Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup is the perfect combination of everything you love in stuffed peppers, but in a hearty soup. We use different color bell peppers, but you can use your favorites!
One thing we always loved making here in the fall is stuffed peppers. What way can we make them even better? By making them into a soup! This stuffed peppers soup recipe is so much easier then stuffing and baking. You won't be missing any of the flavor either.
I actually started to make this soup because for a while the peppers in the store were rather funky and small. We did eventually start growing peppers, but for a while it was just hard to get nice peppers for stuffing.
When we would stuff them, we would need 5 or 6, but with the soup we can use just 3 and they don't have to be shaped perfect either!
The ingredients come together perfectly to add the flavors, but you can use some substitutions here!
The meat - We use ground beef but you can also make the Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup with ground turkey as well! It tastes great with turkey too.
Rice - We use brown rice for this soup, but you can use basmati or jasmine in it's place. Please note that the cook times are different for each rice tho! See below
The peppers are where you can get creative! Mix them up, try your favorite because most peppers taste good in it. We quite often use red and green here, but we use whatever peppers we have on hand (or look good in the store if off season.)
Yellow, orange and even cubanelle peppers go well in this soup!
Onion - We use only white onions or yellow onions here, but both taste great in the Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup. I would try to stick with 1 of these 2 onions. Sweet would be ok, red is not a great option here.
Mushrooms - mushrooms are optional but I will say that the kids won't notice them in there and I won't tell on you. They add a great but subtle flavor while adding some nutrients to the soup. You likely won't notice a big difference with or without them, they are not the main part of the flavor.
Broth - low sodium or no sodium broth is best here, but if using full sodium you may want to reduce the amount of salt you use. Regular broth has quite a bit of sodium and this recipe was written with low sodium broth. We recommend beef, but chicken or even vegetable broth can be used as well!
Diced tomatoes and tomato sauce - I do not recommend mixing these up, but in a pinch you can use crushed tomatoes in place of diced. Diced are better for the texture and liquid here tho. Puree can be used in place of the sauce if needed.
Cheese - any kind of cheddar or even Colby Jack is great for the cheese, but you can use your favorite! 4 cheese Mexican blend is a great topping too. It is an optional topping we add at the table to our individual bowls.
- chili powder - no substitution recommended
- cumin - no substitution recommended
- salt - you can adjust the amount of salt as needed
- black pepper - adjust the amount as needed
- Italian seasoning - can mix 2 teaspoons parsley, 2 teaspoons basil and 2 teaspoons oregano in it's place. Italian seasoning has other spices in it too, but this works if you don't have the seasoning mix.
- garlic powder - can use minced fresh garlic in it's place
- turmeric - you can leave out if you don't have it, but I recommend using it if you can!
- red pepper flakes - can use cayenne in it's place.
Cooking the rice
As written here we use brown rice which takes longer to cook. Here are some tips for brown and other kinds of rice!
Brown rice - you should soak it for at least 10 minutes in cold water and then rinse before adding to the Instant Pot. I let it soak while chopping up the vegetables. You can soak it overnight as well!
Basmati rice - If you are using basmati rice, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. I do this every time I cook with it, not just for this recipe. We use this rice for a lot of dishes! But this rice does require a much shorter cook time. You will cook the soup on high pressure for 6 minutes and then do a 10 minute natural release before finishing with a manual release.
Jasmine rice - You need to rinse this rice as well before adding it to the Instant Pot. The water should run clear. Jasmine cooks a little faster then the others (typically 3 minutes) but you still need a long enough cook time for other ingredients. You want to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes and then natural release for 10 minutes before finishing with a manual release.
Long grain white rice - This is not my favorite rice for a rice dish as the texture isn't always as good, but it will work good in a soup! Rinse the rice well until the water runs clear. I would add about one quarter cup less for long grain white rice. It really soaks up liquid and can quickly turn a soup into a rice dish. The cook time for the white rice would be 6 minutes on high pressure followed by a 10 minute natural release before finishing with a manual release.
What size Instant Pot for stuffed pepper soup?
To make it less to fit in the 3 quart, you can halve the ingredients. The sauce would be an 8 ounce can instead of the 15 ounce. Everything else should be easy to cut in half. Do not cut the amount of olive oil in half tho, you do need that amount still.
As a family of 4 that often eats like a family of 6, we have never used the 3 quart so we do not write recipes specifically for that size. But many recipes can be adjusted by reducing the amount of each ingredient.
Frequently asked questions
These are some of the more frequent questions I have been asked about making the soup.
No you do not have to use brown rice. You will need to adjust your cook time if using another rice as brown rice takes longer then most to cook. Jasmine will work well but I would shorten the cook time to 8 minutes with a natural release of 10 minutes before manually releasing.
If using brown rice, yes you should soak the rice for at least 10-15 minutes in a bowl of cold water first. Then rinse before adding to the Instant Pot.
If you are using basmati or Jasmine rice, then no you do not soak it. You should rinse it until the water runs clear before adding to the Instant Pot.
Store them in the refrigerator and they should last for 3-4 days. It will likely be a rice dish and no longer soup when reheated as rice soaks liquid up.
We recommend browning the meat for better flavor for the soup and better texture of the meat, but really you could dump it all in and cook. Just be sure to break the meat apart first and use lean meat since you will not be able to remove excess fat if cooked together.
We recommend bell peppers - colors of your choice. Many times we do what is called stop light peppers which is red, green and yellow. Orange tastes great in it too! Red and orange are the sweeter of the bunch. Yellow is sweet as well but not as sweet as red. Green is not sweet but adds the classic flavor to the soup.
We have even used cubanelle peppers before but that is in the summer. We use whatever peppers are ripe from the garden at the time.
Other great Instant Pot recipes:
If you love our Instant Pot stuffed pepper soup, here are some other great (and easy) recipes for you to try.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Taco Pasta
- Taco Rice
- Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
- Cheesesteak Pasta
- Instant Pot kielbasa soup
Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lb ground beef lean
- 3 bell peppers chopped
- 1 white onion chopped
- 3 brown baby bella mushrooms or white mushrooms - chopped
- 4 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1½ cups brown rice see notes
- 29 oz diced tomatoes no salt added - see notes
- 15 oz tomato sauce no salt added - see notes
- 1 cup shredded cheese for topping - optional
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt see notes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper if preferred
- Add rice to a bowl of cold water and allow to soak for at least 15-20 minutes. Drain and rinse before cooking.
- Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and wait until it reads hot. Add in the olive oil, ground beef, onions and mushrooms. Break the ground beef up while stirring and cook for about 3-4 minutes - until the beef is browned. Hit cancel. Drain excess fat if needed.
- Add in the spices, broth, diced tomatoes and rice. Stir well.
- Place the peppers on top and pour the tomato sauce on top of the peppers - do not stir.
- Place lid on and set the vent to sealing. Hit pressure cook/manual and set the time for 21 minutes.
- Allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
- Once the pin drops, carefully remove the lid and stir. It is ready to serve.