- 9 Things To Do with Poblanos
- Roasted Poblano Peppers
- How To Grow Poblano Peppers
- Planting & Caring for Poblano Peppers
- Harvesting Poblano Peppers
- Pests & Diseases of Poblano Peppers
- What Are Poblano Peppers – How To Grow A Poblano Pepper Plant
- Poblano Pepper Facts
- How to Grow a Poblano Pepper
- How to Grow Poblano Peppers
- How to Grow Poblano Peppers in Your Garden
- The Poblano Pepper Planting Guide: A To Zing
- Subtle sizzle in the garden…
- Poblano pepper planting fast facts:
- The site and season: Where and when to grow poblano pepper
- Feeding and watering poblano pepper plants: How often and how much
- Poblano pepper harvesting: When to pick
- Poblano pepper plant care: What to watch out for
- Poblano Peppers – Beloved Mexican Pepper (All About Them)
- Common Uses of Poblano Peppers
- History of the Poblano Chili Pepper
- Soaring Popularity
- Are Poblano Peppers Hot?
- What’s a Good Substitute for a Poblano Pepper?
- How Do I Roast a Poblano Pepper?
- Is There Another Name for “Poblano”?
- How Do You Pronounce Poblano?
- How Do You Grow Poblano Peppers?
- Stuffed Poblano Pepper Recipes
- Try Some of My Other Popular Poblano Pepper Recipes
- How Many Calories in a Typical Poblano Pepper? Poblano Nutrition Facts
- Other Types of Poblano Peppers
- What is Mexican Poblano Pepper?
- Level of Spice and Taste
- Health Benefits of Poblano Pepper
- Storing Poblano Peppers Properly
- Awesome Poblano Pepper Substitutes
- What Are Poblano Peppers? Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses
9 Things To Do with Poblanos
Poblano chiles have an alluring fruity quality and add depth of flavor—along with a slight bit of heat—to all kinds of dishes. Here are nine ways to use them.
1. Dressing. Puree the roasted chiles into a buttermilk dressing for drizzling over tomatoes or crisp lettuce.
2. Guacamole. Add sneaky heat to the classic avocado dip by mixing in broiled poblanos.
3. Relish. Poblano chiles and corn are a classic pairing. Use them in a relish to serve over fish.
4. Pesto. Blend charred poblanos with garlic, cilantro and feta for a Mexican riff on an Italian sauce.
5. Stuffed. Whether filled with meat, quinoa or vegetables, poblanos are great stuffing peppers, adding just a little bit of heat to a filling dish.
6. Corn Bread. Instead of the usual jalapeño, stud your corn bread with this darker, milder chile.
7. Posole. Make chili with hominy (large, creamy corn kernels), adding poblanos for a spicy kick.
8. Cocktails. Muddle poblanos in your margarita or make this pineapple-tequila drink known as the Poblano Escobar.
9. Soup. Sauté the chiles with the aromatics for any pureed green vegetable soup. They’re especially delicious with mild zucchini.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.
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Each season one particular vegetable seems to outdo all of the rest. Last year, the award for most amazing production in my garden went to the poblano peppers. I planted three poblano transplants in early April. By late May the plants had grown to about three feet and were beginning to provide me with a steady supply of tasty and spicy peppers. These plants produced well through the heat of July and August. Then, when the temperature dropped slightly in September, pepper production skyrocketed. After that I began harvesting (and sharing) a grocery bag full of peppers every week from those three plants.
I know not everyone loves hot peppers — but I do. I am pretty certain that I did not eat them as a small child, but I honestly cannot remember a time when hot peppers were not a regular part of my diet. In fact, I just about refuse to eat chicken without a couple of pickled jalapeños on the plate. As much as I love eating them, I have never really understood why. It just seems illogical to me to purposely put something in my mouth that is going to make my brain think my tongue is on fire (and this is literally what happens to your brain when you eat hot peppers). However illogical it is, I still stick hot peppers in my mouth several times a week.
It is fairly common knowledge that capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that makes them hot. However, the whole burning-mouth thing is a little more complex than that. Capsaicin belongs to a family of chemicals that bind to very specific receptors on the tongue called VR1 receptors. These receptors are a key part in the system that allows our body to detect heat and cold. So, when capsaicin binds to one of these heat receptors, our temperature-sensing system sends a message to our brains telling them that our tongues are on fire!
Now I am not one of those people who like extremely hot peppers. In fact, that is why I have become so fond of poblanos. While they have enough heat to let you know you are eating a hot pepper, they fall between pimento and jalapeño peppers on the Scoville Heat Chart.
The poblano pepper originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. It has become a very popular pepper throughout Mexico. Most of us gringos learned about these peppers when we ordered our first chile rellenos. Poblanos are often used in molés, and each year they help Mexicans celebrate their independence as the green ingredient in the red, white and green dish called chiles en nogada. Poblanos are sold both fresh and dried. In their dried form they are called ancho chiles. The dried ancho is often much hotter than the fresh poblano. Because of this, the dried peppers are often ground into a spicy chili powder that is used in many dishes.
There are three ways to grow peppers. The easiest and fastest way to enjoy fresh poblano peppers is to buy transplants. Peppers are in the same plant family as tomatoes. Because of this, pepper transplants show up at your local nursery, feed store or big box at the same time as the tomatoes. In my part of Texas, vegetable transplants start showing up on dealer’s shelves in late February or early March. While that is a little too early to plant them, I recommend buying your transplants at this time. The transplants are at the peak of health when they first arrive in the stores and they sell out quickly. To ensure you get the varieties you want buy them as soon as they arrive in the store. Once you have them, take them home and repot them in at least a 6” pot. Keep them in a warm, sunny place and feed them every other week with a diluted liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion. Do this for a month and by April you will be able to plant a fairly large plant that will often be covered in flowers. In Central Texas you can plant pepper transplants from the middle of March through the middle of May. I prefer to wait until April to plant my transplants. Like tomatoes, peppers need warm soil to stimulate their growth. March temperatures can be unpredictable. However, by the middle of April temperatures are stabilizing and soil temperature is beginning to warm.
If you prefer to grow your own transplants, then you can start seeds inside about three months before soil temps reach 70 degrees. For me, this is early January. I regularly grow several varieties of tomatoes and peppers from seed. I use special planting trays that have little indentions that hold those dried peat pellets that expand with hot water. To start my peppers I make sure the pellets are fully expanded and then I use tweezers to put three seeds in each pellet. I then place the clear lid over the tray, place in a sunny window and wait.
Pepper seeds can take 10 to 14 days to germinate. I leave them in the trays until the end of February. At that time I take little scissors and cut out the smallest plants, leaving only the sturdiest. I move the plants into large Solo cups. I use a lighter or a soldering iron to burn drainage holes and then I fill them with a high grade potting mix. Once they are in the pots, I move them under the fluorescent lights of my grow center. By March we are getting more and more warm days. At this time I repot my plants into bigger containers and get them ready to go into the garden. To harden off the little plants, I place the tray in a large, clear plastic storage bin. This bin allows me to water with abandon and the sides of the container protect my tender seedlings from wind damage.
Sometime in early April, when soil temps are right and nighttime temperatures are staying above 60 degrees, I plant my pepper transplants. It is not unusual for my pepper plants to already have several flowers on them by this time. Peppers require full sun. They also need at least an inch of water per week and a well-drained soil that is very well worked with organic matter. If the soil, sun and water are right, you can expect to start harvesting your first peppers 45 to 60 days after transplant. Peppers will produce well until temps go above 90 degrees. Then their production will fall. If you add more organic material at this time and continue to water, your peppers will continue producing right up to the first freeze. Last year, we had no real freeze in Brenham, and Houston did not receive a freeze at all. Because of this, I have heard from several of my gardening friends who swear they got two years of pepper production from the same plant.
While I have never tried it, it is technically possible to grow your peppers from direct planting in the garden. However, direct-sown pepper seeds will not germinate until the soil warms up to about 70 degrees. Because the soil does not warm to 70 degrees in most parts of Texas until at least April, direct-sown peppers will not generally start producing fruit until the fall.
Poblanos are ready to harvest when they are 4” to 6” long and their skin has a glossy sheen to it. Technically, poblanos at this stage are immature. That is fine, though, because they are less hot when they are green. However, if you want to dry or smoke your poblanos, leave them on the bush until they turn red. If you leave them long enough they will eventually begin to shrivel and turn a deep purple.
A ripe poblano will snap right off into your hand when it is ready to be picked. However, pepper limbs are brittle and if you try and pull a pepper that is not ready you can get a lot of foliage along with the pepper. For this reason I always use a sharp pair of shears or scissors to harvest my peppers.
Aphids, cutworms and hornworms can all be a problem for peppers. Aphids can be controlled by regularly applying a good shot of water to the underside of the leaves. Cutworms can be controlled by “wrapping” the stems of the young plants in cardboard. Simply cut a toilet paper or paper towel roll into three-inch sections. Split these up the sides. Loosely wrap this around the base of your plants after transplant. Stick an inch or so of the tube into the ground and leave an inch or so above ground.
Hornworms are always a double problem for me. I know they can wipe out my tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. However, they are the immature form of the hummingbird moths that I love to watch feed on my datura. Regardless of my fondness for hummingbird moths, I pull all hornworms that I find and quickly squish them. If you have a bad infestation, you can apply Bt, but it is really only effective if applied when the caterpillars are small.
While jalapeños were my first hot-pepper love, poblanos have now replaced them. They are not as hot as jalapeños, they taste better (in my opinion) and they are much more versatile. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my pickled jalapeños. However, when my wife and I cook at home, we now substitute poblanos for jalapeños in all of our recipes.
One thing we often cook is stuffed bell peppers. The last time we made them we used poblanos instead of bells. The results were outstanding! For us, summertime is grill time. Now, when we grill our burgers, we also grill poblanos. We cook them until their skins blister and then we remove the skins. Place this on your burger with a little cream cheese and you have a burger that will make your friends beg you for the recipe.
Because we have chickens, we eat a lot of omelets. To make our new favorite omelet we cook a couple of poblanos in a little hot oil on the stove and then mix them in with our sautéed onions and tomatoes. The flavor and the heat from these peppers make our omelets (and breakfast burritos) truly outstanding.
Poblano peppers are easy to grow and they produce well. They are also fairly resistant to pests. While they are technically classified as a hot pepper, their heat falls somewhere between a banana pepper and a jalapeño on the hotness scale. Plus, they taste great whether you serve them fresh in a salad or cooked into your favorite recipes. If you have never grown them before, give them a try. These great-tasting, spicy peppers just might become your new favorite too!
Roasted Poblano Peppers
Until recently, I had no idea what to call certain hot, green, dreidel-shaped peppers in my garden. They weren’t even supposed to be there, according to the packet of hot mixed peppers I planted.
But there they were. After a bit of research, I introduced myself to a new amigo: the poblano pepper.
Then what? How to preserve them? There were too many to eat fresh, the fiery things, but I wasn’t about to let them go bad. I could always dry them. Then I would have to re-do the introductions–after drying they are called ancho peppers.
After some looking around I decided to roast and freeze them. There are many recipes that call for roasted poblanos, and they all look good.
To roast poblanos, or any kind of pepper, you:
- Wash peppers if necessary. Dry them.
- Toss them with a bit of oil (I used canola, any vegetable oil would be fine) in a pan large enough to allow a bit of room between peppers. You can also roast them dry, no oil, if you prefer.
- Put them in the oven at 350 degrees F until the skin is blistered and beginning to brown or char a bit all over, turning as needed. Don’t let the peppers bake through to the point they are completely mushy–you want a little bit of fight left in them–otherwise the flesh will cook down and you won’t be able to skin them. You want them nicely charred so the skin will come off easily, but not so done that the meat is too thin.
- Place in a covered container to steam the skin from the flesh of the peppers (some sources advise placing them in a plastic bag, but plastic is notoriously toxic especially when heated so I used a lidded glass bowl. Don’t tell me if they discover glass is toxic. I don’t want to know.)
- When the peppers have steamed and they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin, seeds, stems and membranes. You may want to use gloves for this–if you forget and rub your eye with a pepper hand it isn’t pretty. Here they are skinned before I seeded them:
- Freeze. I freeze them in a container, pop them out like an ice cube and just cut off what I want from the cube-0-peppers. They don’t freeze extremely hard and can be carved right out of the freezer. Alternatively, you could put the individual peppers on a baking sheet, freeze them solid, then transfer the individually frozen peppers to a freezer container.
As you can see in the photos, I added a handful of garlic cloves because I can’t imagine a dish with roasted peppers that wouldn’t be enhanced by roasted garlic. I roasted them skin-on, and squeezed them out with the skinned peppers and froze them along with the poblanos.
The heat of poblanos varies from medium to hot. Mine are hot. I put two of them in this Tortilla Soup (substituting roasted for fresh) and had to add all kinds of extra broth and milk to take it down from hoo-boy!! to cha-cha-cha! Next time only one poblano.
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How To Grow Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers are a super all-around pepper to have in the garden. I just love the taste of poblano peppers; having mild heat and a bit of a twang. Poblanos are great in salsa, dips, stuffing mixes, or sauteed.
One of my favorite uses for poblanos is to saute with onions and mushrooms, then pile them high on top of a grilled steak. Poblano peppers are also called Ancho peppers and originate from Mexico.
Planting & Caring for Poblano Peppers
Poblano seeds are slow to get going, so sow the seeds about 8-12 weeks before the last frost date.
Sow several seeds ¼” deep in 2-3″ earth-friendly containers such as peat pots filled with lightly moistened seed starting mix.
Water well and place the pots in a well-lighted, warm area, 80° F – 85° F. To prevent the seedlings from damping off, keep the soil damp but not wet, and provide good air circulation around the plants.
Feed the seedlings with a good organic fertilizer every three weeks after they have established. When seedlings are about two inches tall, thin to one plant per pot by cutting out the smaller ones.
Once the plants are about five inches tall and the nighttime temperatures are above 60° F, harden the plants off by slowly acclimating the peppers to the garden.
After two weeks of hardening off, plant them in the garden. Peppers need full sun, rich soil (amended with compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold) and good drainage.
Allow two feet between plants. If the peppers are starting to produce flower buds, pinch them off and continue to do this for 1-2 weeks; this forces the plants to put their energy into growing leaves and roots.
Mulch with 2-3″ of organic matter. Mulch keeps weed growth down and maintains soil moisture.
Keep the plants lightly moist, but not soggy. Pull any weeds if they appear. Feed the plants with an all-purpose water-soluble organic fertilizer about six weeks after transplanting and again if the plants start to look pale or the leaves are small.
Harvesting Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers look very much like a small wrinkled, bell pepper.
Leave poblanos on the vine a little longer, if you want them to turn red. For eating poblanos, you can harvest them green or red – it is a matter of personal taste. For drying, fully ripe peppers are best.
Harvest poblanos once they feel firm and get a glossy sheen. Cut the fruit off with clippers, as the branches of pepper plants are brittle and break off easily.
For more information on harvesting poblano peppers, please read How and When To Pick Poblano Peppers.
Pests & Diseases of Poblano Peppers
Aphids, cutworms and hornworms can become problems while growing poblanos. You can knock aphids off the leaves with a spray from the water hose or use an insecticidal soap spray.
To avoid problems with cutworms (they can chew young seedlings off at the soil line) place two-inch-tall cardboard or aluminum foil collars around the new plants—with 1-inch below soil level and 1-inch above.
Caterpillars, including corn earworms and corn borers, destroy the fruits; hornworms eat both fruits and leaves. For information on controlling any pest infestation, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service or ask for advice at a local nursery.
Diseases are not very common with home grown poblano peppers.
Poblano peppers can be a nice addition to any home garden. If you are a pepper or chili lover then you should definitely give these little gems a try. You are sure to enjoy them.
What Are Poblano Peppers – How To Grow A Poblano Pepper Plant
What are poblano peppers? Poblanos are mild chili peppers with just enough zing to make them interesting, but considerably less than the more familiar jalapenos. Growing poblano peppers is easy and poblano uses are nearly unlimited. Read on to learn the basics of growing poblano peppers.
Poblano Pepper Facts
There are a number of poblano uses in the kitchen. Because they’re so sturdy, poblano peppers are ideal for stuffing. You can stuff them with nearly anything you like, including cream cheese, seafood, or any combination of beans, rice and cheese. (Think chili rellenos!) Poblano peppers are also delicious in chili, soups, stews, casseroles or egg dishes. Really, the sky is the limit.
Poblano peppers are frequently dried. In this form, they are known as ancho peppers, and they are considerably hotter than fresh poblanos.
How to Grow a Poblano Pepper
The following tips on growing poblano peppers in the garden will help ensure a good harvest:
Plant poblano pepper seeds indoors eight to 12 weeks before the last average frost date. Keep the seed tray in a warm, well-lit area. The seeds will germinate best with a heat mat and supplemental lighting. Keep the potting mix slightly moist. Seeds germinate in about two weeks.
Transplant the seedlings to individual pots when they are about 2 inches (5 cm.) tall. Plant the seedlings in the garden when they’re 5 to 6 inches (12-15 cm.) tall, but harden them off for a couple of weeks first. Nighttime temperatures should be between 60 and 75 F. (15-24 C.).
Poblano peppers need full sunlight and rich, well-drained soil that has been amended with compost or well-rotted manure. Fertilize the plants about six weeks after planting using a water-soluble fertilizer.
Water as needed to keep the soil moist but never soggy. A thin layer of mulch will prevent evaporation and keep weeds in check.
Poblano peppers are ready to harvest when they’re 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) long, approximately 65 days after planting seeds.
How to Grow Poblano Peppers
If you love growing your own vegetables, you’ll love learning about how to grow poblano peppers because they’re so much fun to grow, and they have hundreds of different culinary uses!
So what exactly ARE poblano peppers? They’re actually a mild chili pepper – they have just enough of a spice, but not overly overpowering either. Basically, they really are the perfect pepper!
And did we mention that once you learn how to grow poblano peppers, your culinary dishes will be seriously elevated?! You can stuff poblano peppers with a number of different things including cream cheese, meats, rice, or use them in soups, stews, on the grill, and whatever else you can think of – the possibilities are endless!
How to Grow Poblano Peppers in Your Garden
Planting Poblano Peppers:
- Plant poblano pepper seeds indoors about 8-12 weeks before the last frost date.
- The seed tray must be placed in a warm, well lit area such as on a windowsill.
- Keep the soil moist at all times, and within 2 weeks, seedlings should sprout.
- Once seedlings are about 2 inches tall, transplant each seedlings to its own pot.
- Transplant them again in the garden once they are 5-6 inches in height, but be sure to harden them off for a couple of weeks first.
- Plant them in rich, well draining soil, and in an area with full sunlight.
- Work in manure or compost.
- Fertilize your poblano pepper plants about 6 weeks after planting using a water-soluble fertilizer.
- Apply a thin layer of mulch to retain moisture and water regularly so that soil stays moist.
Harvesting Poblano Peppers:
- Harvest poblano peppers simply by removing them from their stem.
- They are usually ready for harvest once they are 4-6 inches in length.
- Total harvest time is about 65 days.
So now that you know how to grow poblano peppers, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!
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The Poblano Pepper Planting Guide: A To Zing
Subtle sizzle in the garden…
Looking for a little pop beyond the bell pepper? Poblano peppers are a delicious gardening option. Their heat level is more sizzle than scorching, measuring half the heat of the mildest jalapeño pepper. It’s very family-friendly, and an excellent chili for stuffed pepper recipes. Let’s jump into what you need to know when growing poblano peppers in your garden.
Poblano pepper planting fast facts:
Scoville heat units:
Poblano peppers have a 1,000-1,500 SHU rating on the Scoville scale.
Buy banana pepper seeds online:
Buy from Amazon
These pepper plants need full sun.
Provide seedlings with well-drained, lightweight soil that contains ample organic material.
Place poblano pepper seedlings 12 inches apart; if you are planting in rows, the rows should be 24 inches apart.
Water regularly enough to keep soil damp but not oversaturated.
You should be able to harvest poblano peppers approximately 65 days after planting.
A mature poblano pepper plant is usually about 2 1/2 feet tall but they can grow as tall as 5 feet.
Poblanos are approximately 4 inches long and two inches wide.
You can grow poblano peppers in containers; the containers should be no smaller than 1-gallon size.
The site and season: Where and when to grow poblano pepper
Transplant pepper seedlings when your soil temperatures have stabilized above the 50 degree mark. Ideally, your nighttime temperatures should be over 60 but below 75 degrees. There should be no danger of frost. The soil into which you transplant your poblano peppers should have a pH somewhere in the 5.5-7.0 range. Avoid soil that you have used to grow tomatoes, potatoes or other members of the nightshade family within the last few years. Place your seedlings 12-24 inches apart. This allows for a little contact but prevents them from crowding each other.
Feeding and watering poblano pepper plants: How often and how much
Water the plants early in the day and provide enough water that the soil stays moist at all times without getting muddy. An inch per week should be sufficient. Both the soil and any wet leaves should be dry again by the evening. Your fertilizer should be high in potassium, calcium and phosphorous but low in nitrogen. Nitrogen improves foliage but may reduce fruit production. Consider testing your soil to determine exactly what type of fertilizer you need. Bear in mind that the more water and fertilizer you give to poblano peppers, the less hot they are likely to be. If you want hotter peppers, keep watering and fertilizing to a minimum.
Poblano pepper harvesting: When to pick
You can pick poblano peppers when they are green or you can wait for them to ripen on the plant. Note that if you harvest peppers early, the plant will produce blossoms more frequently; however, you will want your poblanos to turn red if you plan to dry them. When dried, poblano peppers are known as ancho chilis. As with all peppers, you will want to cut the fruit from the plant with scissors or shears when harvesting. This is preferable to pulling them off, which can damage the delicate branches.
Poblano pepper plant care: What to watch out for
Because poblano peppers have thick walls that make them heavier than other peppers, the plants may need staking. Staking can help your plants to produce fruit earlier and to produce more fruit than they would without stakes.
Be on the lookout for pests like aphids and hornworms. While poblanos are resistant to pests, these can still be problematic. You can get rid of them with insecticidal soap or simply by spraying them off the plant with water from a hose.
Poblano Peppers – Beloved Mexican Pepper (All About Them)
The poblano pepper is a popular Mexican chili pepper, very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown. They are mild, large and are heart-shaped. Learn all about them here.
Scoville Heat Units: 1,000 – 2,000 SHU
The poblano is an extremely popular Mexican chili pepper. The pods typically grow 4 inches long, are a very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown. They are mostly picked when green for general cooking.
They are mild peppers, quite large and are somewhat heart-shaped. Their skins/walls are somewhat thick, making them perfect for stuffing as they’ll hold up in the oven quite nicely. They are often roasted and peeled when cooking with them, or dried. When dried, they are called ancho chilis.
Poblanos originated in Puebla, Mexico. They are one of the most popular peppers grown there. The poblano plant is multi-stemmed and can reach up to 25 inches high. The pods grow 3-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.
Immature poblano peppers are deep purple-green in color, and eventually turn dark red and black as they age. They are closely related to the mulato chili.
Common Uses of Poblano Peppers
In preparation, they are commonly dried, coated and fried, stuffed, or used in mole sauces. Also, they are often roasted and peeled to remove the waxy texture, and preserved by canning or freezing. They are also dried and sold as Ancho Peppers, which are also extremely popular and form the base for many sauces and other recipes.
History of the Poblano Chili Pepper
- Poblano peppers are found natively in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The name is derived from the area where they are harvested, though in some supermarkets you will find them labeled as chile anchos.
- There are two different colors of poblano, red and green, and the red variety is significantly hotter than the green.
- In the grand scheme of peppers they have a more mild flavor, but are admittedly more hit and miss – some specific poblano plants will produce spicier peppers than others.
- When you purchase a poblano, there is always a chance of getting a pepper that has a little more kick than you were originally counting on if you go with the red.
- The green poblano pepper is universally mild.
The poblano has been one of the most popular peppers in Mexico for years. They are served dried, fried with whipped egg, stuffed, or used in sauces such as mole. They are also popular as a salsa ingredient.
They’re also readily available in the United States, particularly in states located near the Mexican border.
If you’d like to try a dish that the poblano pepper is famous in, check out chiles en nogada, which incorporates green, white, and red ingredients – it is a dish popular on Mexican Independence Day. Some others that are extremely popular and well known include Classic Chiles Rellenos, or Rajas Poblanas, which are strips of roasted poblano peppers served in a cheesy cream sauce. Absolutely delicious.
Mexican cuisine isn’t Mexican cuisine without the awesome poblano.
You can usually find poblanos in your local grocery store, as they are quite popular with cooks around the U.S. They are also easy to grow.
Are Poblano Peppers Hot?
The poblano pepper is not considered a hot or spicy pepper, though they do have a small amount of heat. They measure between 1,000 – 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville Scale. Compare that to a bell pepper, which has no heat and measures at 0 SHU and a jalapeno pepper which tops out around 8,000 SHU, and you will get an idea of the poblano heat level.
Learn more about the Scoville scale here.
What’s a Good Substitute for a Poblano Pepper?
If you have trouble finding poblano peppers, Anaheim Chili Peppers are a very good substitute. They have a bit more heat and not quite the earthy poblano flavor, but they will work for most recipes, as they are similar in size and pepper wall thickness.
Also as poblano peppers are mostly mild, with just a bit of heat to them, you can use a small bell pepper or similar sized sweet pepper for general cooking and for stuffing, though you won’t get the same flavor.
If you don’t mind a bit more heat, go with jalapeno peppers for general cooking.
Jalapenos are smaller peppers, though, so are not good substitutes for making stuffed peppers.
How Do I Roast a Poblano Pepper?
Poblano peppers are very easy to roast and can be roasted over direct flame, with indirect flame via baking, or by broiling them until the skins puff up and char.
- How to Roast Chili Peppers
- How to Roast Poblano Peppers
- How to Grill Poblano Peppers
Is There Another Name for “Poblano”?
When poblano peppers are dried, they are called Ancho Peppers, which are widely used in many cuisines.
How Do You Pronounce Poblano?
How Do You Grow Poblano Peppers?
I’ve grown regular poblano peppers and a couple of different poblano pepper hybrids in my garden and they are not difficult to grow. The plants are productive and do not require any special attention than any other of my chili pepper plants. Check out my How to Grow Chili Peppers section of the site to help you get started.
Learn more about Growing Chili Peppers here.
Stuffed Poblano Pepper Recipes
Poblano peppers are ideal for stuffing. Here are some my favorite stuffed poblano recipes:
- Picadillo (Beef) Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Classic Chiles Rellenos
- Cajun Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Looking for more ideas? Stuffed Pepper Recipes
Try Some of My Other Popular Poblano Pepper Recipes
- Rajas Poblanas – Roasted Poblano Strips in Cream Sauce
- Roasted Poblano Cream Sauce
- Roasted Poblano Soup
- Cheese Dip with Corn and Roasted Poblanos
Get More Poblano Pepper Recipes Here
How Many Calories in a Typical Poblano Pepper? Poblano Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 pepper
Calories from Fat: 1
Other Types of Poblano Peppers
- Tiburon Hybrid
- Ancho Ranchero Hybrid
Got any questions about the poblano? Leave a comment below, or contact me anytime. I’m happy to help.
NOTE: This post was updated on 10/22/19 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 9/20/13.
With the rise of popularity of Mexican food across the globe, the use of the famous Mexican poblano pepper has also increased. It has become one of the key ingredients for captivating taste buds everywhere.
However, to help you get every poblano dish right, we’ve listed here everything you need to know about poblano peppers and its substitutes.
Since these are mild peppers, you can use them in a variety of dishes. Poblano peppers give a mellow sweet taste after being cooked along with their spicy kick. They are often compared to New Mexican chilies.
So, whether you are making a cornbread, a chili, enchilada or a salsa, poblano peppers are exactly what you need to spice them up and bring the right amount of flavor to the plate.
What is Mexican Poblano Pepper?
Poblano peppers are native to Mexico, and their name comes from “Puebla”-a Mexican state. It is said that poblano peppers have originated there. It is a mild chili pepper with a taste like Pasilla peppers. In some places, they sell it as chile anchos.
When unripe, poblano peppers are dark green. They turn either brown or red once they ripen. It is easy to spot an immature poblano pepper due to its deep purplish-green color. Poblanos are usually large with thick skin. This makes them suitable for stuffing and baking.
Likewise, the average size of a poblano pepper is around 4 inches. The plant grows up to 25 inches and has multiple stems. In Puebla, it is the most popular pepper grown.
Notably, Mulato peppers are actually poblano peppers in their dried forms. Some people call dried poblanos as “ancho chilies”. Similarly, some popular dishes that poblano peppers are used such as rajas con crema, chile Relleno, pork chili Verde, enchiladas, and chiles en nogada.
The chiles en nogada is the signature Mexican Independence Day dish as it incorporates all the colors of the Mexican flag into the plate. They are also used to make cornbread, and queso (cheese) dips for snacks.
Level of Spice and Taste
The green poblano peppers are less spicy compared to the red ones. Besides, it’s important to know that in case of these peppers, it’s sometimes a hit or a miss. If you buy a batch of poblanos from your local market, chances are you’ll get one or two peppers which are a lot hotter than the others.
On the Scoville heat units, these peppers usually range from 1,000 to 2,000 whereas, jalapenos are generally around 2,500 to 8,000 on the same scale. A green bell pepper has a count of 0 SHU on the Scoville scale. So you get an idea of how a poblano pepper is compared to that.
In terms of taste, poblano peppers have an earthy taste to them. You can describe their flavor as slightly smoky unlike a jalapeno with a fresh grassy taste.
The dried poblanos, i.e. anchos, are popularly used to make earthy Mexican sauces. When cooked up, a bright green poblano pepper gives an even milder spicy taste along with some sweetness.
Health Benefits of Poblano Pepper
Poblano pepper has a substance called “capsaicin” in it that has many health benefits. Apart from its sensation of heat, once you eat it, capsaicin is responsible for helping your heart by controlling the triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
On the other hand, fibrin is a substance that is responsible for blot clotting. The capsaicin present in poblano peppers helps your body dissolve fibrin and prevent the risk of blood clots in the future.
Moreover, poblano peppers also help cancer patients. They inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the case of both breast and prostate cancer. For arthritis patients, poblano peppers are good news as they help to reduce and address the arthritic pains.
It is mentionable that poblano pepper contains high amounts of water and is less in fat and carbohydrate. This makes it popular for the low-carb community. Again, there are high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin B6 in poblano peppers as well.
To be more precise, one poblano pepper contains 95% vitamin C and 8% vitamin A and 8% vitamin B6. It also has 5% dietary fiber and some amounts of vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) that helps in fighting cancer.
Accordingly, another cancer-fighting element is folic acid as it helps the body to maintain its cells while producing new ones. Folic acid prevents changes to DNA that might be fatal later on. Poblano peppers have 4% folic acid in them, and thus they are cancer-fighting natural drugs.
In case you’ve wanted to go on a diet, poblano peppers can help you out. These peppers can help to lose weight as they literally have zero fats or calories in them. They help to maintain a good “lipid profile” and reduce the risks of obesity also you need to maintain the proper food items.
Furthermore, these peppers even act as natural analgesics due to their potassium content. Capsaicin, vitamin B2, and potassium together work to reduce headaches, menstrual cramps, and inflammatory aches.
Storing Poblano Peppers Properly
The storage life of poblano peppers is usually two to three weeks. They need to be stored unwashed in the fridge. You can store the peppers that have been peeled and roasted in airtight containers for about 3 days. The longest time you can keep these peppers is three months. Frozen peppers can be stored that long only.
If you are storing ancho peppers, the dried poblanos, that means you can keep them up to a year. However, dry places are preferred for storage.
Awesome Poblano Pepper Substitutes
These peppers are very similar to poblanos. It is because they have the same kind of thick skin and girth that allows for stuffing. But they tend to give twice the heat compared to poblanos. They are sweeter than poblanos after being cooked. So, the amount needs to be slightly altered when using this instead of poblano.
This pepper is milder than poblano and even sweeter. Its walls are thinner so stuffing them needs a more delicate hand too. You can use these in chile Relleno recipes, but they don’t kick as much heat.
Bell peppers are super common and can be used for stuffed chili recipes as they have thick walls and large size. Besides, it’s a fact that bell peppers aren’t as flavor-packed as poblano peppers. They don’t have that spiciness and is not the best alternative.
Italian Frying Peppers
These are good substitutes for fresh poblano peppers. Italian frying peppers have thin walls, sweet taste, and a crisp texture. They are suitable for roasting.
These can easily substitute dried poblanos as they have the same size and shape. They taste a bit spicier and look brown. But they give a cherry-like aftertaste that many think it’s similar to chocolate.
Since everything you needed to know about poblano peppers and poblano pepper substitutes is right here, you can go ahead and experiment and recreate any dish you want.
What Are Poblano Peppers? Nutrition, Benefits, and Uses
Due to their high amounts of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, poblano peppers may provide health benefits.
However, there is no substantial research on the health effects of eating poblanos in particular.
Rich in antioxidants
Poblanos and other peppers in the Capsicum annuum family are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, capsaicin, and carotenoids, some of which turn into vitamin A in your body (4).
Antioxidants help fight oxidative stress caused by excess free radicals.
Free radicals are reactive molecules that lead to underlying cell damage, which in turn may increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, and other chronic conditions (5).
Therefore, eating antioxidant-rich poblanos may help prevent illness related to oxidative stress (6, 7).
May have anticancer effects
Capsaicin, a compound in poblanos and other peppers that imparts a spicy taste, may exert anticancer effects.
Specifically, capsaicin may influence genes involved in the spread of cancer and promote cancer cell death, though its role in this process is not fully understood (8).
Test-tube studies suggest that capsaicin may exert anticancer activity against human lung and colorectal cancer cells (9, 10).
However, a review of 10 observational studies in humans found that low capsaicin intake was associated with protection against stomach cancer, while medium-high intake may increase the risk of this disease (11).
More research is needed to fully understand whether eating poblano peppers and other foods with capsaicin has anticancer effects.
May help fight pain and inflammation
Capsaicin may also fight inflammation and help alleviate pain.
Some studies suggest that it binds to nerve cell receptors and, in turn, decreases inflammation and pain (12, 13).
There is limited research on the effects of dietary capsaicin, especially from poblano peppers, on pain. Still, studies in humans and rats suggest that capsaicin supplements may fight inflammation (14, 15).
One study in 376 adults with inflammatory bowel diseases and other gastrointestinal issues found that capsaicin supplements prevented stomach damage (14).
Still, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before taking capsaicin supplements to treat a medical condition.
Could boost immunity
Poblano peppers are loaded with vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that’s vital to immune function. Not getting enough vitamin C can lead to an increased risk of developing an infection (16).
What’s more, the capsaicin in poblano peppers has been linked to optimal immune function.
Several animal studies have shown that capsaicin may influence genes involved in the immune response and help protect against autoimmune conditions (17, 18).
While there’s no substantial research on the health effects of eating poblanos specifically, studies on the compounds in these peppers suggest that they may have anticancer effects, help fight inflammation, and even boost immunity.