Green chiles (Hatch, poblano, Anaheim) make flavorful containers for Healthy Stuffed Green Chiles with Turkey and Chorizo. A meatloaf type mixture with corn, black beans, scallion, and spices are formed and "stuffed" into roasted and peeled green chiles... Delicioso!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Green Chile
Fresh green chiles (not chilis) are ubiquitous in Mexican and Southwest cooking. Yay! These flavorful pods thrive in hot climates (hence their presence in Mexican and Southwest cooking), and while you can find them year 'round in many locales, they're at their best in late summer.
Popular and Common Fresh Green Chile Varieties
- Hatch green chile (the world's best!) is not a specific variety of chile; rather, it is a region. The Hatch varieties - Big Jim, Sandia, Barker, Joe Parker to name a few - range from 1,000 to 8,000 scoville units. Think of "Hatch" like "Champagne." It's a region about 35 miles north of Las Cruces, NM. with arguably the most flavorful green chile anywhere!
- Poblano chile is named after Puebla, Mexico. This flavorful and meaty chile is wider and thicker than any of the Hatch chile varieties. It is a fairly mild green chile coming in at about 1250 on the scoville scale. I love them for chile rellenos, and they work really well in this dish!
- Anaheim chiles are a cousin to and were developed at the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University (my husband Mark's former institution) in the earlier twentieth century. They are VERY mild! They range from 500 to 2500 on the scoville scale. To put things in perspective, jalapeños range from 2500 to 5000. They're a perfect option in this recipe for those with sensitive palates.
- Jalapeños, as mentioned above, have some heat. I rarely say they're too hot. They're awesome in pico de gallo (fresh and un-cooked salsa), but also great stuffed and cooked.
- Fresno chile is a favorite at Andersen casa, but is often hard to come by. While this is usually found red (ripe), I use them in many of the same recipes that I use jalapeños and serranos. They ranges from 2500 to 10,000 on the scoville scale. I love the sweet heat they provide, and use them in dishes like my Healthy Mexican Coleslaw with Passion Fruit Dressing and my Peruvian Red Onion and Tomato Salad. Jalapeños are probably the best substitute, and they can be used in much the same way.
- Serrano chiles are longer and more narrow than jalapeños. They're hotter than jalapeños, and typically in the 8000 to 20,000 range. I do use these in both fresh and cooked recipes when I want to bump up the heat a bit.
- The habanero chile, is one of the hottest peppers widely available in the US. It is roundish or bell-shaped and can be green, yellow, orange, red, or even purple or brownish. Common in the regional cuisines of the Yucatan Peninsula, habaneros are most frequently used to flavor sauces and salsas. I don't use them! My son and my husband dared each other to taste one raw once, and they regretted it!
What Green Chiles Should I Use in This Recipe?
My #1 choice will always be Hatch chile. When we lived in Las Cruces, I would freeze 40-60 pounds every season. Now, I rely on The Hatch Chile Store to deliver 5 pounds every year. They do a beautiful job of roasting and peeling them, and they're a great time saver.
For a limited period of time in late summer, I can get Hatch chile at my local market. The grill is my best option for getting them roasted, and I only do 8-10 at a time.
If I can't get Hatch chiles, I my second choice is poblano chiles. Their thick flesh and wide cavity make them an easy option for stuffing. The flavor, while usually quite mild, is earthy and delicious.
If heat level is an issue, I recommend using Anaheim chiles. They're mild and flavorful, and can be treated in the same way as Hatch and poblano.
Lastly, this filling would be delicious in sweet bell peppers, summer and winter squash. The key is finding the right amount of time to bake them. If I'm using Hatch green chiles, I form the meat mixture into a long cylinder that cooks pretty quickly.
If it goes into a poblano or a sweet bell pepper, the depth of the mixture requires more time to cook through. Use a meat thermometer to bring the mixture to 165°.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- green chiles, roasted and peeled
- ground turkey
- lean chorizo
- sweet corn
- cooked black beans
- panko or other bread crumbs
- ground cumin
- sea salt
- Preparation - Preheat the oven to 400° (375° convection). Make sure your chiles are prepped and ready to go. Make a lengthwise slit on each one. Use a spoon to gently scrape away the seeds.
- Make the filling - Combine meat mixture ingredients thoroughly. I find my hands are the most efficient!
- Stuff the chiles - Form the filling to fit each chile. Press the chile up the sides of the filling. It will not completely wrap around the filling. (See prep photo in the post.)
- Cook the chiles - Bake until the meat mixture reaches 165° - usually about 20-30 depending on thickness of the mixture. Top with cheese if desired and return to the oven to melt.
- Serve - Garnish with crumbled cotija, lime wedges, cilantro as desired. Enjoy!
This recipe starts with roasted and peeled green chiles. You have several options:
- Roast them on your grill.
- Roast them under your broiler.
- Order roasted and peeled chiles from a supplier like The Hatch Chile Store. This is not a sponsored post. It is, however, a trusted source and one I've used with confidence for years.
- Roast on a gas flame on your stove (I no longer have a gas cook top, but this was always my preference for stuffing).
- Buy a big sack in Hatch, NM, at a farm, or a grocery, and have the entire bag roasted. Peel the blackened skins prior to freezing for better results!
I see a lot of stuffed green chile recipes that are not blackened and peeled first. I love the flavor that comes with roasting them. It's your call. My instructions are for roasted chiles.
Start the dish with roasted (charred, blackened) green chiles. Whether you purchase them that way or not, the skins need to be removed. See bullet list above for a few different options.
Make a careful lengthwise cut on each chile. Spred them open, and use a spoon to gently scrape the seeds from the chiles. Thoroughly combine the ground meat mixture ingredients (hands work best!).
- To assemble the stuffed chiles, press the meat mixture - with your hands please - into a shape that will fit in each chile. The chile doesn't wrap around the mixture, rather, it forms more of a boat. Savvy?
- I always recommend lean chorizo. I find my local markets carry chorizo that cooks up with little or no fat in the pan. I also make homemade chorizo, and frequently have part of a 2 pound batch in my refrigerator (we use it often!).
The chiles bake uncovered in a 400° oven. Time will vary according to size of the chiles used and the thickness of the meat mixture. In most instances, 20 to 30 minutes will be sufficient. A meat thermometer is helpful... As mentioned above, bring the filling to 165° .
If desired, top your stuffed green chiles with a bit of your favorite cheese and pop them back in the oven long enough to melt. I use a Mexican cheese blend of asadero, oaxaca, manchego, and quesadilla cheeses. I love the salty tang of the aged cotija used as a garnish along with lime wedges and fresh cilantro!