What Are Poblano Peppers Good For?

Poblano Pepper Power
Botanical name: Capsicum annuum

Poblano Pepper Nutrition Facts

With their ability to add intense flavor and spice to various dishes, there's no doubt that chili peppers, such as the poblano pepper, are one of the reasons why Mexican cuisine captivates taste buds across the globe.1

Discover what sets poblano peppers apart from other chili peppers, their health benefits and how to cook poblano peppers correctly.

What Is a Poblano Pepper?

Poblano peppers (pronounced po-BLAH-no) are thick, dark green-skinned chili peppers that are named after their supposed place of origin: the state of Puebla in Central Mexico. These chili peppers are wide at the top, with a pointy bottom. Their heat can be described as mild to medium-hot, ranking between 1,000 and 2,000 Scoville heat units.

When poblano peppers are dried, they're called ancho chilies. These are different from chipotle peppers, or smoked and dried jalapeno peppers. According to The Spruce Eats, some smoked poblano peppers are labeled chipotles, although this term should only be used for dried and smoked jalapenos.

When poblano peppers are dried, they’re called ancho chilies. These are different from chipotle peppers, or smoked and dried jalapeno peppers. According to The Spruce Eats, some smoked poblano peppers are labeled chipotles, but the latter term should only be used for dried and smoked jalapenos.

Poblano peppers may also be confused for pasilla peppers because of their similar flavor, but the resemblance ends there. Pasilla peppers tend to be longer and narrower than poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are often roasted to bring out their natural flavors,2 but they can also be added into salad dressings, chilies and stews, or sautéed with onion and garlic to make a salsa-like blend.3

The Health Benefits of Poblano Pepper

Poblano peppers' main health benefits can be traced to an active ingredient called capsaicin. It's responsible for that burning sensation in your mouth when you eat chili peppers, and for their pungent odor. Capsaicin is said to:

  • Help inhibit the growth of prostate4 and breast cancer cells5
  • Assist in addressing arthritis-related pain6
  • Help reduce risk for hyperinsulinemia or high blood levels of insulin7
  • Induce weight loss by promoting satiety, decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue and decreasing blood fat levels8
  • Assist with boosting heart health, particularly by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels,9 suppressing platelet aggregation10 and helping the body dissolve fibrin, a substance that may play a role in blood clot development11
  • Help lessen inflammation brought on by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)12 and other inflammatory diseases13
  • Possesses antibacterial properties that aid in fighting chronic sinus problems14

What’s an Ideal Poblano Pepper Substitute?

If you don't have access to fresh and organic poblano peppers in your area, one of the best substitutes you can try is Anaheim pepper. Although it's slightly hotter than poblano pepper and sometimes twice as spicy, the thick walls of this pepper can hold stuffing and their girth are almost similar, though the poblano is slightly wider.15

How to Roast Poblano Peppers Properly

Roasting is one of the most popular ways to prepare poblano peppers, as this helps remove the thick skin that can be difficult to digest. Vegetarian Times highlights three ways to make roasted poblano peppers:16

Roasting via Oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub whole poblanos with coconut oil, and place on baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until charred on all sides, turning with tongs.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let the peppers steam for 15 minutes. After this period, you can rub off the skins.

Roasting via Stove Top

  1. Place a poblano pepper directly on the grate of a gas burner, with the flame turned to high.
  2. Roast the pepper until charred on all sides, turning with tongs. Repeat with the next pepper.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let the peppers steam for 15 minutes. After this period, you can rub off the skins.

Roasting via Grill

  1. Grill whole and dry poblanos over medium to medium-high heat until charred and blistered on all sides, turning with tongs.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover and let the peppers steam for 15 minutes. After this period, you can rub off the skins.

No matter what method you pick, ensure that you don't overcook the peppers to the point that they aren't able to retain their shape. According to the Mexican Food Journal, placing the chiles in a plastic bag helps them "sweat," which helps the skin peel off easily. You can also rinse them under running water, but this will take away the roasted flavor.17

Do not excessively char poblano peppers, since this may cause the formation of acrylamide, a known carcinogen. It often develops in high-temperature environments (usually above 250 degrees Fahrenheit or 120 degrees Celsius) when foods are baked, fried, roasted, grilled or toasted. An indicator of acrylamide in foods is a fairly dry, "browned" or charred surface.18,19

Poblano Pepper Recipes You Can Try
Easy, Meaty Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe

Aside from roasting poblano peppers whole, you can also prepare them like a stuffed bell pepper, by slicing them lengthwise, removing the seeds and filling them with cheese, grass fed ground beef, and other vegetables and herbs. You can try this healthy and Paleo stuffed poblano peppers from Paleo Hacks:20

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 25 minutes  |  Total Time: 35 minutes
Poblano Pepper Healthy Recipes


1 pound grass fed ground beef (93% lean)

1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt

4 poblano peppers, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds

avocado, diced

2 chopped tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon mango powder

1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped




  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly brown the ground beef in a skillet, over medium heat, for five to seven minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin and salt.
  3. Spoon the beef mixture into the pepper halves, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Top each peppers with cilantro and avocado. Serve hot.

Pasture-raised chicken is another delicious ingredient you can add to a stuffed poblano pepper, just like in this recipe from Farmstead Chic:21

Chipotle Lime Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Prep Time: 50 minutes  |  Cook Time: 20 minutes  |  Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes


For stuffed poblano peppers

1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus more to grease pan

1 pound ground pasture-raised chicken

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoon chipotle powder

2 teaspoons cumin

4 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Cayenne pepper, optional (to taste)

Juice of 2 limes

4 poblano peppers, roasted and sliced down the middle with skin and seeds removed

Cilantro, optional

Coconut Avocado Drizzle, optional

For the Coconut Avocado Drizzle:

1 avocado, peeled and seeded

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup coconut milk




  1. To make the Coconut Avocado Drizzle, mix all ingredients in a blender until blended well.
  2. Roast and remove the pepper skins.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat until melted, about one to two minutes.
  5. Add the ground chicken and onions. Brown for seven to eight minutes. Use a Mix 'n' Chop or wooden spatula to keep the chicken nice and ground. Your mixture should still be a little juicy from the onions at this point. If not, add back a tablespoon of water.
  6. Add the lime juice, chipotle powder, cumin, garlic (or garlic powder) and Himalayan salt, and cook one to two minutes until mixed well and juice is mostly cooked down.
  7. Test the meat mixture and add more salt, to taste, if necessary. Add cayenne pepper (1/8 teaspoon at a time) if you want a little more heat.
  8. Grease your baking dish with additional coconut oil.
  9. Using a spoon, fill the peppers to capacity with the meat filling.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is browned.
  11. Serve with the Coconut Avocado Drizzle and freshly torn cilantro leaves.

This recipe makes 4 stuffed peppers.

When picking out poblano peppers at your local grocery store, farmers market or specialty store, always opt for organic, dark and firm peppers.22 Be careful when handling poblano peppers, as some of their capsaicin oil may transfer to the skin and trigger a burning sensation. Try to avoid direct contact with them by wearing rubber gloves.

According to Vegetable Garden Planner, poblano peppers can be stored for at least one week in the refrigerator, kept inside a brown bag and stored in the crisper section. If you plan to store them for a longer period, place the peppers inside an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag and freeze them, so they can last for around six to eight months.23

Poblano Pepper Nutritional Facts

One ancho pepper (a dried poblano pepper24) weighing around 17 grams contains roughly 48 calories. It contains high amounts of potassium at 410 milligrams and is home to other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins. To know more about the nutritional value of this chili pepper, take a look at this table:25

Poblano Pepper Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Pepper, poblano, raw (64 grams)
  Amt. Per
% Daily
Calories 12.8 kcal  
Calories from Fat    
Total Fat 0.109 g  
Saturated Fat 0.037 mg  
Trans Fat 0.0 g  
Cholesterol 0 mg  
Sodium 1.92 mg  
Total Carbohydrates 2.97 g  
Dietary Fiber 1.09 g  
Sugar 1.54 g  
Protein 0.55 g  
Vitamin A 11.5 µg Vitamin C 51.5 mg
Calcium6.4 mg Iron 0.218 mg

Side Effects of Eating Too Much Poblano Pepper

Moderating your consumption of poblano peppers is important, as excessive amounts may be detrimental. Excessive amounts of capsaicin may act as a potent neurotoxin.26 Capsaicin is already known to trigger swelling of the skin and mucous membranes when you consume a high amount, but excessive quantities may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain, and eye problems such as conjunctivitis, blepharospasm, and intense pain and tearing.27

Put Poblano Peppers to Good Use Today

Just like other chili peppers, poblano peppers bring heat, flavor and pave the way for certain health benefits due to their capsaicin content. Before you try adding poblano peppers to your diet, be sure to handle them properly to avoid burning your skin, and only consume them in moderation to lower your risk for unwanted side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Poblano Peppers

Q: Are poblano peppers hot?

A:  Poblano peppers are mildly spicy. They measure between 1,000 and 2,000 Scoville heat units.

Q: What can you do with poblano peppers? 

A:  Roasting is one of the best ways to enhance poblano peppers' natural flavor. You may also add it into salad dressings, chilies, stews and salsa mixes, or stuff them with your favorite meats, herbs and vegetables to eat as a snack or side dish.