Do Poblano Peppers Need To Be Peeled?

Do Poblano Peppers Need To Be Peeled?
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Do Poblano Peppers Need To Be Peeled?

What are Poblano peppers?

Poblano peppers are a form of chili pepper that is mostly found in New Mexico.

When unripe, they’re dark green in color but a dark reddish-brown once ripe. When ripe and dried, they’re known as anchos. They’re sort of heart-shaped – wider at the stem and narrow.

What do they taste like?

Poblano peppers are similar to other peppers in many ways with their earthy, warm flavor. They are not very hot but are only mildly spicy.

A good substitute if you don’t have any Poblanos is bell peppers.

Do Poblano Peppers Need To Be Peeled?

The answer to this question is yes and no. If you are chopping these peppers to use them in a chili or stew type of dish, there is no need to peel them. However, as with bell peppers, the skin becomes papery and difficult to swallow when they are roasted.

The skin has very little nutritional value, so apart from perhaps losing a little bit of fiber by peeling them, it will really not make much difference. Conversely, the skin does not contain anything harmful and is edible as with any other pepper or chili.

Using Poblano Peppers

Before we wrap it all up, let’s discuss a number of ways you can use Poblanos. They have a spicy fruitiness that adds depth of flavor to many dishes. As with any other peppers, Poblanos can be eaten either raw or cooked.

do poblano peppers need to be peeled
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  1. Use them in a dressing. Roast the peppers, peel them, then puree them into a dressing with buttermilk, olive oil, spring onions, seasoning, garlic, and lime juice.
  2. Add them to guacamole. Roast and peel them first then finely chop the peppers. Mix into your avocado for a subtle spicy touch.
  3. Make a relish for fish or chicken by frying together olive oil, onion, garlic, and corn. Cool it to room temperature and stir in some mashed avocado, lime juice, and seasoning. Here it is best to peel the Poblanos to avoid the papery texture from spoiling the smoothness of the avocado.
  4. Make a spicy pesto to serve with pasta by blending grilled and peeled Poblanos with feta cheese, garlic, and cilantro.
  5. Poblanos are big enough to stuff so fill them with a ground meat mixture, a vegetable mix, or flavored couscous.
  6. Add them to cornbread for a delicious punchy flavor.
  7. Make them into a traditional Mexican cocktail called Poblano Escobar. They can also be added to a Margarita.
  8. Use them as a sauteed garnish for mild vegetable soups such as potato or zucchini.

How to peel poblano (or any other) peppers

It is a good idea to wear a pair of disposable gloves when working with peppers. Although Poblanos aren’t very spicy, some people find that they irritate their skin. Be careful not to rub your eyes.

If you have a gas hob, lay the peppers directly over the flame until the skin is nicely blackened and charred. Use a pair of kitchen tongs to turn them over and char the other side. If you don’t have a gas hob, put the peppers on a baking sheet and char them under the grill or over an open barbeque.

Once done, lay them on a clean cotton dishtowel and put everything into a plastic bag. Allow them to sweat for fifteen minutes or so.

You will now be able to peel the loosened skin off easily. Once peeled, cut the chilis in half and scrape out the seeds. Your peppers are now ready to use in a variety of delicious Mexican dishes!


Whether you peel your Poblanos is a matter of taste and preference. There is no health concern related to eating their skins.

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