Skip To ContentSkip To Footer
Account icon

the sauce

Illustration

What Is a Poblano Pepper, and How Hot Are They?

Poblano pepper

What Is a Poblano Pepper, and How Hot Are They?

When you're grocery shopping for exciting new ingredients to spice up your meals, you might pick up poblano peppers. If you've never cooked with poblano peppers, you could be unsure whether they'd make a valuable addition to your favorite spicy dishes. 

Let's explore this versatile pepper to learn how hot it is compared to other peppers and see how you can enjoy it in your home cooking. It's easier than you think to make delicious home-cooked meals with exciting heat in every single bite.

What Is a Poblano Pepper?

Poblano peppers are reasonably mild Mexican chili peppers. Their name comes from where they were first grown –– the Mexican state of Puebla. 

The dried version of these peppers is called ancho chiles. In addition to dried poblanos, you can also find these heart-shaped peppers fresh.

If you want to identify these Mexican peppers in the produce section at the grocery store or farmer's market, they tend to be dark green with a length of approximately four inches. They can look similar to Anaheim peppers, so keep that in mind while you peruse the produce aisle at the supermarket.

If you eat Mexican cuisine often, the odds are that you may have had a poblano pepper before, unknowingly. These peppers tend to have a mild flavor, so they're an excellent inclusion for many Mexican cooking staples. 

Poblano peppers take a different form when they dry out. Poblanos become ancho chilis in their dried form, and many enjoy using them in Mexican dishes for their fruity flavor. You can enjoy poblanos raw, cooked, or dried for a variety of tastes. 

How Are Poblano Peppers Different From Jalapeños?

Although jalapeños and poblano peppers are both green, poblanos tend to be darker and larger in size than jalapeños. Additionally, poblanos have a milder heat level than jalapeños. 

Another way these peppers differ is in taste. Poblanos maintain an earthy and somewhat smoky essence, while jalapeños have a bit of a grassy, bright flavor. Although they look similar, they differ significantly in taste, so you may wish to avoid substituting these peppers in your recipes.

Are Poblano Peppers Hot?

How can you know for sure which peppers are spicier than others? A standardized scale was developed in the 1970s to solve this problem. It's known as the Scoville Scale, and it's the common standard for comprehending how hot peppers, seasonings, and spicy foods truly are. 

On the Scoville Heat Scale, poblano peppers rank near the bottom, despite the fact that they have a somewhat smoky flavor. They may have a light kick at 1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs,) but they're nowhere near the spice level of some chart-topping peppers, which can rank over 1,000,000 SHUs. 

Because they have an approachable flavor and mild heat, poblano chiles are an excellent candidate for many of your favorite dishes, dips, and mole sauces. 

What Makes Poblano Peppers Hot?

When you take a bite of spicy food, the chemical compound that causes your mouth to feel hot is called capsaicin. This component binds to what's called a VR1 receptor, and it essentially triggers your body into thinking it's in danger, which is why you interpret the taste of these foods as spicy. 

The reason this receptor exists in your mouth is not to detect spiciness. Its primary function is to help you sense heat in your food to keep you from eating something with a scalding temperature. When you sense spiciness as you eat, this receptor misinterprets this flavor as danger, producing the spicy sensation you feel., but it produces the spicy sensation that many enjoy in their foods. 

Can You Eat Poblano Peppers Every Day?

Since poblano peppers are mild, there's no reason why you couldn't eat them every day. You can use poblano peppers in many different dishes, making them a terrific grocery staple. 

Poblanos also contain vitamins A and C, making them a great source of nutrients. They also contain carotenoids, which can enhance your immune system's activity. There's a lot to love about this pepper.

9 Poblano Pepper Recipes To Try

Do you want to start experimenting with poblanos and other peppers? If you want to expand your cooking skills, starting with a few easy meal ideas can help. Here are nine meal ideas that include poblano peppers and other tasty peppers for a light zing. 

1. Stuffed Poblanos (Chiles Rellenos)

Stuffed peppers are one of the easiest side dishes or appetizers you can make for your family or dinner guests. This dish includes poblano peppers sliced in half and scooped out filled with salsa, sour cream, cheese, and sometimes beef. Roast these stuffed peppers in your oven for a savory, filling, and easy dish.

2. Chicken Enchiladas With Peppers

Chicken enchiladas are another crowd-favorite dish that will please your household at mealtimes. If you're cooking for one, enchiladas are a fantastic meal-prep option that can take care of your dinners for a few days.

Include vegetables with chicken inside each corn tortilla. Don't forget to add poblano peppers for a more garden-fresh flavor and a hint of heat.

3. Spicy Quesadillas

Need a meal that will satisfy your cravings in a hurry? Quesadillas are delicious, and they're one of the easiest dishes to prepare for lunch or dinner. 

Add whatever shredded cheese your heart desires to your flour tortillas. Add poblano peppers before combining the two tortillas and melting your quesadilla to perfection. For an extra spicy finish, don't forget a side of Truff Original Hot Sauce

4. Roasted Poblano and Mango Salsa

Want to try your hand at making homemade salsa? For a tasty poblano mango salsa, add diced poblano peppers, diced mango, cilantro, lime, and tomatoes to a food processor. Prepare a side of chips for a combination that beats your local restaurant.

5. Soft Tacos With Poblano Peppers

If you prepare meals for your family, one way to make dinners easier on yourself is to set up a soft taco station. Set out your beef, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, and cooked poblano peppers so your household can make soft tacos with their favorite ingredients inside. 

6. White Chicken Chili

Warm chili is the perfect complement to cool autumn or winter weather. For your vegetable selection, poblano peppers, onion, and garlic are all you need to prepare this dish. Cook shredded chicken in chicken stock, then add white beans, corn, and vegetables to the mix for an easy chili. 

7. Spicy Mexican Casserole

Some days call for a warm casserole reminiscent of the cuisine of Mexico. Fresh poblano peppers, pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and chicken breast are excellent ingredients for your next Mexican casserole. Add a kick of TRUFF White Hot Sauce for even more heat. 

8. Bacon Poblano Nachos

If you're having guests over for a party, nachos are one of the quickest side dishes you can make. Shredded cheese, poblano peppers, and ground beef make each bite flavorful, melty, and satisfying with a kick. 

9. Bell Pepper Beef Chili

If you have green bell peppers in your garden or on your grocery list, bell pepper beef chili is an easy way to use them — and to incorporate poblanos as well. Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, beans, and both peppers make a delightful warm chili for an easy dinner.

3 Must-Have Spicy Ingredients for Your Kitchen

Do you want to incorporate more spice into your meals? Check out these spicy kitchen staples if you and your household can't get enough heat.

1. Red Chili Flakes

Another ingredient to keep nearby is red chile pepper flakes. These flakes make an excellent topping for pizza, pasta, and stir-fry. This is a terrific ingredient to keep stocked in your kitchen to enhance milder meals. 

2. Luxury Hot Sauce

If you love spicy foods, having high-quality hot sauce with excellent ingredients is a must. Our TRUFF Hot Sauce Variety Pack can upgrade your meals with tantalizing flavor. Choose your preferred level of heat and your preference of black truffles or white truffles for a luxury hot sauce unlike anything you've tasted before.

3. TRUFF Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce

Perhaps you don't picture pasta when you think of spicy foods, but that's about to change. Our TRUFF Black Truffle Arrabbiata Sauce is a spicy truffle-infused red sauce you can include in your Italian recipes for added heat. Swap this pasta sauce for your typical tomato sauce, and even the most predictable dishes will fascinate you with a luxurious blend of flavor and spice.

Never Run Out of Hot Sauce Again

Do you often empty your hot sauce and pasta sauce containers faster than you'd expect? If you love condiments or have a large household, keeping your favorite ingredients stocked can be challenging. 

TRUFF makes it easy to keep your favorite luxury hot sauces, mayonnaise, pasta sauce, and truffle oil stocked so you never run out. When you subscribe for recurring deliveries, you'll save, too. You can keep the flavor coming with a TRUFF subscription that makes your grocery lists more manageable.

Make Spicy Meals Easier 

Using poblanos and other peppers is an excellent way to diversify your meals and include a bit of mild spice. They're an easy option when you want to choose a pepper everyone will love. When you want even more spice in your meals, choosing TRUFF sauces is the way to go. 

Sources:

Hot Peppers and Specialty Sweet Peppers | University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Hot Stuffed Peppers | Oklahoma State University

Pepper Collections for 2022 | UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa

SHARE

Truff Logo

© 2023 TRUFF

Social

Twitter logo

© 2023 TRUFF

Stay Updated

Subscribe for weekly recipes, updates, and more.

Shop

Gifts

Company

FAQS

© 2023 TRUFF