By making the Spanish-style rice and shredded chicken ahead of time, these stuffed poblano peppers come together in a flash. It's beautiful, full of flavor and is all you need for a complete meal!
Doesn't it seem like peppers were just made for stuffing? I swear that if we weren't supposed to fill up that perfect single-serving sized pepper half with delicious stuffing then I just don't know why it's there.
We stuffed these with a delicious mixture of Spanish-style rice, shredded chicken, onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and cilantro and topped with with creamy Monterrey Jack cheese, but there are so many ways to adjust it to fit your tastes.
Check out my suggestions below!
How to make chicken stuffed poblano peppers
With the chicken and rice cooked ahead of time (see the next section for my secrets for making this in no time at all!), this recipe comes together really easily. While you're preheating the oven, slice the peppers in half lengthwise and clean out the ribs and seeds.
Then, heat up the oil in a small skillet and cook your onions and garlic. Once the oven is preheated you can pop the peppers in cut side up to pre-roast them before stuffing.
While they're roasting, mix together the rest of the ingredients (be sure to save half the cheese for putting on top!) and you're ready to stuff! Divide the mixture evenly between the peppers and top with the remaining cheese.
Put them back in the oven until the cheese is melted and the stuffing is hot. Serve them right out of the oven and enjoy!
Tricks for making this recipe a snap
The recipe calls for Spanish rice, which means you can make it with a box rice, or even Ready Rice that you just heat up in the microwave! Of course, if you're feeling super fancy you can always make Mexican Rice from scratch.
Another hack I use with any recipe that calls for shredded chicken is buying the pre-shredded rotisserie chicken in the deli at the grocery store.
Ended up with extra stuffing? It doubles as a chicken burrito bowl for lunch tomorrow!
For a fun look at this recipe, be sure to check out the web story!
These peppers are super versatile. You can really stuff them with anything that has a Southwest or Mexican-inspired flair. Here are some ideas:
- To go heart-healthy, sub quinoa for the rice
- For a low-carb option, try cauliflower rice
- Instead of chicken you could use ground beef, shredded beef, ground pork, or chorizo
- For more heat, add in some fresh or pickled jalapenos
- Sub cheddar, pepper jack, or colby for the monterrey jack cheese
- Corn, black beans and Creamy Poblano Sauce would be great additions, too!
You definitely want to cook the peppers in some way before stuffing them because otherwise the peppers will be too tough. I prefer roasting them in the oven for 15 minutes before stuffing them since the oven has been preheated anyway!
Poblano peppers hold their shape really well, so as long as they're not overcooked that shouldn't be a problem. If you're reheating them, I would opt for the oven over the microwave to ensure that they don't get soggy.
We love poblanos but bell peppers are also perfect for stuffing. The key is to get a good firm pepper that will have a flat surface to lay on while baking and enough room on the inside for all the filling.
I don't peel mine! If you're roasting poblanos until soft and then dicing them up into a dish I would peel them before dicing, but in this case you can just eat them peel and all!
What do you serve with chicken stuffed poblano peppers?
This recipe is actually a pretty all inclusive meal since you have your meat, grains, vegetables and dairy all in the peppers, but I know sometimes we just want a little variety on our plates. I think these would be delicious with Smoked Queso Dip, esquites (Mexican corn salad), a cup of cheesy roasted poblano pepper soup or black bean soup, and of course a cucumber jalapeno margarita or pineapple agua fresca to wash it all down.
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put poblanos cut-side up. Bake 15 mins.
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Cook onions 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic for another 30 seconds.
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, rice, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, cilantro, and half the cheese and stir well to combine.
- Stuff the peppers with rice mixture and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 15 mins or until cheese has melted and stuffing is hot.
- Top with sour cream and salsa if desired.