Chicken Brown Rice and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos

4.80 from 10 votes
1 hour 50 minutes
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Chicken, Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos!  Chicken, brown rice and two types of cheese are enveloped in earthy, roasted Poblano peppers, topped with a red chile sauce and yes, more cheese for the win! Southwestern Salad is perfect on the side!

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Several years ago, I made Chicken, Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos from leftovers and other ingredients I had on hand after discovering a new, amazing international market in our area called the Winchester Farmer’s Market.

We thoroughly enjoyed the dish, but as is often the case with dishes I throw together, I didn’t write the recipe down.

We love the deep, earthy flavor of Poblano peppers and can sometimes grow them successfully.  In fresh form, the chilies are called Poblanos.  If you purchase them dried, they are called Ancho peppers.

Most area grocery stores didn’t carry Poblanos when I first discovered the Winchester Farmer’s Market.  If I did find them elsewhere, they were often past their prime from not selling because there didn’t seem to be a huge demand for them.

After another visit to that amazing market where I found some stunning Poblano peppers, I had to try to recreate that recipe from several years ago because it was that good.  I did so successfully and here it is!

Chicken, brown rice and two types of cheese are enveloped in earthy, roasted Poblano peppers, topped with a red chile sauce and yes, more cheese!

Photo of a pile of freshly washed poblanos.

How to roast Poblano peppers:

For this dish, you’ll want to remove as much of the waxy, papery skin as possible.  To do that:

  • Roast them until charred, black and blistery.  You can do this under a broiler, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on them.
  • Instead, I roast them in a super-hot 450-degree oven close to the heating element (which in my oven is at the top).  It takes a little longer, but I don’t have to watch them as closely.  Turn them as necessary to char them evenly.  You’ll see the skin start to pull away from the rest of the pepper.
  • You could also hold them over an open gas flame, but that takes way too much time for me.
  • Immediately upon removing from the oven, place a sheet of aluminum foil or another baking sheet over the peppers to enclose them.  The steam generated while the peppers are enclosed helps to separate the skin from the flesh of the pepper so it can be removed easily.  If a little stays behind, don’t sweat it.
  • When peeling and removing the seeds, resist the urge to do it under running water.  It might make it easier to get the seeds out, but you’ll be rinsing away flavor.  If it tears slightly, don’t worry–you can wrap the pepper around the filling and no one will ever notice because of the sauce and cheese.
Photo of roasted Poblano peppers.

You can lighten these stuffed poblanos up by using all reduced-fat cheese or simply use less cheese.  For a vegetarian version, substitute black beans or beans and quinoa or rice for the chicken and vegetable broth in the sauce.

Enjoy!

Photo of Chicken Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos in white baking dish.

More stuffed pepper recipes you’ll enjoy!

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Chicken Brown Rice and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos

4.80 from 10 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Chicken, Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos!  Chicken, brown rice and two types of cheese are enveloped in earthy, roasted Poblano peppers, topped with a red chile sauce and yes, more cheese for the win!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Time to Cook Brown Rice if Necessary 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 497 kcal

Ingredients
  

Peppers

  • 6 large Poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil - plus more for oiling the pan
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1 container (8-ounce) jalapeno-flavored cream cheese spread (such as Philadelphia brand) or 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese - divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Sour cream - for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Position a rack close to the heating element, top or bottom. Place peppers on a baking sheet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, turning several times until blistered in numerous places. Immediately cover with foil and let sit for 30 minutes. ALTERNATE METHOD: Place under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, turning once.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  • While peppers are roasting and steaming, heat oil in a skillet or saute pan. Add onion and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook very briefly (15 seconds). Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese spread. Stir until smooth and melted.
  • Stir in cooked chicken, brown rice, 1 cup shredded cheese and salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Peel as much of the thin, papery skin from the peppers as possible.
  • Cut a slit in the top and carefully remove seeds, leaving stem intact. (Don’t worry if the pepper tears slightly; you can wrap around filling and cover with sauce….no one will notice.)
  • Oil a baking dish large enough to hold all the peppers.

Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add tomato paste and spices. Simmer until thickened (it won’t be terribly thick; I preferred it this way).
  • Pour about 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  • Fill peppers with even amounts of the filling and place in prepared baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and filling is heated through to 165 degrees. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: Can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Increase baking time to 35 to 40 minutes.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Assemble as directed and cool thoroughly.  Wrap securely and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off.  Bake as directed.  If placing in the oven cold from the refrigerator, add additional baking time.  The peppers are heated through when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 when inserted into the center.
TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE: Use cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 6 | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 801mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have to say I knew I would love this dish just by reading the recipe, and I was right, Absolute awesomeness! I see all of the dates from a couple of years ago and am sad it took me so long to find this recipe.
    I am also a huge soup fan. I had a lot of little poblano peppers that I had to pick before a frost, so I decided to turn this dish into a soup, it was the perfect soup for a cold evening!
    Love, Love, Love this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I have to say I knew I would love this dish just by reading the recipe, and I was right, Absolute awesomeness! I see all of the dates from a couple of years ago and am sad it took me so long to find this recipe.
    I am also a huge soup fan. I had a lot of little poblano peppers that I had to pick before a frost, so I decided to turn this dish into a soup, it was the perfect soup for a cold evening!
    Love, Love, Love this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I made these tonight and they were delicious! My husband said they were certainly a “make it again” recipe. It took some time to roast and assemble everything, but it was worth it. I had some left over and really hope that they will reheat well for lunch this week.

    1. Thanks, Julie! Yeah, that authentic Southwestern / Mexican flavor doesn’t come easily, but in the end whenever I spend the time, I’m SOOOO glad I did! Thanks again and please stay in touch!

  4. THESE PEPPERS, indeed! <3 I absolutely love the sound of this combination, and I love how you used to grow poblanos for yourself because you couldn't find super fresh ones at the farmer's market. We've had good luck with poblanos, and I just saw some at the store today. I wish I'd purchased them because I would've totally made this for dinner tonight. Pinned and cannot wait to try this!

  5. I had no idea that poblanos and ancho chilies were the same – I learned something! 🙂 What a beautiful recipe, just Yummed it 🙂