These stuffed peppers are loaded with an easy chicken tinga and smothered in sauce for a low-carb keto-friendly but loaded with flavor recipe!
If you are looking for a recipe that is loaded with flavor but low on carbs, that is kind of my jam (so much so I have an entire recipe archive for you).
For me, infusing fresh bright flavors into everything is a goal, plays well to my love of Latin flavors, from chicken nachos to cumin-spiced meatballs. And when I had the craving for something different, and was inspired to make this recipe, I figured why not take it a step further.
Could I level up mouth-watering chicken tacos with authentic flavors but keep it easy, quick, and a good choice? Yeah, and this combo of shredded chicken in a homemade tinga sauce stuffed in smokey poblano peppers and covered with crisp local produce totally confirmed it.
What is chicken tinga?
I have had chicken tacos, chimichangas, chicken enchiladas, and chicken chilaquiles, but what the heck is chicken tinga?
Basically, it’s a sauce made of tomatoes, chipotle chiles, onions, and cooked chicken. Its a versatile filling perfect for tostadas, tacos, topping sopes, and more.
Tinga translates to shredded or torn meat. The chicken (or sometimes pork) is cooked and then shredded and coated in the sauce, just like in enchiladas.
What you need to make this recipe
Grab everything you need for this recipe; chicken, canned crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, garlic, poblanos, a sweet potato, and garnishes such as avocado, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime, and red onion.
For the cilantro crema, you will need coconut milk (or almond milk depending on your preference), fresh lime juice, and cilantro if you really want to earn bonus points.
You can substitute the chicken breast for chicken thighs if you prefer. Just make sure there it is boneless skinless.
Poblanos have a rich taste, espeically when charred. If you are worried about this for milder palets, sustitute with bell peppers and omit the step to char.
How to make chicken tinga stuffed peppers
This is one of those recipes that looks hard, because of the plating, but isn’t. Promise.
It’s a few simple steps. Start by making the sauce and cooking the chicken in the sauce. While that is cooking, roast the sweet potato (if you are using it).
Char the outsides of your poblano peppers so they are nice and roasted and then steam them to peel the skins off. Don’t forget to scoop out the seeds.
And then assemble the meal. Fill the poblanos with the shredded chicken and top with the remaining sauce. Bake them for a few minutes until it all comes together.
Lastly, have fun garnishing the meal with simple cilantro crema, fresh sliced tomatoes, scallions, red onion, and cilantro. Just like a taco bar. But with fewer carbs.
This recipe works as a stand-alone for myself with no sides needed, however you could pair it with rice and beans or cauliflower rice and a salad.
Can you use leftover chicken?
Yes! Instead of starting with raw chicken, use leftover chicken shredded (or leftover smoked chicken – even better) and cut the cooking time down.
Make the tinga sauce as instructed adding the shredded leftover chicken instead of the chicken breast and simmer until just heated through about 7 to 10 minutes.
Want more stuffed foodie inspiration? Try some of my favorite recipes
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Chicken Tinga Stuffed Peppers
- Immersion blender or Blender
For the Chicken Tinga
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 24 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3 to 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 4 tbsp adobo sauce
- 1 lbs chicken
- salt and pepper
For the Stuffed Peppers
- Poblano Peppers
- 1 sweet potatoe washed, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cumin
For the Cilantro Crema
- 1/2 cup Mayo
- 2 tbsp Coconut milk / Almond Milk
- 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
- 1 Lime juiced
- Salt and Pepper
- Lime sliced into wedges
- Cherry tomatoes diced
- Cilantro chopped
- Scallions minced
- Red Onion thinly sliced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Avocado sliced
Cook the Chicken & Make the Sauce
- In a saucepan or cast iron skillet, preheat the pan over medium heat.
- Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Add a splash of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan if needed.
- Add the in the remaining chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce.
- Using an imersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth in the pan or in a large bowl. Alternatively, working in batches, blend in a food processor or blender.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce and set aside.
- Shred the chicken and return it to the remaining sauce, and toss to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fire Roast the Poblano
- Meanwhile, roast the poblano by charring all sides over an open flame. This can be done over a traditional grill or a a gas oven burner.
- Alternatively, you can roast the poblanos in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping once at 375°F.
- Once they have charred on all sides, place them on a sheet of foil and wrap the foil around them. This allows the peppers to steam.
- After 5 minutes, peel back the foil. Using your hands, remove the charred outer skin from the peppers
- Using a sharp knife, make a small slit through one side of each pepper.
- Remove the seeds from the inside and discard.
Cook the Sweet Potato
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the diced sweet potato on a baking sheet and toss in 1 tbsp of oil to coat.
- Season with salt and cumin.
- Roast the sweet potato on a baking sheet until golden on all sides, about 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through cook time.
Assemble and roast the Chicken Tinga Stuffed Peppers
- Spoon some of the tinga sauce into a cast iron pan.
- Add the fire roasted poblanos.
- Spoon a heaping portion of the shredded chicken into each poblano.
- Repeat until your skillet is full.
- Return to the preheated oven and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 3 to 5 minutes.
Make the Cilantro Crema
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, coconut milk, salt, pepper lime juice, and cilantro together until smooth.
- Set aside or store in an resealable container in the fridge until ready to use.
Garnish and Serve
- Top the stuffed peppers with the roasted sweet potato, sliced tomatoes, onion, freshly chopped cilantro and a drizzle of the crema.
- Seaon with salt and pepper if desired and serve with sliced lime and avocado.
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