Healthy Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Chiles

I grin every time I come across a quinoa recipe because it makes me think of my dad, who is a little obsessed with it and calls it “quin-WOW!”


(Speaking of my dad, we got him his first tattoo as a Christmas gift! It’s the Ironman symbol, to commemorate his achievement. The cactus beneath it signifies that he completed the Tempe, AZ one — he plans to get icons for each 140.6 that he does. So cool!)




Anyway, back to the food. Alex and I made this Cooking Light recipe together last week, and really liked it. The prep is a little time-consuming for just a side dish, but worth it.  We substituted spicy V8 for the tomato juice to give it a little extra kick.  (We also skipped the pumpkin seeds, but I’ll probably include them next time I make this, because I bet it will make a pleasant addition to the texture.) Enjoy!






4 (5-inch) poblano chiles (you can also use Anaheim or Pasilla peppers, or even bell peppers, depending on what’s available)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seed kernels
1/2 cup minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese



Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut chiles in half lengthwise; remove stems and seeds. Set aside. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 13 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell peppers, onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add pumpkin seed kernels; saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in quinoa, green onions, cilantro, soy sauce, and lime juice. Spoon 1/3 cup quinoa mixture into each chile half.
Pour tomato juice into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; place stuffed chiles in dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over chiles; bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts and chiles are thoroughly heated. Spoon tomato juice over chiles.


Nutritional Information per serving (2 stuffed chile halves): 329 Calories, 9.6 grams Fat, 47.9 grams Carbohydrates, 20.4 grams Protein


2 thoughts on “Healthy Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Chiles

  1. I love the “quin-WOW!” thing. I may have to start using that. This is meant to be a side dish? I’ve always found quin-WOW! surprisingly filling. I would think two stuffed chile halves would be a decent main course, although I’m stuck on what would go on the side of this. Maybe some grilled corn on the cob?

    • It could absolutely be a vegetarian main dish. I think we did this as a side with grilled chicken, and yep, it was a satisfying meal.

      There’s something in my head that says a complete meal is a protein, a vegetable and a starch or grain. I’ve been working on making the veggie portions bigger and the protein and starch smaller, but can’t seemed to shake that that’s my idea of balance.

      “Quin-WOW” is so goofy it comes right back around to awesome. 🙂

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