Keto stuffed poblano peppers with chorizo sausage double down on smoky goodness and flavors inspired by Mexican and southwestern cuisine. If you’re looking to switch things up for Taco Night, this recipe is a keeper. This keto dinner recipe is also easy to adapt, so you can swap out the chorizo ground sausage stuffing with your favorite protein, including taco meat, cheesy chicken, or even Italian-style beef stuffed peppers without rice.
Still, the chorizo sausage stuffed poblano peppers are a winning combo that any fan of Tex-Mex food will love. Of course, you can make homemade chorizo with unseasoned ground pork, but there are readymade options that are keto-friendly available at most grocers.
The stuffed poblanos can be enjoyed year-round, terrific for baking in the oven, or tossed on the grill when the weather heats up.
The keto stuffed poblano peppers include the following ingredients:
- Poblano peppers
- Ground pork chorizo sausage
- Tomato paste
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Cotija cheese
- Mexican crema
Poblano peppers - Poblano peppers are sometimes sold as “Pasilla Peppers” in the U.S. You are looking for the fresh, wide, dark green pepper that’s about 4-inches long and a bit heart-shaped–not the skinny, dried pasilla.
Chorizo sausage - Use the ground pork chorizo options that come pre-seasoned with chili pepper, paprika, garlic, and other spices, or make your own using unseasoned ground pork and homemade chorizo spice mix. There are multiple chorizo varieties available in the grocery store, but to keep it low-carb and keto-friendly, opt for the more natural types without sugar and starchy fillers, like Hempler’s all-natural chorizo.
Cotija cheese - Cotija is a salty Mexican cheese with a tangy flavor that easily crumbles when fresh, similar to feta cheese. Cotija makes an excellent garnish for southwestern dishes, but it doesn’t melt well. If you are after a melty, cheesy stuffed poblano, consider swapping cheeses.
Mexican crema - Crema is similar to sour cream, but it’s not as sour or thick, has a higher fat content, and is pourable. You can swap the condiments if needed, but Mexican crema is a fantastic finishing touch for Tex-Mex flavors.
👩🍳 How to Make
Prep the peppers
Charring and peeling the poblanos before stuffing delivers that classic smoky flavor. If you are baking the recipe, roast the peppers under a broiler on high until the skin blackens. If grilling, place peppers directly on grill grates, flipping on each side, and remove after blackening.
Carefully transfer the peppers to a dish and cover completely with foil or cling wrap. This allows the peppers to steam a bit as they cool down.
Once the peppers are cool to the touch, remove the charred skin to peel the peppers.
Cut into the top layer of the pepper, making a slit lengthwise to create an opening or pouch. Avoid cutting through both layers of the pepper by running the blade across the pepper instead of a chopping motion, or consider using kitchen shears for better control.
Prepare the filling
Brown ground pork chorizo sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking into smaller pieces as it cooks. Discard the excess fat that cooks off.
Add your seasonings to the pan, including tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and salt. Pour water into the mixture and stir to incorporate ingredients.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until the liquid cooks off. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the mushrooms.
Stuff each poblano pepper with the meat mixture and place it flat in its cooking vessel. If baking, use a lightly greased casserole dish or line it with parchment paper to prevent the peppers from sticking to the bottom. If grilling, a well-seasoned cast-iron pan works great.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees F or grill for 10 to 15 minutes over indirect heat at medium-high heat.
Garnish the keto stuffed poblano peppers with cotija cheese, crema, and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
🗓️ Make Ahead Tips
To get a jumpstart on cooking for busy nights or entertaining guests, consider making parts of the dish ahead of time.
You can char and peel the peppers up to 1 to 2 days in advance and store them covered in airtight containers refrigerated until ready to use.
You can also prepare the filling ahead of time, which holds up even longer in the fridge. The cooked pork will last for 3 to 4 days refrigerated in airtight containers.
Stuff the peppers a day ahead of time, then bake or grill them to make quick work of dinner the next day.
🍽️ Recipe Adaptations
Taco Seasoning - If you have keto taco seasoning mix, you can swap out the individual spices in the recipe for a tablespoon of your spice blend to get that savory taco flavor.
Casserole - Love the flavors but don’t feel like stuffing individual peppers? Chop the peeled peppers and layer with the chorizo sausage mixture to make an easy casserole dinner.
Swap your protein - Ground or shredded chicken, beef, or turkey would work wonders in this recipe. Keto chicken chili would be a perfect combo!
Get cheesy - Cotija is a great way to garnish the dish, but Monterey Jack, mild cheddar, queso quesadilla, and asadero cheeses are also popular in Southwestern and Mexican recipes. A combination of these cheeses can be found in pre-grated Mexican cheese blends and just so happen to be excellent melting cheese.
Breakfast - Rise and shine! Scramble a few eggs into the mixture for a hearty breakfast option. This is especially easy if you go the make-ahead route.
Swap your veggies - Not a fan of mushrooms? Dice up or shred one of the other keto-friendly vegetables to take its place. Riced cauliflower, chayote, zucchini, celery, or onions would be great in this dish. Feel free to experiment or add extra veggies in to boost the nutrition.
Swap your peppers - You can use bell peppers with this recipe if you prefer. Just skip the peeling step and cut in half lengthwise instead of creating a little pouch to stuff. Fill each half with the toppings and bake covered in foil for 30 to 40 minutes. Anaheim peppers are similar to poblanos in flavor and spice level, but they are quite a bit skinnier. You can opt to stuff these, but you’ll need more of them to use up your stuffing.
📦 Storage and Freezing
The prepared recipe lasts up to 1 to 2 days refrigerated in airtight containers.
If you require a longer time frame, consider freezing the dish. Allow the peppers to cool to room temperature, then seal tightly to prevent freezer burn by covering the entire dish in foil followed by cling wrap or using a food vacuum sealer.
If preferred, freeze individually covered tightly in cling wrap placed in zipper-lock bags or food vacuum packed.
The stuffed poblano peppers will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
To reheat, remove the storage wrapping and bake directly in the oven at 350 degrees F until the peppers are thoroughly warmed through, about 30 minutes.
🥗 Nutrition Information
In addition to being low-carb and keto-friendly, this recipe also provides various micronutrients necessary for balanced nutrition.
Thanks to the poblano peppers, the meal is loaded with vitamin C. People commonly think of oranges and citrus fruit when it comes to vitamin C, but peppers are an excellent source. Since peppers are also low in sugar, they are a better fit for keto macros than sugary oranges.
Ground pork chorizo sausage also delivers vitamins and minerals, including high amounts of selenium, choline, zinc, and B vitamins (like cobalamin, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and thiamine). It’s also rich in high-quality protein, which helps you feel full.
You can find the nutrition label for the recipe in the interactive recipe card below.
Yes! Poblano peppers are low in total and net carbohydrates, which supports ketogenic dietary patterns.
"Keto-friendly" means that something is low enough in carbs that a reasonable serving size would still support ketosis.
Poblano peppers have 4.64g total carbs and 1.7g of fiber per 100-gram weight, giving a net carb count of 2.94g for this amount.
One poblano pepper (65g) contains only 3.0g total carbs, 1.0g fiber, and 2g net carbs.
[3g total - 1g fiber = 2g net carbs]
Poblanos have a tough outer skin that can be difficult to chew and digest when roasting, but peeling eliminates this issue.
Charring and peeling also impart a smoky flavor that elevates the dish's taste to a new level.
You can skip the peeling step if you prefer, but the resulting texture and flavor are superior when you peel poblanos before stuffing.
Poblano peppers are not sweet, but they do have a mild to medium heat level. So while they aren't as spicy as jalapeño peppers, those with a sensitive palate may consider them spicy.
If you are concerned about the dish being too spicy, be sure to remove all the seeds from the peppers. The seeds are often coated with capsaicin-rich oils that can make them spicier than the pepper's flesh. Another alternative is to use bell peppers instead, which are sweet instead of spicy.
Prepare the Peppers
- Set broiler to high.
- Place peppers on sheet pan and broil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the skin blackens.
- Remove the peppers from oven and place in a bowl covered in foil or cling wrap. Alternately, place in a heat-safe, zipper-locked bag. Allow peppers to steam in the container until they are cool to the touch. Once cool, lift blackened areas from poblanos to peel skins off peppers.
- Carefully slit the lengthwise along one side of each pepper, to create an opening for stuffing, taking care not to puncture through both sides. Remove seeds from within and discard.
- Set oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Brown ground pork chorizo sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Discard excess grease.
- Add tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and water to skillet and mix well. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat to low and simmer until excess liquid cooks off.
- Remove skillet from heat and stir in mushrooms.
- Stuff mixture into the hollowed out peppers and place on a casserole dish lined with parchment paper or lightly greased. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve garnished with cotija cheese, crema, and cilantro divided between the peppers.
Nutrition information is based on a single serving and is provided as a convenience for Ketogasm readers. Data may vary based on brand and recipe variation.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published author dedicated to helping people thrive and succeed using low carb and keto dietary patterns.