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.
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.
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.
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
- Arroz Verde (Green Rice)
How Many Calories in a Typical Poblano Pepper? Poblano Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 pepper
Calories from Fat: 1
Fat 0.12g (0% daily value)
Saturated Fat 0.02 g (0%)
Monounsaturated Fat 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.07 g
Cholesterol 0 mg (0%)
Sodium 1.28 mg (0%)
Potassium 113.28 mg (3%)
Total Carbohydrate 4.12 g (1%)
Dietary Fiber 1.15 g (5%)
Protein .57 g (1%)
Vitamin A (8%)
Vitamin C (95%)
Vitamin D (0%)
Vitamin E (1%)
Thiamin (B1) (0%)
Riboflavin (B2) (1%)
Niacin (B3) (2%)
Vitamin B6 (8%)
Folic Acid (Folate) (4%)
Vitamin B12 (0%)
Other Types of Poblano Peppers
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.