Crave-Worthy Meals can be Easy
If you’re like me, cooking is a way to unwind after a long day of work and enjoy a meal you made by hand, especially from scratch. But in a world where our days feel busier than ever, having the time to create quality meals at home can seem impossible. And to be honest, even I have days where the last thing I want to do is cook after a hectic day. To avoid ordering out or buying pre-made meals, I have go-to recipes that are packed with flavor but don’t require multiple pans or active time to make. One of those go-to recipes is stuffed poblano peppers. Filled with wild rice, veggies, and cotija cheese, they’re easy to make even on the busiest nights!
Why You Need to Try Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Stuffed poblano peppers are mini flavor explosions that celebrate flavors used throughout Hispanic cuisine. They’re a mixture of sweet, earthy, citrusy, and just enough spice to warm your senses. Whether you’re making this recipe for yourself, on a date night, or even as a dinner party menu item, stuffed poblano peppers will be a knockout dish without much time required. When hosting dinner parties, stuffed poblano peppers can be assembled up to two days in advance. Once stuffed, store the peppers refrigerated with a tight-fitting lid until they’re ready to bake. A bonus of this recipe is that it doesn’t contain any meat making it a great vegetarian option for guests. If you haven’t heard of poblano pepper, you may be wondering if they’re spicy.
Are Poblano Peppers Spicy?
If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, you may be wary of a stuffed pepper recipe that doesn’t use a bell variety. If that’s the case, poblanos are the perfect pepper to try in recipes! While poblanos are spicier than bell peppers, the heat level is much lower than other chili peppers. Peppers that are hot contain capsaicin, a naturally occurring compound that we interpret as spicy. The more capsaicin present, the hotter a pepper is. To rate how hot a pepper is, they’re given a Scoville heat units (SHU) rating. Bell peppers contain no capsaicin and have zero SHUs. Poblanos clock in between 1,000 and 1,500 SHUs, and jalapenos score between 2,500 and 8000 SHUs. When you compare the SHUs, poblanos will warm without burning your mouth.
The Flavors of Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Poblano peppers bring less heat to this recipe with an earthy and slightly sweet flavor.
- Wild rice is what holds the stuffing inside the poblanos together. If you don’t have wild rice, any rice variety can be used with this recipe.
- Sweet corn, black beans, and onions are the vegetables used in this recipe. You can use fresh, canned, or frozen options when available.
- Cilantro and lime are popular ingredients in Hispanic dishes and provide fragrant and citrusy flavors. If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out, and you can use bottled lime juice in a pinch. You will need 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice.
- A seasoning blend of salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, and cumin is added to boost the flavor. You can leave the salt out or season to taste for a low-sodium variation.
- Cacique® Cotija Cheese is one of my favorite cheeses for this recipe. Cotija cheese has a crumbly texture and a salty flavor with a kick. Cacique® is also a Hispanic-owned business, so I can support business diversity using authentic flavors.
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 4 large poblano peppers
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¾ cup black beans rinsed
- 8.5 oz sweet corn drained
- 2 Tbsp. cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 10 oz. Cacique® Cotija cheese
- 1 cup sour cream (optional)
- 2 medium limes cut into eight wedges
- Cook the wild rice according to the instructions on the packaging. Set aside.
- Preheat an oven to 350° F.
- Cut each poblano pepper in half and discard the seeds. Place each pepper half cut-side up on a large baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the peppers soften and wrinkle.
- While the peppers cook, add the red onions, black beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, pepper, cumin, and paprika to the rice. Salt to taste.
- Transfer the rice filling to a fridge to keep it chilled until the peppers are ready.
- Remove the peppers from the oven once they're softened.
- Evenly divide the stuffing mix among the poblano pepper halves.
- Bake the stuffed poblano peppers for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top edges turn golden brown.
- Serve immediately with an optional dollop of sour cream and lime wedge.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers Tips
Choosing Poblano Peppers
Poblanos usually come in sizes ranging from 3 to 6 inches, but they can be larger or smaller. Smaller peppers make perfect appetizers or side dishes, whereas larger peppers can be served as an entree. When selecting poblanos, choose peppers that are wider and round throughout. Rounder peppers will create a deeper bowl to stuff once cut in half. Flatter peppers can also be used for this recipe, but the stuffing may spill over the sides more easily.
Once baked, leftover poblano peppers can be refrigerated for up to four days, including any days of storage before baking. For longer storage, freeze the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with foil. Once frozen, transfer to an air-tight freezer-safe container and record the date frozen. For the best flavor, use frozen peppers within six months of freezing.
Cooking rice will be the longest step of this recipe next to the baking time. If you cook the rice, the additional stuffing ingredients can be directly added to the pot once the rice cooks. Having one less bowl to wash makes cleanup even easier! If you’re short on time, you can also use microwavable rice pouches instead. The rice doesn’t need to be microwaved as most varieties are pre-cooked. The rice will instead heat as the peppers cook. You will need two packages of microwaveable pouches, assuming they weigh between 8 and 9 ounces.
What are Cuisines You'd Like to Explore More?
If you try stuffed poblanos peppers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe in the comments! Also, if there are specific recipes or cuisines you’d like to see more of at Flavors of Paradis, you can comment below or email suggestions to Sean@FlavorsofParadis.com!