These stuffed poblano peppers taste just like a chicken enchilada, without the fuss of having to roll up lots of corn tortillas.
This stuffed poblanos recipe uses up leftover rice and crushed tortilla chips that might otherwise be thrown away. Along with some shortcut prepared ingredients like canned green chiles and prepared enchilada sauce. it makes a delicious dinner in under an hour. If you don’t have leftover rice, you can make a small batch on the stove or in your Instant Pot.
What Are Poblano Peppers?
Poblano peppers are a mildly spicy, large pepper native to Mexico. They’re not quite as spicy as a jalapeno, but they do pack a little bit of heat. If you’re sensitive to handling jalapenos, you might also be sensitive to poblanos, so wearing gloves while preparing this recipe is recommended.
Poblanos are more rectangular, long, and somewhat flat compared to their bell pepper cousins, which tend to be more round and bell-shaped. They can also be a little lumpy and curvy, making them challenging to stuff sometimes. For easier stuffing, I like to cut the poblanos in half, lengthwise, in a very specific way.
How To Cut The Peppers
Because poblano peppers are somewhat rectangular and flat, you’ll see a wide side (which is the side it’s most likely resting on) and a skinny side to the pepper. When you cut the pepper in half, you want two wide pieces. So, if you think about how you would butterfly or fillet a chicken breast to make a cutlet, you’ll want to cut the poblano in the same way, giving you two wide halves.
Insert the knife into the skinny side of the poblano and make a horizontal cut, just like you would with a chicken breast.
If you cut the poblano the other way, you’ll end up with two skinny halves. That limits the amount of stuffing you can add, and they also easily fall over, causing the filling to spill out.
How To Make Stuffed Poblanos
Before the peppers are cut though, you’ll want to preheat the oven and then prepare the filling. This chicken enchilada inspired filling is a mixture of diced chicken breast, crushed corn tortilla chips, green chiles, and your favorite enchilada sauce. The corn chips soften and act as a binder for the filling, without having to use flour, so the filling stays together while baking. It also adds the flavor of a corn tortilla to the filling, without having to roll up actual enchiladas.
In a large bowl combine the chicken, green chiles, crushed tortilla chips, enchilada sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Set that aside while you prepare the baking dish and peppers.
In a large baking dish, like something you’d use for lasagna or a roast, add olive oil and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix this together and spread it all over the bottom of baking dish.
Cut the poblano peppers in half lengthwise so that you have two wide pieces. Remove any seeds and white membranes, which will make the peppers spicier. Transfer the peppers to the baking dish and toss them all around in the salted oil until all sides are well coated. Then turn the peppers cut side up in the baking dish so they’re ready for stuffing.
Add 2 tablespoons of the rice inside of each pepper and spread it around evenly. Then spoon the chicken mixture evenly into each pepper, piling it up high as needed.
Place the baking dish into the oven and bake the stuffed peppers for 25 minutes. Remove the dish from oven and top each pepper with cheese. Place the dish back into the oven and bake for 5 minutes more until the cheese is nice and melted.
Serve these immediately with lots of fresh cilantro, sour cream, pico de gallo, and if you’d like, a little extra enchilada sauce.
Podcast Episode: Making Stuffed Poblanos
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make these peppers, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
Get the flavors of chicken enchiladas in these amazing Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Try serving with sour cream, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo or your favorite salsa.
- 3 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
- 1 and 1/2 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
- 1 (19 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 large poblano peppers
- 1 cup leftover white or Spanish rice, divided
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby-Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- In a large bowl combine the chicken, green chiles, crushed tortilla chips, enchilada sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
- To a large baking dish add the olive oil and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix and spread across bottom of baking dish.
- Cut peppers in half lengthwise so that you have two wide pieces each. Remove seeds and white membrane.
- Transfer peppers to baking dish and toss in salted oil until all sides are well coated. Turn peppers cut side up in baking dish.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of rice into each pepper half and spread evenly. Add about 1/8th of the chicken mixture evenly into each pepper half.
- Place baking dish in oven. Bake 25 minutes.
- Remove dish from oven. Top each pepper with cheese. Place dish back into oven. Bake 5 minutes more.
- Remove dish from oven. Serve peppers immediately.