Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Easy, baked Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers with ground beef and rice are packed with bold, savory flavors and topped with cheese to make the BEST healthy stuffed peppers you’ll ever taste!

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers |

I’m telling you, this is the most perfect time of year for this recipe — so go out and buy the ingredients and make it RIGHT THIS SECOND. In all seriousness, now is a great time to make this dish though, because poblanos are in season and if you have your own garden and you happen to be growing poblanos, then you know exactly what I’m talking about because those plants are probably rotten with baby poblanos right now. (Go ahead and take a peek at your garden, I’ll wait.)

Are you back? Good. So, about these delicious Southwestern Stuffed Poblano Peppers. The inspiration for these hit me recently when I was checking out my friend’s garden and noticed she had a bunch of the poblano peppers hanging like big, green cowbells from no less than four different plants. When I asked her what she was growing those for, she had no idea. She just thought they’d be fun to grow as an experiment.

Well, I can’t just let good peppers go to waste, can I? I vowed right then and there to find a use for those peppers, and the idea of stuffing them was the first thing I thought of. You only need a few peppers to make enough servings for a group and they pair wonderfully with ground beef and other Southwestern-inspired ingredients like black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, green chilis and, of course, cheese.

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers |

Are Poblano Peppers Good for You?

Well, to begin with, poblanos are a vegetable and I tend to think all vegetables are good for you. Sure, some more than others, but overall, veggie = good in my book. But, as for the nitty-gritty of why poblanos are good for you, check this out: One cooked poblano has only 13 calories and almost zero fat. They also have a little bit of protein and carbs, and a decent amount of fiber, iron, and vitamin A.

How Hot Are Poblano Peppers?

I chose to use poblanos in this dish because they have a milder taste and heat than other, hotter pepper options. While you have probably had poblanos in salsas and sauces, in savory muffins, in chile rellenos, or even in chili chowders, you may not have thought to stuff them. Good thing you’ve got me, that’s all I’m saying.

On the Scoville heat unit scale, poblanos score 1,000-1,500 units, which is fairly mild. To put that into perspective, jalapenos score at 2,500-8,000 units. So that makes them two to eight times milder. That’s a pretty big difference, I suppose, especially if you don’t like spicy foods. But it’s really hard to tell with jalapenos, as some will be mild and some will set your entire mouth on fire for what seems like forever.

On the flip side, bell peppers have a heat score of exactly 0, while one of the the hottest peppers (the Carolina reaper) has a score of 1,400,000-2,200,000 units. All that being said, I picked the poblano in this recipe because it’s not super bland but its tiny kick of heat sets it apart from other peppers you could use, like bell peppers or hatch chilis. Remember, too that the peppers have to be big enough to stuff, so that eliminates A LOT of pepper varieties.

One more note on heat: Choose green and not red poblanos, as red ones will be a lot hotter.

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers |

How Do You Soften Poblano Peppers?

For this recipe I softened the poblanos ahead of time in the oven. Otherwise, if you went ahead and stuffed them and cooked them all together and didn’t pre-cook them, they would be too hard to eat in my opinion. You could also boil them for a couple minutes before slicing in half, stuffing, and baking.

If you don’t like the poblano skin, another option is to roast them before stuffing and baking. To do this, roast the poblanos either in the oven (at 450 degrees) or on the grill until the skin starts to darken and blister. Take them off the heat and cover them to let them steam up a bit. (You can put them in a plastic bag or overturn a bowl or towel onto the peppers to help trap the steam.) When they are cool enough, you can peel off the skin, then prepare according to recipe directions.

Happy eating!

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers |

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers |
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4.82 from 11 votes

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Easy, baked Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers with ground beef (or turkey!) and rice are packed with bold, savory flavors and topped with cheese to make the BEST healthy stuffed peppers you'll ever taste!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword fried rice, ground beef, healthy, stuffed peppers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 stuffed peppers
Author Tiffany


  • 4 poblano peppers halved and seeds/membranes removed
  • 1 pound lean ground beef OR chorizo see note 2
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder
  • 1 cup cooked long grain white rice see note 1
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn (drained)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1/2-1 cup grated mozzarella OR Mexican-blend cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Arrange halved poblano peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that they aren't overlapping. Bake for 10-15 minutes while you move on to the next step. 
  • Add ground beef (or preferred meat choice, see Note 2) and rice to a large skillet, and season with the cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Saute over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until meat is browned and cooked through. 
  • Stir in the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Spoon mixture into the peppers, sprinkle with cheese, and return to oven for another 10 minutes or so until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving. 


  1. Ready rice works great!
  2. Ground beef, chorizo, ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground spicy Italian sausage all work well in this recipe! My personal favorite is the spicy Italian sausage or chorizo. 
  3. Substitutions for the poblano peppers: bell peppers, hatch chiles. 

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5 stars
This is such a GREAT post. I love all the insights about peppers. And this recipe looks crazy good. Your photos are making my mouth water. Can’t wait to try these. Thanks for posting.

    I hope that you love this dish, Kristy! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Can you freeze theese

    Hi Kathy- I haven’t done that with this recipe yet but I definitely think it would work! Let me know how they turn out if you give it a try!!

5 stars
I tried this recipe with a few spice tweeks because of SOME spice allergies I have. I loved it!!

    not sure why it capitalized that 🙂

    Way to go, Dana! Glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed this recipe!

I noticed an error in your’s a carolina reaper, not california.

5 stars
This was so good!
Will make agaiN. I used chirozo and char grilled peppers first. Served with jalapenos salsa and sour cream 😋
Ihad a fair bit of filling left over so I am going To make TORTILLAS with it.
Thanks for this tasty and easy recipe!

    Nice job, Steve! Thanks for sharing your input. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe!

Great! Please add salt though to your beef. Not sure why theres so little seasoning in the recipe.

5 stars
I live all of the pictures I am learning to cook Mexican food since my husband is Mexican and he loves the taste of his home .not going to be as good has his mother’s but am going to try hard would like to say thank you for sharing your wonderful food pictures and recipes .

    You’ve totally got this, Barbara! You will be a Mexican food professional before you know it 😉 Thanks for your sweet compliment!

You don’t mention roasting the peppers first and removing the skins. I’ve never made a recipe with Poblanos that didn’t do this step first. The skins can be quite tough.

    Give it a try- hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised! 😉

5 stars
This was awesome. Used Chorizo and more black beans than called for. I like hot so I will punch it up with some Jalapeno or a little cayenne. Like steve had a fair amount left over so I will try his idea of making a tortilla with it.

    Great job, Andy! That sounds super delicious!

5 stars

    Oh my goodness, that sounds delicious! Awesome job, Darryl. Thanks for sharing!

FYI: When I stuff Poblanos, i put a bit of water in the dish (just a splas). I cover the dish with aluminum, and cook in thein the oven. The water steams them a bit and takes away the crunch – while eliminating the Need to precook before stuffing.

    Thanks for sharing!

This sounds great. I cant wait to make it. Do you think i Could use yellow rice instead of white Rice?

    I don’t have much experience with using yellow rice- so I can’t say for sure! I’d love to hear the outcome though!

It hurts my heart to see California getting credit for the Carolina reaper pepper. The Carolina’s ain’t got much over California when it comes to agriculture, but the reaper is south Carolina cultivated and cautioned against. Good recipe though.

3 stars
THis is a very tasty filling, but I am not sure what sIze poblanos arE meant To be in this RecipE?. If you remove the skins and seeds and then halve Smaller poblanos, they are way to flat to stuff. i skinned, seeded and STUFFED the whole poblano pepper. Even at that, THERE WAS way to Much filling.

its carolina reaper not california

5 stars
Cant wait to try it

    Hope you love it, Jo!

A poblano is a fruit.

I made them this evening, using your recipe, for the most part. I used ground beef but had a little bit of chorizo, so I added that as well. Had to substitute one other item too. The poblano peppers didn’t look too good, so I substituted Jamaica for hospice care cubanelle peppers. Which actually tasted pretty good. But looking forward to trying them with the poblanos, like your recipe calls for next time. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will be making these again. Really enjoyed them.

    So sorry. “Jamaica for hospice care”, should not be in my post. I was doing voice to text, while watching the good doctor, and it carried over to my post above this one.

    Thanks for your feedback, Curt!! I’m happy to hear that your version turned out delicious!

5 stars
So easy and delicious! Will mAke again since everyone loved it.

5 stars
I used hot italian sausage and 4-cheese mexican. Added half an onion, chopped, to the meat when I cooked it. Used brown rice. OMGosh. This is a keeper!

    Awesome job!! Sounds delicious!


    Sorry about the all caps. The site or my browser is acting up and only shows caps when typing into submission boxes.

5 stars
Good good good
If you don’t Have POBLANO peppers, Put that StUffing in A RAMEKIN toss the cheese On top and eat!
I used ancho chili pOwder aNd pinto Beans and i didnt have corn so i used 1 cup oF frozen mixed veggies!
Super yummy! Makes a huge pot! Thank you for sharing!!

    You are welcome! Thanks for sharing your ideas 🙂

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