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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Quinoa and Corn

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These hearty, spicy, vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers with quinoa and corn are a Southwestern classic and take less than an hour to make! Earthy and sweet, rich and filling, this is a delicious, simple recipe that’s a real crowd-pleaser.

vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers with melted cheese on top, served in a cast iron skillet - top view

If you’ve never had vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers before, now is the time to try them! They are mild and just slightly sweet, and hold up really well when roasted – which makes them perfect for stuffing. They’re one of my favorite ingredients to use in quick and tasty dinners!

vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers with melted cheese on top, served in a cast iron skillet with one served on a white plate on the side - drizzled with sour cream, topped with chives, lime wedge on the side - top view

I’m a huge fan of Southwestern flavors, so between the fresh corn, southwestern spices, poblanos and melted, gooey, Pepperjack cheese, I knew this recipe would be a hit. It’s vegetarian and gluten-free, and with just a few substitutions can be made vegan as well.

vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers with melted cheese on top, single serving on a white plate with a lime wedge, sour cream drizzle and diced green onions on top

This recipe looks super complex to make, but it’s actually really easy! It’ll be ready (from start to finish) in just 45 minutes. It’s kid-friendly too — if you have littler kids I just recommend cutting it up for them before serving to make it much easier for them to eat with a fork.

Ingredients for vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers: corn, quinoa, peppers, green onions, cheese, spices, etc. on a wooden cutting board

How to Make These Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers, Step By Step

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Halve poblanos through stem, then remove seeds and ribs. Dice tomato. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Wash quinoa. Zest lime until you have 1 tsp; quarter lime.

raw poblano peppers, cut in half and seeded on a metal oven tray

Bring vegetable stock and a large pinch of salt to a boil in a small, lidded pot. Once boiling, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until quinoa is tender and water has evaporated, 15-20 minutes. (TIP: If not all water evaporates, drain excess.)

While quinoa cooks, rub poblano halves with oil (about 1 tsp per pepper – 4 tsp total); season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut sides down. Roast on middle rack until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine greek yogurt or sour cream, lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice, and 2 tsp water. Season with salt and pepper.

greek yogurt / sour cream sauce mixed with lime zest in a glass bowl, top view

Drain corn and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a drizzle of oil (about 1 tsp) in a large, oven-safe pan over high heat. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred, 4-5 minutes. (TIP: If corn begins to pop, cover pan.)

Reduce heat to medium and add tomato, scallion whites, and Southwest Spice blend or taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

corn, scallions, tomatoes, taco seasoning being cooked in a cast iron skillet, top view

Stir cooked quinoa into pan with veggies; season with salt and pepper.

Once poblanos are done roasting, stuff each with as much of the grain mixture as will fit. Place in pan with remaining grain mixture, nestling each poblano half in the grains. (TIP: If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer mixture to a small baking dish and arrange stuffed poblanos in there.) Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Heat broiler to high.

oven baked poblano peppers, unstuffed, on a metal sheet pan. top view of stuffing (corn, tomatoes, quinoa, etc.) on the side.
vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers on a metal sheet pan

Transfer pan with stuffed peppers to middle rack of oven. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

cheese added to vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers, right before going into the oven, placed in a cast iron skillet

Remove from oven, then top with lime crema and scallion greens. Divide among plates. Serve with any remaining lime wedges on the side for squeezing over.

vegetarian stuffed poblanos with melted cheese on top, served in a cast iron skillet - top view

What Makes These Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers Healthy?

These peppers are packed with protein and fiber, making them a filling, vegetarian friendly, and nutritious meal. Poblano peppers are rich in Vitamin A, C, Potassium and fiber, while the quinoa provides whole grains and protein. Sweet corn provides lutein (good for your eyes!), B vitamins, and potassium, along with a healthy dose of fiber and the pepperjack cheese gives this recipe decadence while also adding protein.

Can you make this recipe gluten free or vegan?

Good news! This recipe already is gluten free! To make it vegan, either omit the cheese and Greek yogurt/sour cream, or use vegan substitutes for both.

How Hot Are Poblano Peppers?

Poblano peppers actually have a pretty mild taste, and are about 2-8 times less spicy than jalapeno peppers, but spicier than bell peppers. On the Scoville heat unit scale, poblanos score 1,000-1,500 units vs. jalapenos which score at 2,500-8,000 units vs. bell peppers which have a score of 0. This makes them the perfect pepper for this recipe because they have enough flavor without being too spicy!

vegetarian stuffed poblanos with melted cheese on top, served in a cast iron skillet with one served on a white plate on the side - drizzled with sour cream, topped with chives, lime wedge on the side - top view

Top Tips for Making These Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers

  • To save time, you can make the quinoa ahead of time and store it in your fridge (it will keep for up to 4 days).
  • Instead of quinoa – you can use any whole grain: brown rice, barley, whole wheat couscous, or even bulgar wheat.
  • You can also choose any cheese or veggies to mix in. Goat cheese might be a fun twist, or even a Mexican 4 cheese blend.
  • If you don’t have poblano peppers you can use bell peppers!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER HEALTHY southwestern RECIPES!

If you have tried this vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

vegetarian stuffed poblano pepper with melted cheese on top, single serving on a white plate with a lime wedge, sour cream drizzle and diced green onions on top, cut into with a knife and fork
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Quinoa and Corn

These hearty, spicy, stuffed poblano peppers with quinoa and corn are a Southwestern classic and take only 40 minutes to make! Earthy and sweet, rich and filling, this is a delicious, simple recipe that's a real crowd-pleaser.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 440kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 4 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 4 Scallions
  • 1 tsp Lime Zest (from 1 fresh lime)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning or southwestern spice blend
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese (1/4 cup per pepper)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Halve poblanos through stem, then remove seeds and ribs. Dice tomato. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Wash quinoa. Zest lime until you have 1 tsp; quarter lime.
  • Bring vegetable stock and a large pinch of salt to a boil in a small, lidded pot. Once boiling, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until quinoa is tender and water has evaporated, 15-20 minutes. (TIP: If not all water evaporates, drain excess.)
  • While quinoa cooks, rub poblano halves with oil (about 1 tsp per pepper – 4 tsp total); season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut sides down. Roast on middle rack until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine greek yogurt or sour cream, lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice, and 2 tsp water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain corn and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a drizzle of oil (about 1 tsp) in a large, oven-safe pan over high heat. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly charred, 4-5 minutes. (TIP: If corn begins to pop, cover pan.)
  • Reduce heat to medium and add tomato, scallion whites, and Southwest Spice blend or taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir cooked quinoa into pan with veggies; season with salt and pepper.
  • Once poblanos are done roasting, stuff each with as much of the grain mixture as will fit. Place in pan with remaining grain mixture, nestling each poblano half in the grains. (TIP: If your pan isn't ovenproof, transfer mixture to a small baking dish and arrange stuffed poblanos in there.) Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Heat broiler to high.
  • Transfer pan with stuffed peppers to middle rack of oven. Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, then top with lime crema and scallion greens. Divide among plates. Serve with any remaining lime wedges on the side for squeezing over.

Notes

Top Tips for Making These Southwestern Stuffed Peppers
  • To save time, you can make the quinoa ahead of time and store it in your fridge (it will keep for up to 4 days).
  • Instead of quinoa – you can use any whole grain: brown rice, barley, whole wheat couscous, or even bulgar wheat.
  • You can also choose any cheese or veggies to mix in. Goat cheese might be a fun twist, or even a Mexican 4 cheese blend.
  • If you don’t have poblano peppers you can use bell peppers!
Adapted from HelloFresh

Nutrition

Serving: 1stuffed pepper | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.1g | Protein: 17.6g | Fat: 16.4g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 22.7mg | Sodium: 437.5mg | Potassium: 738.8mg | Fiber: 8.4g | Sugar: 6.4g | Vitamin A: 1400IU | Vitamin C: 491.7mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 5.4mg

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