anna

    This soup is so good! I used a regular green cabbage, sauvignon blanc, a few red pepper flakes, and about a cup of dried navy beans that I pre-cooked. Even my 14 year-old nephew liked it. Thanks Elise!


  • Cindy Corcoran

    Made this last night…it’s very tasty as many of Elise’s recipes are! I didn’t add the water since there was enough to liquid with the broth and wine. I added more garlic, another can of beans and used 1 1/2 lbs bulk turkey sausage and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Just finished the left overs for lunch!

  • P

    Ours didn’t turn out very well, we don’t cook much with white wine.

  • Lisa Kim

    Can this be made without the wine, and say, sub in more broth or water? I’m not sure I’ll feel good feeding it to our young children but otherwise sounds delicious.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lisa, almost all of the alcohol boils off, so there shouldn’t be an issue. That said, if you want to skip, just use more stock plus a couple teaspoons of lemon juice.

  • Abby (@ No Fail Recipes)

    May family loves this dish! I add a little bit of basil as well as a couple potatoes and carrots. We hardly ever have any leftovers!

  • Eugenia

    Made this last night for dinner this Friday. I know my husband has been sampling it as the soup is disappearing.

  • Tom

    I’ve made this a few times and a few ways too :). I cut out the beans because I’m on a low carb diet and I actually like it better that way. I’ve tried different greens and cabbage, but savoy is my fave. I also feel that hot italian sausage adds a lot of extra flavor and only a slight bit of heat.

  • crystal

    Made this tonight after searching for a recipe for what I had on hand. I did use two cans of beans as some suggested and added shredded carrots because I needed to use what I had left. I also used regular cabbage because its what I had. The whole family loved this. It was so good the whole pot was eat since I have 3 teens and 1 school age child. Husband raved about how good it was. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Its a keeper.

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      Maybe the shredded carrots would sweeten the recipe a bit? I gotta say, this recipe takes me out of my comfort zone a bit, but that’s ok. I’m ready to be stretched a bit and live in an area where cabbage is a big deal!

  • Marita

    Delicious! This is going to be served quite often this winter! Thanks for another keeper!


  • Phyllis in NJ

    Oops… forgot to mention that I also add 1×14.5 ounce (411 g) can of petite diced tomatoes.

  • Phyllis in NJ

    Delicious recipe! One of our top 3 family favorites so I portion into containers and freeze so we always have on hand (goes quickly so I make a lot!). Used Chorizo, substituted water with vegetable stock, added one turnip, one carrot, one parsnip. The Chorizo gives it the spice, but I do add a pinch of red pepper flakes while sautéing the onion.

  • Rainah

    Yum! We did have to modify this after a first bite….. We really *had* to add a tad of lemon juice and hot sauce if we were going to enjoy this recipe (we could’ve eaten it w/out the changes, but not enjoyed it) But with those two small additions? This soup was amazing then! We found that we can make this in the crockpot w/dried navy beans in roughly four hours (probably great northern would be done in that time too). With the crockpot, personally, I don’t think this could be easier……… But as is, it’s a great quick soup. ALSO, I THOUGHT WE HAD CABBAGE WHEN WE DIDN’T, SO, BASED ON YOUR GREAT ADVICE I SUBBED FROZED SPINACH (but also had to add peas) AND IT WAS SO VERY, VERY GOOD……, MY CHILDREN WERE GOING BACK FOR MORE, MORE, MORE…… *happy mom*! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  • Diane

    Drool worthy. Added potatoes, mushrooms and fennel seeds, but otherwise followed the recipe. Oh my!

  • Tina

    Delicious! My whole family loved this soup. I added carrots and a second can of beans. Thank you for sharing this :)


  • Aimee

    This is so good!!!!! We made it last night (I forgot beans at the store, so we omitted those) and the whole family loved it. I have three year old twins, and they kept saying “mo soup!” So it earned their approval as well. A perfect quick-cook stew that tasted even better than it looked. (and it looked darn good!)

  • KariVery

    I made this with a few substitutions (because I was out of some ingredients) and it ended up being kind of a Spanish or Mexican version – I used beef stock instead of chicken, and chorizo sausage. I also added crushed fennel seeds, and a healthy dash of cayenne pepper. Didn’t have beans, so left them out. I used a regular head of cabbage, which worked fine. I used cilantro instead of parsley. It was dee-lish!

  • Carmen

    I made a few times over the winter and found that leftovers can be frozen for later.


  • Lauren

    This was soooo good!!! I didn’t add water and instead doubled the chicken stock. Also, I threw in a parmesan rind which added a nice flavor. This is definitely a keeper.

  • Carmen

    Wow! I added one small sliced fennel bulb, 2 Tbs. Tomato paste, and about 1/2 Tsp. of smoked paprika and it was awesome. Husband thought that he should make a sandwich since we were having soup. He didn’t make the sandwich…but he did have 2 heaping bowls with lots of crusty bread. We loved this dish.


  • nicky

    This sounds yummy. My question is: can you freeze the leftovers? Thanks.

    Good question. I haven’t frozen this dish, but if you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you.~Elise

    • [email protected]

      No reason it cannot be frozen. We have a very similar dish here but served more as a soup and I freeze it regularly.

  • Jenn

    This was delicious! I did have to add a bit more liquid than the recipe called for (a small can of chicken stock & another quart of water) b/c it just seemed to be too thick after I put the cabbage in. Of course if anyone reading this does the same, make sure you taste & adjust for seasoning! I live in Henderson, NV & although it was 105 yesterday, it hit the spot! I’m more than ready for cooler weather so this is my way of feeling like it is even when it isn’t.. haha

  • kathy

    I used to be one of those cooks who added to many ingredients to the pot, then wondered why it didn’t taste as good as grandma’s (or my mother-in-law, or my neighbor who’s following her mom’s recipes). It’s taken a long to realized that those true comfort foods, like the best of italian and french and cajun foods, are truly best when the barest of recipes is followed, true to form. I just made a second batch at his request, which he had for lunch today. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Angela

    Yum, this turned out so well. Great flavor!

  • Thom

    A very nice combination of flavors . . . I did make a few changes: used dried cannellini beans and used the pot liquor instead of the water. And, I left out the salt; but I couldn’t resist adding some pepper and dried pepper flakes Next time, I will definitely double the beans and maybe throw in some sliced carrot. Oh, and I used real cabbage.

  • Jeanine

    Made it tonight–it was well liked, despite the fact that I only had regular cabbage and sake instead of white wine. Wonderful that it doesn’t require a jillion ingredients to be that tasty.

  • Christine Stiff

    Thank you! Good recipe.

  • Amber

    I love this soup! I have been making a similar version for years, but never thought of using cabbage. I can’t wait to try it!
    I use Turkey sausage for less calories and spinach for the greens.

  • Sanya

    Thank you for the great recipe. It came out delicious.

  • Moxie

    Great recipe! Yum cabbage! We doubled the ingredients with the idea of freezing half for later, but in 3 days every bit was gone. This is going to become permanent in our kitchen.


  • Ed

    Very, very good. When I make it again, though, I’m going to use two cans of the beans and only about a cup of the water.

  • Michelle

    Made this tonight with a few substitutions due to not going to the grocery this week :) :
    black beans
    1/2 red and 1/2 white wine
    spicy italian sausage

    It was amazing!! I love a good cabbage stew!!

  • Carol from Minnesota

    Awesome, I’m on my second bowl, and it’s terrific. I didn’t have wine so I just used chicken stock to replace wine and water. Also added red pepper flakes. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Karita

    Wow! This soup is yummy!!! My only experience with cabbage has been sauerkraut, which I detest, so I was a little leery of trying this recipe. However, I LOVE sausage and the soup sounded so good and heartwarming that I had to make it! It was a success… The broth was so rich & flavorful and the sausage added just the right amount of oomph. I think I’ll add another can of beans to the next batch but other than that it was fantastic!

    It has definitely opened the door to cabbage in my kitchen.

  • Zoe

    Well – this was good, but not great… which surprised me since I love all the ingredients and love cassoulet. But the combo was only eh. I might have nixed the parsley and added thyme perhaps. Also – someone mentioned it being a perfect meal for their windy evening. Well, my husband and I just laughed and laughed. No wind outside, but whoa! Was it hurricane season indoors. Cabbage and beans! Jeesh, gosh and holy moly! Not date food.

  • Janet

    Quite delicious! I used smoked turkey broth (from a smoked turkey) and think this really took it up a notch. Also added a second can of white beans after pureeing the the first one.

  • Barbara

    This soup is a winner in our house. I added a few winter root veggies and some mushrooms to it, and it came out great. My husband kept commenting that it has such a great tasting broth before you even get to the rest of the soup, and I agree. We are looking forward to eating the leftovers tonight :) Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Nancy

    This was fabulous! I live alone, so made a smaller batch and simplified it to suit what I had on hand. I tend to use dried spices as it is easier for a single cook! I used hot italian sausage, Trader Joes turkey broth for the base (love this for ALL soup), and regular cabbage. YUMMY

  • Jacqueline

    I made the soup last weekend on a particularily cold day in Northern CA and it was incredibly good! It’s great just following the recipe, but I’d love to try it with a mix of a mildly hot Italian Sausage and probably more beans. I used a white kidney bean, one 14 oz. can, and it felt like it could have used more substance to it. But the flavor, especially with the parm on top….so so yummy! And simple! You’ve got to try it!

  • Kandi

    Wow!! Tried this the other night, so simple and able to prepare after work. Use hot Italian sausage and regular cabbage, otherwise followed the recipe to the tee. Hubby doesn’t do cheese so left it out. The hot sausage really gave this a zip, will make it over and over. Cabbage is one of our favorites. I think I might try this w/brussel sprouts next time. Thanks again always on your site.

  • liliya

    Just made it, I added fennel seeds. So good, thanks for the great recipe.

  • Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    Another fantastic recipe, Elise! I sent my mom the recipe when you posted it, and she made it the next day – to rave reviews (and she used a different cabbage; not sure which). I just made it tonight, using turkey italian sausage, and it was simply delightful! The flavor was perfectly seasoned and balanced. I thought the sole can of beans was superfluous, actually, but next time I just might add two cans.
    Lovely – thanks!!

  • Stephanie

    Made this last night. It was quick, easy and most importantly tasty. Keeper recipe. Thanks!

  • KimH

    I made this last night.. YUM!! I had it for breakfast & lunch today too.. :D
    I used a mix of both spicy & sweet Italian sausage and celery cabbage. I also used Chardonnay wine I had in the frig waiting for a recipe to use it in.. :D It was a perfect fit!
    Thanks so much for your delightful recipes!!

  • Russell

    Replacement Questions:

    – Mix Sweet and Spicy Sausage?
    – Use a different bean (red beans, maybe)?

    I have most of the ingredients for this soup at home (except the white wine, a little more sausage and perhaps the beans). I’m going to see if the wife will make this tomorrow for lunch or dinner :)

    Sure, mix it up a bit! ~Elise

  • F boulanger

    This is an amazing meal. We cooked the stew earlier this week, and it was a ht with everyone. This is a great use of cabbage, something we don’t eat enough of. The rusticity of the meal and the rich flavors are the bomb!

  • Casey

    I’m an American living in the UK and I do the following whenever Italian sausage is called for: To a pound of pork sausage I add about a teaspoon of fennel seeds (slightly crushed), half teaspoon of oregano, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Used it in this recipe and it turned out wonderfully!

  • Dean Mudd

    Made a batch of this soup for lunch. I ended up draining the fat from the sausage on paper towels as there was a lot after the sausage was crisped brown. First time ever using Savoy cabbage and it seems to hold on to some crispness after cooking, unlike the regular green cabbage which tends to go mushy when eating as leftovers. As the soup came to a finish a blanket of snow hit the ground here in Mead WA…yuck on the weather….thumbs up on the soup!


  • Julia

    one word, YUM!! I thought there would be enough for left overs for lunch the next day, I was wrong. My husband and mother-in-law wiped it out.

  • Shelley

    Obviously you’ve never seen the savoy cabbage in our stores in AZ…it looks like it’s 100 years old…limp, dry, lifeless. Does it have to be savoy. Seems like all the other cabbage varieties are fine, but savoy but be not used much for anything. I’d love to try this but…

    You can use regular cabbage. ~Elise

  • Cherie L.

    Made this tonight with Toulouse Sausage even my husband who doesn’t like cabbage ate seconds and said it came out better than he feared! My toddler ate some too.

  • deb

    I made this using turkey Italian sausage and also added some cayenne pepper for some heat. I put angel hair pasta in the bottom of the bowls as well. I would use more beans the next time. All in all, really delicious. The parm gave it such a nutty, buttery flavor.

  • Gery

    Excellent! Modified a bit: used both hot and sweet sausage, added carrots, and used all chicken stock instead of the water. Served with crusty french bread, almost couldn’t stop eating.

  • David

    Just made this last night and it turned out wonderful. My wife was appreciative. I have been coming to your site for a few years now and have loved all the different recipes.

    I decided to use an immersion blender to blend the white beans and onions completely and went with the pecorino romano cheese.

    Looking forward to all the many more recipes yet to come.

  • Deb in Indiana

    To anonymous in the UK: usually Italian Sausage here in the US is ground pork with a pinch of garlic, oregano, and rosemary, varying amounts of red pepper flakes and a spoonful of fennel seed. The fennel and red pepper seem to be the dominant flavors.

    I love pork and cabbage — a match made in heaven.

  • Martha H.

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great! I agree with Sara, next time, I will add another can of beans. Very good.

  • Sara

    I made this for dinner tonight and my fiance and I both loved it! I would add more beans next time and puree some of them – I did not puree any this time because I didn’t feel like I had beans to spare and I wanted there to be whole ones in there too. I also think this would be good with some type of small pasta (like ditalini) added in (to individual bowls, not into the whole pot so that they don’t get too soggy and smooshy). Really awesome flavor as is though! Cabbage and sausage are two of my favorite things and this dish is super comforting and perfect for winter. I’m sure the leftovers will be delicious too!

  • Jessi

    I made this last night for dinner. I used spicy Italian sausage and then followed the recipe exactly. It was great. It reminded me of some Russian soups I have had. I would definitely make it again as a budget friendly way to feed 4-6 people.

  • kat

    Loved this! Love most everything I try on this site : )

    I did add a little extra broth (had a slightly larger cabbage) and would add more beans next time (maybe about 50% more? I did not puree any either)

  • Anonymous

    As I live in the UK I am not entirely sure what would be considered the equivalent to Italian Sausage. I know we can obtain Chorizo Sausage here but this is more like salami. Can anyone make any suggestions please as to what I should look for as I like the sound of this recipie.

    • Louise

      I looked for Italian sausage while I was over there last week and couldn’t find any in ASDA. :( We used a hard garlic sausage that I found near the Pepperoni. It comes curved, in a shrink-wrapped package (if that helps). It worked well in my Italian dish.

  • randi

    This was a delicious dinner. My son has been talking all night about how much he liked it.
    Went well with my first attempt at bread which was really good.

  • slapshoe

    This looks basically lovely, but unfortunately most kinds of beans make me ill. Would garbanzos make a decent substitute, or would the flavor be wrong? (I have no idea what beans even taste like any more.)

    Yep, I think garbanzos would work, or you could just leave the beans out. ~Elise

  • Kristi Rimkus

    I’m often at a loss with something to do with cabbage besides braising it, or making a salad. I love the savory flavors in this soup with the Italian seasoning and creamy beans. Wonderful for a cold winter evening. Bet it would work well in a slow cooker.


  • Cheryl

    I made this yesterday and served it today at our hunt breakfast. It was a delicious hunt breakfast recipe and reheated well. I used regular cabbage too.

  • DS Bakker

    I made it last night with great northern beans and bok choy (because that’s what I had on hand). I did not blend the beans and onions, opting to keep the broth clear. I served it with toasted garlic baguette. Yummy.

  • anna

    I’m a sucker for a good food photo and you got me…..and the meal was DELISH! I followed the recipe and it was divine but next time i’ll add some fennel. Got some gorgeous house made italian sausage from a little market here in seattle and it got me wanting some more fennel.

    yum yum yum! thank you! ;o) Anna

  • Peter

    Looked appealing and made it tonight. Used a mix of fresh mild and spicy sausage from Parma ( and dried navy beans. Savoy cabbage was a great suggestion! I blended about 1/2 the bean and onion. Great winter dinner.

  • Holly

    I made this for lunch today with ordinary cabbage; it was delicious! I can’t wait to taste it tomorrow. Thanks for a quick and easy meal.

  • Dan

    Any suggestions for the white wine?

    I think it’s flexible. Actually for this last batch I used some leftover champagne. Usually I recommend a dry white wine for cooking, such as a Sauvignon Blanc. But basically the best guideline is to use a wine that you like to drink. ~Elise

  • JoD

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. It sort of reminded me of a favorite dish my Italian gradmother made, which was a real money saver. Just steam chopped cabbage, saute garlic to taste in enough butter to coat cabbage, and toss all with parmesan cheese. Great, inexpensive side dish.