Enchilada Chicken Stuffed Peppers are a new twist on the classic stuffed pepper recipe. These perfectly baked peppers are loaded with enchilada chicken, rich red enchilada sauce, seasonings, plenty of cheese, rice, and of course beans.
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Colorful Bell Peppers. As most Mexican food dishes shine with bright colors, I like to use yellow, red, and green bell peppers for this recipe. As a bonus, they all taste slightly different=more flavor!
- Size of bell peppers. I like to use large and slightly longer than a regular size. It allows me to fit plenty of filling inside. You can also use smaller peppers, in this case, keep an eye on the baking time. We are going to stuff the peppers all the way to the top. You can also cut the peppers in half (like in this recipe). Small and halved peppers, will require half less of cooking time.
- Chicken. A precooked chicken, leftover chicken dinner, rotisserie chicken - all of these are the best candidates for enchiladas. Read how to cook perfect chicken breast below in the Tips section.
- Substitutions. Don’t like chicken? Use shredded turkey or cooked ground turkey, ground beef, Italian sausage instead. Next time, you should definitely try these Stuffed Peppers with Beef! For a vegetarian protein sources, I’d recommend crumbled tofu, meaty mushrooms, canned white beans, and lentils.
- Grains - I sometimes use either (cooked) brown or white rice and quinoa. Brown rice is healthier and to be honest, no one can’t tell much of a difference once it’s all mixed up in the filling.
- The best rice for stuffed peppers in my opinion is medium, long-grain white rice or jasmine rice. These hold up their shape nicely and the rice is not sticky (unless heavily overcooked). Read how to cook rice in my Tips Section. For non gluten sensitive folks, farro, orzo, cous cous will work great here as well. Just make sure not to overcook your grains as it will affect the texture quite a bit. For low calorie and low carb alternative try Cauliflower Rice instead.
- Cheese. Monterey Jack melts beautifully, especially when sprinkled on top. Alternatively use a blend of favorite melty cheeses such as Cheddar and Mozzarella. If using mozzarella, I always suggest shredding it yourself (helps with better melting). Mozzarella is great for a healthier dinner, it is lower in sodium and is in the low-calorie range than most other cheeses.
- Sauce. Try my Easy and Quick 15 Minute Enchilada Sauce or to save up some more time, go for a store-bought Fajita or Taco Salsa. They are different, but all these options are good for Mexican stuffed peppers. If you are gluten sensitive, be sure to check the labels for bought sauces as most of them, unfortunately, contain gluten. If you don't have any of these then use a simple store bought tomato sauce (with seasonings and herbs or without) instead.
- Taco seasonings. This dish is all about seasonings and the sauce. If using my enchilada sauce recipe, add 1-1 ½ tablespoons of Old El Paso Taco, Burrito, or simple all seasonings mix.
- Other spices. If you don’t have these, combine ground cumin, fresh or ground cilantro, smoked or regular paprika powder. Season the chicken mixture with spices until you feel it is enough. I usually add ½ teaspoon of each spice. Don't forget that you'll also season your empty peppers with salt and pepper before baking.
- Veggies. Corn, and beans are a classic for a Mexican dish but feel free to use other veggies such as diced zucchini, mushrooms, grated carrots.
How To Make Chicken Stuffed Peppers
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a nonstick large skillet with vegetable oil over medium heat saute onion until softened, then add garlic and spices.
Cook for 1 minute more until spices open up and garlic becomes fragrant.
STEP 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the chicken filling.
Add ½ cup of red enchilada sauce.
STEP 3: Cut off the tops of the peppers, and spoon out the seeds and ribs.
Rinse and dry with a paper towel.
STEP 4: Transfer to a 9x13 inches baking dish and fit the peppers in it snuggly.
Spray the inside of peppers with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.
STEP 5: Bake for 15-20 minutes until peppers have softened.
Remove from the oven and fill peppers with the chicken filling halfway through.
Add cheese (about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons per pepper) in the middle of each pepper and finish with another spoonful of filling.
Sprinkle the tops with more cheese (the remaining ½ cups).
STEP 6: In a small bowl mix the remaining enchilada sauce and broth and pour in the bottom of the dish (between the peppers).
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are very tender and the cheese melted.
Optional step. During the last 1-3 minutes (or longer, depending on your broiler) I like to turn on the broiler setting until the cheese becomes golden brown.
SERVE! Serve hot with a generous drizzle of the sauce, sour cream, freshly chopped cilantro or green onions, chopped red onion, diced avocado, and some of your favorite Mexican side dishes.
- Peppers bake time. For even cooking, use peppers of the same size. Green peppers, with thicker skin, need extra time. Bake them separately for 10 minutes before adding others. Follow the recipe until all peppers are crinkled and softened.
- How do you cut peppers for stuffing? First, wash and dry the peppers. Cut the tops off, about 1-2 inches. Carefully remove the seeds and the membranes. That’s it, you’re good to go!
- PRO TIP for making the stuffed peppers stand up and not tip over. Use a good size baking dish that fits all your peppers snugly together. Peppers will shrink as they cook, so don’t be afraid to squeeze them in between very tightly.
- Trim the bottom of the peppers by about ½ inch or less, ensuring they stand well. Avoid cutting too much to prevent the filling from spilling out later.
- Meal Prep Pro. To save time, I suggest having the rice cooked and using canned beans to be ready in advance. Alternatively, you can buy already pre-cooked rice from the store. Moreover, you can make the entire filling 1-2 days in advance and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Freezing, Storing And Reheating Instructions
- To Store. Store the cooked stuffed peppers for up to 3-4 days in the fridge, preferably wrapped up tightly with a plastic cover or in a glass airtight container.
- To Freeze. To retain the best flavor and nutrients, freeze the peppers on the same day when they're cooked. Let the peppers cool to room temperature and transfer to freezer-friendly airtight containers or individual servings plastic zip lock bags. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheat in Oven. If frozen, let the peppers thaw at room temperature or fridge overnight. Place the peppers in a baking dish close to each other to avoid them falling on their sides. Warm them in preheated oven 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.
- Reheat in Microwave. I don’t use or recommend microwaves for reheating peppers. The reason is simple, it is hard to warm them evenly without ''destroying'' them. Your best solution here is to cut the peppers at least in half, reheat in the microwave until warmed through. The flavor will not be the same good as reheated in the oven.
- Reheat the peppers in Air Fryer. This method is similar to an oven. First, preheat the Air Fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit according to manufacturer instructions. Mine takes about 5 minutes.
Mexican Dinner Recipes
If you're like me, you'll love my other favorite Mexican meals such as Creamy Chicken Tacos, Steak Fajita Tacos, Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili, Easy Shrimp Fajitas.
For more easy gluten-free Chicken recipes please go to this category over here.
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Enchilada Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- 6 bell peppers
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
- 2 cups Enchilada Sauce , or store-bought Salsa
- ¼ cup sweet corn or freshly cooked corn kernels
- ½ cup black beans
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated, see notes
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup cooked long-grain rice, see notes
- ½ medium brown onion, diced
- Cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a nonstick large skillet with vegetable oil over medium heat saute onion until softened, then add garlic and spices. Cook for 1 minute more until spices open up and garlic becomes fragrant.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with ½ cup of Red Enchilada Sauce.
- Cut off the tops of the peppers, and spoon out the seeds and ribs. Rinse and dry with a paper towel.
- Transfer to a 9x13 inches baking dish and fit the peppers snuggly inside. Spray the inside of peppers with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until peppers have softened.
- Remove from the oven and fill peppers with the chicken filling halfway through. Add cheese (about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons per pepper) in the middle of each pepper and finish with another spoonful of filling.
- Sprinkle the tops with more cheese (remaining ½ cups). In a small bowl mix the remaining enchilada sauce and broth and pour in the bottom of the dish (between the peppers). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are very tender and cheese melted. Optional: During the last 2-3 minutes (or more, depending on your brolier) I like to turn on the broiler setting until cheese becomes golden brown.
- Serve hot with a generous drizzle of the sauce, sour cream, freshly chopped cilantro or green onions, chopped red onion, diced avocado, and some of your favorite Mexican side dishes.
- Rice - cooked long-grain white or brown rice is the preferred choice. Read the blog post above on how to cook rice for stuffed peppers.
- Chicken - rotisserie, boiled, oven-baked, or grilled chicken. I give some tips on how to cook chicken fast and easily.
- Cheese - For extra melty top use freshly grated Mozzarella cheese (just for the top).
- Tip for making the stuffed peppers stand up and not tip over. Use a good size baking dish that fits all your peppers snugly together. Peppers will shrink as they cook, so don’t be afraid to squeeze them in between each other very tightly.
- If no perfect baking dish is available, trim the bottom of the peppers about a ½ inch or less. Depending on the curves, you’ll need to cut off only a small part and check if peppers are standing. Don’t overdo this step to avoid filling coming out.
- For the sauce, you can use either traditional Red Enchilada Sauce, Taco Salsa, Green Enchilada Sauce or simple Tomato Sauce (with or without seasonings). Want to try something different? White Enchilada Sauce from this recipe or Gluten Free Cream Of Chicken Soup will be the perfect alternative.