This recipe for Cheesy Baked Corn and Poblano Rice is an easy, flavorful side dish that feeds a crowd.
This Cheesy Baked Corn and Poblano Rice is the perfect side to serve with any kind of Mexican food. It's incredibly creamy and cheesy and loaded with sweet corn and smoky poblano peppers. It's a rich, filling casserole that is always a hit at parties.
Why this recipe works
- Easy, beginner friendly recipe.
- Can be made with fresh or frozen corn.
- Rich, cheesy, kid-friendly comfort food.
- Naturally gluten free.
- Corn - I recommend using fresh in-season corn on the cob for this recipe since it's sweeter and has a plump, juicy texture. But it works just as well with frozen corn, which is a freezer staple I always keep on hand. Canned corn can work in a pinch, but drain and rinse it well before using.
- Poblano Chillies - These dark green chili peppers are similar in flavor to a bell pepper, but more robust and with a little bit of spice. Poblanos tend to vary in their spiciness, so if you're sensitive to heat, test a small piece first before adding them to your dish so it doesn't turn out overly spicy. If you can't find poblanos, you can substitute with green bell peppers and add a jalapeño in for a little extra heat if you desire.
- Cheese - This recipe calls for Monterey Jack cheese but it can easily be swapped out for pepper jack, cheddar or any other mild cheese that melts well.
- Rice - This recipe can work with any variety of rice but it's best with a long grain, such as jasmine rice (avoid arborio or short grain risotto rice).
- Disposable Gloves - I always keep a pack of these disposable latex-free gloves in my kitchen to protect my hands whenever working with chili peppers. Poblano peppers are fairly mild, so you can get away without using them here, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. If you've ever touched your eye after working with chillies, you'll understand why.
Step by step instructions
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Char the poblanos until blackened on all sides. You can do this over a gas stove top, on the grill or under the broiler. Place the blackened peppers in a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and half of the salt, then cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir until coated with oil, then add the chicken stock (or turkey stock or water. Bring it up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the rice cooks, remove the blackened skins from the cooled poblanos, then use a knife to scrape out the seeds. Finely chop the peppers.
- When the rice is cooked, remove the lid and add the poblanos, the remaining salt, corn, sour cream, ¾ of the cheese and half of the scallions, then stir to combine.
- Transfer to a medium casserole dish (9x9, 6x10, or similar) and spread out evenly. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned around the edges.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with remaining scallions and cilantro if desired.
Tips for success
- Don't be tempted to rinse the charred poblanos under water - it will remove all of their beautiful charred flavor! It's ok if some of the charred skin or seeds remain.
- It's ok if the rice isn't fully cooked through after simmering for 10 minutes - it will continue cooking in the oven.
- Add some shredded rotisserie chicken to the rice before baking to make this a complete all-in-one meal!
Faq About Cheesy Baked Corn and Poblano Rice
Yes. It will have a slightly different, nuttier flavor, but it will still work. You will need to increase the simmer time to 15 minutes.
This recipe will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Reheat it in the oven or microwave with great results! I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
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