How to Make Restaurant-Style Chiles Rellenos at Home

published Aug 1, 2019
Chile Relleno

A step-by-step guide to making chile relleno at home, including tips for broiling and peeling the chiles, the best way to fry them, and how to serve them.


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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Chiles rellenos are a traditional Mexican dish made of roasted poblano chiles stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, dipped in an egg batter and fried until golden, then covered with a rich salsa roja. And today I’m here to share how easy it is to make this quintessential Mexican dish at home. A la cocina!

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Chiles Rellenos?

Chiles rellenos, which translates to “stuffed chile,” is one of Mexico’s most beloved dishes. With ties to Puebla, chiles rellenos can be made with poblano chiles, hatch chiles, Anaheim, or pasilla chiles. Stuffing can include ground beef, pork, turkey, potato, or cheese, but can also include sweet ingredients such as raisins and nuts. Battered then fried, chiles rellenos can be topped with various sauces — salsa roja is the most traditional, but Puebla is known for their chiles en nogado, a stuffed chile covered in a creamy walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Today, we’re making very simple chiles rellenos: poblano peppers stuffed with Oaxaca cheese and topped with salsa roja.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

3 Tips for Easier Chiles Rellenos at Home

1. Broil the chiles: Traditionally, chiles are roasted over an open flame to char the skin before removing. For this recipe, I like to use the oven to do my heavy lifting; I can roast six at a time. Place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil until all sides of poblanos are charred, about two minutes on each side, using tongs to flip.

2. Make a double batch: Since making chiles rellenos can be a process, I like to make a double batch and fill one half with cheese and the other half with cheese and something else — often cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, or pork, or roasted vegetables. Add these fillings when you add the cheese.

3. Cook the chiles in small batches: Try not to overcrowd your skillet when frying the chiles, as you don’t want the temperature of the oil to drop (that will cause the chile to soak in excessive oil when frying). I fry three at a time, checking my oil temperature between batches.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

How Do I Serve Chiles Rellenos?

After the first chiles have been fried, place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and transfer to a warm oven until all chiles have been fried. When ready to serve, drizzle chiles with warm salsa roja. Garnish with crumbled queso fresco and avocado slices and serve with rice or beans.

Making chiles at home requires a bit of prep, but the end results is so worth it, plus your home will be filled with a heavenly scent of roasted chiles. Yum!

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn
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Chile Relleno

A step-by-step guide to making chile relleno at home, including tips for broiling and peeling the chiles, the best way to fry them, and how to serve them.

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 6

    fresh poblano chiles

  • 8 ounces

    Oaxaca cheese, grated

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 3

    large egg whites

  • 3

    large egg yolks

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 2 cups

    salsa roja


  1. Broil the poblanos. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the poblanos on the baking sheet. Broil, turning with tongs occasionally, until all sides of poblanos are charred, about 2 minutes per side.

  2. Steam the poblanos. Place a clean kitchen towel over the baking sheet. Allow the chiles to sit for 5 minutes (the steam will help the charred skin easily peel off).

  3. Peel the poblanos. Peel off the charred skin from each chile and discard (I like to hold each chile in my hand while removing the skin, as the chiles have softened and I want to avoid tearing them). Set the chiles aside to cool completely.

  4. Remove the core and seeds. Using a paring knife, cut a slit down almost the full length of each chile. Use your hands to remove the seeds and core from each chile, but be careful not to tear the chiles.

  5. Fill with the cheese. Stuff the cheese into the chiles.

  6. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

  7. Fold in the yolks. Gently fold the egg yolks into the whipped egg whites; set aside the egg batter.

  8. Coat the chiles in flour. Spread the flour on a large plate. Carefully roll each chile in flour to coat evenly, shaking off the excess.

  9. Heat the oil. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat to about 375ºF. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels.

  10. Fry the stuffed chiles. When the oil is ready, fry 2 or 3 chiles at a time: carefully dip each chile in the egg batter until coated, then place seam side-down in the skillet. Fry until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and fry until the second side is golden-brown, about 2 minutes more. Place on the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

  11. Heat the salsa. While the poblanos are frying, heat the salsa in a saucepan or microwave until heated through.

  12. Serve with salsa roja. Serve the chile rellenos on top of a bed of salsa or drizzled over top.

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