Classic stuffed peppers are the ultimate comfort food, especially on chilly nights after a great harvest in the garden. This stuffed pepper soup recipe has all the elements you love about stuffed peppers wrapped up in a cozy soup.
Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list deter you! They’re mostly spices. And, the process of roasting the bell peppers makes this recipe stand out from the rest.
Roasting the peppers creates a sweet and smoky flavor which really levels up this soup. If you’ve tried our blistered shishito peppers, you’ll know what a difference roasting peppers can make.
Savory beef, slightly sweet tomatoes, and Italian seasonings make a delicious bite on their own. Then, add the smoky and sweet elements of roasted peppers, and you’re left with a warm and hearty bowl of comfort food you can’t put down!
Why you’ll love this stuffed pepper soup
- It’s a great way to use up a harvest of fresh bell peppers from the garden.
- There are many different variations you can make. If you don’t like ground beef, swap it out for ground turkey or chicken.
- Soup freezes really well. This recipe is the perfect make-ahead meal for the freezer.
- You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Come home to the ultimate comfort food ready to eat!
- If you like a spicy soup, you can easily add some cayenne pepper or slices of your favorite hot peppers. Experiment with different variations to make this soup customized to your flavor preferences.
About the ingredients
- 1 lb. ground beef – Stuffed peppers are traditionally made with ground beef. This is the protein in the soup, but it can easily be swapped out for another protein of choice.
- 2 bell peppers – The star of the show! We like using one green bell pepper and one red. But, feel free to use what you have on hand.
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped – Sweet onion compliments the tomatoes in the soup and helps bring together the overall flavor.
- 28 oz. diced tomato – Diced tomato acts as a hearty base. We like using Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes.
- 28 oz. tomato sauce – The tomato sauce contributes to the flavor and overall consistency of the soup.
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar – Brown sugar helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes. You don’t need a lot of sugar to do this. We find that just a tablespoon makes all the difference.
- 3 cups beef or chicken broth – Use beef broth for a heartier flavor and chicken broth for a lighter one.
- 1 cup rice – We like using plain white rice for this recipe.
- Spices (garlic powder, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, salt) – The Italian seasonings are where all the flavor comes together.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil – If you’re using a lean beef such as 90/10, use a bit of olive oil in the pan.
- 2 Tbsp. of parsley for garnish and more if needed
How to roast bell peppers for soup
The extra step of roasting the bell peppers for this stuffed pepper soup makes all the difference. It may sound complicated, but it’s really quite simple!
1. Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
2. Lie each pepper directly onto the skillet allowing them to char, about 2 minutes.
3. Using tongs, rotate the peppers so they are evenly charred on all sides, this will take about 5-10 minutes.
4. Transfer your peppers to an airtight container. One easy way is to place them underneath a bowl, or ziplock baggie. This will allow the flesh to finish cooking from the steam while becoming cool enough to handle; in about ten minutes.
5. Remove the char with your fingers either under a running faucet or submerge it into a bowl of water.
6. Using a kitchen knife, deseed and remove ribs, then cut them into bite-sized pieces.
How to make stuffed pepper soup
1. Preheat a 6 quart Dutch Oven over medium heat, then add ground beef.
2. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper directly over the ground beef. Blend spices and brown the meat for about 7-10 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces. Drain excess fat if necessary.
3. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent.
4. Add basil, oregano, thyme, and chopped roasted peppers. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Pour in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, and beef broth.
6. Stir in brown sugar.
7. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
8. While your soup is simmering, cook the white rice using your favorite method.
9. Remove soup from heat, add rice, and enjoy!
Note: You can add the rice during the simmering process, however, it will soak up juices as it sits in the broth even after the cooking process. This can change the texture of your soup. We recommend preparing your rice (or other grains) separately and adding just before serving. Your soup will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days after preparation in an airtight container. It will also last up to three weeks stored in an airtight container in the freezer.
Variations and FAQs
Does roasting the peppers make that much of a difference?
Yes! This intense application of heat will caramelize the sugars while adding just a hint of smoky flavor to the peppers.
Can I cook the rice directly with the soup?
Yes. As the soup is simmering during the final step, pour in your uncooked grains. However, be sure to comply with the package directions to ensure your rice or the grain you choose will cook in a way that achieves the best possible result. The resulting soup may be thicker using this method, so you may need to add more broth as it cooks.
Can I make this soup a few nights before serving it?
Only if you make it without the rice and add that just before serving. The longer the rice remains in the broth the more liquid it will absorb.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes but the same principle applies. Just make sure to add your grain when you plan to serve the soup.
Can I roast the peppers and then freeze them for later?
Absolutely, here are some instructions for the best way to freeze bell peppers to get you started.
Will this work with canned roasted peppers?
Your results may be a bit soggy and a bit less flavorful.
Can this be made in the slow cooker?
Yes. Start by browning and draining the meat according to the directions. Then, place it in the bottom of the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients except for the rice (which will need to be cooked separately). Set your crockpot on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Why do you add sugar to this recipe?
Tomatoes, either canned or fresh, have a certain amount of acidity. Adding a small amount of sugar will cut this acidity and help to balance the overall flavor. You can use white sugar which is much sweeter, but add in small amounts at a time and taste as you go.
Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 6 qt Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pan
- 12 inch skillet or cast iron pan
- kitchen knife
- medium sized bowl
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 28 oz canned diced tomato
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- 3 cups beef broth or chicken
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil to coat pan for beef if using lean meat such as 90/10
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley for garnish
Roasting the bell peppers
- Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Lie each pepper directly onto the skillet allowing for a dark char to form, about 2 minutes.
- Using tongs, rotate the peppers so they are evenly charred on all sides, this will take about 20 minutes.
- Transfer your peppers to an airtight container. One easy way is to place them underneath a bowl, or in a ziplocked baggie. This will allow the flesh to finish cooking from the steam while becoming cool enough to handle – in about ten minutes.
- Peel the skin, removing the char with your fingers. Do this under a running faucet or submerge it into a bowl of water to help make it easier.
- Using a kitchen knife, deseed and remove the pepper seeds and ribs, then cut them into bite-sized pieces,
Making the soup
- Begin cooking the white rice using your preferred method. You can also do this while the soup is simmering.
- Preheat a 6 quart Dutch Oven over medium heat for about 1 minute then add ground beef. Use 1 Tbsp. olive oil before adding ground beef if using a lean variety such as 90/10.
- Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper directly over the ground beef and brown the meat for about 7-10 minutes, breaking it up as you go. Drain excess fat if necessary.
- Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add basil, oregano, thyme, and chopped roasted bell peppers. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, brown sugar, and beef broth, stirring to combine.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove soup from heat, add cooked rice, garnish with parsley, and enjoy!
- You can add the rice during the simmering process, however, it will soak up juices as it sits in the broth even after the cooking process. This can change the texture of your soup. We recommend preparing your rice (or other grains) separately and adding just before serving.
- Your soup will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days after preparation in an airtight container. It will also last up to three weeks stored in an airtight container in the freezer.