Pati Jinich how to prep poblano chiles


Poblano Peppers: How to Prep

Poblano peppers, or chiles, are rarely used in their raw form. While some ingredients are ready to jump in your mouth or in the pot, like an apple or a carrot, others have to go through a couple steps to bring out their finest qualities in flavor, color and texture. But those extra steps are so worth it! It can seem hard at first, but once you prepare them a couple of times the process becomes very simple.  Plus you can make more than you need and freeze them for up to 4 or 5 months. Here are the steps.

First, roast or char them
To do so, you can either place them on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on the open flame, which is what is typically done in Mexico. I prefer to broil them because you can do many more at one time, and it just seems faster and easier.

Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They must seem charred and blistered on the outside, but the flesh must be cooked though not burnt. Just like roasting marshmallows over a fire.

Second, make them sweat.
Once charred and hot place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes.

Third, peel and rinse.
Preferably under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin which should come right off.  Make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins.

If being used to stuff, keep them whole with the stem. If being used for rajas, take the stem off and make slices. I like them of about 1/2-inch wide.

If you want your poblanos to be fairly mild, once prepared, let them soak in warm water mixed with a tablespoon of brown sugar for 10 to 30 minutes, then drain.


78comments inPoblano Peppers: How to Prep

  1. Elizabeth

    Nov 13

    I made the Creamy Poblano Soup recipe a for my niece and she loved it. I used your directions for sweating them but when I first put them in the plastic bag they were so hot the bag melted. Can you use a sealable plastic dish instead?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 25

      Sure, you can go ahead and do that Elizabeth!

  2. Anonymous

    Sep 21

    Thank you much, do you have a recipe for poblano soup, I had a wonderful white cheddar poblano soup once have try to make it for years, just can’t get it right.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      I have this one, I hope you like it 😉

  3. Maine girl

    Nov 13

    Pati, it’s like you read my mind. Here in New England my mom never cooked hot peppers and I had no idea until I saw your show. Wanted to check my memory with internet recipe and that too was easy to find. Thanks, love the food you cook and your style.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 29

      Thanks to you! Un abrazo 🙂

  4. Kathy

    Nov 02

    Hello, I want to use the beautiful poblanos I found in the store today. I need to peel them, I know, but I thought there was another way of peeling them that did not involve charring them first. I think the microwave? Can you remind me?

    Thanks for bring Mexico to the US!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Hi Kathy, this is the way I do prep my poblanos, it is the traditional way and it keeps all the flavor 🙂

  5. Brian Owen

    Dec 27

    I made some Green Venison Chili with White Beans. I used your method for roasting the poblanos. It was so easy and it came out wonderful!!!! Thank you!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 27

      Sounds like a great chili, Brian!

    2. Hannah

      Dec 12

      Would you mind sharing the Green Venison chili recipe? We are intrigued! 🙂

  6. Brett

    Nov 03

    Poblano peppers are my go-to veggie in the kitchen. They add a Méxican flair to any dish. Just made congee with poblano peppers – it was great! Many Americans think that chili rellenos are always stuffed just with cheese … nope! Next time you make some, try shrimp, chicken, beef – so many things to do with a poblano!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 20

      So true…so many things to do with poblanos!

  7. Joseph

    Oct 07

    I love Poblanos ,I use them instead of that bell un ripe green pepper , so much more flavor so much more crunch ,,when at the market and I see someone buying the bell,,I say hi watcha cooking ,have you ever tried these and usually they say oh, their hot ,aren’t they ? thats when I explain just buy one ,and way way less $$$$$ ,and ya do not have to cook em ,,,ya eat the skin on a bell so what is the diff. ,,,,,,,one way I like them is roasted peeled stem left on stuffed with pulled pork and a melting cheese , then backed just to heat and melt cheese, plated in a pool of marinara sauce try it you will like it .Also great ion an omelet or frittata wit white onion sauce peppers and onion ,seasoning add beaten egg and let bottom set then flip or broil ,,

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 10

      They are great in so many recipes!

  8. David

    May 30

    Poblanos were on sale at the store last week. Of course I got more than I needed. So this week it is a mango, roasted poblano, ….. salsa over brined and grilled pork loins. A little creamy polenta with a dash of chipotles and adobo for the base. Fresh sweet corn in a myriad of colors is currently being harvested here in Florida. So why not roasted a few ears on the grill.
    Those extra roasted poblanos with crema and lime juice combined makes for a nice topping of the ears.

    Thank you for your inspirations and thank you for sharing your recipes with us all.


    1. Pati Jinich

      May 30

      That all sounds so good, David!

  9. Felicia

    Sep 08

    Pati, I always peel my poblanos after charring and sweating, but why do they need to be peeled?

    1. Pati

      Sep 11

      Oh it’s because of the texture, Felicia.

      1. Ken

        Feb 20

        I have noticed that the older Poblanos have a tougher skin that would need this process. The younger, smaller Poblanos are soft enough to use in a recipe where they will roast in the oven, such as pizza.

  10. Caroline

    Oct 16

    Where on the Pablano do you make the slit and how do I get out the seeds if preparing to stuff? I have tried and they fall apart with all the stuffing falling out.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Pati

      Nov 07

      You make the slit on one side of the chile (top to bottom). Then you can use a spoon or knife to scoop out the seeds and veins.

  11. Sharon Mamanao

    Mar 24

    Pati how do you store your peppers such as the jalapeno or poblano peppers.

    1. Pati

      Mar 27

      I keep them in the refrigerator, or if I will use them within a day or two, I keep them on the counter in a cool dark area.

  12. Sarah Eatmon

    Apr 27

    Hi patti..

    Im making a poblano nacho stuffed with chicken and cheese and a crispy corn tortilla.. Would you give me advice on how to have my pepper taste just right without it being too spicy and soggy? Thank u..

    1. Pati

      Apr 27

      Char the poblano! =)

    2. Saul

      Nov 14

      Hi Patti. Can I toast and peel the poblanos the night before finish the process the next day. Should I refrigerate them or keep them out in a cool, dry location?

      1. Pati Jinich

        Nov 25

        Of course you can do that, pat dry them and keep them in the fridge in a Ziploc bag or in an airtight container Saul 🙂

  13. Concerned Citizen

    Apr 23

    Hi Pati. Thanks for this post. I learned how to char and use chilies watching your program, but I’m no expert. Pinning it and looking forward to reading all of the comments and replys. Love the flavor of poblanos!

  14. Iz

    Mar 15

    Thank you for this post. I received poblanos as part of my CSA (community supported agriculture) and I had no idea how to prepare them. I tend to steer away from cooking chilis since I don’t like too much heat in my foods.Your tip about soaking them in brown sugar and water was just what I needed to keep the flavor mild. I quite like the taste now.

    1. Pati

      Mar 16

      I’m so glad!!!

  15. Jim henderson

    Feb 18

    Hi Pati,
    I read your article on roasting poblano chiles and need your advice. I’m trying to come up with a recipe for baked chile rellenos with the batter coating. I think I have the batter figured out using a masa recipe for pancakes. Any better suggestion for the batter?

    2nd, does it make a big difference if the chilrs are roasted 1st? If yes, does it hurt to leave the charrred skin on?

    1. Pati

      Mar 14

      Chiles have to be roasted, sweated, and peeled first. Then they are stuffed and they can be battered or not, but can be in either case, simmered in a tomato sauce (or other sauce) or just eaten without the batter.​

  16. Matt Carroll

    Nov 19

    Wow, anti-spellcheck was in full gear!

    To paraphrase: the plants grew huge, they were loaded with fruits, but the fruit never ripened past the shiny green stage.

  17. Matt Carroll

    Nov 19

    I have been using the dried ripe is poblanos – anchos – from the grocery to make powder so I grew two plants this season.

    The plants grew ignore this, they were loaded fruit, but none of them right and passed shiny green. So I tried some of them in the flavor was far too green peppery for me.

  18. Jeff Doty

    Nov 18

    Are grocery store ancho chiles or ancho powder made from drying green or red poblanos? I have very few that have made it to red, and would to dry the green ones, but don’t know if it will create the same thing as what you buy in the store. Thanks!

    1. Pati

      Nov 19

      Ancho chiles are poblanos that have been dried. All the poblanos are red/dark chocolate color. So to grind them, you have to dry the green poblanos, or buy the already dried anchos.

  19. Matt Carroll

    Oct 27

    Is it just me or are fresh Poblanos not really used for many recipes? Every recipe I’ve looked at that “sounds interesting” calls for dried/reconstituted Anchos, which I’ve read are fully-ripened (red) poblanos that have been dried.

    My fresh ones are large and great-looking, but all-green. None ever ripened to red in spite of being full-sized on the plant (which is huge!) for many weeks, so I assume at this late date that they will not turn red. Wondering what to do with all these Poblanos? Dry them green? Make a simple hot sauce? Something else? Help! 🙂

    1. Pati

      Oct 28

      When life gives you poblanos, make chiles rellenos! =)

  20. Sandy

    Sep 30

    Can poblanos be dried….. Is that what a chipotle is? If I dry them then how do I prepare them later on for use.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to ask a question on line!

    1. Pati

      Oct 04

      Yes! A fresh poblano that is dried is called an Ancho. And you can use it in a million different ways! More info here:

  21. Stacey Glenn Bradley

    Sep 12

    Googled “roasting poblanos” today. Glad I picked this answer! Tossed them on the grill, steamed, peeled and froze 🙂 So easy…which is nice because we’ve got a ton more on the vine 🙂 Thx so much.

    1. Pati

      Sep 13

      Con gusto!

  22. Sue Allison

    Jul 30

    Can poblanos be canned for future use in chiles rellano? If so, how? Thanks.

    1. Pati

      Aug 01

      I have refrigerated or frozen them very successfully. To can them they’d have to be immersed either in oil or pickling marinade…

  23. Michelle

    Jun 09

    Can you send me a good authentic cjile renos recipe? My son even though cajun–loves mexican food. Any help would be appreciated. Love the show!!

    1. Pati

      Jun 12

  24. Elise Alvarado

    Mar 18

    Love the show and yr opening song yr dishes on site videos love how yr family is on the show beautiful family nice how yr sister’s a Baker : ) L.C

    1. Pati

      Mar 19

      Thanks, Elise!

  25. Michele

    Feb 23

    Do you positively have to remove the seeds before stuffing and baking ? Just wondering…

    1. Pati

      Feb 23

      Hi Michele, The seeds in poblanos don’t add to the flavor (or have a nice flavor), like they do in jalapenos and serranos. My advice is to remove as many of the seeds as you can; if there are a few left in there, it’s ok.

  26. Scott O

    Dec 21

    Hi !

    I slice Poblano’s and simmer in Chili. I do not prepare the chili’s in anyway prior. I like the flavor added just from simmering.

    However, I was wondering if you think I should grill, sweat and/or peel them before simmering?

    1. Pati

      Dec 22

      Hola Scott, Thanks for your message! You’re free to prepare them however you enjoy them most. However, if you do try charring, sweating & peeling them, no need to simmer.

  27. Toni Roznowski

    Oct 08

    I am looking for the recipes of convent foods
    casserole had rice.corn, ??, and poblano peppers on top
    enjoy your program on Create TV

    1. Pati

      Oct 08

      Hola Toni, Thanks for watching! Here is the recipe:

  28. Donna Mae

    Aug 20

    Love your show Pati!
    I have a cayenne and tabasco pepper plants. They have lots of peppers on I would to make hot sauce like “red hot” brand. I am guessing I leave pepppers on till they turn red?? Please share thoughts, ideas and a recipe. Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. Pati

      Aug 22

      Hola Donna, Thank you so much for watching the show! Yes, harvest the peppers when they are red.

  29. Tori Thompson

    Jul 09

    I like to just BBQ my vegetables during the summer months. I prefer to roast them on the BBQ and then stuff them with other vegetables and cheese. I do this frequently with zucchini and would like to also do this with peppers (poblano/pasillo specifically). Do I need to roast and peel them first? This seems like cooking them twice to me. After seeding the peppers (just a slit down the top) can I not just put them on the BBQ along with the zucchini for 30 minutes, turn them over, add the stuffing and cook until the stuffing is good and hot? All over indirect heat.


    1. Pati

      Jul 11

      Hi Tori, You may skip the roasting and peeling, however I always recommend it because it brings out the finest flavor in the poblanos. Go for it either way! 🙂

  30. Pam

    Jul 06

    I forgot, on using a chore boy, don’t scrub, just pull in down towards the tip of the chili. Very fast and little mess when down over the sink with running water!

  31. Pam

    Jul 06

    A great way to rub off the blistered skin is use a dedicated copper chore boy scrubber. You can lightly rub and fast get the skin off. Give it a good blast of water to be sure there aren’t any bits of copper…it sometimes breaks off, but it is so bright you can see it and wash it away.
    If you’ve a camp stove that runs on the little propane tanks, take it outside and use it roast your peppers on an open flame. Fun and yummy!

    Love your show!

    1. Pati

      Jul 07

      Great to know, Pam!! Thank you for sharing!

  32. Liz

    Jul 05

    I had a bumper crop of poblanos last summer, and then a family emergency required I leave immeditaely. I popped the peppers into freezer bags and stuck them in the fridge. There they sit. Any recommendations for working with frozen but unprocessed peppers?

    1. Pati

      Jul 07

      Hola Liz, Thank you for writing to me. You may try thawing the poblanos completely, then gently pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible, and then roast, sweat & remove skin as usual.

  33. Barb

    Mar 30

    I’ve been preparing these wrong, for quite some time. I like the poblanos sliced in half, seeds removed, then I rub oil all over the pepper and stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Then I bake the peppers at 450 for 20 minutes. I don’t remove the skin, just eat them as is. Is the skin, after baking, bad for me?

    1. Pati

      Mar 30

      No, it is not bad for you at all.

  34. Charlie

    Sep 03

    Hi Pati,
    I love that you answer questions here on your blog!

    I have a bumper crop of tiburon and serrano peppers in my garden right now. My question: what kind of cheese do you recommend for Chiles Rellenos? Every recipe I find and each restaurant I visit seems to use a different cheese. I live in in St. Louis, Missouri, where there’s a big “little Mexico” (Cherokee Street) with dozens of groceries and restaurants, so I hope I can find some authentic cheese or a good substitute.

    1. Pati

      Sep 11

      Hi Charlie,
      Anything that melts and has a good flavor but not to overpowering goes. My favorites are Oaxaca, Mexican Manchego, Asadero. But if you don´t find those, you can use Mozzarella or Monterey Jack for example. Muenster works well too!

  35. PW

    May 07

    Hi Pati:

    What is the best way to cut or slit the poblano peppers when preparing them for chili rellenos? i’ve seen them cut at the top, on the side, what do you recommend?


    1. Pati

      May 07

      On the side, leave the stem on and try to remove the seeds without making another side cut…

  36. David and Clayton Sliwinski

    Dec 24

    Dear Pati,
    My son and I love you and your show. We are planning on planting a backyard full of peppers this spring with Poblanos as the star of the garden. We look forward to many tasty dishes based on your recipes.
    Thank you for teaching us the proper way to cook really tasty food that we can grow ourselves.
    Dave and Clayton

  37. Lulu at the Beach

    Oct 25

    Thanks! I’m replacing jalapeno peppers with poblanos for a milder taste on a dish (for my 4 & 7 years old), We tried your chilorio burritas and they were a hit! I have you now under “My Favorites” tab, I can’t wait to try other recipes!

  38. Kelly

    Jun 02

    Can the poblano be frozen whole or does it have to be sliced?

  39. Carol

    Sep 27

    Can the prepared poblanos be frozen for later use?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 30

      Hi Carol, Yes, poblanos can be frozen for later use. Just put them in a sealed ziploc bag and they can last for months in the freezer or a week in the refrigerator. 🙂

  40. Teresa Sears

    Aug 28

    Pin Amos beat Americano Green Peppers any day. Poblanos are easy to grow. It’s not hard to make them sweat! It’s just like your boss–make her sweat! Char them–peel them, sprinkle them with lime and use them.

    1. Mick

      Jul 05

      So…you make your boss sweat??..” Lol…..

  41. Daniel

    Mar 16

    Thank you very much for these instructions. We have been trying to figure out how to get the thin skin off the peppers for a while now. Can’t wait to try this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.