Croatian Sarma Soup (Stuffed Cabbage Soup)

"I had a wonderful Sarma Soup at a local eatery and then tried to find a recipe online with no luck. So I used recipes for traditional Croatian Sarma, stuffed cabbage leaves, and made up my own version in a soup. It is very close to the version I had in the restaurant, but I like this one better. I am not Croatian and have no idea how authentic these flavors are, but I did use elements from recipes that were described as "authentic." This would be great for using up extra rice. Very easy and such comfort food."
photo by Laurie C. photo by Laurie C.
photo by Laurie C.
photo by Laurie C. photo by Laurie C.
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Cook turkey bacon in frying pan until crisped, remove from pan to drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside.
  • Add ground beef to pan and brown in turkey bacon drippings until almost cooked through.
  • Add diced onion and cook 4-5 minutes until onions are transparent.
  • Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Drain meat mixture on paper towel lined plate.
  • Place all ingredients, including meat mixture and turkey bacon, in a large pot and cook over medium heat until it boils. Turn heat down and cook for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it gets too thick for your liking. I cook mine 2-3 hours.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Foxforce5
    VERY GOOD! It's easy and healthy. I used ground bison, a couple tsps. of vinegar, and a bit of cayenne. This recipe will impress anyone.
  2. Danette M.
    I made this according to the recipe with the beef broth, and the flavor was wonderful! It's hearty but doesn't feel heavy. I ended up with lots of leftovers, so the only change I would make next time is to add the rice as you serve it because the next day the texture of the rice was lost. Don't skip the turkey bacon! It really adds a lot of flavor.
  3. CrystalC81
    I made this soup for a "soup day" at work and haven't been able to stop eating it! Everyone loved it. It was easy to make and really tasty.
  4. Laurie C.
    I loved it! Delicious, hearty meal that shouts out for crusty bread and an apple crumble for dessert.
    • Review photo by Laurie C.


  1. Laurie C.
    Tweaks include low sodium V8, low sodium beef broth, and Lea & Perkins reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce. Instead of cabbage I substituted a bag of Mann’s broccoli cole slaw as it contains broccoli, carrots and cabbage all fully sliced. Did not have allspice and subbed Penzey’s Spices Mural of Flavor (salt-free). As recommended by another reviewer I added 2 tsp. Apple Balsamic vinegar and will add the rice when I reheat it.


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