Chile rellenos feature roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a delightful blend of queso fresco and Monterey jack cheese, dipped in a light and fluffy batter, then fried to golden perfection. With its crispy exterior and gooey, cheesy interior, this Mexican appetizer will leave you craving for more.
Stuffed peppers are one of my all-time favorite appetizers! Try these turkey stuffed peppers, taco stuffed peppers, or for a deconstructed version, stuffed pepper soup!
Chile Relleno Recipe
Indulge in some chile rellenos, crafted with love using roasted poblano peppers filled with a delectable combo of queso fresco and Monterey jack cheese. The addition of cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper gives them a rich and satisfying taste that is simply irresistible! The peppers themselves have a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy and gooey cheese filling.
And if you’re not already convinced, these stuffed peppers are lightly battered and fried for the perfect crispy outer layer! Whether you’re throwing a party or simply treating yourself, chile rellenos are the ultimate appetizer choice. If you’ve never tried them before, prepare to be amazed. They’re smoky and crispy, with a gooey, cheesy filling that will leave you reaching for another. And if you need more tasty Mexican recipes in your life, find my full list here!
Everything You’ll Need
To make restaurant-quality chile rellenos, you’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients. Just make sure you grab some queso fresco (also known as queso blanco) because it adds the best flavor to the cheesy filling! All measurements can be found below in the recipe card.
Poblano Chiles: These are the perfect vessel for the cheesy filling. Poblano peppers are sweet and smoky, and taste even better when they’re roasted!
Queso Fresco Cheese: Queso fresco’s subtle saltiness and smooth texture perfectly complement the roasted poblano peppers and melty Monterey jack cheese.
Monterey Jack Cheese: The perfect savory, melty cheese for the filling. You could also use mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese, or cheddar cheese.
Large Eggs: For the batter. Eggs help it stick to the peppers.
All-Purpose Flour: Gives your chile rellenos a crispy outer layer that is SO delicious!
Salt and Pepper: For the first layer of seasoning. Add to taste!
Spices: I used Cumin and chili powder to give the batter a kick of flavor. You could also use a dash of cayenne or paprika.
Vegetable Oil: Used to cook the chile relleno in. You can swap this out for your favorite cooking oil!
How to Make Chile Relleno
Get ready to impress your friends and family with this amazing Mexican appetizer! I know it looks like a lot of steps, but they’re actually pretty simple to make.
Roast Chiles: Line a baking sheet with foil and place your washed poblano peppers on the baking sheet. Broil on high for 10 minutes. Rotating them halfway through.
Let Cool: Remove the blackened peppers from the oven and place them in a plastic bag while they cool, they need to sweat out as much moisture as possible.
Combine Cheeses: While the peppers are cooling, mix your two cheeses together in a bowl.
Remove Pepper Skins: Once the peppers are cooled. Take them out of the bag, dry them off with a paper towel, and remove the skins.
Stuff With Cheese: Using a sharp knife, cut a slit vertically along the peppers and remove the seeds and core. Stuff the peppers with your cheese mix and use a few toothpicks to close the slit and set the stuffed peppers aside.
Prepare Batter: In a medium bowl, Whisk together your eggs, flour, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.
Heat Oil: In a large skillet, heat your oil over medium high heat. Be sure the oil is completely heated by taking a toothpick and inserting it into the oil, if it’s hot enough the oil will bubble around the toothpick.
Coat: Dip each stuffed pepper into your dusting flour, then into the egg batter and carefully place them in the hot oil, 2 at a time.
Fry: Fry the chile rellenos until they are golden brown all the way around, you will need to rotate each one to evenly fry them.
Serve: Serve the chile rellenos fresh with your favorite sauce. I recommend my Quick and Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce!
Tips and Tricks
This traditional Mexican dish is sure to be a hit at your house. If you want to make sure your chile rellenos turn out perfectly, here are a few tips to keep in mind. I’ve also included some ideas to customize the filling, so you can use what’s in your fridge!
Roast the Peppers: Don’t skip roasting your poblano peppers! Char them over an open flame or under the broiler until the skins blister. This will not only add a smoky flavor but also make it easier to peel off the skin later.
Dust With Flour: Before you fry them, lightly dust the stuffed peppers with flour. This helps create a crispy exterior and prevents the cheese from leaking out during frying.
More Mix-Ins: The cheesy filling is great for customizing. Try adding some fresh garlic, chopped tomatoes, onions, ground beef or pork, or cilantro!
Add Sauce: I love to serve my chile relleno covered with a delicious sauce. Try red or green enchilada sauce, or homemade salsa!
I recommend enjoying your chile rellenos fresh and warm. The crispy outer layer tastes the best this way! However, if you do end up having leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge and heat them up later.
In the Refrigerator: Store peppers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To Reheat: Transfer your leftover chile relleno to a baking sheet and warm for about 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.