Southwest-style stuffed poblano peppers filled with savory homemade chili and topped with melted cheese are full of flavor and ready in 25 minutes! Try this delicious and creative way to enjoy leftover chili.
Crazy about stuffed peppers? Try my grilled stuffed mini peppers wrapped in bacon, too!
Cheesy Chili Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Today, we’re making one of my favorite variations of Southwestern-style stuffed peppers. Serving comforting and delicious chili is great, but serving cozy chili tucked inside smoky, oven-roasted poblano peppers topped with cheese is even better. Seriously awesome! This stuffed poblano peppers recipe is fun and flavorful without requiring a whole lot of effort. It starts with prepared leftover chili and green poblano peppers and ends in a delicious side or appetizer that’s ready in 30 minutes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick to make. Using prepared chili, these stuffed poblano peppers are ready for the table in just 25 minutes!
- Delicious, oven-roasted flavor. Blistered poblano peppers are filled with spicy, savory beef chili, topped with cheese, then placed back under the broiler. The result is a melty, smoky Southwest flavor in every bite.
- Use up leftover chili. Whenever I’ve made a big batch of chili and find myself with leftovers, these stuffed poblano peppers are a must.
What Are Poblano Peppers?
Poblano peppers (pronounced puh-blaa-now, sometimes misspelled “pablano peppers”) are a kind of mild chili pepper from Puebla, Mexico. Poblanos are super popular in Tex-Mex and Mexican cooking, used in salsas, sauces, and traditional recipes like chicken pozole verde. Poblanos are milder than jalapeño peppers, with more flavor, especially when roasted. When choosing fresh poblanos, the skins should be fresh, firm, and brightly colored. Larger peppers tend to be better for stuffing.
How Hot Are Poblano Peppers?
Poblanos are considered mild. To give you an idea: poblano peppers rank at 1,000 and 2,000 heat units on the Scoville scale (the scale used to measure peppers’ heat levels), while jalapeños are spicier, falling anywhere between 2,500 to 8,000 units. Red poblanos tend to be spicier than green ones. I recommend sticking with green for the best results. Green poblanos are a nice, easy-going pepper, and they’re perfect for stuffing!
What Chili Can I Use?
We will roast our peppers, then stuff them full with chili and cheese. I love making this recipe with leftover Texas no-beans chili. Slow cooker beef chili is another good option, or you can try a leaner option like turkey chili. I’ve also made these stuffed peppers with canned chili. It’s a great choice if you don’t have homemade on hand.
How to Make Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Before I go ahead and stuff my poblanos, I like to soften the peppers under the broiler first. This makes them extra tender and brings out their flavor. Let’s get things started! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for a full ingredient list and detailed instructions.
- Roast the peppers. First, with your poblano peppers halved lengthwise, brush each half with olive oil. Place them on a lined baking sheet, cut side down, and pop the peppers under the broiler for 5 minutes. Take them out when the skins begin to blister.
- Heat the chili. While your peppers are broiling, get your chili heating in a skillet on the stovetop. Once it’s warmed through, stir in one cup of shredded cheese.
- Stuff the peppers. Next, get your roasted peppers and flip them over. Spoon the cheesy chili into each pepper, then sprinkle on what’s left of the shredded cheese.
- Broil. Finally, place the peppers back in the oven and broil the tops until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy!
Tips for Success
You’re going to love how these cheesy, spicy, savory chili stuffed peppers turn out! Keep these tips in mind:
- Use large enough peppers. Technically, this recipe will work with any sized pepper. As a main, the bigger the pepper, the better! Smaller peppers work well if you’re making these as an appetizer.
- Want to use an even milder pepper? You can use green bell peppers instead of poblanos. Just know that bell peppers will need a longer roasting time to soften.
- To peel or not to peel? I leave the outer skins on my poblanos; however, you can remove them after roasting if you prefer. Peeled peppers may lose their shape a bit, but they’ll still be tasty.
How to Serve Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Turn your cheesy chili stuffed poblano peppers into a satisfying Southwestern-style meal. Try these ideas:
- Rice. Rice is an easy side for Tex-Mex dinners, and a bed of long-grain white rice is definitely in order here! For even more flavor, try my recipe for fiesta rice. And if you’d prefer to stay low-carb, try homemade cauliflower rice.
- Coleslaw. Crunchy, creamy, classic coleslaw is a tasty, cooling side next to these toasty chili-stuffed peppers.
- Sweet Potatoes. Crispy homemade sweet potato wedges or easy mashed sweet potatoes are a knockout served with Southwestern food. The sweetness next to the chili flavors is totally delicious.
- Salad. Pair stuffed poblanos with a side of Mexican street corn salad, a fresh tomato avocado corn salad, or a hearty Southwest chicken salad.
- Appetizers. These stuffed poblano peppers put a fun twist on game day chili. Serve them next to Southwest egg rolls, crispy air fryer chicken wings, and tortilla chips dipped in fresh mango guacamole.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate. Store leftover stuffed poblanos in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To reheat, place the peppers in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350˚F until heated through.
- Freeze. First, pre-freeze the cooled stuffed peppers on a plate or baking sheet. Once solid, wrap each pepper tightly in plastic wrap and place them into a freezer bag. Stuffed poblano peppers will keep frozen for up to 4 months. Reheat the peppers straight from frozen (between 20 to 40 minutes at 350ºF).
More Stuffed Peppers Recipes
- Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers
- Bolognese Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
- Easy Skillet Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Preheat the broiler.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange the poblanos, cut-side down, on the baking sheet.
- Brush each pepper with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. You can also use olive oil cooking spray.
- Broil for 5 minutes or until the skins start to blister.
- Remove peppers from the oven and set aside for a minute.
- In the meantime, heat up the remaining olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the chili to the skillet and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until heated through; stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat. If there is any liquid in the skillet from the chili, drain it. You want a thick chili that holds together.
- Turn the peppers over and divide up the chili between all the peppers.
- Top each pepper with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Broil for 3 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro or parsley, and serve.
- Chili: I have used homemade leftover chili, and I’ve used Hormel’s canned chili – the recipe is great with whatever you have on hand or is easier to get the job done.
- Size of peppers: Basically, any pepper size works for this recipe. But if it’s a main dish, go for the big ones! For appetizers, smaller peppers are a good fit.
- Prefer a more mild flavor? Swap out the poblanos for green bell peppers. Just bear in mind bell peppers take a little longer to roast and soften up.
- Cheese: You don’t have to use shredded cheddar. You can use a different shredded cheese or a Mexican cheese blend.
- To peel or not to peel: I personally keep the outer skins on my poblanos, but if you want, you can peel them off after roasting. The peppers might lose a bit of their shape, but they’ll be just as delicious.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.