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This stuffed pepper soup recipe uses everyday ingredients and is simple to make on the stove or in your slow cooker! Get all your favorite stuffed pepper flavors in a warm and hearty soup with minimal effort.
Want to make it in your Instant Pot instead? Try this Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup version.
Why you’ll love it
You know when you’re craving stuffed peppers, but just thinking about the effort leaves you tired? This soup solves that! I’m all for quick and easy, and this stuffed bell pepper soup fits the bill perfectly. Honestly, the hardest part is chopping up the veggies, and I actually find that kinda therapeutic.
This is one of those soups that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours, but it can be on your table in well under an hour. Your whole family can enjoy the cozy, familiar flavors of ground beef, bell peppers, and rice in this inexpensive soup on a busy weeknight and might even prefer it to actual stuffed peppers!
What you’ll need
- Rice – I recommend a white rice variety like jasmine, basmati, or sometimes you can find rice labeled as a general “long grain white rice”. Brown rice will work too.
- Olive oil – the base for sautéing
- Onion – use your favorite variety. I like Vidalia (sweet) onion
- Ground beef – use the leanest than you can find. The 1.5 pound measurement of beef doesn’t have to be exact!
- Garlic – infuses more savory flavor. You can use more or less depending on preference.
- Bell peppers – I used one red and one green, but any colors are fine
- Tomato sauce – for my international readers, this is very similar to passata
- Diced tomatoes – we’re using fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor
- Chicken broth – you could use beef broth if you prefer for a richer color and flavor
- Italian seasoning – it’s a blend of dried herbs that comes in a single jar
- Mild paprika – one of my favorite spices to enhance the broth. It sets it apart from other soups!
Tips for success
- The quality of your canned tomatoes really matters in this recipe. I find that Muir Glen’s fire-roasted variety is ideal for this soup, but you can use regular diced tomatoes.
- If you’re not a fan of larger pieces of tomato, you could sub for petite diced tomatoes for a different texture.
- If the tomatoes end up tasting a little bit acidic, a great trick to counter that is adding in a pinch of sugar to take the sour edge off!
How to make stuffed pepper soup on the stove
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the rice. Meanwhile, sauté the onions for 5-7 minutes in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Stir in the garlic.
Put in the remaining ingredients except for rice and salt & pepper, and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, add it to the pot and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes, then season the soup and enjoy!
How to make stuffed pepper soup in the Crockpot
- Brown the beef first, and then transfer it to your slow cooker along with everything except for the rice and salt & pepper.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- About 20-30 minutes prior to serving, add the cooked rice and season to taste. Easy!
Substitutions and variations
- Want to make this soup spicy? Add in hot paprika instead of regular paprika or some cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes.
- I’ve seen people top this soup with shredded cheddar cheese, so feel free to do that if it’s your thing!
- I used ground beef in here, but you can swap in ground turkey, ground pork, or even ground chicken if you prefer.
- You could cook the rice right in the soup, but I don’t advise it since timing may be tricky. You also might need more liquid and to stir constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will last in the fridge for a few days, but the rice will soak up the liquid the longer you leave it. You may need to add a splash of broth to revive any leftovers.
- If you think you’ll have lots of soup left over, you may want to store the cooked rice separately and add it just prior to serving when you’re rewarming the soup.
- If you plan on freezing the soup or eating the bulk of it as leftovers, I recommend not adding the rice until you’re warming it up again! It’ll last in the freezer for 3 months.
Questions about this simple stuffed pepper soup? Did you make it? Talk to me in the comments below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Easy Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 3/4 cup uncooked rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped finely
- 1 green bell pepper chopped finely
- 1 (13.5 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juices)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Start by cooking the rice according to package directions. If you have already cooked rice on hand, save it for later in the recipe.
- While the rice is cooking, add the oil and onion to a large soup pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes (ok if it browns slightly – that'll give the soup more flavor). To save time, I chop the peppers while the onions are cooking.
- Add the ground beef to the pot and cook it for 5 minutes, using a spoon to stir/break up the beef as it cooks. If the beef is particularly fatty (it shouldn't be if you bought lean), drain most of the excess grease before proceeding to the next step.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Add in the peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice to the pot and continue to cook the soup for another 10 minutes or so. This will helped thicken the broth a bit and infuse more flavor into the soup. Season as needed with salt & pepper.
- You can use regular diced tomatoes if you wish, but the fire-roasted ones give it extra flavor.
- I used jasmine rice in this recipe. Feel free to swap with another rice e.g. brown rice or any variety of long grain white rice.
- Freezing and leftovers: If you plan on freezing the soup or eating most of it as leftovers, I suggest not adding the rice until you’re warming it up again. It’ll either go mushy or soak up most of the broth.
- Crockpot version: You can definitely make this stuffed pepper soup in a slow cooker. Brown the beef first, and then transfer it to your Crockpot, along with everything except for the rice and salt & pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. About 20-30 minutes prior to serving, add the cooked rice.
- Check out the Instant Pot version.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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This recipe was originally published on April 19, 2018. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!