This Vegan Stuffed Pepper Soup is a hearty meatless dish that will remind you of the flavors and textures of traditional stuffed peppers. It’s quick and easy comfort food that’s loaded with healthy vegetables and will keep you feeling cozy all season long.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Rice ~ White or brown varieties of rice will work in this recipe. I like to use quick-cooking rice or Jasmine or Basmati rice which all cook in about 15 to 20 minutes.
You’ll want to simmer the soup until the rice is al dente, or just tender, as it will continue to soak up some liquid and soften.
Be sure to read your package of rice and cook the soup for the amount of time needed to cook the rice.
Quinoa ~ Traditionally, stuffed pepper soup is made with ground beef, which obviously we aren’t using in this meatless, vegan version. I use lentils to replace meat in chili, but the texture of lentils just didn’t seem right for this soup. Quinoa combined with the rice comes close to resembling the texture of ground meat.
If you don’t have quinoa, you could use bulgur, couscous, or just use more rice.
Peppers ~ Sweet bell peppers are the star of the show in this stuffed pepper soup recipe. I like to use one red and one green, but any color will work.
You can even throw in a hot pepper if you like a little spicy kick.
Tomatoes ~ Canned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce lend the perfect flavor. Diced tomatoes can be used instead of crushed. Opt for fire-roasted crushed or diced tomatoes for extra depth of flavor.
Seasonings ~ You likely have these dried herbs – oregano, basil, and parsley – handy as they are all pantry staples. You could opt for Italian seasoning instead if you have that.
I also add liquid aminos for a savory, salty flavor that is typically found in meat products. Soy sauce or gluten-free tamari may be substituted.
A dash of liquid smoke adds a subtle smokiness. This ingredient is optional, but highly recommended. If you don’t have it, add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika instead.
Broth ~ Low sodium vegetable broth is my go-to. Use regular veggie broth if you have it. I like to have more broth ready than the recipe calls for in case the soup gets too thick.
How to make the recipe
Sauté the onions, garlic and peppers until soft (1). Add the rice and quinoa and stir well (2).
Add the spices, seasonings and canned tomatoes (3) then add the broth and stir to combine (4).
Simmer the soup, stirring frequently to prevent the rice and quinoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the grains are just tender. Do not over cook the rice or it may become mushy.
This soup is hearty enough on its own, but feel free to top it off with some vegan shredded cheese or vegan parmesan. It would also be great with a drizzle of southwest vegan ranch dressing over the top.
Toss on some sliced green onions, fresh diced bell peppers, sliced avocado, chopped fresh parsley, or some fresh cracked black pepper.
Serve it alongside a hunk of crusty bread, a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, or a quick kale apple slaw.
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: You can also freeze this vegan stuffed pepper soup. Let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or zip-top plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 3 months.
Please note – the texture will change slightly upon thawing and reheating. The rice and quinoa will be more tender from absorbing the liquid.
Reheat: You may need to add additional broth when reheating as they rice will continue to soak up some liquid as it sits.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Be sure to read the instructions on your package of rice and cook the soup for the appropriate amount of time until al dente, or just tender. Do not over cook the rice!
~ Instead of quinoa, try bulgur, couscous or just add more rice.
~ Stir frequently as the soup simmers as grains tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.
~ Taste and adjust seasonings to your tastes!
~ For an oil-free option, sauté with water or broth instead of oil.
~ If you have leftovers, you may need to add additional veggie broth or water when reheating, as the rice and quinoa will continue to soak up some liquid.
Traditional stuffed peppers are made with ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and cheese. If you want to use vegan ground, brown it in the pot after cooking down the onions, then continue with the recipe leaving out the quinoa.
The rice and quinoa will continue to soak up liquid as the soup sits. Feel free to add more broth or reduce the amount of rice/quinoa if you like a thinner soup. You will likely need to add more broth (or water) when reheating leftovers as well.
Yes, this veggie rice soup freezes well. Cool the soup completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or plastic zip-top bag. It should keep well in the freezer up to 3 months.
More vegan soup recipes
- Vegan Potato Soup
- Vegan Minestrone
- Vegan Mushroom Soup
- Vegan Split Pea Soup (Instant Pot Recipe!)
- Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Soup
- Vegan Black Bean Soup
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Vegan Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 2 tablespoons oil or ¼ cup broth or water for an oil-free version
- 1 onion diced
- 2 bell peppers diced (any color)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teapsoon salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke optional
- 1 cup Jasmine, Basmati or quick-cook white or brown rice
- ½ cup quinoa rinsed well and drained (or bulgur or couscous or just add more rice)
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- Heat the oil over medium heat n a large soup pot and sauté the onion for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the peppers and garlic and sauté another 3 to 4 minutes, until starting to soften.
- Add the parsley, oregano, basil, salt, liquid aminos, and liquid smoke, stir well, and sauté for 1 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the rice, quinoa, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and veggie broth. Stir well.
- Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice and quinoa are just cooked through. Do not over cook!
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to taste.