These easy chicken stuffed poblano peppers are packed with melted cheese, black beans and Mexican spices. They’re a low-carb, gluten-free meal with a decadent comfort food vibe.
I don’t know why using poblano peppers never really dawned on me, but I’m SO glad I finally did with this recipe.
Poblanos are such a better pepper to use for making stuffed peppers and thankfully, pretty much just as widely available in grocery stores.
Poblano peppers are thinner than bell peppers and because of that, cook up more quickly and emit much less water when cooking.
They’re still mild flavored (a tad bit spicier than bell peppers but by no means spicy) so those with an aversion to spice need not worry either!
Bottom line – this stuffed poblano pepper recipe is easy, delicious, healthy, gluten-free, low-carb and might just be my new favorite way to enjoy the comfort of stuffed peppers!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE CHICKEN STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS
While most stuffed pepper recipes use rice as a major filling component, these stuffed poblanos stay lower carb by relying on beans, tomatoes, chicken and of course, cheese for the filling.
Chicken – using already cooked, shredded chicken makes this a super simple meal. I highly recommend leftover rotisserie chicken just like I use in my cheddar chicken quinoa bake and turmeric chicken salad recipes for ease.
If you need a quick way to cook chicken for these peppers, try this air fryer frozen chicken breast recipe.
Black beans – one can of black beans, drained and rinsed brings some extra fiber, protein and staying power to this stuffed poblano pepper recipe.
Diced tomatoes – The easiest option here is a can of diced tomatoes that have been drained of the extra juice. You can also use fresh chopped tomatoes if you prefer.
Shredded cheese – Because there’s a bit of a Mexican vibe to these stuffed peppers with the spices used, I like to use a Mexican blend shredded cheese. Cheddar or Monterrey Jack are also good alternatives.
Spices – we’ll use garlic powder, chili powder, chipotle powder (for some kick!), salt and pepper for flavor. If you like extra spice, add a dash of cayenne. If you’re not a fan of spice at all, omit the chipotle powder and stick to the chili powder or add some smoked paprika instead.
Green onions – I prefer the delicate nature or green onions to red or white onions in these stuffed peppers. I find green onions to be a great ingredient when you don’t want to have the extra step of sautéing onions when making these.
Poblano peppers – and of course, our pepper of choice is a good old poblano chili pepper. As mentioned above, these thinner peppers are great because they don’t need to be pre-cooked like bell peppers and bake up quickly. They’re the perfect stuffing pepper!
MORE DETAILS ON THE POBLANO PEPPER
You can read all you ever wanted to know about poblano peppers in this article.
But just to reiterate – no, they’re not hot!
Poblanos score between 1,000 – 2,000 on the Scoville heat unit scale. A jalapeño, for reference, is about 8,000 on that same scale.
So while poblanos many look like larger jalapeños with their dark green color, I assure you they are not!
Poblanos have gained some popularity in recent years as they’ve become the pepper of choice for lots of stuffing variations.
From egg stuffed poblanos to anything else you can imagine, a poblano has been there and done that!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND CHEESE STUFFED POBLANOS
This is a surprisingly simple recipe making it great for weeknights.
Without any filling ingredients that need precooking and the easy-going poblanos, these stuffed peppers come together in under 30 minutes.
First, combine the chicken, beans, tomatoes, spices and half of the green onions in a large bowl. Stir until combined.
Next, fold in half of the shredded cheese to the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the halved and seeded poblano peppers and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or greased baking dish.
Be generous with the filling so each pepper half has a good sized portion!
Bake the peppers at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top each pepper with the remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted.
Take the peppers out of the oven, garnish with the rest of the chopped green onions and serve warm!
You can watch my web story on how to make these chicken stuffed poblano peppers too for more info.
HOW TO SERVE STUFFED POBLANOS
While these chicken stuffed poblanos can double as a main course or appetizer (they’re great for a game day option!), we tend to enjoy them most as the main dish.
Their cheesy, Mexican spiced filling doesn’t need much else but a nice simple salad on the side.
CAN I FREEZE THE PEPPERS?
Typically, stuffed peppers will freeze well. Especially, poblano peppers.
If you choose to do this, I suggest stuffing the peppers and freezing them individually.
Use fresh cheese to top them with before baking as cheese tends to melt better when fresh.
Making a double batch of these, one to eat and one to freeze is a great meal prep idea!
CAN I MAKE DAIRY FREE STUFFED PEPPERS?
Absolutely! If you have a plant-based or vegan cheese alternative you use and love, go for it!
I tend to like Miyokos brand for alternative cheese products but use whatever you like to make these dairy free stuffed poblanos.
The recipe is already gluten-free so this simple swap would make it accessible to even more dietary restrictions.
MAKING THE RECIPE VEGAN
To that end, if you wanted to make these stuffed poblano peppers without the chicken for a plant-based stuffed pepper recipe, omit the chicken and just add some more beans!
An extra can of black beans or pinto beans (along with the cheese alternative) would be a great way to enjoy a vegan version of these stuffed poblanos.
CAN I MAKE THESE AHEAD OF TIME?
To prep the peppers ahead of time, I’d suggest filling the poblanos and placing them on the baking sheet or dish before baking.
You can do this and keep them covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance of baking them off.
The stuffed peppers are best enjoyed hot out of the oven though so I suggest baking them right before eating.
There’s nothing like that hot out of the oven melted cheese pull!
MORE RECIPES LIKE THESE CHICKEN STUFFED POBLANOS YOU MAY LIKE:
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- 4 poblano peppers halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded cheese cheddar, Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend, divided
- 3 green onions thinly sliced and divided
- 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a large baking dish.
- Combine the chicken, half the shredded cheese, half the sliced green onions and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into each pepper half filling it generously and place in the baking dish.
- Bake for 15 minutes, top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake again until cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from oven, garnish with remaining green onions and serve warm.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.