This easy one-pot stuffed pepper soup simmers ground beef, diced bell peppers, and white rice in an aromatic tomato broth. The result is an ultra-comforting meal that’s always a hit with the family. Stovetop and crockpot option.
Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite go-to dinners. The delicious mix of seasoned ground meat and rice stuffed in a bell pepper always leaves me feeling full and satisfied. But when I’m not up for the work that comes along with the classic recipe, I transform it into a hearty soup instead.
This stuffed pepper soup recipe has all the best parts of the classic dish but just in a hearty and thick liquid form. I love making it for my family during the cooler months (aka soup season!), and I often keep a batch frozen in the freezer too, for emergencies.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Best texture and flavor. No one likes a thin or skimpy soup, and this one is NOT that. It’s thick and hearty, and you get the chew from the rice. It’s full of cozy and rich tomato flavor that is never overpowering.
- Incredible leftovers. I don’t often lament about leftovers (and my family typically dreads them), but like a curry or a stew, the flavor tastes even better the next day or two days later.
- Wholesome and healthy. The soup is light yet filling and satisfying despite its healthy ingredients. It’s naturally gluten-free and easy to make vegetarian, too.
- Crockpot option. If you are a die-hard crockpot fiend, I’ve included my method of cooking it in the slow cooker too!
This soup is easy to whip up using a flavorful blend of budget-friendly veggies, beef, seasonings, and broth. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil. To sauté the veggies, aromatics, and beef. If you are looking to cut back on the fat, you can use a splash of beef or vegetable broth instead.
- Bell peppers. I like a mix of red and green bell peppers, but use any color you like.
- Onion and garlic. These savory aromatics give the soup a fantastic baseline of flavor.
- Ground beef. I used 80/20 ground beef so there is a little fat for flavor, but it doesn’t make a huge difference so feel free to use extra lean cuts if you prefer.
- Salt and pepper. For flavor.
- Beef broth. Store-bought is fine, but homemade beef broth will take the soup to the next level. If you don’t have beef broth, veggie or chicken broth is fine.
- Crushed tomatoes. For an acidic, umami flavor. I’ve also tried this with Italian-flavored tomatoes and really enjoyed the flavor. do not drain the tomatoes- you want to add juices and all.
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes. For a touch of heat. If you don’t like spicy food, replace this with another can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
- Italian seasoning. A must in classic stuffed peppers, so it a must in the soup. It’s full of spices like oregano and basil.
- White rice. Or any rice, really. Long grain rice and jasmine rice are two standard options. There is no need to cook rice first.
- Cheese. Optional, but I sometimes like to sprinkle some shredded cheese just before serving.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make stuffed pepper soup
Stuffed bell pepper soup is foolproof. Just remember to prep all of your ingredients ahead of time, so they cook evenly and in the same time frame.
Step 1- Cook the peppers and onions: Sauté the peppers, garlic, and onions in an oiled soup pot until soft.
Step 2- Finish the filling: Add the beef, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook until the meat is browned. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning next.
Step 3- Simmer: Bring the soup up to a simmer.
Step 4- Add the rice, then serve: Stir the rice into the soup and simmer until it’s tender, then serve.
Alternative cooking methods
I typically use the stove top method because I don’t want to whip out my crockpot but making stuffed pepper soup in it is SO easy and hands-off. I tested it successfully so here is how to make crockpot stuffed pepper soup:
Start by sautéing the aromatics, vegetables, and beef in a skillet, then add it to a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Recipe tips and variations
- Practice mise en place: This is just a fancy way to say have all your ingredients prepped and measured before the cooking begins. It makes it so much easier, trust me.
- Use day-old rice to save time: We often have plenty of leftover rice or pasta in the fridge and use it in this soup. The only difference is that we add it to the pot around 15 minutes before serving it, or it will be a little too overcooked.
- Adjust the consistency: This soup is forgiving and includes how thick or thin you want. Lots of rice will give the soup a thicker consistency while less rice will do the opposite.
- Use other ground meat: Use a 1:1 mix of ground beef, ground pork, or ground sausage. If you’d like a lighter soup, you can use ground chicken or ground turkey (like we use in our ground turkey soup).
- Switch out the grains: We typically use rice but have used bulgar and orzo successfully.
- Make it low-carb. Swap out the rice for cauliflower rice. If you choose to do this, only add the cauliflower at the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Cook and store the rice separately if you want to save the leftovers for later or make this for meal prep. The rice soaks up the liquid as it sits, making it soggy over time.
To store: Store the cooked and cooled soup and rice in separate airtight containers. Keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze: Freeze the soup without the rice in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
To reheat: Dump the leftover soup in a pot and reheat over medium heat. Stir in the rice and heat until warmed through.
Frequently asked questions
This is a hearty and filling soup that doesn’t need much in terms of side dishes. Pair every bowl with a hunk of crusty bread for dipping and/or a leafy green salad and roasted vegetables to make it a part of a well-rounded meal.
Yes! When made as instructed, this dish is suitable for celiacs.
This soup can be easily made meatless by omitting the beef completely or using a plant-based protein source, like tempeh or tofu.
More delicious soup recipes
- Tuscan White Bean Soup
- Chicken Soup
- Hot and Sour Soup
- Asparagus soup
- 4-Ingredient Potato Soup
- Cauliflower soup
- Cheeseburger soup
Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Heat olive oil in a deep pot or Dutch oven and once hot, sauté bell peppers, garlic, and onion until softened.
- Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper. Cook until beef is browned.
- Mix in the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in white rice and simmer another 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.
Recipe originally posted September 2023, but updated to include new information for your benefit.
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