This Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers dish is made with poblano peppers, shredded cheese, cream cheese, paprika, chili powder, lime and salt.
Poblano peppers are a beloved Mexican pepper. Poblano peppers can be used in a variety of forms. They are hotter than a bell pepper and less spicy than a jalapeño pepper, which is why making this delicious dish is a perfect combination of spicy and cheesy. Not only is the cheese mixture delicious, but the combination of the cheese with the poblano peppers is succulent.
These poblano peppers might actually be one of my favorite appetizers ever. They are perfectly filled with cheese which helps balance the spiciness from the peppers. I used fresh poblano peppers which are sliced in half and baked or air fried until golden and bubbly. This appetizer is perfect for game day or just a fun night in.
Whatever you do, when cutting the poblano peppers, wear gloves or just do not touch your face. From experience, I once cut poblano peppers, and although they aren't as spicy as a jalapeno, I rubbed my eye and had to run my eye under cold water for 10 minutes. It can be super painful! Once you slice the poblano peppers lengthwise WHILE wearing gloves, use a small spoon to scoot out the seeds and membranes.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Poblano Peppers
- Mexican shredded cheese
- Cream cheese
- Chili powder
- Olive oil
See recipe card for Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers quantities.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Slice each of the poblano peppers in two. Place inside face up on a baking sheet that has been sprayed by non-stick cooking spray.
In another bowl, add the shredded cheese, cream cheese, paprika, chili powder, and lime juice and mix well.
With a spoon, place a layer of the mixture on each pepper. Sprinkle more shredded cheese on it if you wish.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
Hint: Feel free to garnish with cilantro.
What to serve with Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Spanish Rice: A flavorful and aromatic side dish that pairs well with the spiciness of the stuffed poblano peppers. The rice can be cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices like cumin and paprika for added depth of flavor.
- Refried Beans: Creamy and comforting, refried beans are a classic Mexican side dish that complements the flavors of the stuffed poblano peppers. You can make them from scratch using pinto beans, or use canned beans for a quick and easy option.
- Avocado Salad: A fresh and cooling avocado salad can provide a nice contrast to the heat of the poblano peppers. You can make a simple avocado salad with diced avocado, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice for a burst of freshness.
- Mexican Street Corn: Also known as elote, Mexican street corn is a popular side dish that pairs well with stuffed poblano peppers. Grilled or roasted corn on the cob is slathered with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, and spices, making it a flavorful and indulgent choice.
- Cilantro Lime Rice: Another rice option that complements the flavors of the stuffed poblano peppers is cilantro lime rice. Simply cook white rice with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a tangy and aromatic side dish.
Poblano pepper: I love using poblano peppers, but this works well with bell peppers too. You could even try making some Stuffed Bell Peppers if you are up for it.
Shredded cheese: If you can find that Mexican blend shredded cheese go with that. If not, use mozzarella.
Cream cheese: Cream cheese really gives this recipe the flavor that it needs. If you like blue cheese, you could use that as well.
Spices: You can use paprika and/or chili powder - feel free to use any combination you prefer. I would also use cayenne pepper or cumin.
Lime: The lime juice helps blend the cheese together and gives it a really nice acidic flavor.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers Variations
- Meaty Variation: You can add cooked and seasoned ground meat, such as ground beef, pork, or chicken, to the cream cheese filling. Simply brown the ground meat in a pan with some onions and garlic, season with your favorite spices, and mix it with the cream cheese before stuffing the poblano peppers. This can add an extra layer of flavor and protein to the dish.
- Cheesy Variation: In addition to the cream cheese, you can mix in other types of shredded cheese to the filling. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or a blend of cheeses can be used to add additional cheesy goodness to the stuffed poblano peppers.
- Veggie Variation: You can add various vegetables to the cream cheese filling for a veggie-packed variation. Chopped bell peppers, corn, black beans, spinach, or mushrooms can be sautéed or roasted and mixed with the cream cheese to add extra texture and nutrients to the dish.
- Spicy Variation: If you like it spicy, you can add some diced jalapeños, serranos, or other hot peppers to the cream cheese filling. You can adjust the amount of hot peppers based on your tolerance for heat, and also consider removing the seeds and membranes for a milder spice level.
- Mediterranean Variation: For a Mediterranean twist, you can add ingredients such as feta cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or oregano to the cream cheese filling. This can create a unique flavor profile with a Mediterranean flair.
- Vegan Variation: For a vegan option, you can use dairy-free cream cheese or a homemade plant-based cream cheese made from cashews or tofu. You can also use plant-based ground meat, such as crumbled tofu, tempeh, or lentils, as a substitute for meat in the filling, and load it up with your favorite veggies and seasonings.
- Cutting board and knife: For chopping and preparing the poblano peppers, as well as any other ingredients you may be using.
- Oven or stovetop: Depending on your preferred cooking method, you will need an oven or stovetop to roast or cook the poblano peppers.
- Baking sheet or skillet: If roasting in the oven, you will need a baking sheet to place the poblano peppers on. If cooking on the stovetop, a skillet or frying pan will be needed.
- Mixing bowl and spoon: For mixing the cream cheese filling and any additional ingredients.
- Spatula or spoon: For scooping and stuffing the cream cheese filling into the poblano peppers.
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil: If roasting the poblano peppers in the oven, you may need parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the baking sheet and prevent sticking.
How to store Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers
To store cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers, follow these steps:
- Allow the stuffed poblano peppers to cool completely to room temperature.
- Place the stuffed poblano peppers in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.
- Store the container or wrapped poblano peppers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Alternatively, if you have leftover cream cheese filling and poblano peppers separately, you can store them separately. Place the cream cheese filling in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Store the roasted poblano peppers in a separate airtight container or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, simply reassemble the stuffed poblano peppers by stuffing the cream cheese filling back into the roasted poblano peppers.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe Top tips
- Use softened cream cheese: It's important to use softened cream cheese for the filling to ensure that it mixes well with the other ingredients and is easy to stuff into the poblano peppers. You can soften cream cheese by letting it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using, or by microwaving it in short bursts at low power, checking and stirring frequently to avoid melting.
- Customize the filling: The cream cheese filling in cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers can be customized to your taste preferences. You can add various herbs, spices, cheeses, or other ingredients to the cream cheese to create different flavor profiles. Popular additions include minced garlic, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso fresco), cooked and crumbled bacon, or diced jalapenos for an extra kick.
- Use toothpicks or kitchen twine if needed: If the poblano peppers are not holding together well after stuffing, you can use toothpicks or kitchen twine to secure them. Simply insert toothpicks through the edges of the peppers to hold them together, or tie them with kitchen twine to prevent the filling from falling out during cooking.
- Bake until golden and bubbly: When baking the cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers, keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking. Bake them until the filling is golden and bubbly, usually around 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). If desired, you can broil them for a minute or two to get a nice golden crust on top.
- Serve with toppings and garnishes: Cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers are delicious on their own, but you can also serve them with various toppings and garnishes to enhance their flavor. Popular options include sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, or a squeeze of lime juice. Get creative and add your favorite toppings to make the dish your own.
- Be cautious with handling poblano peppers: Poblano peppers can vary in their heat level, but they can still be spicy for some people. To avoid any discomfort, it's important to handle poblano peppers with caution, especially when removing the seeds and membranes, as they can contain capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in peppers. Wear gloves or use utensils when handling poblano peppers, and avoid touching your face or eyes after handling them.
- Make-ahead option: If you want to save time on the day of serving, you can prepare the cream cheese filling and roast the poblano peppers ahead of time. Store the cream cheese filling and roasted poblano peppers separately in the refrigerator, and then assemble and bake
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove