Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed poblano peppers with a delicious spicy rice, onions, and lots of spices.


Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

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I’ve been known to give Rachel Ray some grief, but in reality, it’s just because I’m jealous of course. She’s made quite a name for herself coming up with inventive and fun dishes. And, without a doubt, she convinced more people in America to cook which is definitely a good thing.

But for some reason I have a hard time following her recipes. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s that I’m pretty sure I can improve them. So it went with these peppers.

I was kind of shocked that they won the poll last week. But, clearly you guys were interested so I did my best to make them and even, I think, improve them a bit.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4.
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Stuffed poblano peppers with a delicious spicy rice, onions, and lots of spices.

Seriously adapted from a RR Recipe.


4 large poblano peppers, halved, cleaned, roasted.
1 1/2 Cups white rice
3 Cups vegetable broth
1 Cup strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon cumin, lightly toasted
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Sour cream
Salt and pepper

Show Directions

1) For rice, add stock, tomatoes, spices, and rice to a medium pan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, covered, and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Be sure to check your rice for exact cooking times and liquid amounts.

2) For peppers, chop off stems, slice peppers in half and remove seeds.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes per side.  They shouldn’t be soggy, but should be flexible.  Some scorch marks are good.

3) Chop onions and Serrano pepper and add to a medium pot with olive oil over medium-high heat.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until onions are soft.  Stir in cooked rice.

4) Season rice mixture with salt and pepper.  Spoon it into pepper halves.

5) Serve with avocado, sour cream, and cilantro.

Making the Rice

While this recipe is in the spirit of the original, it’s really different on almost every level. For starters, Rachel uses a canned enchilada sauce to give her rice some flavor, but I’m a big fan of using real spices instead. It’s not like it’s that much more work to add a few spices and some tomato paste instead of a can.

That said, I did keep mine pretty simple.

The basic stuff.

Add the veggie stock (you could use chicken also) along with the tomato sauce (or strained tomatoes) to a medium pot along with a pinch of salt and all the spices.

Add in the rice and you’re ready to cook!

Good rice.

This will need to simmer, covered, on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. You should check your rice cooking time though as it might vary a bit depending on what kind of rice you use. Whatever you do though, don’t use the instant stuff. It won’t really hold up to the flavors.

The Peppers

Again, I changed a lot from the original recipe, but I liked all my changes if I do say so myself. For starters, the original used cubanelle peppers, but I subbed poblanos. I think they have a bit more flavor and are a lot easier to stuff.

Just chop them in half and clean out all the seeds.

Easy prep.

When it comes to cooking these guys, Rachel says to grill them in a grill pan. I don’t have a grill pan and the idea of firing up the grill for some stuffed peppers seemed a bit ridiculous. So I just roasted my peppers in a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes per side.

You don’t want them soggy, but they should be flexible. Some scorch marks on the outside are nothing to be afraid of. They add great flavor.

After a quick roast.

Finishing the Rice

In a separate pan, add the olive oil over medium-high heat and toss in the diced onion and Serrano pepper. The Serrano is optional, but it gives the dish some nice heat.

Let this cook for a few minutes until the onions are soft and then add in all the rice. Stir it all together, season it with salt and pepper, and you’ll be in rice heaven.

rice cooked

Once your rice is done just add a good amount of it to each pepper half. Don’t worry about over-filling.

In fact, I encourage over-filling.

Fill ’em up!

I suggest serving these guys with some sour cream and fresh avocado.

They can be a side, but we ate them as a meal and what a good meal it was!

Avocado and cream is key!

I’m not really positive if my version was better than hers because I didn’t make hers, but mine was good enough for me. That’s for sure.

You’ll probably have some leftover rice after this dish which is great. The rice is delicious in burritos or just on its own.

14 Responses to “Southwestern Stuffed Peppers” Leave a comment

  1. It would be interesting if you made her recipe first, or even did a side-by-side sort of thing once in a while and explained why you deviated.

  2. I feel like I can't remember what things tasted like 15 minutes after eating them, so it's always difficult for me to compare recipes. Seeing you explain what you changed and why as you go along would be interesting.

    1. Yea… that would be interesting. I can say that the reasons I changed parts of this recipe were pretty straightforward. I used a different pepper just because I like the flavor and poblanos are easier to stuff.

      I didn't use canned enchilada sauce because I find it too salty and it's also easier to just mix something up because I have all the dried spices and stuff already.

  3. I have a love-hate relashionship with good old Rachey. I love her recipes because they're easy to follow and have always enjoyed them (again with a few tweaks) but as soon as I hear a "yum-o" or equally as annoying catch phrase, I'm back to cursing her name.
    I do love her Week in a Day series though…damn her.
    My recent post Sharing The Love.

  4. I had a sample of stuffed poblano peppers at Costco and been thinking about how to make them… I was going to add chicken, and possibly cook the peppers with the filling inside. This seems much easier!
    My recent post Pizza!

  5. I made this for dinner this evening and it turned out delicious! I used cooked chicken with the rice for my husband's peppers and since I don't eat meat, left it out of mine. I did a few extra steps after I stuffed the peppers. I put a small amount of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish, put the stuffed peppers on top, and then put thin slices of smoked provolone on top. I baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20 min. More calories and fat , but I thought tonight I would splurge. Thank you for the post. I will make this often!

  6. I have to say I tried making these last night and I tweeked it up a bit by adding ground beef to the rice because my husband has to have meat in his meal and he absolutely loved them! They turned out great if I do say so myself! I was used to making Chiles Rellenos all the time but this a whole new way of making them! Thanks!!

  7. made just the rice tonight, and used (forgive me) canned enchilada sauce along with the vegetable stock, plus i added the cumin & smoked paprika, PLUS i chopped up half of a ghost pepper & threw it in for good measure. ay carumba! spicy hot! and plenty good. didn’t even get around to stuffing peppers with it yet–i threw a little shredded cheese on it & ate a bowl without further embellishment. beats the heck out of plain rice!

  8. What is in the bag with the twist tie on the second picture? I don’t see it on the ingredient list.

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