Chicken stuffed poblano peppers with quinoa are an explosion of flavor. Shredded chicken, quinoa and cheese fill mildly spicy poblanos for a Mexican-inspired feast. These Mexican stuffed peppers are also topped with a cool and creamy avocado cream sauce that will delight your tastebuds.
Many years ago a recipe for "Fake-Out Shrimp Fried Rice" landed me a spot on the Dr. Oz show. I made a healthier fried rice dish using quinoa and shrimp along with lots of veggies. Since then I have incorporated quinoa into many of my family dinners. This chicken stuffed poblano pepper recipe has quinoa in it instead of rice. I think it's delicious this way!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a great ingredient to have in your diet. Technically it is considered a seed rather than a grain. It has lots of fiber, folate and magnesium along with other nutrients. It is easy to cook in advance and keep in your refrigerator. You can buy it already cooked in the frozen food department too. Just reheat it in your microwave and it's ready to use. Or you could cook a batch in your pressure cooker or instant pot and it will be all ready to use.
Eating quinoa by itself is pretty plain and boring. It doesn't have a ton of flavor and needs to be spiced up. I like to add it to things and putting it in chicken stuffed poblano peppers is my new favorite way.
- Peppers – Select poblano peppers for a medium spice. If you prefer a milder flavor you can substitute bell peppers in any color.
- Olive Oil – Or use your favorite light, neutral flavored oil.
- Onions – Use what you have on hang. Both red or white onions will taste great.
- Garlic – I prefer to use freshly grated garlic.
- Tomatoes – Red Gold diced tomatoes with chiles have a great flavor. You could also use fire roasted tomatoes.
- Quinoa – This high protein grain is a great alternative to rice. It's easy to make Instant Pot quinoa.
- Chicken – This recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
- Cheese – I selected a low-fat cheddar but use your favorite melting cheese. Regular cheddar, Monterey jack or pepper jack would also be tasty.
- Cilantro – Cilantro adds a bright, fresh flavor.
- Salt and Pepper – Add to taste.
- Avocado – One ripe avocado.
- Sour Cream – You can reduce the calories and fat by using light sour cream or substitute regular if you prefer.
- Chili Powder – Chili powder gives the avocado cream a classic Mexican flavor.
How To Make Poblano Stuffed Peppers
- Prepare the equipment. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large deep dish baking pan with half an inch of water. Lay the pepper halves in the pan and set aside.
- Make the filling. In a frying pan, saute onions and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add quinoa and chicken to the pan, stir and cook until bubbly. Add 1 cup of the cheese (reserve ½ cup), cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Stuff the peppers. Divide the chicken mixture among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup cheese.
- Bake. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Uncover the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Prepare the avocado cream. While peppers are baking, mix together avocado, sour cream and chili powder.
- Garnish and serve. Serve the cooked peppers with the avocado cream and garnish with extra cilantro if desired.
Tips for Making Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Try to pick peppers that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.
- If peppers start to get too well done on the bottom, add a bit of extra water to the pan in the middle of cooking so that they do not burn.
- Make sure all seeds are removed as they can make the pepper spicier if not.
- Cut the peppers lengthwise. This provides plenty of room for the stuffing mixture.
- For easy prep, make the stuffed peppers in advance, refrigerate then bake when you need them. Baking time should be increased by about 5 minutes. Here are ways and tips to reheat your stuffed peppers.
Poblano peppers have medium heat and are not super spicy but do have a small kick when eating them. Feel free to use small bell peppers if you prefer no spiciness.
I bake them for about 50 minutes and they come out very tender. If you would like them more on the crisp or softer side you can cook them for more or less time depending on your preference.
More Stuffed Pepper Recipes
- Italian Stove Top Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Lentils and Rice
- Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers from Veal.org
Side Dishes To Serve With Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
This dish was a meal in itself. The night we ate it, I even skipped making a salad but here are a few tasty suggestions if you've got a big appetite.
- Super Easy Mexican Guacamole
- Avocado, Tomato and Arugula Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
- Mexican Street Corn Salad from Suburban Soap Box
These Mexican stuffed peppers are a wonderful dinner if you'd like something a little different than your ordinary stuffed bell pepper. If you try it, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
If you like Mexican stuffed peppers, please leave a 5-star rating.
Chicken And Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos With Avocado Cream
- 4 medium size poblano peppers seeded and split in half (long way)
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 10 oz can diced tomatoes I used Red Gold with chiles
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 ½ cups low fat cheddar cheese divided
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 avocado mashed
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large deep dish baking pan with half an inch of water. Lay the pepper halves in the pan and set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add quinoa and chicken to the pan, Stir well and cook until bubbly.
- Add 1 cup of the cheese (reserve ½ cup), cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Stuff the pepper halves with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Uncover the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.
- While peppers are baking, mix together avocado, sour cream and chili powder.
- Serve the cooked peppers with the avocado cream and garnish with extra cilantro if desired.
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