These delicious vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers feature a hearty rice and black bean filling and make satisfying and healthy plant-based meal for any occasion.

Overhead view of a poblano peppers stuffed with a vegetarian rice and bean mixture and topped with salsa and sour cream. There are some lime wedges in the bowl and small spoonfuls of salsa and sour cream.

About the Recipe

This vegetarian stuffed poblano pepper recipe is the perfect way to spice up your mealtime routine and have some fun in the kitchen.

The recipe features roasted poblano peppers that are filled with a flavourful blend of rice, black beans, corn, and spices. The result is a filling and satisfying dish that’s perfect for lunch, dinner and meal prep.

Bell peppers would work well for this recipe too, of course, or you can try these Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers. These Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Twice Baked Stuffed Zucchinis are also yummy and fun to make.

6 stuffed poblano peppers topped with cheese in a glass baking dish.

This recipe is easy to make and customize to your liking too. You can add extra vegetables, make it spicier and serve with a variety of sauces and toppings. The rice and bean filling is also versatile and perfect for using in burritos, taco salads or serving as a side dish.

Plus, since it’s vegan, it’s a great option for anyone looking to cut down on meat or add more plant-based meals to their diet.

Top them off with some fresh cilantro, lime, sour cream and salsa, or try the avocado crema, and you’ve got a meal that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.

What You’ll Need

Please scroll down the page to find the full recipe with ingredient measurements. This section provides notes on specific ingredients used and any substitutions.

All of the ingredients needed for making vegan stuffed poblano pepper recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text.

Rice Ingredients

  • Rice: Use any white rice such as jasmine or basmati. You could also use quinoa or brown rice but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time and may need additional liquid. If using brown rice, cook it according to the package instructions.
  • Onion: The recipe calls for red onion but if you don’t have that on hand you can use shallot or white onion.
  • Garlic: I’d recommend using fresh garlic but if you don’t have any available you can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • Spices: You’ll need ground cumin and smoked paprika for the rice. If you don’t have smoked paprika you can use regular paprika.

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients

  • Poblano Peppers: You’ll need 6 poblanos. These are the large, long peppers that look like a giant jalapeno or misshapen green bell pepper.
  • Black Beans: You’ll need one 19 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed. You could also use black beans cooked from scratch, in which case you’ll need about 2 cups. You can substitute kidney beans, pinto beans or black eye peas.
  • Corn: Use frozen corn, no need to thaw it first.
  • Salsa: Any salsa you like works. Make sure it’s not too spicy if that’s a concern!
  • Spices: You’ll need a mild chili powder and ground cumin to season this portion.
  • Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro. You can omit this if you prefer.
  • Cheese: Top with your favourite vegan shredded cheese.

Optional Avocado Crema

This is an optional sauce for serving with your stuffed poblanos. If you’d like to make it you’ll need avocado, lime, cilantro, garlic and cilantro, so the ingredients you’re already using plus an avocado.

Here are some optional sauces that work well for serving:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Cook the Rice

Heat 2 tsp of oil over medium heat in a pot. Once it’s hot, add the red onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cumin, paprika and rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring often, to toast the rice and spices.

Rice mixed with red onion, garlic and spices in a small saucepan.

Add 1.25 cups of water and bring the rice to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Cook the rice about 14 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let is set for 5 minutes with the lid on before fluffing with a fork.

Step 2: Prepare and Broil the Poblanos

While the rice is cooking, start preparing the poblano peppers. Preheat the oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut around the stem of each pepper like you’d carve a pumpkin, then pull out the stem and shake the seeds free.

A hand holding a poblano pepper with the stem and seeds cut out from the top.

Cut the peppers from the top to end but not all the way in half. You just want to create a pocket. If there are more seeds, you can shake or scrape them out.

Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet.

6 sliced open poblano peppers on a baking tray lined with foil.

Broil the peppers for about 6-7 minutes then flip and broil another 6-7 minutes until they’re almost tender and blistering in spots.

Quick Tip: Be careful not to overcook them at this stage. You want them to a bit softened but not mushy or completely charred.

6 charred poblano peppers on a baking sheet.

Step 3: Prepare the Filling

Meanwhile, start preparing the filling. Heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat in a large skillet then add the beans, corn, salsa, chili powder and cumin and cook for about 3-5 minutes to heat through.

Beans, corn and salsa cooking in a skillet.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked rice and cilantro.

Rice, beans, corn and salsa mixed and cooking in a skillet.

Step 4: Stuff and Bake the Peppers

Reduce the oven to 425 F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, arrange them in a row in the baking dish and stuff each one with about 1/2 cup of the rice and bean filling.

Once you’ve added 1/2 cup per pepper, divide the remaining filling between each pepper until they’re fully stuffed.

Quick Tip: If you have extra filling, reserve for another use like a burrito filling or salad topper, or you can just serve alongside the cooked peppers.

6 stuffed poblano peppers in a glass baking dish.

Bake the peppers for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

6 stuffed poblano peppers topped with shredded cheese in a baking dish.

Step 5: Make the Avocado Crema (Optional)

If you’re making the avocado crema, blend it up while the peppers are baking, adding a little water as needed to reach the right consistency.

A creamy avocado sauce in a small blender container.

Step 6: Serve the Peppers

Divide the cooked peppers between places, drizzle with avocado sauce if made it or serve with toppings like guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Sprinkle with more cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if you like, and enjoy!

Close up of a vegetarian stuffed poblano pepper stuffed with a rice and bean mixture and topped with salsa and sour cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are vegetarian stuffed poblano peppers spicy?

Poblano peppers can vary in spiciness but are generally considered mild in heat. I don’t consider this recipe spicy but that may depend on your tolerance for heat.

The salsa used will also affect the spiciness of the recipe so be sure to use a mild salsa if you’re sensitive to heat.

Can I freeze stuffed poblano peppers?

Yes, you can freeze stuffed poblano peppers. Let them cool to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze up to 2 months.

Thaw frozen peppers in the fridge overnight then reheat in the oven at 350 F for 10-20 minutes until heated through.

Note that freezing will change the texture of the poblano peppers. They’ll still be safe to eat but they’re best enjoyed right away or reheated after 1-2 days stored in the fridge.

A rice and bean stuffed poblano pepper cut in half in a bowl.

Notes and Tips

  1. Roast before stuffing the peppers. Roasting the peppers beforehand softens them and helps to bring out their flavour. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the pre-roasting.
  2. If you’re planning on freezing the peppers, consider leaving the cheese off until you thaw and reheat them.
  3. Be sure to use a mild salsa if you’re sensitive to spice.
Overhead view of a stuffed poblano pepper topped with cheese and sour cream cut in half in a bowl.

How to Store & Reheat

  • Allow the stuffed poblanos to cool down before storing in an airtight container.
  • Leftover peppers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze, cool completely and store in a freezer-bag or airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
  • Leftover peppers can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
  • If using the oven, place the peppers in an oven-safe dish or on a bakings sheet and reheat for 10-15 minutes until they’re heated through. You
  • To microwave, place in a microwave-safe dish and reheat for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overhead view of a poblano peppers stuffed with a vegetarian rice and bean mixture and topped with salsa and sour cream. There are some lime wedges in the bowl and small spoonfuls of salsa and sour cream.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Hearty and satisfying vegan stuffed poblano peppers with a flavourful rice, bean and corn filling topped with cheese and baked to perfection.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6 peppers
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Deryn Macey

Ingredients

For the Rice

  • ¾ cup uncooked white rice
  • ½ red onion diced (105 g, ¾ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • salt

For the Peppers

  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 1 19 fl oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernals 150 g
  • 1 cup salsa 245 g
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • vegan cheese shredded

Avocado Crema (Optional)

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tbsp water for thinning

Instructions

  • Cook Rice: In a medium pot, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat.  When the pot is hot, add onion and garlic. Season with salt. Cook for 2-4 min, stirring occasionally, until almost tender.
  • Add cumin, smoked paprika and rice. Cook for 1 min, stirring often, until fragrant.
  • Add 1 ¼ cups water. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 12-14 min, until water is absorbed.  Let rice rest, off heat for 5 min. Season rice with salt, then fluff with a fork.
  • Prep & Broil Poblanos: Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut around the stem of each pepper like you would a pumpkin then pull out the stem and shake the seeds free. Cut from top to end, but don’t cut all the way in half. You just want to create a pocket.
  • Arrange poblanos on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 6-7 min, flip over, then broil for another 6-7 min, until almost tender and starting to blister. Avoid overcooking or completely charring them at this stage, you don’t want them to be mushy, just pre-cooked. 
  • Prepare Filling: Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add beans, corn, salsa, chili powder and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 min, stirring often, until warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • When rice is done, add to the pan with beans, along with cilantro. Stir to combine.
  • Assemble & Bake Peppers: Reduce oven temperature to 425 F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Once poblanos have cooled enough to handle, arrange the peppers in the baking dish. Leaving peppers as intact as you can, evenly stuff each pepper with rice and bean filling, about ½ cup scoop per pepper. Once you’ve added 1/2 cup per pepper, divide the remaining filling between each pepper until they’re stuffed or reserve any extra to serve alongside peppers or other use like burrito filling or salad topper. Sprinkle tops with cheese, if using.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 min, until the cheese melts and the tops are golden.
  • Make Avocado Crema (Optional): While peppers bake, make the crema.  Add avocado, lime juice,  cilantro and garlic to a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2-3 tbsp water, then blend until smooth.  Add more water, as necessary, until a smooth sauce is achieved. If not making avocado crema, prepare some salsa, guacamole or sour cream for serving.
  • Serve: Divide peppers between plates. Drizzle avocado crema over top.  Sprinkle with more cilantro, if desired.  Serve more salsa and lime wedges alongside. 

Video

Notes

Store leftover peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g