This vegan Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe is a cozy meal that combines all the goodness and flavor of stuffed peppers... but in easy, delicious soup form! A healthy, 10-ingredient, one-pot meal. (Gluten-free, oil-free.)
Lentils; tiny but mighty! I have proclaimed my love for them before, but they are such nutritional powerhouses with plant-based protein, fiber, and many other nutrients.
Plus they are inexpensive and so easy to cook.
This soup combines both red lentils and brown lentils because I enjoy the combined textures.
The classic stuffed pepper flavor really shines through in the thick, tomato broth.
Plus it is fantastic for meal prep and leftovers as it becomes even more flavorful the next day.
Ingredients for Stuffed Pepper Soup
For this recipe you will simmer in a large stockpot:
- Yellow onion: Or substitute with sweet onion or white onion if needed.
- Carrot: You can also include celery with the carrot if you'd like.
- Green bell peppers: I really enjoy the flavor of green peppers best with this recipe, however you can substitute yellow, orange, or red bell peppers if you'd prefer.
- Fresh garlic cloves: I like the taste of fresh garlic in this soup, but you can easily substitute dried garlic powder if desired.
- Diced tomatoes: Either regular or fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Tomato sauce
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low sodium if desired.
- Green lentils or brown lentils: These have more of an earthy taste, and they hold their shape well after cooking.
- Red lentils: These do not hold their shape after cooking, and will become more of a stew-like texture.
- Smoked paprika
Make it spicy: Stir in cayenne pepper to taste, jalapeno, red pepper flakes, chipotle in adobo sauce, or use medium fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Or simply top with your favorite hot sauce before serving.
Make it "meaty": Add your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles in place of some of the lentils. I suggest cooking these separately according to package instructions, and then stirring them in at the end of cooking time.
Herbs + seasoning: Change up the taste with your own favorite flavors. Instead of smoked paprika, try Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, thyme, ground cumin, turmeric, etc.
Veggies: Include other vegetables as you see fit in this lentil soup. Try sweet potatoes, celery, spinach, etc.
Rice: I highly recommend adding cooked brown rice on top of your bowl to complete the stuffed pepper ensemble!
Garnish: We also like topping our bowl with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep for about 4-5 days. So it's great for meal prep, take-along lunches, weeknight dinners, etc.
Note: If this finds you in the mood for some "real" stuffed pepper goodness, try our favorite Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers!
For more inspiration, also browse all lentil recipes or bell pepper recipes.
Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 large carrot
- 3 green bell peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup green/brown lentils (uncooked)
- 3/4 cup red lentils (uncooked)
- 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- Salt to taste
- Cooked brown rice or quinoa, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley
- Dice onion, carrot, and bell pepper (core and seeds removed).
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 6-7 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth or water for no-oil sauté method.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic.
- Add garlic, smoked paprika, carrot, and bell pepper. Stir and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Increase heat to high.
- Meanwhile, rinse & drain lentils. Add to pot and stir.
- Bring to a light boil, then decrease heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through.
- Salt to taste. Serve as is or with cooked rice, quinoa, hot sauce, fresh parsley, etc.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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Super simple and kids and hubby all loved it! They voted unanimously to make it again.
Yay! Wonderful to hear your family enjoyed this so much, Deanna. Thanks for giving it a try and sharing your very kind feedback. Wishing you all a beautiful week!
This is a regular in my rotation. It freezes well. I love it over rice or potatoes. Delicious!
Great to hear, Lisa! Glad it's been freezing well. And fantastic idea serving it over rice and potatoes. Thanks for sharing your kind and helpful feedback!
Glad I found your recipe site. Been making this soup at least once a week for the past month and everyone loves it. Thanks!
Hello Jody and welcome to the site! I'm so thrilled to hear you've been enjoying this recipe. Thank you so much for giving it a try and sharing your very kind feedback. Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week! -Kaitlin
Delicious! I substituted 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning for the smoked paprika and added a few shakes Worcestershire.
Great additions! Thank you for sharing.
This recipe is so good! I did make it with 2 green 1 red pepper because that’s what I had on hand. I HIGHLY recommend! Thank you for creating it! PS I added a little sriracha on top.
Hi Jen! So glad you hear you enjoyed. Love the sriracha on top. Thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing your very kind feedback!
One of my favorite soup recipes. Make often, tasty deluxe!
So wonderful to hear that, Judeen! Thank you for giving the recipe a try and sharing your kind feedback. Wishing you a beautiful week! -Kaitlin
Wonderful! I used up my tikka masala sauce instead of the tomato sauce and followed everything else in the recipe and it turned out so flavourful. Thanks Kaitlin!
That sounds like an amazing substitution! Thanks so much for sharing!
Such a great recipe! I added the Italian seasonings to it. Wonderful. Making it again today. The pepper flavor reminded me of my favorite canned soup growing up. Chicken Gumbo. So today I'll add some okra. Thanks for sharing your delicious colorful recipes, Kaitlin!
Hi Annie! So great to hear you gave this a try and enjoyed with your Italian seasonings! I also never thought to add okra, what a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and recipe rating - very appreciated!
Made today! Delicious and hearty! I only had 3/4 lentils on hand so I made Farro and stirred it in my bowl after the soup was cooked. The hubby said "this is a keeper!"
So fantastic to hear that Sheri! Love your adaption with the added farro - smart! Thanks so much for leaving a comment & recipe rating. Wishing you both a lovely weekend! -Kaitlin
Meal prepping isn’t the best strategy for my family because we tend to let leftovers sit. Not this soup! Making it again this month and can hardly wait. Perfect over rice.
Great to hear you and your family are enjoying this, Christina! Thanks so much for the very kind feedback. Hope you enjoy it just as much when you make it again!
This was delightful! I made it last night for dinner and am enjoying a bowl for lunch today! I had a "90 second brown rice and quinoa" pouch from Costco I added to the soup at the end of the cooking time instead of adding rice on top. I topped the soup with some vegan sour cream and some crunched up tortilla chips. It was delicious and super easy!
Hi Kelly! So glad you gave it a try and enjoyed. I agree, I love the leftovers! Thanks so much for coming back to comment. Wishing you a lovely week! -Kaitlin
This was fantastic! I served it with a scoop of rice in it!
Soup was delicious and rather rich. One disappointment - the green lentils were still not cooked after 50 minutes. The 25-30 minutes was not at all accurate for me. Maybe next time I’ll just use red, or precook the green. I don’t like smoked paprika that much so the 1.5 tsp was 2/3’s Italian seasoning - great suggestion.
Hi Jeanette! Glad you were able to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. This could definitely work with all red lentils if that works out better for you. Thanks for sharing your feedback!