This recipe for Baked Chili Rellenos is a delicious and satisfying Mexican-inspired dish that offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Unlike the traditional recipe, which typically involves deep-frying in oil, this version is baked to create a healthier and lighter meal without compromising on taste.
To make this recipe, start by roasting the Anaheim or Pasilla chilies (using a grill or broil method) and carefully removing the skins. Then, slice the chilies down the middle and stuff them with a blend of cheddar, Monterey jack, and cotija cheeses, reserving some of the mixture for topping. Place the stuffed chilies with the stuffed side facing down in a baking dish, and then preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Next, prepare the Chili Relleno Sauce by combining crushed tomatoes, diced green chilies, chicken broth, oregano, garlic (crushed and minced), garlic powder, and diced onions in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Pour the sauce over the chilies, add the remaining cheese on top, and bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Serve hot and enjoy!
Here are some frequently asked questions about this recipe:
What type of chilies are best for Baked Chili Rellenos? Anaheim or Pasilla chilies are commonly used due to their size and mild flavor, but you can also experiment with other chilies such as poblano peppers or bell peppers for a milder taste. Just make sure they are large enough to stuff and have a suitable heat level for your preference.
How do I roast and peel the chilies for this recipe? You can roast chilies using a grill, broiler, or stovetop gas flame. Char the chilies on all sides and then steam them for about 10 minutes. Gently remove the charred skin using your fingers or a paper towel, taking care not to tear the chilies.
Can I make the sauce spicier or milder? Yes, you can adjust the spiciness of the sauce to your preference by adding more or less green chilies, crushed red pepper flakes, or hot sauce.
Can I prepare this dish without using the oven? Yes, you can cook Baked Chili Rellenos on the stovetop. Brown the stuffed chilies in a skillet with a small amount of oil, and then pour the sauce over them, cover, and simmer until the cheese is melted and the chilies are cooked through.
How can I make this dish healthier? You can make this recipe healthier by using low-sodium chicken broth, reduced-fat cheese, and whole wheat flour (if you choose to batter the chilies). Adding more vegetables to the stuffing or sauce, such as corn, zucchini, or spinach, can also boost the dish’s nutritional value. Serving the dish with a side of steamed vegetables, a salad, or brown rice is another way to make the meal healthier and more balanced.
3-4 large poblano peppers
3 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of queso fresco, cheddar, and mozzarella)
Tomato Salsa Sauce
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes (crushed or diced)
½ medium onion, diced
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
¼ cup vegetable broth (or chicken if not making vegetarian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 sprigs green onions, chopped
Put the poblano peppers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet on the highest rack in the oven and broil on high for 15 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
Once the peppers have roasted, remove them from the oven and place them in a sealable plastic bag for 10 minutes to steam.
Turn on the oven to 375°F to continue warming.
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 ⅔ of the sauce at the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan/dish.
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. Be careful, the peppers are still hot!
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 it open side down in the pan with the sauce. Don’t worry if it breaks a little, it will be covered with more sauce and cheese.
Cover the cheese-stuffed peppers in the pan with the rest of the sauce and cheese.
Bake the rellenos in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and serve with chopped green onion, avocado, and sour cream. Enjoy!