Butternut Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Crème Fraîche and Jalapeño Pumpkin Seeds

Butternut Stuffed Chile

Chile Rellenos

Butternut Squash

“When two events have something in common, in their natures or in time or place, we leap happily to the conclusion that they are similar and from this tendency we create magics and store them for retelling.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


Stopping at Tweets cafe in Edison, Washington was pure serendipity. We had just left Breadfarm bakery and were looking for a place to stop for dinner before heading back to Burlington for the evening. It was just before 6:00 P.M. Saturday evening. Everything but the local bar was closing for the night. Our last stop was at Tweets and they also were closing for the night. Lucky for us, they stayed open to cook dinner for us. We enjoyed some very satisfying chile rellenos that I very much missed once we retuned home.

The only similarity to the chile rellenos we had at Tweets and what we find in central California is in the name, stuffed chiles. Locally a chile relleno is a charred and peeled anaheim or poblano chile stuffed with a mild white cheese such as Monterey Jack. The stuffed chile is rolled in flour, dipped in an egg batter and fried until golden and crispy outside with creamy melted cheese inside. Tweets stuffed a poblano with chile spiked pumpkin and wrapped the pocket of temptation in crispy bacon. The smokey chile and bacon melded with the creamy pumpkin filling for a sultry and flavor packed chile relleno.

Preparing stuffed chiles


My version of Tweets chile rellenos has maximum flavor seduction with a thick drizzle of crème fraîche topped with crunchy candied pumpkin seeds lacquered with a hit of jalapeño. And butternut squash because it just tastes better than pumpkin. Serve with rice and black beans. Add tortillas, salsa and guacamole to make a terrific feast. If crème fraîche or Mexican crema is too dazzling a sprinkle of ricotta salata will offer a crisper alternative.

Butternut Squash

There is confusion in the type or name of the chile to use for this recipe. I used poblano chiles, although they are labeled as pasilla at my local grocery store and fruit stand. An anaheim chile could be used. It’s just that the poblano is bigger, which means more butternut filling can be stuffed inside the chile. I used mild California chile powder to allow the butternut to have a voice in the recipe. Add heat as your palate and cold dreary evenings desire. I did make a discovery. Jalapeños are absolutely amazing in this recipe. I found a fiery little appetizer for game day. Wrapped tightly to keep warm they would be a hot surprise for a winter picnic or tailgate party. I roasted the jalapeños and removed the seeds before stuffing with butternut. No need to peel the jalapeños as they have a thin skin.

1/3C avocado or olive oil
6C cubed butternut squash
1t mild chile powder
1/2t fine grain sea salt
1/4t ground black pepper
1 egg
1/4C raw pumpkin seeds
1T jalapeño jelly
8 poblano (pasalla) chiles
1T mild chile powder
3/4C crème fraîche or Mexican crema

Stuffed Poblano Chiles

  1. Heat the oven to 425°. Pour the oil on a large sheet pan. Add the cubed butternut, chili powder, salt and pepper and toss to coat all the squash. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn the butternut once during roasting. Set aside to cool completely.
    When the butternut has cooled transfer the squash and any oil left on the roasting pan along with the egg to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until there are no lumps and the butternut becomes a smooth puree.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°. Line a small sheet pan with parchment or a Sil-pat. Pour the pumpkin seeds on the parchment and add the jalapeño jelly. Mix to coat all the seeds with jelly and then spread in one layer on the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Watch the seeds carefully so they do not burn. When done the seeds will have turned a deep mahogany brown and be lacquered with sweet and spicy goodness.
  3. Roast the chiles either over an open flame on the stove or in the oven with the broiler set on high heat. Turn the chiles so that each side blisters and browns as evenly as possible. Once the chilies have blistered place them in a closed paper or plastic bag to steam for ten minutes. Peel the blistered skin away from the flesh of the chile. Leave the stems on the chilies and slit them open on one side. Gently scrape out the interior membrane and all the seeds. Place on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease an oven proof casserole dish. Gently open the chilies and dust the interiors with chile powder. Fill each chile with butternut puree and using a spatula transfer them to the casserole dish. Bake for thirty minutes. The butternut puree will just be starting to crisp around the edges and the moisture around the bottom of the chiles will be bubbling. Serve hot with a generous drizzle of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of candied pumpkin seeds.

Butternut Stuffed Poblanos

Butternut Stuffed Jalapenos

62 Replies to “Butternut Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Crème Fraîche and Jalapeño Pumpkin Seeds”

  1. Deb, this dish has my mouth watering! Your photos are stunning, too. Your squash stuffing is quite tempting and I would add jalapenos, as well. I’m delighted to learn about Edison, and the next time I’m headed that direction I’m stopping by Tweets. Washington has some wonderful little towns – we moved from Seattle to one this year and are loving it.

    1. Thank you for the gracious comment Hannah, much appreciated! This California woman fell in love with Washington! Edison is a gem and worth a visit!

  2. No really… I am seriously drooling! This is such a great idea! I LOVE me some poblanos! I usually stuff them with hoppin’ john (black eyed peas and rice) or I make a sweet potato lasagna with them… but this, my friend, takes the cake! Beautiful and I can only image how good they tasted!

  3. I love the idea of stuffing this chiles with butternut squash…and top it with crème Fraîche…and yes, a touch of jalapeno jelly…yum!
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend 😀

    1. Thank you Susie! I appreciate your lovely comment! I encourage you to try stuffed poblanos I’m sure you will enjoy them.

  4. First of all, your pictures are beautiful Deb! I never made stuffed chiles, a residue from the stuffed peppers from my childhood. But I need to try the adult version here! And I even have my homemade jalapeño jam! What a great and spicy meal!

    1. Thank you for the inspiring comment Paula, much appreciated! Honestly I don’t care for the stuffed peppers of my childhood either, this recipe is entirely different!

  5. What a creative and delicious way to serve poblano chiles! Such a lovely fall meal. This all looks so good. What a delectable way to end a good weekend. Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful week!

  6. Your stuffed poblano chilies are truly calling my name-I am a huge butternut squash fan and this is such a creative recipe especially with all your additions that I have to try this for dinner one night soon. ps. the photos and colors are gorgeous!!

  7. This is such a creative take on stuffed poblano chiles! Love your holiday-friendly version! I can only imagine how yummy it is! Creme fraiche will soften some of the heat of the poblano chiles, and the candied pumpkin seeds – well, I can just eat those by spoonfuls! 🙂

  8. This is another world for me… I rarely see fresh chillies of any description in our stores, and I have no idea of the difference between these different ones! I like the idea of using the butternut as the filling – it’s usually the other way round. 😀

    1. Thank you Cathy! Here in California we have fresh chiles year round although in the winter they are grown in Arizona or Mexico.

  9. Deb, I would eat any stuffed roasted poblano regardless of what it was stuffed with. How is it possible you have combined all my favorite flavors into one amazing recipe. Oh my, I must make these and I must make them soon. The craving has been ignited by your creative choice of ingredients along with your enticing photographs. Thank you for such a perfect recipe!

    1. Thank you Laura! The spicy pumpkin seeds are the perfect “crunch” for the Butternut Stuffed Chiles!

  10. Deb: these chiles make me UNREASONABLY happy. What a completely different and perfect way to use butternut squash! i love it. I actually just looked up my normal recipe for chicken enchiladas (for which i sometimes sub butternut squash chunks) to make tonight, but i may totally veer off course for these. lovely idea and beautifully executed.

    1. Thank you so much for the gracious comment Shannon! I have been planning on making enchiladas with a butternut based sauce instead of tomato, your recipe sounds wonderful!

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