Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe

Stuffed Pepper Soup
If you like stuffed bell peppers, you're going to love this Stuffed Pepper Soup!

I have a notebook on my desk where I jot down recipes ideas, both things I spot on the web and those that seemingly just pop into my head.  And sometimes an idea pops into my head and when I check online I notice that other people have had the same idea.  That's what happened with this recipe; I had Stuffed Pepper Soup down in my notebook, and when I decided to make it I found out just how many other people have made a soup inspired by stuffed peppers!  That didn't stop me from creating my version, which uses both hot turkey Italian sausage and lean ground beef, and has a "secret" ingredient to add flavor.  Jake and I both loved the soup, and when I gave my sister Pam some to take to work for her lunch she texted me in the middle of the day to say she loved it too.  If you like stuffed peppers at all, I promise you're going to love this soup!

This recipe makes a huge pot of soup, but this freezes well (although you'll probably want to add a little stock or water when you reheat it, because the rice absorbs the liquid.) 

I used my beloved rice cooker to cook the rice, but you can cook using any method you prefer.  (This is more rice than you need; I always love to have rice in the freezer.)

I'm sorry, but you'll need to dirty two pans.  I shouldn't really apologize for it, because I think browning the onions, peppers, and mushrooms in advance is really important to add flavor to the soup.  Saute onions in olive oil until they're starting to brown, then add the Italian Herb Blend and cook 1-2 minutes longer.  Transfer onions to large soup pot.

Saute the peppers in the same pan, cooking them until they're getting just a slight char on the edges.  Transfer peppers to soup pot.

Mushrooms are probably optional in this, but I thought they were good.  Saute the mushrooms until they're released their liquid and are starting to brown, then transfer to the soup pot.

I had a package of turkey Italian saussge with five links, and I was using two links for another recipe, so I just used the other three for this soup.  You can certainly use the whole package if you prefer.

Brown the ground beef and sausage together, cooking until it's starting to get nicely browned.

Then add the browned meat to the soup pot along with the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup (the secret ingredient) and simmer about 30 minutes. (I used an 8 quart soup pot to make this, but as you can see, it could have been a little smaller.)

After the soup has cooked at least 30 minutes, add the rice (and a little more water if you think it's needed) and let the soup simmer 15 minutes more.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black peper and serve soup hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
(Makes 8-10 servings or more, but the soup freezes well.  Recipe possibly inspired by many other versions of Stuffed Pepper Soup found online; see after the recipe for other versions.)

2 cups cooked rice (I used Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, which is a low-glycemic variety of white rice.)
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fairly small
1 T Italian Herb Blend (I like Italian Herb Blend from The Spice House, but any blend you like will work.)
2 large green bell peppers, stems and seeds removed and chopped into pieces about 5/8 inch across
8 oz. brown Crimini mushrooms, washed if needed and then cut in half or fourths (mushrooms are optional, but good)
3 links (12 oz.) hot turkey Italian sausage (or use the whole package if you prefer)
1 lb. lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
2 cans (15 oz.) crushed tomatoes + 2 cans water (rinse out each can with the water)
3 cans (14 oz) beef broth (or use 5 cups homemade beef stock if you have some)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup (I use Heinz reduced-sugar ketchup)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional but good)

Cook long-grain white rice according to package instructions to make 2 cups cooked rice.  (I used my beloved rice cooker.)

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large frying pan, add chopped onion and saute over medium high heat until the onion is barely browned on the edges.  Add Italian Herb Blend and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Add onion to soup pot.  (I used an 8 quart soup pot for this, but it could have been a little smaller.)

In the same frying pan, add the chopped green pepper and saute until the edges have a slight char.  Add peppers to soup pot.  Then add the mushrooms to the same pan and cook until mushrooms release their liquid and are slightly browned.  Add mushrooms to soup pot.

Add the other 2 tsp. olive oil to the pan along with the ground beef and the sausage which you've squeezed out of the casing.  Cook the meat until it's nicely browned, turning several times and breaking apart with the back of the turner.  

Add browned meat to the soup pot along with the crushed tomatoes, 2 cans water, 3 cans beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.  Bring soup to a low simmer, then cook on low about 30 minutes.  Add the rice and cook 15 minutes more, adding a little more water if you think it's needed.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.

This soup will keep for quite a few days in the fridge and also freezes well.  The rice will absorb some of the liquid in the soup when it's stored, so you'll need to add a little water or beef stock when you reheat.  For best flavor, reheat in a small pan on the stove.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Using the rice makes this soup Phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet, and if you're making it for South Beach I would recommend using low-glycemic Uncle Ben's Converted Rice or brown rice.  I think the soup could be pretty good for Phase One without the rice too, if anyone wants to try it that way. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

So Many Other Bloggers Made Stuffed Pepper Soup:
(Who knows if I saw one of these recipes scroll by on Pinterest before the idea popped into my mind?  Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.) 
Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ Skinnytaste
Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ Six Sisters' Stuff
CrockPot Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ Family Fresh Meals
Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ The Country Cook
Stuffed Pepper Soup ~ Chaos in the Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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  1. So interesting - I had not idea that Uncle Ben's Converted Rice was low glycemic - great to know. Love this idea of stuffed pepper in soup form Kalyn!

  2. Thanks Jeanette! Yes, Uncle Ben's is about the lowest GI Rice you can buy. I've checked it repeatedly on various charts, and Uncle Ben's is always lower GI than white or brown rice.

  3. I'll bet this is packed with flavor!

  4. Kalyn, I love stuffed peppers, and I'm definitely going to try this. I'm curious as to why you cook the rice separately rather than let it cook in the soup (adding extra water to compensate for what the rice will absorb, of course).

  5. Thanks Donna; we loved it!

    KatesMom, you could certainly do it that way. I wanted to keep the rice as white as possible, and I thought it might absorb color if I cooked it with the tomatoey soup broth, plus I was going to saute all the vegetables so the rice could be cooking at the same time for a shorter total cooking time. But either way would absolutely work.

  6. Others may have come up with the idea, but I think yours looks delicious. I love that you used spicy turkey sausage in there. What great flavor it must have given. I've been a huge fan of Uncle Ben's for decades and it's the only kind I use. I didn't know that it was low glycemic either, I just know it cooks up perfectly every time. :)

  7. Mom Chef, thanks for that nice feedback! I did love the sausage in this. And the perfect results are another reason I love Uncle Ben's!

  8. I could easily do this in one pot, cooking onions, peppers and mushrooms together, and not precooking sausage but would just remove from casings and let cook in soup with liquid and everything else. Sorry, but I hate clean up!

  9. Luana, of course you are free to make it any way you'd like. No worries. I do feel like browning the vegetables and meat adds a lot of flavor, so that's why I do it that way, but I'm sure it will still be good without that.

  10. Oh, I didn't know Uncle Ben's was lower glycemic! This is such a fantastic idea. Turning one of our favorite meals into an even simpler version for busy weeknights. Who doesn't love soup?

  11. Gwen, so glad you like it. And it sounds like I should do another post about Uncle Ben's rice. Love it; just about the only type of rice I buy.

  12. I like to use barley in my stuffed pepper soup. I find it tastes the same as rice, but holds its shape a after freezing. The rice tends to "explode" and break done when it's been frozen.

  13. Karen, good tip. I will have to try that next time. There wasn't a drop left to freeze from this first batch!

  14. I believe that! I belong to a CSA and make stuffed pepper soup at least three times in Autumn. With just my husband and I eating, I'm able to freeze smaller portions of soup to take for lunches all winter long.
    I've also made it with frozen peppers that I've washed, chopped, and frozen in a zip bag to use in sauces or on pizza. It's a hearty and delicious soup!

  15. Hi Kalyn this recipe looks great. Do you think I could do this in the crockpot too?

  16. Athena, I do think you can make this in the crockpot. I would probably omit the water. I haven't tried it though, that's the reason I didn't include that in the directions. I'd love to know how it turns out for you.

  17. This recipe immediately caught my eye and I wasted no time trying it. I planned to share it with someone who is allergic to rice (I know, who's allergic to rice? But my friend is. He loves all kinds of foods but rice causes him intense gastrointestinal distress)so I thought I might substitute orzo since it kind of looks like rice but then I decided to go with lentils since legumes are always good. Well, my grocery store only had lentils with ham flavor packets and that annoyed me because I hate processed foods and I was certainly not going to pay way more for a packet of fake ham flavor so I bought split peas. Which makes no sense but it was delicious!! It's amazing how much green pepper flavor I got with just the 2 peppers. This one goes into the permanent rotation.

  18. Bill so glad you liked it. And I'm intrigued by the idea of this with lentils or split peas.

  19. I am SO excited to try this recipe. It's such fun to add new recipes into our family favorites and I can see that this is something all of us will enjoy. That's rare for sure. :)

  20. This was phenomenal! And great to heat up at work for lunch all week too. So glad soup weather is finally here. Another great recipe, thank you!

  21. Thanks Sadie! Sounds like you liked it as much as I did, so glad to hear that!

  22. I made this the other day & It's great! I would skip the ketchup next time...Sure was a hit!

  23. Do you have any of the nutritional info on the soup? Cals specifically

  24. Immediately after the recipe there's a link for Calorie Count where you can enter the ingredients and calculate it.


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