Poblano Roast

Chile peppers are an integral part of Mexican and Southwestern cuisines, and it’s good to get to know them – especially the ones that are readily available to you.

One of the most well-known and available chiles is jalapeños, which are pretty hot, and tend to scare people. It’s okay if you never want to try them, although that would be a shame.

Poblano peppers, on the other hand, are mild, which makes them much more versatile. This is especially the case for those who don’t like things too spicy-hot, but want to experiment with Mexican and Southwestern cuisines.

The fresh poblano is dark green and long, about 5″ long on average. Dried poblanos are called ancho chiles, which you might have used before to make an ancho chile paste or sauce. Ground ancho chile powder is also available at spice markets.


Chile pepper nomenclature is really involved and confusing. That’s why it’s good to become familiar with the fresh, dried, and smoked varieties of chile peppers that you can readily purchase locally. Those are the ones you’ll probably be using the most. This is my favorite chile pepper reference:


Traditionally, you roast fresh chile peppers, like poblanos, before cooking with them. This process helps remove the thick peel, plus, the roasting adds flavor. After roasting, it’s just a matter of removing the peel, chopping the chiles, and you’re all done. The resulting green chiles are very similar to what you’d find canned, but they are so much better. It’s really worth the time having a poblano roast. And, it makes the house smell good!

First, purchase fresh poblanos that are nice and shiny and firm. Remove any dust or debris on the peppers.

To roast, place 2 or 3 peppers on a gas burner* and turn it on to the highest setting. Don’t overcrowd.

Let them roast; you’ll hear the popping and sizzling. Move them using long tongs. This is hot work.

Let them roast on all sides; they will become black and charred. The charring affects the chile peppers in a good way!

When they are completely roasted, place the peppers in a paper bag. Seal the bag, and set it aside for the peppers to steam-cook. This action loosens the peels. This should take about 20 minutes.

After the chile peppers have cooled, remove the stem end, slice each lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds. Then gently rub the outside using your hands or paper towels to remove the peels. It’s sort of like peeling a roasted beet, if you’ve done that.

There might be some little bits of char remaining, but that’s ok. That is what adds flavor. Whatever you do, don’t put the peppers under running water to help with peel removal. You will lose the precious, flavorful and pungent chile pepper oil.

And here are your lovely roasted poblano peppers. The can be added whole to puréed soups or sauces, or chop or julienne the chile peppers to use in tacos or stews. Each poblano pepper yields about 1/4 cup of chopped chiles.

I added these chopped poblanos to a vegetable medley with a Southwestern slant. So many options.

If you don’t want to roast poblanos, you can chop them up and sauté them, just like you would green peppers and onions. But roasting results in a far superior product!

* Alternatively, if you don’t have a gas stove, use a high setting on your oven like a 450 degree roast setting, or the broiler.

By Published On: March 20th, 201425 Comments on Poblano Roast

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. {Main St. Cuisine} March 20, 2014 at 8:29 AM - Reply

    Nothing better than roasting one’s own chiles and I must admit that I love them all! Do you can any that you roast at home or do you tend to use them right away in your cooking?

    • chef mimi March 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM - Reply

      I definitely do only 3 – 6 at a time, and then use them right away. I’ve honestly never thought about canning them. But that would be a lot of work!!!

  2. myhomefoodthatsamore March 20, 2014 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    Ah Chef Mimi … I love your enthusiasm for food …. mine has been waning a little of late. You know so much about so many cuisines …!

  3. lapetitepaniere March 20, 2014 at 8:49 AM - Reply

    Chef Mimi, I love the recipe :) I do exactly the same thing, I add olive oil on the top and I dip with a piece of homemade bread, it’s simply succulent :)

  4. davesmall1 March 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM - Reply

    I used to use a burner the same way but found it time consuming and frustrating to stand there and rotate until fully blackened, doing just one pepper at a time.

    Now I have a much easier, quicker, and all around better method.

    Cut the chiles in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, veins, and stem. Force each half chile to lay as flat as you can. It’s OK if you fracture parts of the chile halves as you force them to lay flat. Place on a cookie sheet skin side up. Put them about four inches under the broiler in your oven. After five minutes rotate the cookie sheet. After about 10 minutes they should be well blackened (time will vary from oven to oven). Put them in a plastic bag to cool and loosen the skin. Then proceed as per the instructions in the above article.

  5. ladyredspecs March 20, 2014 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    I’m going to try Amazon for a copy of that book, but could I make a post request, a list of the chilli peppers you use, perhaps with a photo, how you use them and their heat rating. Until very recently all we have had available here was the Thai birds eye chillis and a common red and green medium heat variety that might be Indian or Italian in origin and of course sweet chillis. I would really like to learn more!

    • chef mimi March 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM - Reply

      My blog isn’t very encyclopedic by nature, but I’m sure I can find something for you online and send you a link. The heat index is called a Scolville rating (sp?), I think. If not, my books probably has something. I’ll look into it!

      • ladyredspecs March 22, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Thanks Mimi. For all the amazing cultural influences on the food in Melbourne there is quite a gap when it comes to the Americas

      • chef mimi March 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        I found a very interesting website, that actually includes hot sauces. but if I did it right, here’s the link to the scoville ratings for chile peppers.

      • ladyredspecs March 23, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Thanks Mimi, that’s a great site, incredibly useful. I just have to get my head around the name changes after the peppers are smoked/dried/roasted.

  6. Johnny Hepburn March 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM - Reply

    That’s how I used to do my green peppers (capsicum/bell peppers) when I had a gas stove. On electric, as in grill, it’s not quite as good. Still far better than just pan-frying them.

    • chef mimi March 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM - Reply

      Absolutely. You’re so right about that!

  7. flippenblog March 21, 2014 at 12:09 AM - Reply

    I so wish I had a gas cooker!

  8. anotherfoodieblogger March 21, 2014 at 12:44 AM - Reply

    I just adore charred/roasted poblano peppers! Another alternative would be to use your outdoor grill, come warmer weather. But then again, we’ve been known to grill in the snow, lol. I do hope you have an upcoming recipe with these lovely roasted poblanos. :)

    • chef mimi March 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM - Reply

      I’m not a diehard griller, but my girlfriend is, so I know the type!!!

  9. tableofcolors March 21, 2014 at 4:07 AM - Reply

    This is something that I must still try…roasting peppers…or eggplant. We fortunately have a gas burner (which is rather uncommon in Finland). Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. StefanGourmet March 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM - Reply

    Bell peppers can be prepared in the exact same way. I can get different varieties of fresh chile peppers around here, but no poblano or anaheim. Ours are a lot smalller, like jalapeños but thinner.

    • chef mimi March 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM - Reply

      I personally don’t think you need to have the whole arsenal of chile peppers available to you to be creative and come up with great tasting dishes. I wish I could try them all out, but I know I never will. I think the Italian pepper is pretty similar to our Banana pepper, which is similar to the Anaheim and Poblano, so they can be used interchangeably for the most part. I’m not talking bell peppers. And yes, I roast bell peppers on the stove the same way.

  11. saucygander March 22, 2014 at 12:45 AM - Reply

    I’ve just started roasting eggplants on my gas stove, the smoky flavours are just out of this works. Will try the chillies next, I think I can get the right type here too, bonus.

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