Stuffed Poblano Peppers are roasted, then packed with a hearty rice mixture of spices, beans, zucchini and corn. With easy prep ahead and freezer friendly options, these vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers are a family favorite! This recipe is vegetarian, easily vegan and easily gluten free.
My favorite time of year for seasonal produce is early fall. The commingling of summer and fall produce is the most abundant, colorful and delicious of all. But it’s the peppers, mild, medium and hot that really flip my switch!
One pepper in particular stands out; the poblano pepper. Mild and perfect for stuffing, this pepper’s flavor profile is slightly sweet, smoky and so perfectly paired with Mexican spices, rice and beans.
Worth the effort, charring and peeling the skin brings out poblano chilis best flavors with a hint of smoky, earthy notes and mellows its mild heat just a bit.
Ingredients for Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Made with pantry staples and fresh ingredients, here’s what you’ll need to pull this stuffed poblano recipe together:
- Poblano Peppers
- Bell Pepper
- Long Grain White Rice
- Cumin, Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic
- Tomato Paste
- Prepared Salsa
- Corn – fresh or frozen
- Pinto or Black Beans
- Pepper or Monterey Jack Cheese
- Lime Juice
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers
This recipe has several steps, but it flows easily. Here’s a summary of how to do it:
- First, cut a slit in each poblano then blister the poblanos in the oven. This brings out their smoky flavors and softens the peppers.
- Second, while the poblanos are roasting make the Mexican spiced rice (stuffing) and prepare the veggies.
- Third, after the peppers are roasted, sweat the poblano peppers in a covered bowl then peel and de-seed them.
- Fourth, to the rice mixture, stir in the zucchini, corn, beans and cheese (if using).
- Next, stuff the poblano peppers, then bake.
- Last, whip up the avocado cream (optional) while the peppers bake.
For meal prep, assemble, cover and refrigerate the stuffed poblano peppers for up to two days. Bake when ready to share.
A Few Recipe Notes
- There are many condiments to share vegetarian stuffed poblanos with. I love a dollop of sour cream and either sliced avocados or avocado cream (see recipe), but here are a few other options from the blog:
- Dairy Free? This recipe includes cheese as pictured, but it’s also delicious without! Top with avocado cream (see recipe) or my Mexican Pepita Crema.
- Meal Prep: Make this stuffed poblano recipe up to two days in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Serving Size: Poblanos vary in their size. Look for the largest poblanos you can get your hands on. You’ll need 8, or 1 1/2 lbs for this recipe. If you have any leftover stuffing, it freezes with ease and makes delicious leftovers!
- Freezer Friendly? Oh yes! Store in a covered container and freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a covered roasting pan at 350F.
More Poblano Recipes to Love!
- Sweet Potato and Corn Stuffed Poblanos
- Homemade Sofritas Burrito Bowls
- Creamy Poblano Corn and Zucchini Tacos
- Pumpkin Two Bean Chili
- Skillet Vegetarian Enchiladas Verde
Stuffed Poblanos Peppers
For the Peppers:
- 1 1/2 lb (670g) Poblano Peppers 8 medium peppers
- 2 tsp Vegetable Oil like coconut or olive oil, plus more for the baking pan
- 1/4 C (35g) Yellow Onion diced small, about 1/4 of an onion
- 1/4 C (45g) Green Bell Pepper diced small, about 1/2 a small pepper
- 1/2 C (120g) Long Grain White Rice
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 2/4 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Granules or two small cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 C (110g) Prepared Salsa
- 1 1/3 C (305g) Vegetable Broth
- 1 C (140g) Zucchini diced small, about one small zucchini
- 3/4 C (80g) Corn fresh or frozen, from about 1 small cob
- 1 3/4 C (425g) Cooked Pinto Beans drained, about one can (black beans are a delicious sub!)
- 3/4 C (80g) Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack Cheese leave out for dairy free
- 1/2 a Lime juiced
For the Avocado Cream (Optional):
- 1 Medium Avocado
- Fist Full of Cilantro
- 3-5 Pickled Jalapeño Rings take it up for the heat!
- 1/2 tsp fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 a Lemon Juiced
- 1/4 tsp Cumin ground
- Water for thinning
Serve With (optional):
- Sliced Avocado, Cilantro, Sour Cream, Lime Wedges, Salsa, Pickled Jalapenos
Roast the Peppers:
- Set one oven rack to the top of the oven, another rack in the center and preheat oven to broil.
- Make one slit in each of the poblanos from the stem to tip (the seeds will be removed after roasting). Arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Place the poblanos on the top rack.
- Using tongs, turn the poblanos about every 2 - 3 minutes for a total of about 9 - 12 minutes, or until they're nice and charred (blistered) on each side. Remove from oven and transfer the peppers to a covered container to steam for about 10 minutes (this makes them easier to peel). The peppers will be soft at this point. Lower the oven temperature to 375F (190C).
- Once the peppers are steamed, carefully peel the skins off the peppers, working the seeds out with a little bit of running water (this helps them cool as well) and a gentle knife keeping the peppers in tact as best you can. Pat dry and set aside.
For the Stuffing:
- While the peppers are roasting, in a medium sauce pot or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat on medium until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute' on medium low for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and stir for two minutes, slightly toasting. To the rice mixture add the salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and garlic and stir for about 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salsa and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Lid the pot and cook for about 16-18 minutes, or until the rice in tender. Remove lid and stir. The rice will be moist and creamy. Remove from heat. If the rice is sticking add a splash of water. Stir. Relid and allow to rest off heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the zucchini, corn, beans and cheese (if using). Squeeze in the lime juice. Stir. Taste for salt adjustment. Set aside.
Assemble and Bake:
- Lightly oil (or use pan spray) a casserole dish and set aside.Carefully stuff each pepper with the stuffing, shaping the pepper around the stuffing. Transfer to the casserole, laying the peppers snugly against each other. MAKE AHEAD: At this point the peppers can be covered with foil and held in the fridge for up to two days. Bake as directed.Cover the baker with foil, then bake in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
For the Avocado Cream (optional):
- In a food processor add the avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, lemon, and cumin. Whirl ingredients while drizzling about 1/3 C (78g) of water in. The cream should be thin enough to slather or dip. Thin to desired consistency.
- Serve family style right out of the casserole with sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream, salsa and lime wedges.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, cover and rewarm in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.