What Do Poblano Peppers Taste Like?

Before you put in the time and effort it takes to grow poblano peppers, you’d probably like to know if you’re going to like them. While it’s not always so easy to describe how food tastes, we’ll give it our best shot.

Poblano peppers have a taste similar to a bell pepper with a deeper, richer flavor. Fully ripe poblano peppers have a Scoville Heat Unit rating of around 1,000-2,000; this is the same as a mild jalapeño, although they have a more down-to-earth flavor. These peppers can add personality to a dish without overpowering it with too much heat.

Keep reading to get the rundown on what poblano peppers taste like!

What flavor do poblano peppers have?

Poblano peppers have an extensive flavor profile.

Poblano peppers have a deep, rich flavor. They have a lot of personality while still being mellow as far as peppers go. They can be as hot as a mild jalapeño, but they’re less perky and more warm and down-to-earth.

They add more personality to a dish than your typical bell pepper without overpowering your meal with too much spice.

If a poblano pepper was a person, they would be chit-chatty while still down to earth. 

Fully ripe poblano peppers are twice as hot as immature poblano peppers. This leaves the home chef with a lot of choices as far as flavor. 

As a gardener, you can pick your poblanos at the desired ripeness or even let them ripen off the vine.

Are poblano peppers hot or sweet?

Hot and sweet aren’t mutually exclusive!

Fully ripe poblano peppers are as hot as mild jalapeño peppers. You can draw some sweetness out of them if you caramelize them.

Fully ripe poblano peppers have the same heat level as a mild jalapeño pepper. 

You can bring a touch of sweetness out of them by caramelizing them in a saute pan. Think caramelized onions rather than Werther’s. They’re a great addition to a burger!

What is most similar to a poblano pepper?

Let’s try to compare poblano peppers to vegetables you’re likely familiar with.

While nothing tastes exactly like a poblano pepper, you might recognize some flavor elements in bell peppers, jalapeños, and sweet beets. When caramelized, the texture and flavor are similar to a caramelized onion.

This may seem like an unrelated collection of vegetables but bear with me. A poblano pepper is like a bell pepper with a touch of heat. They’re also similar to mild jalapeños with an “earthy” flavor. That’s where the beets come in, but poblanos don’t go as far and are less distinctly soil-tasting.

Well-caramelized onions are a great comparison for the sweeter caramelized pepper.

Do poblano peppers taste like jalapeños?

Poblano peppers taste like you taught a jalapeño how to meditate.

Jalapeños have a bright, fruity flavor and a kick of heat. Poblanos have a similar flavor profile, with a nudge of heat.

Poblano peppers and mild jalapeños are pretty comparable heat-wise.

Which is spicier Anaheim or poblano?

Anaheim peppers are another popular mild pepper. This pepper has a fruity, sweet flavor and can be used to make a bland dish more interesting without adding significant spice.

Anaheim peppers have an SHU ranging from 500-2,500, with a median of 1,500 SHU. Poblanos, however, range from 1,000-1,500 SHU.

In theory, you can end up with a poblano and an anaheim that have the same heat level, but anaheims are more likely to be spicier.

How do you eat poblano peppers?

Now that you know what poblanos taste like, how do you eat them?

Ways to eat a poblano pepper include: as a snack, with hummus, in a salad, in a smoothie, sauteed with onions, in an omelet, grilled, stuffed, or roasted.

Ways to eat poblano peppers include:

  • As a snack
  • With hummus
  • In a salad
  • In a smoothie
  • Sauteed with onions
  • In an omelet
  • Grilled
  • Stuffed
  • Roasted

Do you have to peel poblano peppers to eat them?

Most peppers can be washed and eaten, although many people prefer to cut them and remove the seeds to reduce the heat. Is it the same for poblanos?

You don’t have to peel poblano peppers to eat them. However, some people prefer to because the skin can be relatively tough.

Why do you peel the skin off poblano peppers?

You peel the skin off poblano peppers because it is thick compared to many other peppers.