Appalachian Food

Cabbage Patch Stew

bowl of soup with crackers

I’ve been making Cabbage Patch Stew since before I was married.

cover of cookbook

Back in the day Granny was really into cutting coupons, saving box tops, and other money saving grocery things. Every time she earned a free item she kept going till she earned three of the item: one for each of her children’s hope chest. Not that we really had a chest 🙂

I can’t remember how she won or earned the Bisquick Cookbook but from the moment she brought it home I started using it.

recipe for cabbage patch stew

I’ve always been a fan of cabbage and I’m sure that’s what made me try the recipe in the first place. I made dumplings as the recipe suggests the first few times I made the dish back when I still lived with Granny and Pap, but I haven’t made them in years. We usually eat the stew with crackers. It’s also really good with cornbread. To make the dumplings: mix 2 cups bisquick mix with 2/3 cup milk until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto boiling stew and then following directions in recipe.

I also rarely use the celery the recipe calls for. It’s just not something I buy on a regular basis.

I prefer using kidney beans, but black beans work as well. I’m sure pintos or great northerns would be good in the stew too.


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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 6, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve been making a similar recipe like yours for years…Pretty much all the ingredients go in it that is in this list…Don’t hurt to leave out a few…Major ingredients of course, cabbage, onions, diced tomatoes, and ground beef…I prefer kidney beans if I have them on hand…I also have added a finely chopped, carrot or maybe add a chopped zucchini to use up stuff out of the garden..Zucchini takes on the flavor of about anything since it is a bland veggie…goodn’
    We like Mexican cornbread with our cabbage stew or soup…gives a tiny kick..I rarely use chili pepper in my cabbage stew…
    I am copying your recipe for reference..
    Thanks Tipper for this post…

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    April 6, 2020 at 9:14 am

    This looks pretty good. I have tons of the Bisquick cookbooks – I love them. I think I would leave out the chili powder and use pinto beans instead of kidney beans. And I am like you, I would bake cornbread to eat with it. For it to be in their cookbook, I guess they had to add the dumplings to it, though. I love their dumpling recipe.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 5:08 am

    The only way I enjoy celery stalks is raw, crisp, and sometimes dunked into dip or salad dressing – I never put it in soup, where it just seems to turn into mush. But I do use the celery leaves chopped up in soup – they add a light peppery flavor.
    A couple of weeks ago I cooked a pound of pasta and made a crockpot full of soup with things from my freezer – roasted turkey, broth made from the turkey bones, carrots, candy roaster puree – and froze a couple of containers each of pasta and soup (separately) after putting some in the fridge. That soup turned out so well I’ve already thawed out and eaten the containers from the freezer! I put about half and half soup and pasta in a bowl and microwave. Sometimes I add a seasoning or plain yogurt to change the flavor a bit. I think there’s one serving left, so time to make another crock I guess…we got several inches of very wet snow yesterday, so definitely soup weather.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    That looks good! Had I not already made beef and barley stew for dinner tonight along with a fresh loaf of homemade bread I started this morning… I would’a made this! Especially comforting on a dank-dreary day here SEPA…

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    March 23, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Yikes. No pg 7 for the dumpling recipe.

    • Reply
      March 23, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Colleen-oops! Here’s the dumpling recipe: mix 2 cups bisquick mix with 2/3 cup milk until soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto boiling stew and then following directions in recipe 🙂

      • Reply
        Colleen Holmes
        March 23, 2020 at 9:36 pm

        Thank you, Tipper.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    That stew looks really good, I’d probably like crackers or cornbread also… love making big pots of soups/stews …my mama was a good soup maker, for meat in hers she liked to use short ribs…. me I sometimes use short ribs, hamburger , or chuck roast, according to what’s on sale, or I’m hungry for :)…tonight we are having left over Shepherds Pie….one of my husbands favorites……. while” social distancing” today I got into rearranging my pantry some, and my husband put new brake pads on the front of his Truck….. to do’s done… yesterday we headed out for a country drive. hope all of you are having a nice day, in spite of the new changes all around.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    That looks delicious but if I made it, it would be enough for me for about 6 meals. Do you think I could freeze it?
    It’s so hard to cook for one and not waste food. I have to have cornbread so I have developed a recipe of my own. I can make a cake and eat half of it at one meal. “That’s a lot of cornbread” you might be thinking but it’s not if you make it in a 5 inch cast iron skillet. Here’s the recipe if anybody lives alone and likes cornbread.

    1/2 cup plain yellow cornmeal (white cornmeal will do but I like yellow more)
    1 heaping tablespoon of plain all purpose flour
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
    1 tablespoon of oil of your choice
    1/2 tablespoon of butter or grease for the skillet
    Enough buttermilk to make a thick batter.

    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the 5″ skillet inside.
    While the oven is preheating stir together the dry ingredients.
    When the oven is preheated add the butter or grease to the skillet and leave it in the oven while you stir together the wet ingredients. Save the buttermilk until last so as not to make the batter too thin.
    Remove the skillet from the oven using an oven mitt or a pot holder, carefully swirl the fat to coat the sides and sit it on a medium hot eye on the stove. Immediately pour the batter into the skillet. If it sizzles you know it is hot enough. Put the skillet back in the oven for about 15 minute or until the top crust is a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and invert onto a plate, cut or break into appropriate size pieces. Pour a tall glass of that buttermilk, cut up an onion and chow down.
    ** For those who don’t like buttermilk, bless your poor heart, sweet milk or a beverage of your choice will substitute.**

    • Reply
      March 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Ed- Thanks for the recipe! I’ve froze leftovers of the stew before and it worked great.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2020 at 5:16 am

      Thank you for your recipe, Ed – the reason I don’t make cornbread more often is that I am also “cooking for one.” I’ll try your method soon.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Ed if you ate “crackling cornbread” growing up…. try putting some fried pig skins ( in the chip aisle) in your next batch of cornbread. I make a small pan of it just for me cause my kids are not fond of it. Not the true “crackling bread” but a very good substitute. Tarheel from Washington state.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 23, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    I didn’t have any hamburger meat or celery, so I used Deer Meat in with my vegetables. That’s fine. I put sliced taters in it as if I’m gonna have tater soup, and the chili tops it off and the onions make the stew taste good. It’s cookin’! …Ken

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 10:56 am

    O itlooks so good. I will definitely try this Tipper. I love cabbage any ol way. I know it will be good.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 10:33 am

    I love cabbage raw or sauteed so I think I will try the recipe. It is a dreary rainy day here in south central PA and a stew sounds pretty good. Thanks for the idea! Plus, as I scrolled down to the comment section I saw the picture of an old post on How to Make Mulberry Juice which immediately made me remember the Mulberry Tree that stood right next to our home. When I was about 9 years old, my cousin and I would climb up on the roof of our house and pick the berries. We put them in a bowl with a little milk. Oh so good. Thanks for the pictures that bring back such sweet memories.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I make a lot of soup using chicken but never ground beef. I love cabbage in soup and will try your recipe using stew meat, as I haven’t eaten ground beef in many years. The Taste of Home posted a recipe online called Slow Cooker Mexican Beef Soup that calls for beef stew meat. That is the best soup I have ever made. I have made it over and over using stove top and not a slow cooker.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      March 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      I don’t buy ground beef but I do use it occasionally. I have a grinder attachment for my mixer. I buy various cuts of meat that’s on sale and looks good then trim and grind my own. That way I know exactly what is in my food.

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Granny’s frugal ways remind me of the way my mom taught us. She would coupon and catch bargains all year, and to each of us she would give as one gift a collection if useful items in a bag. it would contain useful items such as shampoo, lotion, deodorant, and one year a purple portable hair dryer. She would have made this recipe of available then, as she made many dishes that would feed an army. I remember two big pots of vegetable soup. One pot had macaroni and one did not, and that was as picky as she ever let us be. The soup did not have one piece of meat, but was delicious. These Appalachian women taught us how to ride out the storms of life, and we will surely have the skills to “make do” with what we have, and all of us will be able to ride out the Caronavirus storm. I have been eyeballing that huge cabbage I got on sale, but I am thinking Kraut. A search for a kraut recipe t is what led me to the Blind Pig over a decade ago!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 23, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Sounds good! I usuallly make cabbage soup like Miss Cindy’s, but I think I’ll try this.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 23, 2020 at 8:40 am

    I like cooked cabbage with cornbread. And this rainy, foggy day is just the kind of day for a stew. The ingredients make me think of a hardy country vegetable soup except that the chili powder is an interesting twist. I do like a spicy heat though in soups and stews and most everything. I did, however, finish off my last homegrown cabbage head just the other day. I grew six but only ate part of one.

    You planted the thought. So we are having home canned vegetable soup and smoked cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches for supper. My wife sure likes having the supper plan long before suppertime. I am not much help a lot of the time. I don’t eat much anymore and rarely take a craving for anything. She thanks you and I thank you.

    by the way, have I ever asked you if you all grow parsnips? I planted some last spring and had a total failure. But I still have seed so I think I will try again. I’m wanting to try some honey glazed and some in vegetable soup or maybe with a pot roast.

    • Reply
      March 26, 2020 at 11:34 am

      Ron-I tried growing parsnips one time because the girls love them, but I didn’t have any luck.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    March 23, 2020 at 8:31 am

    My Wife fixes s pot of something close to that, using black and kidney beans but never celery. She hates celery because she got sick on a celery diet years ago. We also never use chili powder but instead use cayenne pepper for soups, stews, or chili. My Good Wife makes so much soup from about November till warm weather ever year. I’m burnt out. I tease her and call her a soup hound.
    I almost forgot to mention that for a different taste she sometimes uses pork sausage instead of beef.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    March 23, 2020 at 8:19 am

    The title kind of turned me off, but when I saw the picture it looks very tempting. I am sending it to Wife.

    The wife has now passed your recipe for biscuits to our daughter. they made a batch on Saturday and we all had our fill.

    Have you ever heard of ham pie? It uses country ham and boiled eggs with dumplings all cooked with a biscuit crust. My wife’s family is the only one I know of that has made it.

    • Reply
      March 26, 2020 at 11:33 am

      Harry-never heard of ham pie before-but it sounds tasty 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 23, 2020 at 7:01 am

    That sounds and looks very good. I just happen to have a head of cabbage and am planning to make some kind of cabbage stew today. I haven’t yet decided all that I will put in it, so far am planning on chicken stock, cabbage, onions, celery, carrots and this is where it gets creative, not sure what else I’ll include, perhaps some barley! I also have some fresh chives from my little herb garden.
    I like to make up a recipe as I go!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 6:01 am

    My Wife makes something similar to that minus the dumplings and celery, she don’t like celery, I do, I can eat it raw.

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