Baked Chile Rellenos
These Easy Baked Chile Rellenos will quickly become a favorite dinner or appetizer recipe. If you love Chile Rellenos, you have to try the baked version. Fresh poblano peppers, A LOT of cheese, and a homemade tomato salsa sauce make this dish irresistible.
Most of you know by now I LOVE Mexican food. And Cheese. I also really enjoy Chile Rellenos but I don’t love frying things at home. It’s messy and smelly and honestly, I’m not that great at it. This baked version is so good and just a little bit better for you since there is no frying involved. Oh, and this version can be all vegetarian. I’ll take it!
What are Chile Rellenos?
Chile rellenos translates to “stuffed peppers” from Spanish and originated in the city of Puebla, Mexico. Traditionally, the are roasted peppers stuffed with cheese and/or meat, dipped in an egg batter and fried. They are usually served with red or green salsa or sauce. Traditional Chile Rellenos are REALLY delicious, but they also pack a lot of calories, especially the fried version.
What’s different in the baked version?
Well, to state the obvious, they are baked and not fried! This makes the dish a little bit healthier and less messy to make. Since they are baked, there is no egg batter or crispy outside like the traditional dish. This recipe also only uses cheese as the stuffing, so it’s vegetarian friendly, but you could absolutely add shredded beef or chorizo or more veggies if you wanted to.
What kind of peppers should you use?
I use poblano peppers which is the most common pepper to use. But you could also use Anaheim chile peppers or hatch chile peppers. Either of those options has a little more heat, so be prepared for that. Poblano peppers are easy to find, are pretty sturdy even after roasting, and tend to grow pretty large. This makes stuffing them easier as well and you can put more goodies inside…yum!
How to roast and peel the poblano peppers.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with tin foil. Wash and rinse your peppers and place them on the foil. Don’t worry if they are still damp, it will help steam them. Place the baking sheet on the highest rack in your oven under the broiler on HIGH. Roast them for 5 minutes and then flip them over. Repeat this two more times for a total roasting time of 15 minutes. Remove the roasted peppers from the oven and place them in a sealable plastic bag to steam for 10 minutes. Be careful, they are hot! After 10 minutes, remove the skin with your fingers. The skin is bitter, burnt, and has a weird texture so get as much as you can. If there is a tiny bit left, don’t worry about it.
How to make the homemade tomato salsa or sauce.
This vegetable salsa is so easy and so versatile. Place all of the salsa ingredients into a saucepan on the stove over med-high heat. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the mixture to a food processor or blender (again, be careful because it’s hot!) and pulse a few times to smooth out the salsa. Don’t overdo it or you won’t have any chunks of veggies to enjoy (unless that’s what you like). Any leftover salsa at the end of the dish you can scoop up with a tortilla chip or two.
What type of cheese to use.
Make sure you pick a cheese or cheeses that melt nicely. I used a mixture of queso fresco (found in the Mexican cheese section at your grocery store), sharp cheddar cheese, and mozzarella. All of these cheeses melt perfectly and the combination is quite delicious. Of course, you can use whatever cheese you like or have on hand. Pepper jack cheese would also be delicious and add even more pepper flavor!
Can you make these with meat or other stuffing?
Of course, you can! Although this version is vegetarian, the next time I make these I am going to add my Mexican Shredded Beef to them. You could also add chorizo, chicken, tofu, or more roasted veggies to keep it vegetarian. If you try something different, tell me all about it!
What equipment do you need to make Baked Chile Rellenos?
For these Baked Chile Rellenos, you are going to need a baking sheet, a food processor or blender, a medium saucepan, and an oven-safe pan or dish. I used my cast iron pan and it worked perfectly. I also serve this dish right out of the cast-iron pan when it’s just the two of us. You will also need some basics like a cheese grater and a knife for cutting up veggies.
Baked Chile Rellenos
- food processor or blender
- baking sheet
- cast-iron pan or oven-safe dish/pan
- 2-3 large poblano peppers
- 2-3 cups shredded cheese (I used queso fresco, cheddar and mozzarella)
Tomato Salsa Sauce
- ½ cup canned tomatoes (crushed or diced)
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
- ¼ cup vegetable broth (or chicken if not making vegetarian)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 sprigs green onions, chopped
- sour cream
- Put the poblano peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place the baking sheet on the highest rack in the oven and broil on high for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
- Once roasted, remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a sealed plastic bag for 10 minutes to steam. Turn on the oven to 375°.
- While the peppers are roasting, add all of the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.
- Add the sauce to a food processor and pulse about 10 times to smooth out the sauce but still leave a few chunks of vegetables.
- Place about 2/3 of the sauce at the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan/dish.
- After 10 minutes, remove the peppers from the plastic bag, cut a slit in the side, and remove the seeds and top stem. Flip the pepper over and peel off as much charred skin as you can.
- Flip the pepper back over and fill it with a generous amount of cheese. I used a mix of queso fresco, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella.
- Roll up the sides of the pepper and place open side down in the pan with the sauce. Don’t worry if it breaks a little, once you add sauce and cheese no one will know.
- Cover the cheese-stuffed peppers in the pan with the rest of the sauce and MORE cheese.
- Bake the rellenos in the oven at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with chopped green onion, avocado, and sour cream. Enjoy!
More Mexican inspired recipes to try!
- Mexican Pizza Recipe
- Easy Chile Relleno Enchiladas
- Air Fryer Taquitos
- Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
- Frozen Strawberry Coconut Margaritas
Did you make these Baked Chile Relllenos? Show me!
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