Whether you like them stuffed, roasted, or prepared another way, poblano peppers can be a great way to add some mild heat to your cooking. But what if you need to store some long term? Here are the best options for freezing poblano peppers.
While poblanos can vary in their level of spiciness from pepper to pepper, they’re generally mild in flavor. And these popular peppers can freeze very well. In fact, they can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
In this post, we’ll cover the 5 best ways to freeze poblanos. Plus, we’ll look at some other ways to store and preserve them.
What are poblano peppers?
Poblanos are mild Mexican chili peppers that are larger than jalapenos, but a bit smaller than bell peppers.
On the Scoville scale (which measures the heat of peppers), they fall in the 1,500 to 4,000 range. That may sound hot, but it’s actually 2-3 times milder than jalapeno peppers.
Unripe green poblano chiles have the least heat, whereas ripe red ones are spicier. But both can be used in cooking.
Their mild flavor makes them a versatile ingredient for a host of dishes and preparation styles. While they can be eaten raw, they’re often stuffed with foods including rice, beans, meat, and corn. And they’re also delicious when roasted.
Dried poblanos are called ancho chiles, which can be used to add a smoky flavor to foods.
The poblano pepper’s name derives from the Mexican state of Puebla, where it originated.
How to freeze poblano peppers
Just as fresh poblano peppers can be eaten raw or cooked, they can also be frozen each way. Here are the 3 best methods for freezing poblanos.
Method 1: Freezing raw whole poblano peppers
Whole poblanos are great for stuffing. They not only provide a natural container for the other foods, but they add some mild heat to the dish, and are edible themselves. So if you plan to use stuff them, you should freeze the peppers whole.
Step 1 – Thoroughly wash the fresh peppers.
Step 2 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the peppers on it.
Step 3 – Freeze them for 1-2 hours.
Step 4 – Transfer them to heavy-duty freezer bags or a freezer-safe airtight container.
Method 2: Freezing raw sliced poblanos
Sliced poblanos are a common way to prepare these peppers, as they can be eaten as is or added to other dishes for extra flavor. The freezing process for sliced poblanos is similar to that for whole peppers.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1 – Wash and slice the fresh poblanos in halves or strips. You can also dice them depending on how you plan to use them later. Remove the seeds and stem.
Step 2 – Place them on a lined cookie sheet or baking tray in a single layer, and flash freeze for about an hour.
Step 3 – Transfer the frozen peppers to a freezer bag or other freezer-safe container. This will help prevent freezer burn.
Step 4 – Date the bag or container.
Method 3: Freezing roasted poblanos
What if you’ve already roasted some poblanos but you have some leftovers? The good news is you can freeze roasted peppers as well!
Step 1 – Allow the peppers to cool completely to room temperature.
Step 2 – If you haven’t already, remove the stems. Then slice open and remove the seeds.
Step 3 – Place the slices in a freezer-safe plastic bag or airtight container.
Step 4 – Add the date.
💡 Tip: Freeze your poblanos in batches so you only have to defrost what you need instead of the entire amount when you’re ready to eat some.
How to thaw out frozen poblanos
If you plan to cook sliced frozen peppers in something like a stew, soup, or chili, you don’t need to thaw them out. They’ll do that during the cooking process and stay crunchier that way.
If you’re going to stuff them, eat them raw, or use them in a salsa, then you’ll need to defrost them.
The best way to defrost frozen peppers is to let them thaw out in the fridge for several hours. This will keep them cold the entire time so you limit the risk of them getting mushy while defrosting.
You can also place them in a bowl of cold water to thaw them, or use your defrost setting in the microwave, but they may lose their crisp crunch.
Other ways to store poblano peppers
If you don’t need to freeze poblanos for long-term storage, you can simply keep them in the vegetable crisper drawer of your fridge or in a brown paper bag. Whole poblanos will keep for up to a week with either method.
If they’re already roasted, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can extend their shelf life for a few months by canning them.
Dried poblanos can keep for up to a year. Just store the dry peppers in an airtight container in a cool dry place like a pantry.
Yes. First let the cooked, stuffed peppers cool down. Then place them in a baking dish in a single layer so they aren’t touching. Next, completely seal the baking dish with plastic wrap. For best results, use a couple of layers to make sure it’s airtight. Then cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. You can also freeze the peppers individually by wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in freezer bags.
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