Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Avocado Lime Sauce
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
These Southwestern-inspired stuffed peppers are loaded with plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Virtually everything you need to recharge after a long day’s work or a tough workout. They are absolutely delicious and equally satisfying on a cold winter’s night or a warm sunny day! The combination of aromatic spices, quinoa, black beans, and smoky pepper is brought to life by the addition of the bright and zesty avocado lime sauce. You’re going to want to try it asap!
Note: Poblano peppers are typically very mild and have a slightly smoky flavor profile. They are nowhere near as spicy as jalapeños and have more depth of flavor than bell peppers. If you can’t find poblanos, our favorite substitute is the Anaheim pepper (also very mild), although bell peppers will work well too.
For the Stuffed Peppers:
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup yellow onion, small dice (from about 1 medium yellow onion)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced (3-4 tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced (2-3 cloves)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups vegetable broth, preferably low-sodium
- 1 cup water (if needed)
- 4 cups spinach (5 oz. bag)
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 medium to large poblano peppers
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup ripe avocado (about 2 small avocados, or 1 large)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and fine stems only
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cups water, plus more to thin
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare the peppers: Remove the stem, core, and seeds from the peppers by cutting a thin slice off the top of each pepper and a slit down one side. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil on the peppers and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly softened. (We will return the peppers to the oven to finish cooking once they are stuffed.)
- For the stuffing, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and ½ tsp salt, and sauté until onions are translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, and black pepper and cook, stirring, another 2-3 minutes, until very fragrant.
- Add in the quinoa and broth, bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, with the lid on, for 10-15 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed the broth and is cooked through. If the quinoa has absorbed all the broth but is still hard at the center, add in 1 cup water and continue to cook.
- Remove from heat, stir in the black beans, spinach, and the remaining ½ tsp salt, and let sit until spinach has wilted, about 1 minute. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more salt if needed.
- While the filling is cooking, make the sauce: in a food processor or blender, blend all sauce ingredients thoroughly until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, adding more lime for acidity and brightness, salt, water if too thick, and avocado if too thin.
- Using a spoon, carefully spoon the filling into each pepper. Be careful not to overfill the peppers to prevent them falling apart in the oven. Return the stuffed peppers to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until a knife easily cuts through the pepper. Remove from the oven and serve with a generous pour of sauce.