Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (2024)

Jump to Recipe

This authentic chile relleno recipe is a traditional Mexican dish of flavorful chiles stuffed with cheese, battered and fried, then smothered in a homemade sauce.

This recipe was originally posted in June of 2018. Updated March 2021 to correct a typo in the frying temperature (which should be 365F), and to reduce the water in the sauce. While most of the chefs I talked with use a 5 cups of water and simmer it down over 45 minutes to an hour, I know it has turned out too watery for a lot of you. So I reduced the water to 4 cups.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (1)

I’ve talked through this recipe with several chefs from our trips to Mexico, and know it’s the real deal. While there are a lot steps to making chile rellenos, it only takes about an hour and the end result is an impressive explosion of flavor and texture that is well worth the effort.


Chile relleno is a chile pepper that is stuffed, battered, and fried. The original chile relleno was often stuffed with meat. In current Mexican cuisine, chile rellenos are typically stuffed with cheese and served with a tomato based sauce.


Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (2)

You can use either anaheim peppers or poblano peppers to make chile relleno. Just go with whatever pepper is easily available to you.

If you have both options, choose the pepper that matches the flavor and level of heat you would like.

We use poblano peppers because I find the shape really easy to work with.


Poblano chiles have low levels of capsaicin, so they are lower on the scoville scale (1,000-2,000) which measures the spiciness of chiles. This mild chile is also called ancho chile when dried.

The anaheim pepper is a bit sweeter than a poblano, but has a wide range of spiciness (500-2,500). So the mildest anaheim pepper will be less spicy than the mildest poblano, but the hottest anaheim will be more spicy than the hottest poblano.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (3)

Here is a Scoville Scale chart if you’d like a guide to how spicy peppers are.

We typically choose poblano peppers so our kids don’t get an anaheim on the hotter end.

For reference, both poblanos and anaheim peppers are milder than jalapenos which are 2,500-5,000 on the scoville scale. I use a jalapeno in the chile relleno sauce so the sauce is a bit spicier than than the stuffed peppers.


Making chile relleno involves three main parts:

  1. Roasting, brining, and stuffing the poblano peppers.
  2. Making chile relleno sauce.
  3. Coating stuffed peppers in chile relleno batter and frying.


Roasting your poblano peppers is actually quite easy. You can use an open flame or grill, or just roast them under the broiler.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (5)
  • Keep the stems on your peppers and place them under a hot broiler. Broil each side until it’s evenly blackened and blistered all over.
  • Use a towel, hot pads, or coated tongs (so you don’t tear the peppers) to remove the peppers and immediately place them in ziploc bags, or wrap well in plastic wrap. This step helps the peppers finish softening and makes the skin easy to remove.
  • After a few minutes, pull the pepper out and remove the skins (they should slide right off).
  • Cut a small slit vertically into the side of the pepper and hold it under running water to wash the seeds out. (Such an easy way to remove the seeds!)

If your pepper tears, don’t panic. The chile relleno batter works like a glue and can hold it together.


Brining your peppers is an important step because it adds a LOT of flavor to the chile rellenos. The brine is a simple mix of salt and vinegar in water. Just a few minutes of soaking the roasted peppers helps to really bring out the flavors of the peppers.


Chile relleno sauce is a spicy, aromatic, tomato based sauce that’s pretty easy to make at home. You can even make it a day or two in advance and reheat to serve.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (6)
  • Start by prepping your vegetables. You need to finely chop a medium yellow onion, and four cloves of garlic. This is really easy in a food processor too.
  • You’ll also need to make 1 1/2 cups of pureed roma tomatoes. Romas are the oval shaped tomatoes, also called paste tomatoes, and are perfect for the sauce because they have a higher flesh ratio than other tomatoes. I use around 6 roma tomatoes depending on how big they are. Puree them in the food processor and leave them in there to add the other ingredients as you’re ready.
Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (7)
  • Heat 1/3 cup corn oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat, and add the garlic and onion, cooking until translucent.
  • Mix in 1/3 cup of flour and spread the mixture evenly in the pan, stirring and cooking until it is golden brown.
  • Scrape the onion and garlic roux into the food processor with the pureed tomatoes, and add a seeded jalapeno. Process it until everything is pureed finely.
  • Pour that sauce back into the same saucepan, and add 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Crush a teaspoon and a half of Mexican oregano between your fingers and add it along with a pinch of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves, and a bay leaf.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil while whisking constantly, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Keep a lid on the pot while simmering, but slightly vented so steam can escape.

You can stuff and fry the peppers while the sauce is simmering.


Choose what cheese you’d like to stuff your peppers with. We prefer cheddar, because we always have it on hand, but monterey jack cheese works well too.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (8)
  • Slice your cheese into sticks that will fit inside your peppers.
  • Slip the cheese sticks into each pepper and overlap the edges of the peppers slit slightly.
  • If you have any tears in your chile, overlap those as well.
  • Place 1/3 cup of flour into a sifter and carefully dust all sides of each stuffed pepper so they are covered completely in flour.

Before you start on your batter, heat 2 cups of canola oil (I have also used avocado oil) in an electric skillet or deep fryer to 365 degrees F. I have also done this in a Dutch oven on the stove with a candy thermometer, you just need to monitor closely so the temperature stays at 365 F.


The chile relleno batter is simply made from eggs. The key is to beat the egg whites separate from the egg yolks so you get a stiff egg batter that is almost like a frosting.

  • Start by separating your whites and yolks into two medium bowls.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Beat the whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (9)
  • Add a tablespoon of flour and 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the egg yolks, and beat until completely mixed.
  • Add the egg yolks to the egg whites, and carefully use a spatula to fold the yolks in. You want the batter to stay nice and fluffy.
  • Carefully frost a flour coated stuffed pepper in the chile relleno batter. You can use a spatula to get it completely coated, and especially to cover any tears.
  • Hold the chile by the stem and carefully lower it into the hot oil. You can repeat with additional chiles, but don’t fry more than three at a time.
  • Fry for about 5 minutes, turning once with a spatula or mesh frying skimmer, until the chile is golden all over.
  • Remove carefully with a mesh skimmer or coated tongs, and place between paper towels to drain.
  • You can keep the chiles warm on a baking sheet in the oven on the lowest setting, or reheat them individually in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.


Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (10)

Place a big pool of your tomato chile sauce on the plate, and place a chile relleno in the center of it.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

We like to serve ours with rice and beans. You could also serve with cauliflower rice to cut back the carbs.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (11)


Make sure you check out our Traditional Carne Asada Tacos Recipe. It’s another authentically delicious Mexican dinner recipe!


Make sure to pin this recipe for later! And if you make it, we’d love to see a photo. Just leave it in the comments of the pin on Pinterest.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (12)


Yield: 6

Chile Relleno Recipe

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (13)

This authentic chile relleno recipe is a traditional Mexican dish of flavorful chiles stuffed with cheese, battered & fried, then smothered in a homemade sauce. (The recipe has been updated to reduce the liquid in the sauce and to correct a typo for the frying temperature.)

Adapted with permission from Genius Kitchen.



  • 1/3 cup corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 seeded and stemmed jalapeno pepper
  • 4 cups water, not broth!
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, crushed between your fingers
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 bay laurel leaf
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves


  • 6 large poblano chiles, fresh



  • 6 ounces mild cheddar cheese


  • 2 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 6 separated eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour, plus one tablespoon for egg batter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro



  1. Heat 1/3 cup corn oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Finely chop the onion and garlic in a food processor.
  3. Saute the onion and garlic mixture in corn oil until translucent and golden, and almost caramelized. This will take at least 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the 1/3 cup flour into the onions and garlic, and stir cooking until flour is lightly browned.
  5. Place the Roma tomatoes in a food processor and puree. You should have about 1 1/2 cups pureed tomatoes.
  6. Add the jalapeno pepper and onion/garlic/flour mixture from saucepan into the food processor with the tomatoes. Make sure to submerge the onion and garlic roux into the puree.
  7. Process everything until all the ingredients are finely pureed.
  8. Pour that sauce back into the same saucepan, and add 5 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  9. Crush a teaspoon and a half of Mexican oregano between your fingers and add it along with the fresh ground pepper, bay leaf, a pinch of ground cinnamon, and a pinch of ground cloves.
  10. Bring mixture to a boil while whisking.
  11. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until you have a nice thick sauce. Cover the saucepan slightly vented so steam can escape, and whisk the sauce occasionally.
  12. You can keep the sauce warm over lowest heat, whisking as needed to refresh consistency until served, or reheat and stir before serving.


  1. Keep the pepper stems intact and place on a grill or under broiler cooking on each side until evenly blistered and slightly blackened.
  2. Immediately place the peppers into a large plastic bag and allow to steam for about three minutes.
  3. Carefully slide the skin off of each pepper and discard.
  4. Cut a slit lengthwise down the side of each pepper (you need it just big enough to slip a stick of cheese in.
  5. Carefully cup each pepper with one hand and gently run water into the slit to flush out the seeds.
  6. Combine 4 cups water, 4 teaspoons salt, and 1/3 cup white vinegar, and soak the chiles in this brine for a few minutes.
  7. Cut your cheese into 6 long thin sticks.
  8. Remove chiles from brine and blot dry with paper towels.
  9. Stuff each chile with one cheese stick by slipping into the pepper slit. Don't panic if you tear a chile, flour and the egg batter will seal it up.


  1. Pour 2 cups oil into an electric wok or an electric skillet and set heat control to 365°F. If you're confident in the kitchen, feel free to use a heavy duty pot on the stove with a thermoteter to monitor your temperature.
  2. Measure 1/2 cup flour into a sifter or fine mesh collander and dust each of the chiles well with flour on all sides. For torn chiles, apply some extra flour at the seam then slightly overlap the tear.
  3. Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  4. Beat egg yolks in another bowl with one tablespoon flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Pour the yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites and fold together lightly but thoroughly (with a rubber spatula) while keeping the whites fluffy.
  6. Use a rubber spatula "frost" a stuffed and floured chile.
  7. Hold chile by the stem and place carefully into the hot oil. Repeat with additional chiles, frying only 2 or 3 at a time.
  8. Fry the chiles until golden on all sides, turning once with a skimmer or coated tongs until done. It takes about 5 minutes to fry completely.


  1. Drain the peppers between paper towels. If not serving immediately, you can reheat them individually in a microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  2. Make a pool of warm sauce on the plate and add a chile. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 466Saturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 2882mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g

We'd love to keep in touch. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and get your free download of our favorite healthy cute kid snacks.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your costs will be the same but Eating Richly Even When You're Broke will receive a small commission.

This helps us to cover some of the costs for this site. Thank you so much for your support!

Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.

Chile Relleno Mexican Recipe (2024)


What is chile relleno batter made of? ›

Mix milk, 1 cup flour, egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon canola oil together in a small bowl until well combined. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour on a shallow plate. Pour 1 inch oil into a heavy frying pan. Heat over medium-high heat.

How do you keep chili rellenos from falling apart? ›

You can use a little bit of flour to bind the overlapped edges. If a pepper falls apart as you are stuffing it, do the best you can to squeeze the stuffing into a chile-shaped ball inside strips of chile. The batter will help the whole thing hold together.

What is chile relleno sauce made of? ›

Pour in puréed tomatoes, chicken broth, vinegar, oregano, cumin, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, and cinnamon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until sauce is reduced by half and thickened, about 20 minutes.

What is the difference between chile relleno and poblano relleno? ›

The big difference between a chile relleno and a chile poblano is that chile relleno is a recipe for a Mexican entrée and chile poblano is not a recipe, but simply a fresh poblano chile pepper, a large, relatively mild chile pepper with a deep green color.

How do you make the batter for chile relleno? ›

Whisk the flour, baking powder, cumin, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the beer to a make a smooth batter. In a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot, pour in the oil to a depth of about 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 365 degrees F.

What part of Mexico is chile relleno from? ›

The chile relleno (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtʃile reˈʝeno], literally "stuffed chile") is a dish in Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla.

What is the trick to peeling poblano peppers? ›

Just like roasting marshmallows over a fire. Second, make them sweat. Once charred and hot place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Third, peel and rinse.

Why is my chile relleno soggy? ›

The most important thing about deep frying anything is temperature. If the temperature of the oil is too low, the rellenos will end up soggy and extremely greasy. If the temperature of the oil is too high, the outside of the rellenos will burn before the cheese on the inside has fully melted.

Do you need to peel poblano peppers? ›

Poblano chiles are a mild green chile typically used to prepare chiles rellenos, rajas con queso, and crema de poblano. They need to be roasted and peeled before cooking to remove the tough outer skin which is difficult to digest. Roasting also adds flavor.

Are chile rellenos healthy? ›

While the main ingredient here -- a chili pepper -- is healthy, this dish is anything but. That's because the pepper is stuffed with cheese, coated in batter, and deep-fried in oil. Then it's smothered in sauce and melted cheese. As if that's not enough, it's usually served with a side of rice and refried beans.

What is the difference between a jalapeno popper and a chile relleno? ›

The jalapeño popper is a thinly veiled, Tex-Mex version of a chile relleno, in which a large roasted chile is stuffed with cheese and fried in an egg batter. A popper, meanwhile, is stuffed raw, unroasted. The packed popper, breaded and deep-fried, lacks the flavor of roasted chile.

Does chile relleno have meat? ›

In the latter, Chef Fernando Olea molds a roasted chile poblano into a tower filled with ground lamb, pork, and beef; nuts; dried fruits; and spices. The relleno structure is then placed in a cool pool of nogada, and bejeweled with pomegranate seeds and a balsamic-jalapeño reduction.

Does chile relleno have a lot of carbs? ›

Chili (chile) relleno with cheese, fried (1 each - chili) contains 9.9g total carbs, 8.9g net carbs, 16.4g fat, 8.2g protein, and 217 calories.

What is a dried poblano called in Mexico? ›

The poblano (Capsicum annuum) is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called ancho or chile ancho, from the Spanish word ancho ("wide").

How healthy is a chile relleno? ›

Worst: Chile Relleno

While the main ingredient here -- a chili pepper -- is healthy, this dish is anything but. That's because the pepper is stuffed with cheese, coated in batter, and deep-fried in oil. Then it's smothered in sauce and melted cheese.

What is poblano made of? ›

Poblano peppers are reasonably mild Mexican chili peppers. Their name comes from where they were first grown –– the Mexican state of Puebla. The dried version of these peppers is called ancho chiles. In addition to dried poblanos, you can also find these heart-shaped peppers fresh.

What does chiles en nogada contain? ›

Chiles en nogada is a Mexican dish of poblano chiles stuffed with picadillo (a mixture usually containing shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce called nogada, pomegranate seeds and parsley, and it is typically served at room temperature.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 5570

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.