Chicken stuffed poblano peppers have a savory, spicy apple filling and chile cream sauce on top. Make this recipe for a delicious Tex Mex-inspired meal!
I’m always looking for new flavorful ways to incorporate ground chicken into Mexican and Tex Mex meals. Are you the same way? There are plenty of ground chicken recipes here on Kevin is Cooking but not all of them are Mexican or Tex Mex.
For example, I have a recipe for ground chicken meatballs. I like this recipe because adding a simple sauce or some spices to the mixture, I can make everything from Swedish meatballs to an Italian meatball sandwich.
A couple of my favorite Tex Mex ground chicken recipes are salsa verde ground chicken tacos and chicken tamale pie. Because Mexican and Tex Mex foods are what I’m best at making, I put a Tex Mex spin on another favorite dish of mine; stuffed peppers. Rather than using sweet bell peppers though, poblano chiles are front and center.
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Although this recipe is simple to make, the flavors in the dish are anything but! The ground chicken filling includes Mexican spices, tender apples, and pumpkin seeds, making it perfect for a hearty fall meal.
Actually, the dish is similar to a Mexican stuffed poblanos recipe, chiles en nogada, which uses chicken instead of pork.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground chicken– Feel free to swap this out for any ground meat you’d like.
- Poblano chile peppers– The poblano is a mild chili pepper, so it’s a fantastic choice for anyone who doesn’t handle spicy food well. Besides, stuffed poblano peppers are delicious!
- Chile powder– For Tex Mex dishes, I like to use either guajillo or chimayo chile powder. They’re both mild in spicy heat. If you can’t find either of those, you could use ancho powder or even traditional chili seasoning.
- Pepitas– This seed comes from a specific type of pumpkin, not the type you may be used to carving for Halloween. Pepitas have a milder flavor than traditional pumpkin seeds, and they don’t have an outer shell!
- Heavy cream– The green chile cream sauce that covers the stuffed poblano peppers is incredibly rich and creamy, which is all thanks to heavy cream. If you need a dairy free substitute, coconut cream is a good substitute, but of course, it does affect the overall Tex Mex flavors of the dish.
Look for poblano peppers without wrinkles, dark spots, or bruises on the skin. Also, the best quality and perfectly ripe poblanos feel heavy for their size.
How to Roast Chiles
NOTE: This method isn’t specifically for this chicken stuffed poblano peppers recipe. The instructions are the same for roasting any variety of fresh chiles.
- Char the peppers on all sides. Using a grill, broiler or an open flame, char the outside of the peppers. Turn them occasionally so every side has some charring.
- Steam to loosen the skin. Place the peppers in a paper bag or a zip-top plastic bag. Close it up, seal it, and let the poblanos steam in the bag for 10 minutes.
- Cool and remove skin. When the peppers are cool enough for you to handle safely, remove them from the bag. Cool for another couple of minutes, then use a small paring or butter knife to gently scrape off as much of the outer skin as you can. If you can’t remove it all, that’s fine.
Want some poblano recipe inspiration?
Poblano peppers are in my recipes for creamy chicken enchiladas suiza and green enchilada sauce. They are also an ingredient in poblano corn chowder, and stuffed green peppers.
Meal Prepping Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
If you’d like, you can make most parts of this recipe 3 to 4 days in advance. Just keep everything you make ahead in its own container. Wrap or cover everything and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble and bake.
There’s just one part of the recipe that really must wait until the day of serving, and that’s roasting the chiles. Unfortunately, roasted peppers tend to lose their structure under refrigeration, making them difficult to stuff without tearing.
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- 6 poblano chiles roasted and peeled
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Gala apple peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 tsp guajillo chile powder or other spicy chile powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup pepitas (roasted, shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 poblano chiles roasted, seeded, and skins removed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- crumbled Cotija cheese or Queso Fresco
- On a hot grill, under a broiler, or over an open flame on the stove top, char the outside of the peppers completely. Transfer to a brown paper bag or zip top plastic bag. Close bag to seal and let peppers rest for 10 minutes. When peppers are cool enough to handle, use a small paring knife to gently scrape off and discard the outer skins. Set 2 roasted peppers aside for sauce.
- Make a small incision down one side of remaining 6 chiles and open partially. Carefully remove any membrane threads and seeds. Set each aside on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Add vegetable oil to sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and saute until golden. Add garlic, chopped apple and tomato paste, and cook for 3 minutes. Add ground chicken, chile powder, salt and cumin, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, breaking meat up into crumbles.
- Sprinkle flour over chicken mixture and stir to incorporate. Slowly whisk in chicken stock, then simmer mixture until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in pepitas. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Stuff each poblano pepper with chicken mixture, then gently bring the sides together so pepper encases filling. Place sheet pan of chicken stuffed poblano peppers into oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
- To a high speed blender or food processor, add remaining 1/2 onion and 2 reserved poblano chiles, then puree. Add heavy cream and pulse to blend for a few seconds. Pour cream sauce into a saute pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until reduced and thickened. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Remove stuffed peppers from oven and transfer to serving plates. Pour some green chile cream sauce on top of each stuffed poblano pepper and garnish with chopped cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.