Close up of Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chile Avocado Sauce spread over middle plus a sprig of cilantro. Pepper is on a white plate on top of an orange cloth.

Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers – where have you been all my life? This was my thought when I found this recipe. So delicious!

This was inspired by a recipe featured on the daytime television show The Chew years ago. The show is no longer on the air, and unfortunately only some of their recipes are featured on a website through ABC television. The original recipe for this is not one of them.

I am so glad I had printed it out and saved it. (Which tells you how many times I have made it in the past few years. The really good recipes are the ones that get printed on paper.) 

My main change to this recipe is using quinoa instead of rice. This gives you a meal that is lower in carbohydrates (by a little), but higher in protein and nutrition. However, if quinoa does not work for you, brown rice is a great option.

Other changes include leaving out the sour cream that was part of the original filling. I lean towards less dairy in recipes and don’t miss the sour cream in this flavorful, already creamy filling. I also added some diced zucchini to add another vegetable.

Poblano peppers are large in size – could be as long as an average banana and are milder than the average jalapeño pepper. People who know their peppers are likely familiar with the Scoville Scale. If you are wary of heat in peppers, this is a great tool to guide you. Basically, it measures a pepper’s spiciness or heat level. Poblanos are very close to the bottom of the scale.

If you want more information on the Scoville Scale, Isabel at Isabel Eats has a great post that gives you all the details.

Top: Fresh poblano peppers. Bottom: Fully charred, ready for peeling.

If you have never roasted peppers, this may seem like a messy job – and it is – but it’s not difficult and the taste is worth it. 

Topping the peppers with Chile Avocado Sauce finishes this dish.

Quinoa-stuffed poblano pepper on white plate over yellow cloth. Chile Avocado Sauce is over stuffed pepper along with a sprig of cilantro. To the left is a small white bowl full of Chile Avocado Cream Sauce. At top is a small succulent plant.

Make it a meal!

  • Don’t forget the Chile Avocado Sauce!
  • One stuffed pepper equals 1 serving and is very filling, however a green salad would be a nice complement if you wanted to add a side.
  • Baked Apple Taquitos are a great way to finish the meal.
  • Ready to make the whole meal?

Like this recipe? Don’t forget to Pin it and share it!

Tools needed for this recipe:

  • Tongs
  • 1 medium saucepan for cooking the quinoa (at least 3 ½ quarts)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s Knife 
  • Garlic press
  • Large saute pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cheese grater
  • Small spoon
  • Glass baking dish

Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

These Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers may look complicated, but steps are easy and you could have this on the table in an hour.

  • Author: Laurie Kerr
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 6 Stuffed Peppers 1x



6 Poblano peppers

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth

23 tbsp Olive or Avocado Oil

1 red or yellow onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup zucchini, diced small (1 small zucchini)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 sprig fresh oregano (just the leaves) or 1/8 tsp dried oregano

1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup cilantro (stems and leaves), chopped

1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (or mexican cheese blend), shredded


For the Poblano Peppers

  1. Preheat oven to broil. (High if that’s an option.)
  2. Set poblano peppers directly on oven rack or on a sheet tray. (No stacking, lay them out in an even layer with at least an inch in between each pepper.) Let peppers char, rotating as needed with tongs, until all sides are evenly black. (This could take 20-30 minutes.)
  3. Once peppers are completely charred, remove them from the oven and place in a large bowl and cover in plastic wrap or place in resealable bags. Allow to steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, remove peppers from bowl or bag and, either over the sink or a bowl, rub the black skin off with your fingers.
  5. Cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper and remove all of the seeds and ribs. Discard these. Once this is done, place peppers in a glass dish (or two) and set aside.

For the Quinoa

  1. While peppers are roasting, heat 1 3/4 cup water or broth for quinoa.
  2. Place 1 cup of quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water. Set aside until water or broth comes to a boil.
  3. Once water or broth is boiling, add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Set a timer for 15 minutes. (Cook time is 15-20 minutes, but check after 15.) When cooked the water should be absorbed, the quinoa will have expanded in total volume, these seeds – after all quinoa is a seed – will be almost translucent and you should be able to fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  4. Once the liquid is absorbed, remove pot from heat and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

For the Filling

  1. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion to pan and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. You want the onions to still have some firmness to them.
  3. Next, stir in garlic, cumin, oregano, zucchini and corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Once quinoa is ready, scoop it into a large bowl and add mixture from the pan. Stir together.
  5. Add green onions, cilantro and cheese. Stir all to combine well.

Final Steps


  • Rinsing the quinoa is important. Saponin is a natural coating on quinoa that can give it a bitter or soapy taste. No need to soak, a good rinse before adding to pot to cook should be sufficient.
  • With this recipe, a lot of the tasks overlap, cutting down on overall cooking time. For example, while peppers are in the oven, quinoa can cook and you can start working in filling.


  • Serving Size: 1 Pepper
  • Calories: 273
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 164 mg
  • Fat: 12.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 12.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 25 mg

Keywords: Poblano peppers, quinoa meal



  1. Looks delicious! I’m excited to try these.


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