Corn and Poblano Chowder

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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1 large poblano pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 (20 oz) tube frozen creamed corn, thawed
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat or fat free milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 to 2 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/2 (8 oz) package fat-free cream cheese, softened
Garnished: thinly sliced jalapeno pepper strips, ground black pepper


Broil poblano pepper halves, skin side up, on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 6 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes or until pepper looks blistered. Fold aluminum foil over pepper to seal, and let stand 10 minutes. Peel pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop pepper and set aside.

Bring creamed corn and next 4 ingredients to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring mixture constantly. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes.

Stir 1 1/2 cups chicken broth into mixture. Whisk in softened cream cheese and chopped poblano pepper, and cook, whisking often, 5 minutes or until cream cheese melts and mixture is thoroughly heated. Whisk in additional chicken broth, if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Garnish, if desired. Serve chowder immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

From Southern Living, September 2003.