Stuffed Poblanos Casserole

Healing Tomato
by Healing Tomato
4 People
2 hr 15 min

Easy stuffed poblanos casserole made with Lentil and orzo is the best vegan comfort food recipe for the whole family. It’s as easy as putting all the ingredients into a casserole dish and let the oven do the hard work.

This post was originally posted on April 20, 2015. Get Version 1 information here.

I have stuffed tomatoes, bell peppers and even mushrooms!

Today, I am stuffing poblanos and it’s a very zen experience!

Go ahead, try it today and you know what I mean!

Overhead view of a grey casserole dish on a white cloth. The casserole dish has melted cheese visible

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Tips for making this casserole

  • In the beginning, when the water starts to bubble while casserole dish in the oven, some of it will drip out. Place baking trays or anything that will collect these drippings from the casserole dish while it’s in the oven. Otherwise, you may have a huge mess in the oven.

  • Don’t add the poblanos to the casserole until the last moment. Food at the bottom of the dish will cook faster, so, I put the harder to cook items at the bottom. Lentils and orzo need more time to cook.
Top, closeup view of a light grey casserole dish with melted pepper jack cheese over the stuffed poblanos
  • Use fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes because they will add more flavor to the poblano casserole. If you don’t have fire roasted tomatoes, use red enchilada sauce.

  • Keep the casserole dish covered while in the oven. It will cook the casserole evenly.

  • Feel free to use a dutch oven instead of a casserole dish.

  • This recipe tastes great without cheese (vegan or vegetarian). But, if you prefer to have cheese, I tested both vegan and vegetarian cheeses. See my recommendation below.
Top view of stuffed poblanos out of the oven in a grey casserole dish before being topped with cheese
  • Refrigerate the whole casserole dish with the ingredients still in it. When you are ready to eat, heat the casserole dish in the oven before serving.
  • I went with minimal ingredients for this casserole, but, you can add even more healthy ingredients like broccoli, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and so much more.

Choosing the right poblano pepper
Closeup view of the perfect poblano for stuffing
  • Choose a long, slender poblano. Avoid the curved poblanos when stuffing them
  • Make sure the outer skin is dark green, especially at the bottom tip of the pepper
  • Look for firm poblanos. If they are mushy or soft at the top, don’t use them in this stuffing recipe
  • After you have the perfect poblano, Be sure to wash the poblanos thoroughly from the outside. Don’t be afraid to use a veggie brush to get in between the groves

How to cut poblanos
Collage of the steps involved in cutting poblanos
  1. Start by cutting about ¼″ of the top of the poblano. Don’t worry about being precise because the top is not going to be wasted
  2. Discard the stem and chop the tops into small pieces and set aside
  3. Use a pairing knife and cut it lengthwise. Try to make to equally shaped halves of the poblano.
  4. Lay down the halves on a flat surface
  5. De-seed and remove any spines, etc from the poblano halves. It should be as clean as possible from the inside to hold the maximum amount of stuffings.
  6. Do the same for one more poblano. I used 2 poblanos, cut into 4 equal parts for my stuffed poblano recipe. If you have a bigger casserole dish, add more.

Vegetarian version
Top, closeup view of a light grey casserole dish with melted pepper jack cheese over the stuffed poblanos

You have followed my blog for a while, so, you know that I love LOVE cheese. The hardest thing about going vegan, for me, has been to give up cheese.

Occasionally, I will eat grass-fed cheese because I can’t give it completely.

In my old recipe, I used Cacique cheese. It is awesome because it gives this recipe a salty flavor that is simply irresistible.

However, I couldn’t find any grass-fed cheese, so, I experimented with pepper jack cheese which happens to be my favorite. The cheese was PERFeCT for this stuffed poblanos. Look at that stretchy cheese melt!!

Closeup view of melted cheese being pulled over the casserole dish

I used Organic Valley’s Pepper Jack cheese block. I shred it right when I am ready to top it on the poblano casserole and not a minute before. Also, I store the cheese in the dairy drawer of the fridge.

You can also substitute with heavy cream or whipped cream instead of using coconut milk. Coconut milk is a very vegan ingredient, but, if you are going vegetarian, then cream is the way to go.

If you want more information on what is vegan and vegetarian, go to my vegan ingredients guide.

Vegan version
Top view of a grey casserole dish with melted vegan cheese on top of the meal. A wooden spoon is placed in the casserole dish

I never recommend any vegan cheeses ever on my blog. I have tried them all and none of them stand up. There are so many cheeses that claim to be “stretchy” and “melt” like the real thing.

No, they don’t! 🙁

For this recipe, I tried a few vegan mozzarella cheeses and NONE of them worked. I can’t tell you how sad it makes me. If you have a favorite melted cheese that you are happy with, use that in this recipe.

The cheese that I ended up using is not good enough, but, it will do for now. This cheese is called “Just Like Mozzarella Shreds” by Violife Foods. The one good thing about it is that it has 30% RDA of vitamin B12

What vegan cheese do you like?

How to make this casserole
collage of the processes needed to make the stuffed poblanos

Before you start the process, set your oven to heat to 350°. Also, I used a 10.5″ square baking tray for this casserole.

  1. Lightly spray the inside of the baking tray first.
  2. Start by adding 1 can (15oz) of fire-roasted tomatoes and 1 cup of diced red onions
  3. Add ¾ cup of lentils and ¾ cup of orzo
  4. Add 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning, 1 Tbsp of dried oregano, 1.5 Tbsp of salt.
  5. Add 3 cloves of garlic (I grated the garlic), chopped poblano tops and 1 Tbsp of lemon pepper
  6. Add 5 cups of water, ¼ cup coconut milk and mix well
  7. Gently slide the halved poblanos into the mixture
  8. Tightly seal the top of the casserole dish and place in the oven for 2 hours at 350°
  9. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and gently remove the foil. Do not discard the foil just yet. If using cheese, add it now, cover with the foil again and place it in the oven until cheese has melted (about 10 min for pepper jack cheese)

Remove from the oven and serve after cooling it for a few minutes.

Version 1 of this recipe

This recipe was originally published on April 20, 2015 at 4:29pm.

Sweet and Spicy Stuffed Poblanos with Cacique Cheese

From time to time, I will go through old recipes to update the content. Sometimes, I update just the images and sometimes, I give the recipe a complete makeover

This time, I updated the whole recipe and its images. I wanted to keep the original recipe, but, every ingredient centered around Cacique cheese. So, I experimented with other ingredients and got an amazing new version.

You can try both versions because they both taste good. If you want to try out the old, click here

Looking for the perfect Mexican side dish to go with your Stuffed Poblanos Casserole? Try this Mexican Bean Dip recipe, sauteed veggie tops or this delectable Mexican Street Corn recipe!

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Stuffed Poblanos Casserole
Recipe details
  • 4  People
  • Prep time: 5 minutes Minutes Cook time: 130 Minutes Total time: 2 hr 15 min
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  • cooking spray
  • 2 poblanos
  • 15 oz fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt or to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lemon pepper
  • 5 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cup vegan cheese vegan or vegetarian
For garnish
  • salsa verde
  • cilantro

Before you start the process, set your oven to heat to 350°. Also, I used a 10.5" square baking tray for this casserole.
Cut the tops of two poblano and cut the poblano into half. Remove the seeds and any spines. The tops can be chopped up and added to the casserole
Lightly spray the inside of the baking tray first.
Start by adding 1 can (15oz) of fire roasted tomatoes
Throw in 1 cup of diced red onions
Add ¾ cup of lentils and ¾ cup of orzo
Add 1 Tbsp of taco seasoning and 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
Add 1.5 Tbsp of salt.
Add 3 cloves of garlic (I grated the garlic)
Add the chopped poblano tops
Add 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
Add 5 cups of water
Mix well
Gently drop in the halved poblanos
Top with a foil. Make sure you seal it tightly. The rising heat from the inside of the casserole dish will loosen it up a little.
Place in the oven for 2 hours at 350°
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and gently remove the foil. Do not discard the foil just yet
Add ¼ cup of coconut milk and drizzle 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Serve this way or top with cheese
If using cheese, add it now and cover with the foil again.
Place it back in the oven and cook for 15 min or until the cheese has melted completely and crusted slightly
Remove from the oven and serve after cooling it for a few minutes.
  • The above calorie information is approximate and is made without factoring in cheese.
  • If you use vegetarian pepper jack cheese, calories will be: 525 calories
  • If you use vegan mozzarella cheese, calories will be: 494 calories
Healing Tomato
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