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Barbacoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
with cauliflower rice / zucchini

Active: 30 minTotal: 1 hr

Leftover barbacoa and cauliflower rice from earlier in the week make an easy filling for baked stuffed peppers.
Smarts: Test the peppers towards the end of the suggested cook time to be sure they are done to your liking. We find that some people prefer their peppers to be super tender and others prefer that they still have a bit of crunch.



Cauliflower Rice:
  • Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp
Barbacoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers:
  • Peppers, poblanos - 4, sliced in half from stem to base (sub bell peppers)
  • Zucchini - 12 oz, diced
  • Onions, medium and red - 1/2, chopped
  • Coleslaw mix - 5 oz, chopped
  • Slow Cooker Barbacoa (leftover from Monday) - ~2 cups
  • Cilantro - 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
  • Adobo sauce - 1 Tbsp (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • Cooked cauliflower rice (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 cups
  • Water - 2 Tbsp
  • Foil - for baking
  • Pepitas / pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Cauliflower rice - (Skip if cauliflower rice was made ahead for Monday; if prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Peppers / Zucchini / Onions / Coleslaw mix - Prep as directed. Store peppers in one container. Store zucchini in another container. Combine onions and coleslaw mix. (The coleslaw mix will be easier to stuff in the peppers if it’s in smaller pieces.) (Can be done 5 days ahead)
  3. Barbacoa - If beef is in large pieces, roughly chop into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to fold into the pepper filling. (Can be done 3 days ahead)
  4. Cilantro - Chop cilantro.


  1. Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
  2. Arrange peppers in a single layer, cut-side up in a large baking dish (use two if needed).
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok with oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and saute until zucchini is very tender and golden brown, ~5 minutes. Add onions and coleslaw mix and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cumin, and a pinch of salt. Saute for 1 minute more.
  4. Pour tomatoes (including liquid) and adobo sauce over vegetables and simmer until liquid reduces, ~2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower rice and barbacoa.
  6. Press barbacoa filling into peppers, mounding it over top if needed. (Since peppers vary in size, you may have some filling leftover. Just leave the extra filling out and serve it alongside the peppers.)
  7. Pour water into the baking dish.
  8. Cover peppers tightly with foil. Bake, covered, until peppers soften, 25 to 30 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and return peppers to the oven. Bake, uncovered, until peppers are golden brown on top. ~5 minutes more.
  10. Serve peppers with pepitas and cilantro on top. Enjoy!

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This meal has 17 reviews

Super tasty! A bit spicier than the stuffed peppers I'm used to, but definitely delicious.

By: Rachel
Posted: Jul 08, 2019
Diet: Original

Loved the flavor of the poblano peppers and they seemed to cook better than bells normally do for me. I used a quinoa and brown rice mix. Next time I might add black beans.

By: Barbie
Posted: Jul 02, 2019
Diet: Original

DH really liked this. Omitted quinoa. Made in poblano and red bell pepper. Added cheese to filling and topped with cheese. Extra filling so nest time use second bell.

By: Twyla
Posted: Jun 30, 2019
Diet: Original

Took off 1 star because it was pretty spicy. In the future I think I'd used bell peppers.

By: Marie
Posted: Jun 22, 2019
Diet: Original

Very tasty, I used bell peppers b/c I couldn’t find poblanos at my grocery store. If I make this again I think I’ll use a bit more salt, when we had bites without the cheese we sometimes wanted a touch more flavor

By: Jessica
Posted: Jun 21, 2019
Diet: Original

Delicious! I used green bell peppers instead of poblanos and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

By: Chelsea
Posted: Jun 21, 2019
Diet: Vegetarian