1cupquinoa, rinsed if necessary (the kind I buy from Costco is pre-rinsed)
1(4-ounce)can diced green chiles
1.25poundsboneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2’’ chunks (about 2 large chicken breasts)
½teaspoongreen Hatch chile powder, or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅓cupfresh cilantro, finely chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)
1 ½cupsshredded white cheddar cheese(pepper jack, queso cheese, or Monterey jack would also work well)
Chili powder, for sprinkling on top of cheese
To cook quinoa and chicken in an Instant Pot:
Place the Instant Pot on “saute” mode. Add the olive oil and heat for about a minute. Add the diced onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir to coat with the oil and onions. Turn the “saute” mode off. Add the water and green chiles, stirring to combine. Place the chicken pieces on top of the quinoa. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, and green chile powder on top of the chicken.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and be sure the steam release knob is set to “sealing.” Set the pot to cook on manual mode, high pressure, for 15 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure). Once the time is up, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release before venting and opening the lid. The total time should be about 45 minutes when you allow for time to come to pressure, cook time, and pressure release.
Cooking without an Instant Pot:
Start with 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa and transfer to a bowl. Saute the onions in a skillet over medium-low heat until soft and slightly caramelized. Add the onions to the quinoa, along with 3 cups of shredded, cooked chicken, diced green chiles, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, chile powder, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Proceed with the recipe as written.
Preparing the peppers:
While the quinoa and chicken are cooking, place the poblanos on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven broiler to “high.” Broil the poblanos for 6-7 minutes until small blisters have formed. Flip them over and broil for an additional 6 minutes to blister. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Carefully remove any skin that has come loose on the pepper (I suggest wearing gloves for this), then cut a slit in the top of the pepper, being careful not to cut through the back side. Remove the cluster of seeds at the top of the pepper. Set the peppers aside to cool until the quinoa and chicken mixture is ready.
Assembling and baking the peppers:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350℉.
Remove the metal bowl insert from the Instant Pot. Use two forks to shred the cooked chicken breasts into the quinoa. Add the fresh cilantro to the mixture (if using) and toss to combine. The shredded chicken should absorb any remaining liquid in the quinoa mixture.
Carefully divide the quinoa-chicken filling (it should still be slightly warm) into the opening of the peppers. Top each pepper with shredded cheese and a sprinkling of chili powder. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Serve hot with extra cilantro for garnish, if desired.
Store leftover peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They are delicious reheated in the microwave! For safe reheating, use a thermometer to ensure the inside of the pepper has reached 165℉.
Freezing and thawing instructions:
Freeze unbaked stuffed peppers in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to baking. Bake at 350℉ for 30-35 minutes until heated through and a thermometer inserted into the center of the filling reaches 165℉. Serve hot.