Home » Cooking Tips » Poblano Chili Substitutes

Poblano Chili

Poblano Chili Substitutes

Whether you’re into Mexican food or not, you know what chili peppers are. Speaking of chili pepper, it’s no secret that poblano chili is a very versatile chili pepper mainly because of its mild spiciness and slightly earthy flavor. You may probably know or have heard about poblano pepper because it is loved and used by many professional chefs and food enthusiasts.

Poblano Chili

Poblano chili is a very popular pepper, but it isn’t always available for some unknown reasons, especially when you desperately need it. So I had to improvise to solve this problem, I came up with some adequate substitutes for poblano chili, and I’m going to share them with you. If you don’t know about this Mexican chili, you should also read this article to get aquatinted.

What is Poblano Chili?

The poblano pepper is a mild variety of chili pepper that originated from Puebla in Mexico. The young poblano peppers are green in color, and they have a close resemblance to pasilla pepper. Most stores in the United States get them mixed up. On the other hand, an older poblano pepper has dark red skin, hotter, and packs more flavor than the young green pepper.

The plant can grow up to 64cm vertically with several stems, and the fruit is about 7cm to 15cm long and 5cm to 8cm in width. It takes about 200 days to fully mature from when it was planted.

Poblano Chili Nutrition Facts

Poblano Chili

Uses of Poblano Chili in recipes

The poblano pepper is a versatile chili and can be used in Mexican cuisines and a wide range of dishes. It is particularly popular in the United States and can be in abundance in the American States close to Mexico.

This Mexican pepper gets its full glory during the Mexican Independence celebration. It is incorporated into a chiles en nogada, which specifically calls for green, white, and red ingredients that correspond to the national flag.

The poblano pepper is usually consumed when it is green in color, it can either be dried, used in sauces, coated in whipped egg, and fried or stuffed and because of its mild flavor, you can also eat it them whole.

Below are some dishes that make use of poblano pepper;

  • Turkey and roast poblano chili
  • Fire-roasted beef and poblano chili stovetop cooking
  • Poblano white chicken chili
  • Vegan poblano white bean chili
  • Rice stuffed poblano peppers
  • stuffed poblano peppers
  • Chicken stuffed poblano peppers
  • Poblano chili pepper soup
  • Roasted poblanos in cream sauce
  • Poblano and spinach posole
  • Quinoa, black bean, and corn stuffed poblano peppers
  • Pork and poblano green chili pot
  • Smoky poblano and quinoa chili
  • Slow cooker sausage and poblano chili
  • Poblano chili with avocado cream
  • Pork and poblano chili with tomatillos and chorizo

Substitutes for Poblano Chili

This Mexican chili is a staple in Mexican cuisines, and it has gradually won the hearts of many living outside Mexico. The mild flavor makes it ideal for a vast number of dishes. If you shy away from chilies, getting a bite of this Mexican green chili may make you consider giving chilies a chance.

But If you live in an area where you can’t easily get poblano chilies, you may find it difficult to prepare a dish that makes use of this incredible chili. Well, I’m here to help you out by giving you some suitable alternatives for poblano peppers. Some of this pepper may vary slightly in flavor, but they are sure to give you a wonderful result.

1. Green Bell Pepper

Green bell pepper

If you are looking for a mildly flavored pepper, green bell pepper should be your go-to pepper. It can replace poblano peppers in stuffing recipes. Unlike other bell peppers, the green bell pepper isn’t sweet, but it is sweeter than poblano pepper.

They share the same color, so if you need that green color associated with poblano, green bell peppers can seamlessly replace poblano peppers; they also have large cavities, making them good for stuffing. If you need bell peppers to be spicier, you can add some chili powder or any other spicy seasoning to them before or during preparation. Use the same measurements where the recipe calls for poblano chili but regulate the chili powder added.

2. Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim Peppers

The Anaheim Pepper is very popular in the city of Anaheim, it has a very mild flavor, and when cooked, they become slightly spicy and sweeter. So when you don’t have access to poblano pepper, but you have this guy around, you can easily make your dish with it. They have similar recipes too.

Anaheim Peppers Substitutes are great for stuffing because they have wide cavities and thick skin. You can slice them and stuff them with food. Because Anaheim Peppers change to a slightly spicy flavor when cooked, it is advisable to use a reduced quantity where the recipe calls for poblano chili.

3. Cuban Pepper 

Cuban Pepper

This pepper is also called the Cubanelle or Italian frying pepper. It has a long wrinkled appearance and lighter skin, so it isn’t ideal for stuffing, but if you want to add them to your sauce or other recipes, they can add a mildly sweet flavor to your meal. They are generally not as spicy as poblano pepper. Instead, they max out at 1,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, while poblano peppers go as far as 1,500 SHU.

Just like bell pepper, if you want a more kick, you can add some chili powder or any other spicy seasoning to your chopped Cubanelle. Use a 1:1 ratio

4. Jalapeño Pepper

Jalapeño Pepper

Jalapenos can also be a good replacement when you can’t get your hands on poblano pepper, although I don’t frequently use them because they are slightly hotter than poblanos ranging from 3,500 – 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

They are good for stuffing because of their reasonably wide cavities, but you may want to remove the seeds and veins, and pith before use. Use a reduced quantity when substituting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use ancho chile in place of poblano?

Ancho chile is dried poblano. It can replace chopped poblanos but note that dried peppers have a smokier and earthier taste than their fresh counterparts.

What is the difference between pasilla and poblano?

Dried poblano are often mistaken for dried pasilla because they share almost the same wrinkly features, but ancho chile is slightly hotter than pasilla pepper.

Is poblano pepper healthy?

Poblano peppers are rich in vitamin A as vitamin C, with dried poblano (ancho chile) having higher amounts of vitamin A and B2.


If you are trying to make a poblano-based dish but can get poblanos from any store around you, no need to panic because there are substitutes for the Mexican chili that are pretty easy to find in stores.