Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup (Stove Top and Slow Cooker)

This tasty Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup has both stove top and slow cooker instructions! Full of flavor and loaded with vegetables, this chunky veggie and rice soup is vegan + gluten-free.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ever since my garden went on full pepper-palooza status I’ve been making stuffed pepper soup on repeat. This vegetarian stuffed pepper soup is a twist on the classic, boasting a hearty helping of fiber and protein from creamy red lentils.

The red lentils cook crazy fast and almost pulverize themselves into the soup, making this stew-like stuffed pepper soup extra creamy and full of flavor. Love. It. So.

As written the soup is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, freezer-friendly, and gloriously make-ahead too.

what kind of peppers are in stuffed pepper soup?

You’ll want to grab an assortment of bell peppers for this scrumptious soup/stew. Red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers all work marvelously!

My garden has an abundance of green peppers currently so I made my soup with mostly green but I like throwing a little red in there too when I have them!

In addition to the bell peppers, I like to include onion, garlic, and a jalapeño for a kick of spice. For a mild soup skip the jalapeño and for a fiery soup, feel free to add extra. Let your tastebuds be your guide.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup (Stove Top and Slow Cooker)

tasty toppings

If you’re into having an assortment of textures in each spoonful, you can add extra chopped peppers to the soup before serving. It makes a beautiful garnish and adds a fun crunch! Crunchy corn chips (like fritos) are also pretty amazing on top.

Fresh chopped tomato also makes a delicious topping!

Crazy for cheese? Go for it!

A must for me is a big dollop of sour cream on top.I love the contrast of the cool, tangy sour cream with the piping hot, slightly spicy soup. Skip if vegan or try it with vegan sour cream which is actually pretty darn amazing!

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup (Stove Top and Slow Cooker)

You can make this soup on the chunkier side like I do (it’s almost like a stove-top veggie + rice casserole or a big ole pot of stew) or thin it out with extra tomato sauce and broth. If you thin the soup just be sure to add extra salt, pepper, and spices to make up for the extra liquid. Easy peasy!

The recipe yields approx. 10 cups (or 4-5 bowls) and the leftovers are fantastic and even more flavorful than the first day! It’s magical!

You can also freeze bowls of soup for later, making this a healthy meal-prep and make-ahead dream come true!

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup
4.95 from 20 votes

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup

This tasty Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup has both stove top and slow cooker instructions! Full of flavor and loaded with vegetables, this chunky veggie and rice soup is vegan + gluten-free.

Recipe yields approx. 10 cups of soup or 4-5 bowls.

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 181 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons



  1. Cook rice via package directions for your preferred method. I skipped my usual stove top rice method and made mine in my Instant Pot using the rice button. Either way works great!

  2. Next chop your veggies and peel and mince your garlic.

  3. In a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, heat up 2 tsp of oil and brown your onion. Cook until tender, approx. 5 minutes, adding garlic towards the end.

  4. Next add everything but the rice to the pot and stir. Bring heat to boil, then cover and reduce to simmer.

  5. Allow soup to simmer for 20-35 minutes, or until lentils are tender and creamy. Add rice and stir to mix.

  6. Taste the soup, then adjust thickness to taste, adding a little more broth or tomato sauce to thin the soup if you prefer. Taste again and re-season to taste. Easy peasy! The recipe above is how we make it since we love the soup thick like a stew/casserole. 

  7. Spoon into bowls and garnish with all your favorite toppings (sour cream is my favorite - vegan or regular!) see notes for some tasty ideas. Leftovers are fantastic and even more flavorful than the first day and this soup can also be frozen for later! Woot!


  1. Cook rice via package instructions using preferred method (stove top, instant pot, rice cooker) and set aside for swirling into the soup at the end.

  2. Add all the remaining ingredients into your slow cooker and set to high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours, until dried lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender.

  3. Swirl in the cooked rice, add all your favorite toppings, and dive in!

Recipe Notes

* Keep a little extra broth or tomato sauce on hand to thin the soup if desired. You can make this soup on the chunkier side as written (it's almost like a veggie + rice casserole or a big ole pot of stew - love it so!) or thin it out with extra tomato sauce and broth. If you thin the soup just be sure to taste as you go and add extra salt, pepper, and spices to make up for the extra liquid. Easy peasy!


  • sour cream (my favorite!!!) vegan or regular 
  • chopped bell pepper
  • chopped/sliced jalapeno
  • fresh diced tomato
  • fresh parsley or scallions
  • crunch corn chips (like Fritos)
  • grated cheddar cheese (skip if vegan)

Nutrition Facts below are estimated per cup of soup using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Potassium 415mg12%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1513IU30%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this tasty vegan + vegetarian stuffed pepper soup, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation!

hungry for more?

Vegan Stuffed Pepper Soup in a Dutch Oven


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Recipe Rating


  • Louise

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this was absolutely delicious! Lovely and comforting in the cold weather and with all the delicious veg in there, its a totally healthy dish for the whole family! Yet another of these superb recipes added to my list!

  • KT

    5 stars
    Simply fabulous! I did make this recipe the way it was written- with jasmine rice and a jalapeno. Spicy and delicious! Thank you so much!

  • Dawn

    I’ve made this recipe b4 & Loved it!! I only have brown lentils on hand. Can I use or will it really change the taste? If so I’d rather wait

    • Hi Dawn! The taste may be a wee bit different as brown lentils have a richness to them (I love them as a meat substitute in soups/tacos/etc) but I think it could still be super tasty.

  • MJ

    Can you use canned lentils instead of dried?!

    • Hi MJ! I’ve never come across canned red lentils so I haven’t tried it myself. I think it should work though! Maybe drain them first and add them towards end and then heat through?

  • Myra Damron

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Stuffed peppers was my favorite meal before I stopped eating meat. This is really about the only recipe that I enjoy anymore. It is very close to what my husband made and it was always my birthday request. It is satisfying and fulfilling. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Myra! I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying the soup and that it reminds you of your husband’s classic recipe. Love it!

  • Michelle Giroux

    Do you think you could use bulger instead of the rice?

    • Hi Michelle! I’ve never used bulgur outside of tabbouleh but if you’re a fan of the grain it should be a fun swap! Simply adjust cooking times/technique as needed for the bulgur and you should be good to go!

  • Nicole Zach

    5 stars
    I just made this and it turned out amazing! My meat eating boyfriend even loved it. Thank you for the recipe!

  • AlishaB

    5 stars
    My entire family LOVED this recipe!! We’re not “real” vegetarians, so I only had chicken broth, but otherwise made it exactly as written. Served it with cheese, sour cream, and Fritos. Everyone ate two bowls!! Not to spicy for my kiddos as written, including the jalapeño.

  • Jen

    Hello! Can I use fresh vs. canned tomatoes for this? Or can I sub the canned tomatoes for more tomato sauce? For some reason, I just can’t get on board with the taste of canned tomatoes!

    • Yes absolutely use fresh! The combo of fresh tomatoes and the sauce should be perfecto! If anything you can adjust the consistency as needed if a little more liquid is required.

  • Aleah

    Hi there, I would like to make this in the crock pot, and I have green lentils on hand, but I know those do not cook the same as red.
    What would you recommend-amount of liquid & cook time difference? Thanks so much!
    Looking forward to trying this.

    • Aleah


      • Hi Aleah! Since I have not made this dish with green lentils I can’t advise from experience. I do know that green lentils need at least 3 cups of cooking liquid (vegetable broth for example) and will take around 20 minutes to cook stovetop. I’ve found when I make green lentil dishes in the crock-pot it takes an extra 30-60 minutes on high. Hope that helps and let me know if you get a chance to experiment! xoxo

  • Siobhan

    Hi I am off pastas, potatoes, sugar and bread, rice included. Could you substitute cauliflower rice for the rice used? It looks delicious.

    • I personally love cauliflower rice and would try it myself! I can’t offer advice yet having not tried it but I’d say it’s worth a shot. You could always add it to one bowl and see how you like it? I find the soup is yummy even without rice! xoxo

  • Caleigh

    5 stars
    Delightful! I am either vegetarian or vegan and I loved It! Had a bunch of peppers that were going to go bad and needed a way to use them up. Great recipe!!!!

    • Caleigh

      That should read “neither”

      • Rebecca F

        5 stars
        This was delicious! I really enjoyed the stuffed pepper soup. I grated parmesan on top and it was the cherry on top!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it Caleigh! xo

  • Marilyn Flanagan

    Can I use drained black beans? (for Kidney recipe).

    • Stuffed pepper soup doesn’t traditionally have beans in it but it may still be a tasty combo! xoxo

  • Rebecca S.

    I made this a while back and probably? used red lentils and remember it being very, very good. Would it radically change the taste if I used green lentils instead of red? (I have a ton of green lentils to use up!)

    • Hi Rebecca! It’s still super tasty with green lentils but it will alter the recipe a little based on the fact that a longer cook time is needed for green lentils and often a bit more broth/liquid too. Which method were you going to use? (Instant Pot – Stove Top – Slow Cooker) I’ll try to help with times/measurements based on that! xoxo

  • Rachelle

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe! Easy to make in little time. I made my rice in the instapot as well and it was so fast and easy. Never knew how easy it was to make rice that way. It allowed me to get everything else ready while it cooked.

    I probably could add everything up but I was wondering what the nutritional value would be. Mainly carbs and protein? I wasn’t sure if maybe you or someone already had it on paper.

  • Kristen Hammon

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!!! I use the slow cooker method in my instant pot and switch a can of pinto beans for the lentils. I’ve made this about 4 times so far, it is perfect for taking to work all week!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  • Amanda

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I made it in the slow cooker and it couldn’t have been simpler. Will definitely be part of my normal rotation!

    • WOOT! So glad you enjoyed it Amanda – thanks!

  • Carly

    5 stars
    Soooooo delicious! Will definitely be making again. Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!

  • I absolutely love your recipe! I am writing vegetarian recipe round ups on my blog in 2019 for people who are trying to make more meat-free meals (everyone has to start somewhere). I would love to feature you. You can check out my blog (for beginner environmentalists) at Is it alright if I share this link to your recipe?

    • I’d be honored if you shared the link, Barbara! Thank you!

  • Grace

    5 stars
    Made this soup last night for freezing, so I haven’t added the rice yet but it is soooo yummy! I plan on making multiple batches. BTW, after rereading your post I realized you already said that the soup could be frozen (sorry).

  • Grace

    Hi there. This looks delish! Do you think this would freeze well (without the rice)?

    • Hi Grace, thanks! It should work great. After reheating just swirl in the cooked rice and you’re good to go!

  • C. Harris

    5 stars
    I LOVE this soup! Highly recommend!!! My whole family likes it and it’s so healthy and quick and easy!! Super great for leftovers. I keep the rice separate and just add it to individual bowls, just my thing…

  • Julia

    5 stars
    I made it on the stovetop and it was delicious! What are the Instapot suggested directions? Maybe the same as your tortilla soup?

    • Yay! I’m happy you enjoyed the soup, Julia! I’m not sure on the Instant Pot yet because my fear is that the volume and thickness might activate the auto-shutoff feature on the IP. Let me know if you get a chance to test it before I do! I’m hoping to try it out sometime this summer when my garden goes pepper crazy. xoxo

  • Sandra

    4 stars
    Great recipe but direction #4 messed me up. Said to add everything and I did. But then in #5 it said to add the rice…

    So I added that too early. 🙁

    • Hey Sandra! Oh gosh you’re right that was totally confusing there and I’ve fixed it! Thanks so much for your feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! xo

  • Jenny

    Have you tried adding extra liquid and cooking the rice with the rest. I was thinking of doing that in the crockpot.

    • Hi Jenny! What happens when you cook the rice in the same pot (in this case the crock-pot) for the same duration of time is that it can end up super gluey and gelatinous and also make the soup itself change texture. Have you made rice-based soups in your slow cooker before and found a good way to get the texture right? In a pinch I’ve bought the steam-in-the-microwave packets of rice (they have shelf stable and frozen versions) and added that to the soup which would save you time and help maintain the soup’s texture and taste.

  • May

    5 stars
    This is amazing. It’s such an easy recipe, but I swear it tastes JUST like the stuffed peppers my mom used to make–except unlike those, it’s vegetarian, lean, high in fiber, and doesn’t call for ketchup as an ingredient.

  • Dawn

    5 stars
    I made this, and it has instantly become a once a week staple in our house. Super easy and delicious. I made it in the crockpot the 1st time and on the stove top the last two times. Last night I made it for my daughter and her husband who are 100% vegan, and they loved it.

    • Ahhh yay! Best news ever – thank you Dawn!

  • Chris

    5 stars
    Just made this soup, because I’m obsessed with stuffed pepper soup, and it is incredible! I’m so thrilled to have this recipe, perfect for my family as we work to increase our vegetarian dinner options. Thanks so much for a great recipe, I’ll be making it often!

    • So glad you’re loving the recipe Chris, thank you! Honored to be making repeat status! xoxo

  • Dawn Marie Roudybush

    Making this tonight. Started at 4pm to eat at 5. It’s 6pm and still waiting for dry red lentils to cook. I thought it sounded too good to be true.
    So bummed and hungry.

    • Ohmygosh eeeeek! I’ve made this a few times now (legit obsessed) and a few friends and readers have had great success with it too. Can I help troubleshoot at all? Were the red lentils thicker or larger than normal? Any ingredient swaps? Was it at a bubbling simmer? What type of pot did you use here? Lid?

  • Andrea

    This looks like a great option for cold winter lunches! Just wondering if you have made it in the Instant Pot yet?

    • Hey Andrea, I totally want to! It’s just so easy stove-top that I keep making it on the stove over and over again.

      I’m forcing myself to do an IP test run soon though because I have a crisper full of peppers just waiting to be transformed into this soup! I think as written it’s going to be too much volume and thickness for the Instant Pot so I might need to change things up a bit with the liquid content and measurements so the soup isn’t too close to the max fill line.

  • Annmarie

    Do you think its ok to swap the rice for quinoa?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Annmarie! I’ve never tried soup with quinoa in it before so I’m not sure! You could try making it entirely grain-free and then add a little fluffy cooked quinoa to one bowl to test it out?

  • Claire

    5 stars
    This really did taste just like a stuffed bell pepper!
    I was feeding the kids so I skipped the spice in the soup and just served it as an optional garnish.
    We all LOVED it!!!!

    • So happy you enjoyed it Claire – thank you!!

  • Dini

    5 stars
    Holy cow this soup looks and sounds phenomenal. Scrumptious is an understatement. And it sounds like a great way to use up leftover veggies in the fridge too. Looking forward to making this! 🙂

    • Thank you Dini! It’s a new favorite for sure!

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