Chile Rellenos Recipe

June 2, 2010 2 Comments

Chile Rellenos Recipe

Chile Rellenos are a classic Mexican dish. They begin with poblano peppers which are stuffed with a ground pork concoction known as picadillo, or cheese.  They are then dipped in an egg-based batter and deep fried.  They can be served with any of a myriad of sauces.

Poblanos are dark green chile peppers approximately 4-5 inches long and 2½ -3 inches wide.  Poblanos are the “bell pepper” of Mexican cuisine.  Poblanos are triangular in shape and flatter than bell peppers.  They are also less sweet, more savory and a little hotter.  Their heat level can vary but usually they are in the mild to medium range.  They are perfect for individuals who like a modicum of spiciness but not too much heat.

Chile Rellenos Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Chile Rellenos Recipe


For the Picadillo

1 lb ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28oz can whole tomatoes

salt and pepper, to taste

Optional for Picadillo



chili powder

hot sauce

1/4 cup choppped raisins

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, chopped

For the Chile-Tomato Sauce

1 large red bell pepper

1-3 fresh or dried habanero peppers, depending on how hot you like it

1 small onion

4 garlic cloves

1 cup water

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

6 oz. tomato sauce

For the Chile Rellenos Batter

4 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon of flour, plus extra for dredging the chiles

½ teaspoon salt

To Assemble and Cook

1/2 gallon peanut oil

4 large poblano peppers with stems attached

4-1oz slices of Queso Chihuahua or Queso Oaxaca, optional

8 toothpicks

How To Prepare At Home

For the Picadillo

Saute the ground pork and chopped onion until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through.

Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Break up the tomatoes and simmer until a thick consistency is achieved.

Add the optional seasonings as desired.

Stir in the optional raisins and nuts about 5 minutes before cooking is complete.

For the Chile-Tomato Sauce

Roughly chop the bell and habanero peppers, (or grind the habaneros if using dried), onion and garlic.

Combine all of the ingredients except the tomato sauce in a pan, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.

Puree the mixture in a blender.

Add the tomato sauce to complete.

If you don't want any heat, just eliminate the habaneros. Or if you prefer it just a little spicy, use one jalapeno instead.

For the Batter

In an electric mixer whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.

Mix in the yolks one at a time.

Finally mix in the flour and salt.

To Assemble and Cook

Preheat a pot of vegetable oil to 375 degrees.

For traditional chile rellenos, begin with four poblano chiles that have their stems intact.

Roast the peppers over a gas flame on the stove, on a grill, or under a broiler until charred all around. Or drop them in a deep fryer until the skins are blistered.

When cool enough to touch remove the skin. Do not remove the stems.

Make a small slit in the side of each chile and scrape out the seeds. Fill each chile with about 1/3 cups of the picadillo.

Poke the optional cheese in, if using. Do not overfill the pepper. Leave enough room that you can close the slit and make a small flap. Thread the slit in each chile with toothpicks to close it.*

Dredge each stuffed chile lightly in flour.

Holding the stem, dip each chile into the batter, let some of the excess drain back into the bowl, and then carefully place in the hot oil.

Fry until they are a deep golden color, turning them once, for about four minutes.

Serve with the chile-tomato sauce.


Renowned chef Rick Bayless, the American doyen of authentic Mexican cuisine, freezes his stuffed chiles to hold them together before frying. This bypasses the toothpicks altogether.

Last modified on Thu 17 July 2014 9:10 am

Comments (2)

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  1. Cindy Sue says:

    Yummy! Can’t wait to try it, the peppers in the garden are getting bigger every day, will be a nice surprise for hubby!

    Hi Cindy, let me know how they turn out. – RG

  2. A Kaas says:

    I am trying for first time tonight. Rellenos crunchy with a bit of tang are my husbands favorite. He will be the true tester. I will let you know.

    Thanks – RG

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