Pantry Stuffed Pepper Soup

$13.58 per Recipe | $1.14 per serving

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Pantry Stuffed Pepper Soup is loaded with flavor similar to a minestrone soup. Made with ground beef, cooked rice, and a few pantry staples, this soup has a little bit of heat and a whole lot of flavor and texture for a one-pot meal with stuffed pepper pizzaz!

bell peppers

When Good Food Goes Bad

Remember that TikTok I made about shopping the discount section of your produce department? Those bell peppers I got on clearance lasted another 2 weeks in my fridge! They finally started showing signs of going bad. Unable to use them as stuffed peppers, I got creative in making a pantry stuffed pepper soup.

Shopping Your Pantry

Ever get the hankering for a specific dish only to find out you don’t have everything you need on hand? Tight on a budget and still need to get dinner on the table? This recipe does all that and more!

While a traditional Stuffed Pepper Soup would use ingredients like pasta sauce and Italian seasoning, in my home we try to reserve the pasta sauce for actual pasta because it’s one of the only things my autistic son will eat. When you’re on a budget, you need to be able to stretch each ingredient.

We’ve also already talked about how having salad dressings on hand can act as a marinade for meats, but what about those powder packets? Using ranch seasoning, Italian dressing mix, or French onion mix are great ways to add flavor to chilis, soups, and even pan seared meat! No need to tap into your expensive spices, save those for the steak!

Italian Dressing Mix

Key Tips for Soup

If you’re looking to stretch your budget and maximize flavor, here are some simple tips for making soup on a budget:

  • Use water and boulion cubes, or use half water. If you don’t have or don’t have enough of stock in a box, add half water. Bouilon cubes are space savers and money savers. Making your own stock at home can be quick and easy using cubes and water compared to box stock.
  • Add more fillers. While using meat is delicious and nutricious, it can take quite a bit of the budget. Add more vegetables, rice, or pasta to a soup to make it more filling with less meat.
  • Saute any vegetables. Sauting vegetables caramelizes the natural sugars providing more flavor and texture.

Ingredients Needed

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Rice: Any variety you have will work. This recipe is made quickly and easily by using leftover rice.
  • Ground Beef: This is the traditional meat for stuffed peppers, but you can use any ground pork or poultry. You could skip it as well and add a can of kidney beans for a vegetarian option.
  • Seasoning: A packet of Italian dressing mix provided an amazing amount of flavor. You could get away with using only half of the packet. Alternatively you can use Italian Herb Seasoning from your spice collection.
  • Liquid: Beef broth is preferred, but you could use half water to stretch the beef broth for another recipe.
  • Vegetables: Bell pepper, onion, garlic (if desired), and tomato products. Canned, frozen, fresh, whatever you have will work. Stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato soup, and tomato paste will all work well in the dish.
  • Oil or Butter: For sautéing the vegetables.

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Tips

  • Make this dish ahead by cooking the beef in batches, then using a pound of the cooked beef in this recipe with raw rice.
  • Add all the ingredients together in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours. If using any uncooked rice besides white, add an extra 1/2 cup of liquid.
  • Saute vegetables and seasonings in oil. The heat releases fragrance and infuses the oil during the sauting process, making your food more flavorful than just boiling or using raw vegetables.

How much is a serving of soup?

If you’re serving soup with a side salad or with a crusty french bread, you can get away with 3/4 cup, which is about one ladle full of soup. This is what you would get at a restaurant when you order “a cup” of soup. A true bowl serving, in American standards, would be 1-1/2 cup (2 ladles). A full bowl wouldn’t even need a side if we’re pinching pennies.

Rule of thumb: 1 ladle for lunch, 2 ladles for dinner.


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Brown the ground beef and remove from the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon. Discard any excess grease.
  2. Saute the vegetables in a Dutch oven with oil until slightly charred.
  3. Add the seasonings and tomato paste and stir until combined.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato soup, broth, and beef to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked rice and stir.
  6. Serve once warmed through.

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Once the dish is completely cooled, store in freezer safe soup containers or in blocks using soupers, then transferred to a ziploc bag for up to 6 months!
  • Reheat: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if possible. Add to a slow cooker and warm while at work. Or add to a small pot on the stove over medium-low to refresh and serve quickly.

Use old, stale bread to make croutons and add to the top of your soup.


What peppers to use?

Any color bell pepper will work. All colors are exactly the same. Green bell peppers are just ones that are not as ripe yet, and you can usually get them for cheaper at the grocery store.

How to refresh frozen soup?

Saving frozen soup with rice, the rice often absorbs a lot of the liquid, even while frozen. To refresh frozen soup, add a bit more broth, water, or another can of tomato soup to loosen everything up.

Do you need to remove the pepper seeds before cooking?

Yes, but just because they have an unpleasant texture. They are not dangerous nor toxic in any way.

Serve with

  • Side Salad
  • Crusty French Bread
  • Garlic Bread
  • Cornbread
  • Coleslaw

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Pantry Stuffed Pepper Soup

Make a delicious stuffed pepper soup using odds and ends from your pantry. Lacking in ingredients doesn't mean lacking in flavor.
Katie Chase
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Recipe Cost $13.58
Recipe Servings 12


  • 4 quart Dutch oven or larger, or a slow cooker
  • slotted spoon
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • can opener
  • meat masher


  • 1 pound ground beef (5.97)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (0.21)
  • 2 bell peppers (1.72) any color
  • 1 yellow onion (0.78) large
  • .35 ounce Italian Dressing Mix (0.25) half a packet
  • 3 ounces tomato paste (0.43)
  • 32 ounces beef broth (1.37)
  • 10.75 ounce tomato soup (1.26)
  • 10 ounces Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles (1.36)
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked rice (0.23)


  • Brown the ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up with a meat masher as it cooks for about 7 minutes. Transfer from the Dutch oven to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Discard any excess grease from the pot.
  • Saute the vegetables in a Dutch oven with oil until slightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the seasonings and tomato paste, stirred until combined.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato soup, broth, and beef to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked rice and stir. Serve once warmed through.
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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