Pumpkin Polenta & Manchego Stuffed Poblanos

Once in a while, I’m lucky enough to cross paths with a poblano pepper. Usually this means I have a reason to go to a supermarket that’s not my normal one. And although I can think of at least six places I shop fairly regularly, only two of them regularly have poblano peppers. When I have the chance to pick up some of these smoky, delicious peppers, I feel obligated to do something wonderful with them. I actually picked up a bunch for a Grilled Sweet Potato and Poblano salad, and to my surprise, didn’t need all of them. With the two that were left, I knew I wanted to make some kind of stuffed pepper, or chile relleno, if you will. I went back and forth about what to stuff the peppers with. I knew I wanted to involve polenta and black beans, but did I want a bean-stuffed pepper on a bed of polenta, or vice versa? I also had some manchego in the fridge, which I knew would be a great compliment either way. I decided on a polenta-stuffed roasted poblano on top of a black bean and green chili ragout, and that the perfect compliment to all of this lovely spice would be pumpkin.

And so I went with a pumpkin and manchego polenta inside a roasted poblano on top of black beans sauteed with a good ol’ can of Rotel. Since I knew that roasting, cooling, and peeling the peppers would take some time, as would grating cheese, and constantly stirring the polenta while cooking, I decided to give myself a bit of break by using simple, canned ingredients for the ragout. Trust me, no flavor was sacrificed. In fact, I always seem to forget how spicy Rotel is, and I can generally tolerate a lot of spice! As I suspected, the pumpkin flavor in the polenta was perfect to mellow it all out. I will say that I made a ton of polenta, and probably could have stuffed 3-4 medium sized peppers (I had two larger ones) so just keep that in mind when choosing your peppers (or, just make less polenta!). I hope I come across poblanos peppers again pretty soon, and I’m sure my husband would be thrilled with that too (he’s still telling me how much he loved this, a week later!)

Pumpkin Polenta & Manchego Stuffed Poblanos
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
2 medium to large poblano peppers
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth, to make this a vegetarian meal)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
freshly ground salt & pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 oz grated manchego cheese, divided
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp southwest seasoning blend
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
10oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
Spray the peppers with olive oil cooking spray. Roast over a gas burner flame (or under the broiler, or on the grill), turning occasionally, until the whole surface is charred. Place the peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool completely. Carefully peels the charred skin from the peppers. Can be done one day ahead; store in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray an oven-proof skillet with nonstick cooking spray over medium-low heat. Cook the onions until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and seasoning and cook 1 minute more. Add the diced peppers with green chilies and the black beans, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.

Carefully cut a slit into each pepper and using kitchen shears, snip away the stem. Scoop out all the seeds. In a saucepan, whisk together chicken broth, pumpkin puree, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Slowly pour in corn meal, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in half of the manchego cheese.

Fill each pepper with half of the polenta and place on top of the black bean mixture. Cover the skillet with foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove foil and sprinkle remaining cheese on the peppers. Cook until cheese is melted and browned, another 7-10 minutes.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 504.0
Total Fat: 12.6 g
Cholesterol: 30.0 mg
Sodium: 1,902.5 mg
Total Carbs: 82.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 20.3 g
Protein: 25.2 g

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8 Responses to “Pumpkin Polenta & Manchego Stuffed Poblanos”

  1. 1

    blackbird — July 21, 2009 @ 12:16 pm Reply

    Did you make the grilled sweet potato and poblano salad from Bon Appetit? What did you think? I actually liked it, but it was better the second day chopped up and fried crispy with eggs – really good hash.I have been reading your site for a while. It is really great.

  2. 2

    Cara — July 21, 2009 @ 1:36 pm Reply

    yes, I did make that salad! I thoguht it was great and enjoyed the leftovers, but your idea to fry it up sounds really delicious. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. 3

    Heidi — July 22, 2009 @ 1:26 pm Reply

    I really love your recipes Cara and now that I've recently started a food journal to help me out, I really appreciate so much that you always include the nutritional information, definitely a huge help!!! So, Thanks!

  4. 4

    b*schus — July 27, 2009 @ 6:46 pm Reply

    This is a great recipe! I subbed out the pumpkin for soy chorizo (from TJ's). Soo good. A repeat in my house!

  5. 5

    fortaleza — September 5, 2009 @ 1:47 pm Reply

    I've had a couple of poblano peppers in my fridge for two weeks now! I also want to do something great with them….Have you tried making "rajas"? it's a creamy poblano dish with corn and ther spices…mm…!!! very mexican, good with panela cheese quesadillas (grill the cheese first) This sounds like a world of flavors , so I'll try it! Thanks for the idea..

  6. 6

    Cynthia — January 20, 2010 @ 12:36 am Reply

    I found a Poblano in the store last weekend and grabbed it. I remembered from your blog you said they were hard to find. So then I came home, looked up recipes and decided to buy the items for this dish. I knew I had an extra can of pumpkin from another creation of yours, so just bought the other items. Tonight when I went to make this, I got all the way to the polenta and couldn't find my pumpkin. I must have used it on another dish of yours! So I grabbed some frozen butternut squash as a sub and it is AWESOME! I keep trying new things and loving it. Thank you so much for the creativity!

  7. 7

    Heidi — April 5, 2011 @ 1:18 am Reply

    I really love your recipes Cara and now that I've recently started a food journal to help me out, I really appreciate so much that you always include the nutritional information, definitely a huge help!!! So, Thanks!

  8. 8

    blackbird — April 5, 2011 @ 1:18 am Reply

    Did you make the grilled sweet potato and poblano salad from Bon Appetit? What did you think? I actually liked it, but it was better the second day chopped up and fried crispy with eggs – really good hash.I have been reading your site for a while. It is really great.

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