Rancho Gordo’s Chiles Rellenos

These chiles rellenos, made from poblano chile peppers and cheese, are baked instead of fried. An almost traditional Mexican recipe.

Chiles Rellenos
Rancho Gordo’s Chiles Rellenos

I grew up eating battered and fried chiles rellenos, stuffed mostly with gooey cheese. I still love them, but when I found a rare copy of the out-of-print Los Chiles Rellenos en Mexico by Mexico City’s brilliant Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, I was inspired to think beyond deep-frying and experiment with baked poblano chiles. The baking intensifies the flavor, something deep-frying doesn’t do. Poblanos have a thick, meaty quality and a denser flavor than bell peppers. Occasionally you get one with some heat, but normally they are mild.–Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington


Don’t mistake these chiles rellenos for potato chips. What we mean by that is just because the chiles are baked, not fried, doesn’t mean they’re not compelling in their own right. They’re really quite lovely. That couldn’t be further from the truth for baked potato chips. Ugh.

Rancho Gordo’s Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos
Poblanos have a thick, meaty quality and a denser flavor than bell peppers. Occasionally you get one with some heat, but normally they are mild.

Prep 25 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 50 mins
Tex Mex
2 servings
1261 kcal
4.50 / 2 votes
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For the classic red salsa

  • Two 1-inch-thick slices red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 2 Serrano chiles
  • 1 cup canned whole plum tomatoes drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 key limes or 1 Persian lime
  • Salt

For the rellenos

  • 1 medium white onion finely chopped
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo casings removed and meat crumbled
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil if needed
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 poblano chiles roasted
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 1 cup grated Manchego cheese
  • 1 cup Classic Red Salsa


Make the red salsa

  • In a dry, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion, garlic, and chiles, turning occasionally, until they char. You’ll need to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove the vegetables as they finish cooking. The garlic will take the longest. When the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, peel them.
  • Toss the onion, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice in a small food processor or blender and pulse until roughly chopped. Season to taste with salt. (The salsa will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.)

Make the rellenos

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute the onion and chorizo until the onion is soft and the chorizo is cooked through, about 10 minutes. The chorizo should have enough fat, but if the mixture seems dry, add a little oil. Add the wild rice, gently toss, and cook just until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
  • Cut a slit down the length of each chile and remove the seeds. Carefully fill each chile with 1/4 cup refried beans, followed by 1/4 of the chorizo mixture. Place the chiles on a baking sheet, slit side up, and sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the stuffing.
  • Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Spoon 1/2 cup salsa on each plate and top with the chiles rellenos.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 1261kcal (63%)Carbohydrates: 64g (21%)Protein: 65g (130%)Fat: 81g (125%)Saturated Fat: 35g (219%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 202mg (67%)Sodium: 4621mg (201%)Potassium: 1285mg (37%)Fiber: 16g (67%)Sugar: 21g (23%)Vitamin A: 4049IU (81%)Vitamin C: 224mg (272%)Calcium: 745mg (75%)Iron: 8mg (44%)

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Originally published May 5, 2008



  1. 4 stars
    I parboiled the poblanos for 4-5 min to soften them before stuffing, added a little corn and black beans to the chorizo. Stuffed ’em and put a slice of pepper jack cheese on top before putting in oven….mmm

    1. That sounds magnificent, charles! Love that you successfully modified the recipe to make it work for you.

  2. How did you make a quarter pound of chorizo fit into a poblano along with a quarter cup of beans and a quarter cup of rice?

    1. Mark, the peppers aren’t stuffed in the traditional sense, but rather slit open and filled. (Think of a stuffed potato skin.) The pepper runneth over, if you will. Another solution is pick up a few extra peppers.

  3. 5 stars
    I was looking for a good red salsa recipe and decided to give this a try. However, although I usually follow recipes to the letter, I did not have all of the ingredients on hand and decided to take a page out of my rebel husband’s playbook. I substituted lemon instead of lime, fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead of whole plum tomatoes, pickled jalapenos instead of serrano, and I left out cilantro because I didn’t have any. I will not be buying store bought salsa again. Despite my substitutions, the salsa was awesome!

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