Chile Relleno Casserole

DinnerCasseroleTexMexEgg

Poblano chiles, stuffed with cotija cheese and chorizo sausage, baked in an egg and cheese casserole with tomato sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Classic chiles rellenos are green chiles, blackened and outer skin removed, stuffed with either cheese or a pork sausage picadillo, dipped in batter, fried in oil, and often served with a thin tomato sauce.

I grew up loving the chiles rellenos my mother made for us. The only problem is that they are a bit tricky to make; they can sometimes get soggy with the oil. And they can be a bit rich with all that frying.

This recipe for a chile relleno casserole skips the steps of dipping in batter and frying, and instead bakes the stuffed chiles in an egg batter. The recipe is based on one from Sunset Magazine; our main adjustment to the original is to include a tomato sauce base to the casserole. To us, chiles rellenos taste better with a light tomato sauce, and they do in this casserole as well.

Chile Relleno Casserole Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Feel free to play around with the stuffing, Mexican chorizo is great for this, but we've also used hot Louisiana pork sausage. Or you can skip the pork all together and just use a jack cheese stuffing. Note that this casserole serves 8; you can easily cut the ingredients in half and use an 8x8 dish for the casserole.

Ingredients

  • 8 poblano chiles
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (can sub feta)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • One dozen eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Special equipment:

Method

1 Char the whole poblano chiles: The first step is to char the outside skin of the poblano chiles. The easiest way to do that is directly over the flame of a gas burner (see How to Roast Chiles over a Gas Flame).

You can also do that over a grill, or in a broiling pan under a broiler (don't use a thin baking sheet or it will warp under the high heat). Just put the chiles close enough to the heating element so they char and blister on the surface.

Turn the chiles so that they get completely blackened all around. Place the blackened chiles in a bowl and cover with a plate or damp towel. Let the chiles steam in their own heat for several minutes.

2 Sauté onion, garlic, add tomatoes, salt, and simmer: While the chilies are cooling, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan, on medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the tomatoes (break up any whole tomatoes before adding to the pan). Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3 Peel the blackened skin off the poblanos: Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends. Carefully remove the seed pod without tearing the chiles (which you will stuff later).

4 Cook the chorizo: Put the Mexican chorizo in a large frying pan and set the heat to medium high. Break up the chorizo with the edge of a metal spatula as you cook it. Cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

5 Spread tomato sauce over bottom of baking dish: Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of an 9x13 inch baking dish. The tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water.

6 Make stuffing: In a large bowl, mix together the stuffing of the cooked chorizo, cotija, and oregano.

7 Stuff chiles with chorizo mixture and place on top of tomato sauce in the baking dish.

8 Whisk eggs, flour, baking powder, salt: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

9 Sprinkle chiles with cheese and pour egg mixture over them: Sprinkle chiles with half of the jack or cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

At this point you can make ahead and chill for several days. Add 10 minutes to cooking time in the next step if you make ahead and chill.

10 Bake: Bake at 375°F until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.

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Roasted green chile tortilla bake - more chile goodness from Karina

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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58 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Deric

    This is a good recipe, very tasty. I did a couple things different though. I wanted to make this Keto friendly, so I substituted the flour for coconut flour (which I would NOT do again, because that was so hard to mix in the egg mixture. Next time I would try almond flour or something). The other thing I did was 2/3 chorizo with 1/3 ground beef (93%). I find that some chorizo can be a little to greasy and wanted to cut that down a little bit.

    I think this turned out really well. Although I wouldn’t say it hit my chile relleno craving, I would probably make this again. It is a bit time consuming, but the flavors are worth it and it’s not your average casserole recipe, so having something a little out of the ordinary is kind of fun.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Jessica

    I need this for a small company party. Will I need 2 baking dishes? To make 2 batches? How close is this to the real thing?

  • Rev. Vicenta Cisneros, Hospice Minister

    [email protected] I used ground meat taco filling
    Thanks for our great meal.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Stefanie

    Perfect recipe
    Only thing I do differently is stuffing the peppers with cheese and whatever left over shreeded beef, chicken, rice and even roasted corn. Just depends what’s hanging out in the fridge.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Donna

    I dont have baking powder. Can i still make this recipe?

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