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+ servings

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This Stuffed Pepper Soup delivers all the comforting flavors and textures of Italian stuffed peppers in easy, one pot soup form!  It’s an unapologetic explosion of YUM with the textural rice, juicy Italian sausage and sweet and earthy bell peppers in a zesty, tomato-based broth bolstered with Italian seasonings, mingling with optional melty pools of mozzarella.  This fast-cooking soup is also super versatile, amendable to whatever veggies you have on hand, uncooked or leftover rice, and ground turkey, beef or sausage.  Serve this Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup up with homemade Caesar Salad and some garlic bread for the perfect feast.
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage (may sub lean ground beef/turkey – see notes)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (or half large)
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch chop
  • 1 green bell pepper, 1/2-inch chop
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, no salt/seasonings added
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice, (see notes for options)
  • 1 TBS EACH fresh chopped basil, oregano, parsley (or 1 tsp EACH dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth


  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly shredded mozzarella for serving


  • Heat a large soup pot/Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown sausage and onions for 4 minutes, while breaking up sausage. Add bell peppers, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked through and onions are tender. Dain grease.
  • Add all remaining soup ingredients except cheeses.
  • Cover the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to LOW and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid for 8-12 minutes or until rice is cooked. ***NOTE: Cooking time may vary depending on your rice and how long it takes to bring your soup to a boil so I suggest checking the rice occasionally until done.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste (I add a pinch more salt). Stir in additional broth if desired for a thinner soup.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and top with freshly shredded mozzarella. Dig in!




  • Leftover/cooked rice: Simmer the soup as instructed but start with only 4 cups broth (because broth isn’t soaked up by the uncooked rice or evaporated when simmering).  Stir in 2 1/4 cups cooked rice after simmering and warm through or add rice to individual servings.
  • Brown rice:  Uncooked brown rice can be used but will take 40-50 minutes to simmer, so be prepared to add additional broth. Add the bell peppers the last 15 minutes of cooking.  You can also cook the brown rice separately in your rice cooker and add it to the soup (see above "cooked rice.")
  • Ground beef: Swap the Italian sausage with lean ground beef and season with ½ teaspoon dried fennel and additional red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings as needed at the end of cooking.
  • Turkey:  Ground turkey or ground chicken can also be used instead of Italian sausage.  Season as above with ½ teaspoon dried fennel and red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings to taste.  I also like to add an additional 1 teaspoon beef bouillon for extra beefy flavor.  If you add bouillon, then reduce the salt then add salt to taste.
  • Beef base: Instead of using beef broth, you may use 2 tablespoons beef base such as Zoup! (my favorite), Better Than Bouillon, bouillon cubes or granulated bouillon. If using beef base, omit the salt and add salt to taste.
  • Vegetarian:  Use vegetable broth and replace the Italian sausage with mashed tofu, diced mushrooms, white beans or plant-based ground “meat.”  Be ready to season with additional red pepper flakes, salt and Italian seasonings which will be missed from the sausage.

How to store

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup will last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Be aware that the rice will continue to absorb the broth as it sits.  The soup is still tasty and the rice doesn't become mushy (as long as it's not initially overcooked), but you’ll need to add additional broth or water to thin leftovers when reheating. 
If you're making this soup specifically for meal planning to serve throughout the week, you may want to cook the rice separately, store it separately and add to portions before reheating.

how to freeze

Stuffed Pepper Soup can be frozen, however, it does not freeze well with white rice (becomes mushy).  If you’d like to freeze the soup, omit the rice and add cooked rice when reheating. The bell peppers will also soften somewhat in texture.    


The rice will absorb much of the liquid as it’s stored, so be prepare to add additional broth or water as needed.
  • Stove: Reheat large batches on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through, adding additional broth/water as needed.
  • Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish and stir in additional broth/water as needed.  Cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.