Cheesy Stuffed Poblanos with Ground Turkey

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers. They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Makes 4 servings.

1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 tsp. olive oil
1 can (10 oz.) Green Chile Enchilada Sauce, gluten-free if needed
(See note at the end of the recipe about this size can.)
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp. dried cumin
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1-2 T fresh or fresh-frozen lime juice (optional)
2 large Poblano Chiles + 1/2 cup chopped poblano pepper
(Buy three Poblanos; the third one can be a bit smaller.)
1 cup + 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray a baking dish (that’s large enough to hold four Poblano halves) with non-stick spray.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the ground turkey and cook over medium-high heat until the turkey is cooked through, any water is evaporated, and turkey is nicely browned. As it cooks, break it apart with your turner (or mash with an old fashioned potato masher like I do!) When the turkey is browned add the green chile enchilada sauce, minced garlic, dried cumin, salt, and pepper and simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce has reduced and the meat mixture looks dry.

While the turkey cooks, cut the two large Poblanos in half lengthwise; then use kitchen shears or a small knife to cut out the seeds and cut away the stem part. Discard seeds and stems; then put the chile halves on a plate and microwave 2-3 minutes, just until they’re barely softened enough to fully open to be stuffed. Chop enough of the other Poblano chile to make 1/2 cup chopped Poblano (or use it all if you’re a Poblano fan. You can chop the Poblano a bit smaller than I did if you prefer.) Slice 1/2 cup green onion.

When the turkey mixture has simmered enough that the bottom of the pan looks dry, turn off the heat. Stir in the lime juice, chopped Poblano and the sliced green onion. Then stir in the cup of grated Mozzarella. Hold the pepper half over the frying pan while you stuff each chile with the meat mixture (some will fall down into the pan!) You may need to pile it on and press down on it to use all the meat. Put filled peppers in the baking dish and top each one with about a tablespoon of additional grated Mozarella.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is very hot and the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot, with sour cream, hot sauce, or salsa to add at the table if desired.