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Chile Rellenos

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  • Author: Chef Lisa @ A Pinch of Salt Lake
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This classic Chili Relleno recipe is tex mex comfort food. Battered and deep fried roasted chiles are stuffed with cheesy goodness and nestled in a fresh tomato sauce.



Chile Relleno Tomato Salsa:

  • 1 white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1/21 jalapeño pepper, seeded and membranes removed and flesh minced (about 24 tablespoons)
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 6 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems washed and minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Chile Rellenos Cheese Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 green onions, both white and green parts, minced
  • 11/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 3  eggs, separate the whites and yolks into different bowls
  • 3 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 34 cups vegetable oil


  1.  Roast the poblano peppers over a gas flame or in the broiler until blistered and blackened.  (See tips above.)
  2. Place in a plastic bag to steam for 5-7 minutes, then use your fingers to peel off all the blistered skin, set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute the minced onions until translucent. Add the minced jalapeño, and garlic.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and add the tomato. Cook for 7-10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bay leaves.
  6. Transfer to a blender and add the cilantro. Pulse until smooth. Taste and season with kosher salt and pepper, set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the green onion, pepper jack cheese, cumin, kosher salt and black pepper, set aside.
  8. Cut a slit in the side of each of the roasted poblano peppers. Use your fingers to ease open the pepper and carefully cut out the seeds and membrane.
  9. Gently spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper and push to close. (You may want to use toothpicks to keep the peppers close.)
  10. Chill the stuff roasted chile peppers in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  11. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
  12. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pinch of black pepper together. 
  13. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the whipped egg whites until combined.
  14. Transfer the batter to a shallow bowl.
  15. In a cast iron frying pan over medium high heat, add 2-4 cups vegetable oil to a depth of 1” and heat to 325 – 350°F.
  16. While the oil is coming up to temperature, dust each filled poblano pepper with flour on all sides.
  17. Holding the pepper by the stem, gently submerge the stuffed pepper into the batter and twist until well covered.
  18. Immediately (gently and with great care) transfer the chile to the hot oil. Cook until golden brown.
  19. Using tongs, turn the battered chile pepper over and cook until nicely golden brown on the other side, (about 2-3 minutes).
  20. Remove the chile to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process with the remaining peppers.
  21. You can hold the cooked chile rellenos in a 250°F oven to keep warm.
  22. Ladle a large spoonful of sauce on a plate and nestle a chile relleno in the middle. (Remove the toothpicks from the pepper before serving.)
  23. Garnish with fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole and enjoy.


Traditionally Chile Relleno is made with Oaxaca cheese which is also a great option.

When frying, make sure the oil is in the 325 -350°F range and do not fry more than two peppers at a time so you don’t crowd the pan.

You can roast and peel the poblano peppers as well as make the Classic Chile Relleno tomato salsa several days in advance. Store both in the refrigerator. Heat the tomato salsa before serving with the Chile Rellenos.