Chile rellenos were one of my favorite things to eat growing up. My mom often made them during the season of Lent since they don’t contain any meat, but these peppers are way too good to only be served at that time.
Luckily, she spoiled us and made them for my family throughout the entire year. I could never say no to peppers stuffed with loads of melted ooey-gooey cheese and fried in a light and fluffy batter. Could you?!
After a few years of having the recipe on my to-make list, I’ve finally perfected it and am so excited to be sharing it with you!
What are chile rellenos?
Chile rellenos (or ‘stuffed peppers‘ in English) are a traditional Mexican dish made from roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, then coated in a fluffy egg batter and fried until golden brown.
They’re sometimes served with a simple red or green salsa, or even wrapped in a tortilla with refried beans to make chile relleno burritos.
How to make chile relleno
First, prepare your poblano peppers by roasting them in the oven or on the stovetop, and then removing the blistered and blackened skin. This softens the skin and makes them super easy to stuff.
I’ve included instructions on how to roast the peppers in the recipe card below, but if you’re looking for step-by-step photos of this process, check out this post on how to roast poblano peppers which goes into more detail that’s extra helpful for beginners.
Once your peppers are roasted and the skins are peeled, gently cut a slit down the middle of the pepper with a knife and stuff them with cheese. I used a block of Monterey Jack cheese that I cut into strips, but you could also use shredded cheese if you prefer.
Then carefully close the peppers and bring the edges of the slits together. Secure the edges together with a toothpick or two so the cheese doesn’t fall out of the chiles.
Next, make the egg batter by separating the yolks and whites from 3 eggs. Place the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a small bowl.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they become stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Then continue beating them on low and add in egg yolks one at a time until they’re all mixed together. The batter should be light, fluffy and golden yellow.
To coat the chiles, I recommend setting up an assembly line with the peppers on the left, all-purpose flour mixture in the middle and the egg batter on the right.
Using one hand, grab a stuffed pepper and roll it in the plate of all-purpose flour. Make sure it’s coated on all sides, and then give it a tap to remove any excess flour.
Then using your hand, grab the flour-coated pepper and dip it into the egg batter. Make sure it’s also coated on all sides. Quickly and gently place the pepper in the hot frying oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
Transfer the chile rellenos to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain and collect any excess oil. Continue frying the remaining peppers and then serve immediately!
I served mine with a super simple red salsa made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, a jalapeno and cilantro, but that’s completely optional. You could use any salsa you have on hand (a salsa verde would be delicious with these), or just with a big dollop of sour cream or drizzle of Mexican crema.
Helpful tips and variations Buy the largest poblano peppers you can find. That way you can stuff the peppers with a lot of filling and you won’t have any leftovers. Use a different cheese. Feel free to use another type of cheese if that’s all you have. Traditionally, chile relleno is made with Oaxaca cheese, but you could also use mozzarella, cheddar, provolone or another good melting cheese. Add a different filling. To make this a more well-rounded one-chile meal, feel free to mix in some other ingredients to the filling. Some good options would be carnitas, shredded chicken or picadillo. Don’t overcrowd the frying pan. I typically fry 2 chile rellenos at a time even though the pan could fit 3. Print Chile Relleno Recipe An authentic chile relleno recipe made from roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, dipped in a fluffy egg batter and fried until golden brown! Course Main Cuisine Mexican Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 6 servings (1 chile each) Calories 334kcal Author Isabel Eats Equipment Toothpicks, for securing the stuffed peppers Ingredients For the chile rellenos 6 large poblano peppers 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into long strips/sticks (or shredded cheese) 4 cups oil, for frying 3 large eggs 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon table salt For the salsa roja 6 roma tomatoes, quartered 1/2 small onion, halved (yellow or white) 3 cloves garlic 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed (optional) 5 sprigs cilantro 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste 1 teaspoon olive oil Instructions For the chile rellenos Roast the peppers: Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place poblano peppers on top. Set your oven rack directly underneath the broiler and turn the broiler on. Broil poblanos for 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered. Carefully flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered. Remove them from the oven and loosely cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep in some of the heat and help them steam. Let them sit for 5 minutes. Peel the peppers: Peel and rub off as much of the loose skin on the peppers as possible. It doesn't have to be perfect, just as much as you can. Cut a small slit down the middle of the peppers with a knife. (If you don't want the peppers too spicy, you can remove some of the seeds. I like to leave them in as poblanos aren't typically super spicy to me, but that's personal preference.) Stuff the peppers: Carefully stuff the peppers with the cheese. Some of the peppers will be extra fragile because of the roasting process and may tear – that's okay. Just do the best you can. Gently close the opening of the peppers and secure it shut with 1-3 toothpicks. Use as many as you need to ensure that the cheese won't ooze out during the frying process. Set aside. Prepare for frying: Heat the oil frying oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. While oil is heating up, prepare the batter. Make the batter: Separate the egg whites from the yolks into two separate bowls – the whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a small bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. While continuing to beat the egg whites on low, add in the egg yolks one at a time until all of them are fully mixed in. The batter should be light, fluffy and smooth. Coat the peppers with batter: Place the flour and salt into a separate shallow bowl or plate. Mix together to combine. Gently roll the stuffed peppers in the flour mixture, then give them a gentle tap to remove any excess. Then dip them in the egg batter and gently place them in the hot frying oil. Fry the chile rellenos: Fry the peppers for 3-5 minutes per side, until the batter is golden brown and crispy. Try not to overcrowd the peppers in the pan – I usually fry 2 at a time depending on the pan I'm using. Transfer the peppers to the lined baking sheet to drain off any excess oil. Serve: Immediately serve chile rellenos on a plate with some salsa, freshly chopped cilantro and some cotija cheese. (Don't forget to remove the toothpicks when you first cut into the peppers! You can try to remove them before serving onto plates, but I find it easier to remove them when you first cut into them.) For the salsa roja Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and salt to a blender. Puree until smooth. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add blended salsa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and season with more salt if desired. Notes Make ahead. The poblanos can be roasted and peeled up to 2 days in advance. The salsa roja can be made up to 3 days in advance. Both should be kept in the fridge until ready to use. Buy the largest poblano peppers you can find. That way you can stuff the peppers with a lot of filling and you won’t have any leftovers. Use a different cheese. Feel free to use another type of cheese if that’s all you have. Traditionally, chile relleno is made with Oaxaca cheese, but you could also use mozzarella, cheddar, provolone or another good melting cheese. Add a different filling. To make this a more well-rounded one-chile meal, feel free to mix in some other ingredients to the filling. Some good options would be carnitas, shredded chicken or picadillo. Don’t overcrowd the frying pan. I typically fry 2 chile rellenos at a time even though the pan could fit 3. Nutrition Facts Chile Relleno Recipe Amount Per Serving (1 pepper) Calories 334 Calories from Fat 216 % Daily Value* Fat 24g37% Saturated Fat 9g45% Cholesterol 127mg42% Sodium 635mg26% Potassium 523mg15% Carbohydrates 16g5% Fiber 4g16% Sugar 6g7% Protein 15g30% Vitamin A 1699IU34% Vitamin C 145mg176% Calcium 321mg32% Iron 2mg11% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutrition Serving: 1pepper | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1699IU | Vitamin C: 145mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 2mg
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