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5 from 2 votes

Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Use your leftover turkey (or chicken) in these Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Turkey and brown rice are smothered in a homemade red enchilada sauce and topped with melty cheese.
Servings 4
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins


Red Enchilada Sauce (from Mexican Food Journal, Douglas Cullen)

  • 8 ancho chilies
  • 4 pasilla chilies
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 2 tomatoes halved
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 2 whole chilies in adobo sauce optional
  • 2 tablespoons reserved chilies in adobo sauce optional
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste between 1 to 3 teaspoons fine sea salt

Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey or chicken
  • 1 cup California Brown Basmati Rice* uncooked
  • 3 whole pickled jalapeños diced
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced moisture mozzarella cheese


Red Enchilada Sauce

  • Microwave chilies for 20 seconds and remove stems and seeds. Or heat them in a skillet on medium heat until pliable.
  • Heat a small frying pan on high heat. When it's hot, add the onion, tomatoes, and garlic and char, turning occasionally to get all the sides. 
  • Place the chilies, onion, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and marjoram in a medium saucepan and fill with water until everything is slightly covered.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, letting it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Pour everything into a blender. If you want a little more spice, add the whole chilies in adobo + sauce. Blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Once it's hot, pour the enchilada sauce into the hot pan (this can be a little scary and it splatter pretty bad).
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add salt to taste.

Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Poblano Peppers

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook rice according to package instructions OR see the Recipe Notes for a very quick version of Mexican Rice (it helps add more flavor).
  • Make lengthwise slits in the poblano peppers and carefully remove the pith and seeds, being careful not to rip the peppers.
  • Mix shredded turkey, rice, pickled jalapeños, and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.
  • Spread a 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of oven proof skillet.
  • Stuff each poblano pepper with the turkey mix and place them in the baking dish. Pour a 1/2 to 1 cup red enchilada sauce over everything.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Let the stuffed peppers cool for 5 minutes and then serve with a sprinkle of cotija cheese, cilantro, chives, and sour cream (or plain greek yogurt) if desired.


*Quick Mexican Rice:
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 chilies in adobo + 2 tablespoons sauce
  • Combine broth and chilies in adobo + sauce in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a saucepan with the rice and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.
The majority of the enchilada sauce recipe comes from this Red Enchilada Sauce recipe from Mexican Food Journal. I've experimented a lot with it though and it is very adaptable to what you have in your kitchen. I've used shallots in place of onions, different mixes of tomatoes, different amounts of each ingredient, etc., and it comes out great every time.
Make the enchilada sauce on a separate day to decrease the cooking time. That will make the stuffed peppers extremely fast and easy to make.
The recipe for the enchilada sauce makes a lot (6 cups) so you can freeze it in a mason jar to save for another time.
Because of the way the chilies are dried, the sauce can sometimes be very bitter. If this happens, add salt until the bitterness decreases to acceptable levels. 
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Main Dishes