Stuffed Pepper Soup has everything you love about stuffed peppers, but without all the work. Made with simple ingredients like ground turkey or beef, rice, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Hearty bowl of soup with a sprinkle of Ukrainian flavour. 🙂
Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup
Stuffed pepper soup is a convenient way to enjoy classic stuffed bell peppers. Just like lazy cabbage rolls make cabbage rolls possible in 2019. And if you have Instant Pot, you can make Instant Pot cabbage rolls just like stuffed peppers.
Our entire family loves this stuffed bell pepper soup. From growing boys to visiting elderly grandparents.
Soup warms you to the bones and fills up the belly. And it is cheap, highly customizable and healthy. Let’s make it!
Ingredients for Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Ground meat – I am using lean ground turkey and lean ground chicken will work too. If using ground beef, I recommend to drain the fat. Do so in a city collected compost or garbage to prevent clogging your pipes.
- Rice – White or brown rice works. Brown rice will cook longer but is more wholesome option containing bran and fiber.
- Veggies – Bell peppers, onion, garlic and celery. Green bell pepper tastes less sweet than orange, yellow or red. I love its addition, I just didn’t have any on hand. Mix as you wish or go with one colour peppers.
- Canned tomatoes – I like to use a combination of low sodium tomato sauce and diced tomatoes for the best soup consistency.
Not low sodium: If you don’t have low sodium products on hand, skip adding salt and add to taste at the end. You might not need much, if any.
How to Make Stuffed Pepper Soup
There is a full recipe card below.
- Saute ground meat, onion and garlic. I like to do so in generous amount of olive oil in my beloved 6 quart Dutch oven. We cook onion, garlic and meat at same time for about 5 minutes. The goal is to break meat into small pieces and extract the most flavor from the veggies.
- Saute veggies and rice. Bell pepper and celery contain a lot of water. It is good to saute them after meat. Sauteing rice with spices also makes it more flavorful. It does not speed up its cooking time though.
- Add liquids and simmer for 40 minutes. I like to use diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth. All are low sodium. Simmering covered for 40 minutes I find is the best time for flavorful bell pepper soup.
Tips for Best Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Leftover rice or meat – You can use leftover cooked rice or ground turkey. Add rice at the end and turkey in the beginning.
- Spicy soup – To make soup spicy, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
- Fresh herbs – Add fresh herbs right before serving to the pot. Otherwise, they will “cook”.
- Slow cooker – Saute ground meat until broken into small pieces on the stove. Then add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
- Instant Pot – Use my Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup recipe.
How to Serve, Store and Freeze This Soup
Serve. Just like stuffed bell peppers, I like this soup with a dollop of plain yogurt/sour cream and fresh herbs. And a slice of rye bread or toasted whole grain bread.
Refrigerate: Stuffed pepper soup keeps fresh in the fridge for up 5 days. In fact, it is like borscht or wine – it gets better with each day.:) Then reheat desired amount by simmering on low in a small saucepan.
Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low. We do not own a microwave, so I usually defrost soup first and then simmer. You can heat frozen soup on low heat as well. It just will take longer.
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Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 1 lb ground turkey chicken or beef
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 minced garlic cloves or 2 tsp garlic powder
- 4 large 1.5 lbs bell peppers, chopped
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 cup white or brown rice rinsed & drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme dried
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano dried
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes low sodium
- 14 oz can tomato sauce low sodium
- 8 cups water or low sodium broth
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup parsley or dill finely chopped
- Preheat large Dutch oven or pot on high heat, swirl oil to coat and add onion, fresh garlic (if using) and ground turkey. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often and breaking meat into pieces.
- Add bell pepper, celery, rice, thyme, oregano, garlic powder (if not using fresh), salt and pepper. Saute for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, maple syrup, vinegar, bay leaves and bring to a boil covered.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes with white rice and 40 minutes if using brown rice.
- Stir and adjust any seasonings to taste. If you have time, let stuffed pepper soup sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Add dill or parsley, stir and serve hot with a dollop of plain yogurt and slice of toasted bread.
Store: Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat by simmering on low desired amount of soup in a small pot.
Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
- Peppers - Green bell pepper tastes less sweet than orange, yellow or red. I love its addition, I just didn’t have any on hand. Mix as you wish or go even all one colour peppers.
- Ground beef - If using ground beef, I recommend to drain the fat. Do so in a city collected compost or garbage to prevent clogging your pipes.
- Not low sodium - If your canned tomatoes and broth are not low sodium, do not add salt and adjust to taste at the end.
- Leftovers - You can use leftover cooked rice or ground turkey. Add rice at the end and turkey in the beginning.
- Heat - To make soup spicy, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
- Herbs - Add fresh herbs right before serving to the pot. Otherwise, they will “cook”.
- Slow cooker - Saute ground meat until broken into small pieces on the stove. Then add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
- Instant Pot - To make soup in Instant Pot, saute meat first, then add remaining ingredients and cook on High pressure for 15 minutes with Quick Release.
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