Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup

5 from 2 votes
1 hour
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Love stuffed peppers but don’t want all the work? Make stuffed pepper soup instead!! Ready in about an hour, this Southwestern twist on Stuffed Pepper Soup is the easy way to enjoy all the comfort of stuffed peppers but with a spicy kick and a touch of healthy from brown rice!

Photo of three bowls of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup with two full and one half eaten.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper:

As I mentioned in my Unstuffed Chorizo Cabbage Roll Skillet, stuffed cabbage is one of my absolute favorite dishes but it’s always a project. Add stuffed peppers to that list.

Stuffed peppers are a favorite dish but I’m not a fan of the work–especially when life is busy. With the late April weather being cold, damp and even snowing in parts of the country, I’ve been craving one more pot of steaming soup before the warm weather.

Whether you call it stuffed pepper soup or unstuffed pepper soup, you’ll call it easy and delicious!

Let’s make it!

Photo of a bowl of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup with spoon and bread in the background.

How to Make Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this stuffed pepper soup recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Ground Beef: I like to use ground chuck for most recipes that call for ground beef. It does have a higher fat content, but it also stays tender even after prolonged cooking. Ground turkey can also be used.
  • Poblano Peppers: Poblanos are deeper green and longer than regular bell peppers and pack a mild heat. If you have roasted, peeled and chopped Poblanos in your freezer like we do, yay you! If you’re short on time, you can seed and chop fresh Poblanos or use canned diced green chiles instead.
  • Taco Seasoning: I like to use Penzeys taco seasoning if I don’t blend my own. Any Southwestern spice blend will work here.
  • Mexican Oregano: Mexican oregano has an earthy flavor with citrus undertones and is a staple in Mexican cooking. Turkish or Greek oregano that you may be most familiar with is not a good substitute as that oregano has minty undertones. These two types of oregano share a name but that about it. If you can’t find or don’t wish to buy Mexican oregano, leave it out or add additional cilantro as Mexican oregano has a citrusy note similar to cilantro.
  • Beef Broth: May also use stock. I always use a lower sodium beef broth or stock so I can adjust the amount of salt myself.
  • Brown Rice: You can also use white rice but we prefer the wholesomeness and flavor of brown rice.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Heat some of the oil in a Dutch oven or other soup pot. Brown the ground beef, drain off the fat, season with the herbs and spices and set aside.
Photo of cooked and browned ground beef in nonstick skillet.
  • Cook the onions and peppers until they begin to soften up.
Photo of cooked onions and peppers in white Dutch oven.
  • Add the browned beef back in along with the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cooked brown rice, cilantro and cheese.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are nice and tender.
  • Add the rice in at the end and heat through.
Photo of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup in Dutch oven after being cooked.
  • Add chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of sugar if the tomatoes are too acidic.
  • MAKE AHEAD:  May be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Photo of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup in white Dutch oven on blue background sprinkled with cheese and cilantro.
  • Serve the Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup sprinkled with cheese. Delish!!
Close-up photo of a ladle scooping up Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Adding the dried herbs to the hot meat is going to allow them to “bloom” and will help bring out their flavor.
  • I brown the beef separately from cooking it along with the vegetables because I want to drain off the fat from the beef, not drain off the fat from the beef AND the flavor from the vegetables at the same time. Yes, it’s an extra pan to wash, but clean-up will be easy if you brown it in a nonstick skillet.
  • To cook brown rice, I use a method that’s similar to how to cook pasta. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add approximately 1 cup of brown rice and let it boil away while you prep the other ingredients. When the rice is tender, drain in a sieve.
Photo of three bowls of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup with bread.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I add uncooked brown rice and let it cook in the soup?

Yes, you can, but brown rice takes much longer to cook and because of all the starch it will give off, your soup is going to be mighty thick so keep that in mind.

Can I freeze stuffed pepper soup?

Absolutely! It will do quite well. Just cool it down properly first then place it in containers as desired and freeze up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.

Can I make stuffed pepper soup in the slow cooker?

Absolutely! Saute the vegetables, brown the beef then combine with the liquid ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours. Add the cooked brown rice and cook for 1 more hour.

Photo of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup in gray bowl garnished with cheese and cilantro.
Photo of three bowls of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup in gray bowls topped with cheese and cilantro.

Make it a meal with:

More Southwestern-inspired soups and stews you’ll love!

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Photo of a bowl of Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup on blue background with bread.

Southwestern Stuffed Pepper Soup

5 from 2 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
This Southwestern twist on Unstuffed Pepper Soup is the easy way to enjoy all the comfort of stuffed peppers but with a spicy kick and a touch of healthy with brown rice!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Southwestern
Servings 6
Calories 462 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt - plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper - seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper - seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium Poblano peppers - roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (10.25 ounce each) diced tomatoes with green chiles - undrained
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro - divided
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Sugar - if needed

Instructions
 

  • Cook the ground chuck in a nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any excess liquid or grease. Season with salt, taco seasoning, chili powder and oregano. Set aside.
  • Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy soup pot. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5-7 minutes or until onion is beginning to soften.
  • Add the green and red bell peppers and cook 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the Poblano peppers, the beef, beef broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chiles.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover slightly and cook 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the brown rice and heat through.
  • Add half the cilantro, season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar if needed.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with the remaining cilantro and shedded Cheddar cheese.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:
  • May use white rice instead of brown.
  • May use ground turkey or chicken.  Substitute chicken or turkey broth for the beef broth.
  • If you don’t have Mexican oregano, add extra fresh cilantro.
MAKE AHEAD:  May be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly and place in airtight containers as desired.  Freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator or in the microwave.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1214mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1511IU | Vitamin C: 108mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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