These Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers are so easy and baked with all the spicy, cheesy goodness the entire family will love. With a few simple tricks, these peppers will help clean out the kitchen of leftovers and will be yours in no time and with very little effort!
You guys. History was MADE in our household. I mean real, major and noteworthy history! My husband ate leftovers and I didn't have to twist his arm or beg him.
If you have been around here for a while, then you have heard me complain over and over about the fact that Anthony is not a fan of leftovers. I, however, was raised on leftovers. Aaaaanad as the dinner maker in our household, leftovers are what keeps me sane. Coming up with new dinner ideas night after night is for the birds--and honestly not even them.
Nobody has time for it! Or the energy, really.
A dinner made in heaven??
When I whipped up these super simple chicken stuffed poblano peppers, the result was Anthony telling me 'ten thumbs up.' Has that ever happened in the history of the blog? NOPE. And there have been some gooooood recipes in my opinion--his as well, even.
The real magic happened though when the question I despise the most came out of his mouth a day or so later. You know the one--the question they ask every single night--it never ends. "What's for dinner?" Ugh! Is this what adulthood really is? Deciding what to make for dinner every night? I didn't sign up for this!
When he asked, I cringed, knowing full well I was about to say his least favorite thing. I took a deep breath and responded, "Those leftover stuffed peppers..."
"Sounds good."(If you could have seen my jaw DROP.)
Did he just agree to leftovers?? What???! That my friends was the exact moment I realized these Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers were GOLD.
But you wanna know what else makes these stuffed peppers so amazing? How ridiculously simple they are! I have several tricks that help cut out lots of extra time.
What makes these Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers so simple?
Several things actually.
- I use leftovers to make this recipe. Shhhh. Do not tell. The trick to these peppers is upcycling some items in the fridge to make a new dinner. I use leftover rotisserie chicken for mine most of the time. However, sometimes we have a few chicken breasts and I will shred those up instead. The bonus is that I don't waste food!
- Two words: Minute. Rice. I cannot tell you the number of times I have ditched a dinner idea because I did not want to wait for the rice to cook. The little 90 second rice pouches at the grocery always save me in a pinch. They are a bit more pricey but sometimes convenience is what I need. If you are a good weekly meal prepper, you may just have rice in the fridge and that's perfect too! The key is having some of the ingredients handy for this one.
- Pantry staples. Several items in this recipe are things I always have on hand. That means I won't find myself in one of those, "Oh shoot" moments when I realize I am missing a major ingredient. The beans, tomatoes, and even frozen corn are always in the house. Always.
Like I said, the bonus of these stuffed peppers is that they are so stinking simple. It is possible that I have grabbed a rotisserie chicken with these in mind.
Now, there is no rule that says you have to take the shortcuts for these easy Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers. By all means, make the rice fresh, bake some chicken, etc. That is all 100% acceptable. And if you have the time, why not? Sometimes, though, getting a really good dinner on the table in a limited amount of time requires corners to be cut--but it doesn't mean flavor has to be lost in any way.
Why poblano peppers?
Glad you asked. I actually prefer stuffed poblano peppers to bell peppers. They are a bit thinner so they cook up quickly and I find they don't get quite as water logged as bell peppers tend to do. I love the flavor of poblano peppers. The main reason though? I find them so much easier to maneuver and stuff!
Poblano Peppers lay so nice and flat--that makes them a stuffed pepper game changer if you ask me. You can easily line them up on a baking sheet and trust they won't fall all over the place.
How hot are poblano peppers?
Poblano peppers are considered a fairly mild pepper. As a reference, jalapeños are 5 times hotter than poblanos. There is an actual scale that is used to rank peppers by the level of heat they pack. On this scale the poblano's max heat is considered 1,500 (SHU is the unit) and jalapeños are 8,000.
The poblano has a very mild amount of heat but there is still a very slight kick to them as compared to bell peppers that score a 0 on the pepper scale referenced here. I eat jalapeño poppers happily, but can definitely tell the major difference in the heat they bring even when cream cheese is added to balance them out.
Poblano peppers on the other hand are a smooth and subtle heat. Definitely my prefernce for a stuffed pepper. What about you?
Can you freeze these?
Stuffed peppers typically freeze really well. I like to freeze them in single servings so that I can pull them out for a simple lunch or even dinner in a pinch.
The pepper flavor usually holds up pretty well too. If you plan to freeze these, you can opt to leave the cheese off until you pull them out of the freezer to reheat. It is not necessary but I find that cheese melted is best when it is 100% fresh.
What to serve with this recipe:
To be honest, these chicken stuffed poblano peppers were certainly a meal on their own for us, but, I find some recipes can pair really well with a good stuffed pepper dinner.
- Cornbread. I almost feel that this should be a requirement the more I think about it. What a perfect combo! Perhaps a good jalapeño cornbread?? Or is that too much?
- Chips and Dip! These stuffed peppers were made to be paired with a good guac! Try this Spicy Mango Guacamole for a fun combo!
- While we are on the topic of dips, try this 3 Bean Cowboy Caviar with Avocado.
- Street Corn--that is exactly what you need to add to this meal!
- For a warm night on the patio, this Watermelon Avocado Salad would be a fun addition to dinner!
- And for sure you will want a fun margarita to sip on as well, right?!
- You are fully in the driver's seat when it comes to the amount of heat you want in this recipe. You do not have to add any jalapeño or you can add a very small amount. If you are worried about the heat, start slow and you can always add in more. There's nothing worse than making a big dinner that you won't eat by any means in the end.
- A fun way to play around with this recipe is with the cheese. Grab a fun cheese at the market or grab a cheese with a kick to instantly add some more spice. I rarely use the same cheese consecutively and love the variety.
- If you need this recipe to be dairy free, skip the cheese or substitute with a dairy free cheese. If you are going no cheese, dice up some avocado and throw it on top when serving for some added flavor and creaminess.
- White or brown rice--whatever is your favorite is great in this recipe.
Check out these other super simple dinner recipes:
- Simple Ground Turkey Skillet Dinner
- Easy Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup
- 15 Minute Sheet Pan Steak and Broccoli Dinner
- Simple Beef and Shells
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- Baked Orange Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Parmesan Crusted Steak and Potato Sheet Pan Dinner
- Un-Stuffed Pepper Bake
Easy Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- 4 poblano peppers
- 2 c chicken shredded
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz.
- 1 can black beans 15 oz.
- ⅓ c cilantro chopped (plus more for topping)
- 1 c corn kernels
- 2 c rice (already cooked)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 jalapeno (small diced and seeds removed) optional
- 1 c shredded monterey jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken, rice, beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeno (optional), cilantro, and spices. Stir to combine. (I drain the tomatoes almost all the way but leave a small amount of liquid in them which helps keep this mixture the right consistency.)
- Cut each poblano pepper in half and remove seeds and membrane. Line them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon equal amounts of the chicken mixture into each pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Top each pepper with cheese and bake for an other 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. I like to broil mine for a couple minutes as well after the cheese melts for a touch of crispiness but this is not necessary.
- Allow to cool for several minutes and then sprinkle with more cilantro and serve!