Smothered Cabbage Soup with Smoked Sausage & Potatoes

  • Prep 20 mins
  • Total 1 hour
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

This cabbage soup is a combination of different heritages: Southern comfort food meets German and Irish stews with cabbage, potatoes, carrots and sausage.

TIP: To avoid scorching the garlic, sauté onion until it’s translucent, then add garlic and mushrooms.

SWAP: Could add bacon (and use its fat) instead of olive oil for a more Southern flair.  Add orange or yellow bell peppers to add color and zest.

Smothered Cabbage Soup

Smothered cabbage soup is a popular dish found in many different cultures around the world. The popularity of smothered cabbage soup comes from its simplicity and versatility. The basic recipe can be as simple as cooking chopped cabbage in a broth; however, you can also add other ingredients to your liking to create a unique flavor profile. It’s economical because most of the ingredients tend to be inexpensive grocery store items. People love this dish because it’s super easy to prepare and the base flavors are so comforting that anyone can enjoy it without much effort.

Origins of Smothered Cabbage Soup

Many different cultural influences have gone into making smothered cabbage soup what it is today. In Europe, it’s common to find versions of this soup that use smoked sausage or ham along with the cabbage, while Asian countries like China use more aromatic vegetables like bok choy or Napa cabbage as well as ginger and garlic for flavoring. 

Latin countries often serve their version with beans for added protein, whereas North American recipes may include potatoes or squash for heartiness. 

Tips for Making Smothered Cabbage Soup

These simple tips can make your smothered cabbage soup even better. 

Tip 1

To avoid scorching the garlic, sauté the onion until it’s translucent, then add mushrooms and garlic right after.

Tip 2

You could add bacon (and use its fat) instead of olive oil for a more Southern flair.  Add orange or yellow bell peppers to add color and zest.

Tip 3

Let everything cook slowly over low heat until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. This step will help bring out their natural sweetness and enhance the overall flavor of your soup.

How to Serve Smothered Cabbage Soup

Smothered cabbage soup is a hearty, flavorful dish that goes perfectly with a variety of complementary side dishes.Mixed Salad

A green salad made with fresh lettuce and vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and carrots provides a crisp crunch to the meal. To add heartiness, consider serving a grain-based item like quinoa, beans or couscous. 

Homemade Bread

Fresh homemade bread is a great accompaniment to this soup as it soaks up the flavorful broth. For an added layer of flavor, try adding freshly grated Parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese on top of the soup. 

Roasted Potatoes

Another option is to serve smothered cabbage soup with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes alongside steamed vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower for a more filling meal. 


Bacon tastes good with almost everything, including this smothered cabbage soup recipe. To add even more flavor to the meal, top the soup with bacon crumbles or diced ham before serving. You can also mix in bacon bits into the soup itself.


Adding German, Polish or Italian sausage to smothered cabbage soup is a flavorful way to make the vegetable dish heartier. Not only does the addition of sausage provide a much-needed flavor boost, but it also gives the soup a unique texture that makes it more enjoyable for those who may not be keen on eating plain cabbage.


Adding sauerkraut to cabbage soup is also a great idea. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, which is rich in probiotics — beneficial bacteria that help promote gut health and benefit your overall well-being. It can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores and health food stores. Adding it to your smothered cabbage soup provides additional flavor and texture while providing you with the added benefits of its probiotics content.

Roasted Chicken

Incorporating roasted chicken into your smothered cabbage soup is a great way to vamp up the dish. Roasted chicken provides an extra layer of nutrition and richness that compliments the flavors already present in the soup. It’s easy enough to find precooked chicken ready for purchase at most grocery stores or you can roast one yourself from scratch. Once cooked through, shredding it makes easier to add into your finished dish. 


Don’t forget about dessert! Finish off your smothered cabbage soup dinner by adding some freshly baked cookies or brownies from your Ninja™ Foodi™ air fryer for an extra special treat.


Q: What are the ingredients for cabbage soup?

A: The ingredients for cabbage soup can vary, but some of the most common items to include are cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes (including canned tomatoes or tomato sauce), vegetable broth or water and various herbs and spices.

Q: How long does cabbage soup last in the fridge?

A: Cabbage soup should last for up to three days when stored properly. To ensure optimal freshness, keep the cabbage soup covered and make sure that the temperature of your fridge does not exceed 40°F (4.4°C).

Q: What’s the best way to store cabbage soup?

A: The best way to store cabbage soup is to put it in an airtight container or resealable bag and store it in the fridge. Before storing, be sure to allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it into a container, as sudden changes in temperature can cause bacteria growth.

Q: How can you thicken cabbage soup?

A: To thicken cabbage soup you can add starch from grains like rice or quinoa; thicken with beans like white beans or garbanzo beans or add potatoes, which act as natural thickening agents when cooked. 

Q: What’s the best way to season cabbage soup?

A: When it comes to seasoning your cabbage soup there are countless options available. You might opt for classic aromatics like onion and garlic powder, fresh parsley and oregano, bay leaf or smoked paprika. Alternatively, try adding savory accents such as balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce or Dijon mustard. If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter go for brown sugar and maple syrup. Grated cheese is always a tasty addition if you’re looking to give your cabbage soup a cheesy kick.

Smothered Cabbage Soup Recipe

A combination of cabbage, onion, herbs and spices cooked slowly in the Ninja™ Foodi™ NeverStick® PossiblePot™ with broth or stock brings out all their flavors for a delicious soup. This type of cabbage soup can be smothered with additional ingredients of your choice, such as bacon, tomatoes, garlic and other vegetables to create a rich and tasty soup.

Cooking mode

Step-by-step instruction without your screen going to sleep

  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, diced
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, as desired
  • Ground black pepper, as desired
  • 1 package (13 ounces) precooked smoked turkey sausage rope or smoked beef sausage rope, cut into rounds
  • 6-8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) seasoned stewed tomatoes 
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 ½ cups water


  • Step 1

    Place a Ninja™ Foodi™ NeverStick® PossiblePot over medium heat with olive oil. Allow the oil to heat, then add the onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Season the cabbage with salt and pepper, then add to the pan with the precooked sausage and stir to combine. Cook until cabbage is slighly tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 35 minutes. When cooking is complete, vegetables will be tender.