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Oxtail Soup

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 10 hours


8 servings (3 quarts)

Updated: May. 10, 2023
This wonderfully rich slow-cooker oxtail soup will warm your soul and your taste buds. Oxtail stew is a favorite family heirloom recipe. Don’t let the name of this dish turn you off. Oxtail describes the meaty part of the tail of an ox (now commonly cow). The meat is delicious but requires long and slow cooking. —Bobbie Keefer, Byers, Colorado


  • 2 pounds oxtails, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage


  1. In a large skillet, brown oxtails in oil over medium heat. Remove from pan; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker.
  2. Add carrots and onion to drippings; cook and stir until just softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetable mixture to slow cooker. Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, salt, oregano, thyme and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Cook, covered, on low 8 hours. Add cabbage; cook until cabbage is tender and meat pulls away easily from bones, about 2 hours longer. Remove oxtails; set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and shred meat. Return meat to soup. Discard bay leaves.

Can you freeze Oxtail Soup ?

Freeze cooled stew in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth or water if necessary.

Oxtail Soup Tips

How do you trim oxtails?

Oxtails can be tough to cut, so it’s best to ask the butcher to slice them into pieces (if they aren’t already). Trimming the thick pieces of excess fat off the oxtails before cooking will ensure a stew that’s flavorful with a velvety mouthfeel.

How can you make slow-cooker oxtail soup less oily?

Oxtails are rich in fat—and while fat means flavor, the stew can get a bit oily. Trimming off any large pieces of fat before cooking will help reduce the oil in the finished stew. After cooking, skim off excess fat from the surface with a shallow ladle or large serving spoon. If you’re cooking a day ahead, refrigerate the stew, then remove the solidified excess fat before reheating.

What else can you put in slow-cooker oxtail soup?

Potatoes are a natural addition to oxtail soup. Add them 30 minutes before the stew is done cooking, and they will be flavored with the rich cooking juices of the stew. They will also help thicken the broth slightly. Turnips and parsnips also make flavorful additions to oxtail soup. Again, add them in about 30 minutes before the stew is done. If you’re looking to add even more veggies to your meal, stir in 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves just before serving. They will quickly wilt and add a touch of green along with some added vitamins.

What do you serve with slow-cooker oxtail soup?

Butternut squash risotto is a great complement to oxtail soup, or try a mango jicama salad for a crisp accompaniment. We also like this soup served over garlic-mashed rutabagas and potatoes.

How should you store leftover oxtail soup?

Leftover oxtail soup will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or 3 to 4 months in the freezer. If you freeze the soup, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, and add more broth or water as needed when reheating. If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out more of our slow-cooker soups.

Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager, and Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 204 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 705mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 5g fiber), 16g protein.