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The chile poblano (or poblano pepper) is one of the most utilized chiles in Mexican cooking. Learn everything you need to know about poblano chiles, including how to roast, peel, and deseed them in this detailed guide.

Poblano Peppers on the Counter
Discover more about poblano chiles

📖 What are poblano peppers?

Poblano peppers are Mexican chiles that come from the state of Puebla where they were first grown — hence their name.

Hard to miss, chiles poblanos are dark green and about 4 inches long. They look similar to Anaheim chiles and green bell peppers.

You can find poblano chiles in many Mexican dishes as they provide a lot of flavor with a relatively mild heat. Poblano peppers are often roasted and cut into strips (rajas) to be used in recipes like rajas con crema.

Note: watch the video of this post for more information on roasting poblanos.

When poblano peppers are dried (in the sun or a dehydrator), they transform into ancho chiles. The dried version of poblanos can also be used in a wide array of Mexican dishes, providing a unique set of flavors.

🍴 Flavor profile

Poblano peppers have a garden-fresh flavor, similar to green bell peppers. The difference lies in the kick of heat chiles poblanos provide.

When poblano peppers are cooked (roasted in most cases), they take on a sweet, fruity flavor with hints of smokiness.

Chiles poblanos add a beautiful color and flavor to sauces (like espagueti verde), they make the perfect vessel for stuffing (chiles rellenos), and much more.

🔥 Spice level

The chile poblano is not considered very spicy, but the heat level from pepper to pepper can vary significantly. These chiles register in at about 1000-2000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

This is mild compared to jalapeños, which are approximately 2.5-5x hotter on the Scoville Scale.

Scoville Scale
Poblano chiles are between Anaheim and jalapeño peppers

🍎 Health facts

Poblano chiles don’t just bring flavor to recipes, they contain many health benefits too!

Containing significant amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A, these green chiles contribute to both eye and skin health.

Not only that, but the chile poblano also helps fight pain and inflammation (thanks to the capsaicin it contains).

Roasted Poblano Pepper

How to Roast Poblano Peppers

Mitch and Justine
Learn how to roast, peel, and seed poblano peppers using three different techniques in this step-by-step recipe.
5 from 42 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Cooking Tip, How-to
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican, Vegan
Servings 4 poblano peppers
Calories 10 kcal


  • Knife & cutting board
  • Ziploc bag
  • Baking sheet
  • Tongs


  • 4 poblano peppers ($0.48)


Pan Roast

  • Heat a cast-iron griddle or comal over high. Pan-roast the whole poblano peppers until all sides are blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes. Make sure to rotate the peppers throughout cooking.


  • Turn your oven onto broil and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the whole poblano peppers out evenly and broil for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Flame Roast

  • Turn a gas stove burner onto high. Using tongs, roast the whole poblano peppers directly over the flame, turning throughout, until all sides are blackened, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Steam & peel

  • Once they are roasted, transfer the poblanos to a Ziplock bag or bowl with plastic wrap over top to help loosen the skins. Let them steam for 5-10 minutes, then peel the skins off.
  • Open the peppers up and remove the seeds and veins, then slice them into thin strips or use them as-is for sauces, etc. Wash your hands well after handling them or wear gloves.



  • Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
  • All prices are in USD.


Serving: 1poblano | Calories: 10kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.3g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1.5mg | Potassium: 87.5mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 1.2g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 40.2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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🍽 Poblano peppers dishes

Poblano peppers are utilized in many different styles of dishes. They are perfect for roasting, boiling, stuffing, sautéeing, or simply eating fresh! Some of our favorite poblano pepper recipes are:

Roasted Poblano Pepper on the Counter
Try roasting your poblano peppers for a unique flavor

🌡️ Storage

Store fresh poblano chiles in the fridge for up to 6-7 days in the crisper drawer. If they are roasted and peeled, they will last you up to 2-3 days in an airtight container.

You can freeze fresh or roasted poblano chiles for up to 6-12 months in a freezer-safe container or bag.

💰 Buying guide

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, finding the best poblano peppers is a crucial step in the cooking process. These tips will give you some ideas of what to watch out for.

What to look for

Choose poblano peppers that are shiny, firm, and have a uniform color. They should feel heavy and dense for their size.

Avoid any wrinkled, bruised, discolored, or flaccid peppers.

Where to buy

You can find poblano peppers in most grocery stores in the fresh produce section.

Open Poblano Peppers on a Counter
Poblano chiles should be dark green and smooth

♻️ Substitutions

If you have trouble finding the chile poblano, there are two noteworthy substitutions:

  1. Anaheim peppers. Although spicier and not as earthy in flavor, Anaheim peppers are still the best replacement for poblanos.
  2. Green bell pepper. With more garden-fresh (though less complex) flavors, a green bell pepper is a suitable substitute for the chile poblano. We would recommend pairing half a jalapeño with one bell pepper to achieve a similar spice level.

🌶 More Mexican chiles

If you’re interested in learning about more popular chiles used in Mexican cooking, check out our other detailed guides:


Are poblano peppers spicy?

As we mentioned, poblano peppers are considered a mild chile. However, some poblano peppers can be surprisingly spicy so watch out!

Do I have to peel poblano peppers?

If you are eating poblano peppers fresh, you don’t need to peel the skin (although it is fairly tough). Much like roasted red peppers, roasted poblano peppers have papery, unappetizing skins so it’s best to remove them.

Are red poblano peppers safe to eat?

When poblano peppers are left to ripen longer, they turn red. They are safe to eat and will develop a sweeter flavor. You’re unlikely to find red ones at a grocery store, but you can if you’re growing them yourself.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I live in New Mexico and use poblanos more often than green bell peppers. Occasionally, I get a poblano that is hotter, like a jalapeno. That’s fine but when you grab a piece when chopping to munch on, not expecting any heat, it’s like “Wow, now that was a hot one!” But I love using them in place of bell peppers. They are great roasted and due to the low humidity here, they dry easily on my counter and are known as ancho chiles. Poblanos as a whole are mild. I love really hot peppers like habaneros, Thai chiles, and hotter than those (Scotch Bonnets, Carolina Reapers, Bhut Jolokias). But when you cook for people who think your potato salad was a bit too spicy and you only added half a jalapeno…well, you get my drift. Back to the kitchen to finish cooking!

  2. Making chili. should I roast them before I cook them with the chili or add them raw? Looking for a bit of spice.

  3. This site truly has all the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  4. I have a poblano pepper that I left in refrigerator too long and it is wrinkled and soft. Can I still use it? How?

  5. 5 stars
    I have never cooked anything with poblano peppers. Your recipe has inspired me! Thank you so much!

  6. Yay! It’s my first time to roast Poblano Peppers!:) Can’t wait to taste its sweet, fruity flavor and smokiness.:)

  7. 5 stars
    I didn’t know l had to roast and peel the Plano pepper. I have stuffed them and baked them and they were good. Enjoyed reading your article. Thanks 😊