A fiesta of flavors and colors, these stuffed poblano peppers are flavorful, gorgeous, and surprisingly easy to make.
I often make a double batch because the leftovers are just as good as the freshly made peppers.
These stuffed poblanos are bursting with flavor! The combination of peppers, shredded chicken, and melted cheese is phenomenal.
And while it may look like a complex recipe, it's easy, especially if you use pre-cooked chicken.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The recipe card below includes the complete list and exact measurements. Here's an overview and some comments:
- Olive oil: I love cooking with this flavorful oil. You can also use avocado oil.
- Poblano peppers: They are widely available in supermarkets, usually in an area dedicated to spicy chile peppers.
- Tomatoes: Try to pick red, ripe-yet-firm tomatoes.
- Onion and garlic: It's fine to use jarred minced garlic, although freshly minced tastes better.
- Seasonings: I use kosher salt, dried oregano, and ground cumin.
- Shredded cooked chicken breast: You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken. Just make sure to remove the skin. Its texture won't work in this recipe.
- Shredded cheeses: I use mozzarella and cheddar.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a great flavor to this dish.
- Sometimes, I use a pound of cooked and drained ground beef instead of chicken.
- Instead of mixing mozzarella into the chicken mixture, you can mix softened cream cheese or a shredded Mexican cheese blend. I especially like cream cheese.
- You can experiment with other melty cheese. Fontina, asiago, and provolone all work in this recipe. I especially like provolone.
- You can make this recipe with bell peppers for those who dislike spicy food.
- Smoked paprika is an excellent addition to the spices used in this recipe. I sometimes add one teaspoon.
- If you don't like cilantro, you can use parsley instead.
The detailed instructions for making these stuffed poblano peppers are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
You start by prepping the poblanos. Remove a thin layer from their top, remove the seeds and membranes, then cut a slit down their side.
The next step: Cook tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in cooked shredded chicken, mozzarella, and cilantro.
Stuff the chicken mixture into the poblanos and bake them in a broiler-safe pan.
The last step is to sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of the peppers and broil them to melt the cheese.
If you can only find small peppers, you can use them to make this recipe, using 8-10 peppers instead of four. You can also mix different pepper sizes and bake them together.
As you can see in the photo below, when filming the video for this recipe, I used three medium peppers and four small ones (that's what was available at the farmers' market) and baked them all together for 30 minutes. They all turned out great!
Poblanos have mild to medium heat according to the Scoville Scale. They are significantly milder than jalapenos, for example. Most adults find their heat level tolerable.
However, in my experience, the heat level is too high for children and adults who dislike spicy food. If you're one of them, use bell peppers instead of poblanos, or make these stuffed bell peppers.
Yes. Although they are relatively mild, they contain capsaicin, which can be irritating for some people.
I recommend wearing gloves when handling poblano peppers, especially if you know you're sensitive.
You can. When eaten raw, they have a crisp texture and a fresh flavor. You can dice them and add them to salads. But in my opinion, they taste better when cooked. Cooking also softens their skin, which can be fibrous.
Poblano skin is edible, but some people find it unpleasant to eat and prefer to remove it. I don't remove the skin.
You can serve stuffed poblano peppers as an appetizer, one per person. But I often serve two per person as our main course. You can serve them with toppings such as salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.
When I serve these peppers as a main course, I add a simple side such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power, or in a 300°F oven.
More Mexican Recipes
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Olive oil spray
- 4 poblano peppers medium-sized, 1 pound total weight with refuse, 12 ounces cleaned weight
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tomatoes medium, diced (10 ounces)
- ½ onion medium, diced (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon of any other salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast shredded (10 ounces)
- 1 cup part-skim mozzarella shredded (4 ounces)
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- ½ cup sharp cheddar shredded (2 ounces)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed oven and broiler-safe baking sheet with foil and spray it with oil.
- Rinse and dry the poblanos. Cut a thin slice off the tops and remove the core and seeds. Cut a slit all the way down the side of each pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the liquids have evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Off heat, stir in the chicken, mozzarella, and cilantro, mixing well.
- Divide the filling among the peppers, adding it from the top and pressing it to fill the entire pepper. Pack the filling into each pepper to prevent it from spilling onto the baking sheet.
- Place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet, slit side up. Lightly spray them with olive oil. Bake until the poblanos are soft and charred in places, about 30 minutes (the smell will be amazing!).
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and switch the oven to broil. Top the peppers with the cheddar cheese, sprinkling the cheese on the open part where you've cut the slit.
- Broil the peppers 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below) just until the cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Protecting your hands with gloves while handling poblano peppers is a good idea.
- In addition to oregano and cumin, I sometimes add a teaspoon of smoked paprika to the filling.
- If you can only find small poblanos, you can use them to make this recipe, using 8-10 peppers instead of four. You can also mix different pepper sizes and bake them all together.
- If you don't like spicy food, you can make this recipe with bell peppers.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power, or in a 300°F oven.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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