Chili Relleno Casserole


Chili Relleno Casserole is a delightful and flavorful Mexican-inspired dish that brings together the bold flavors of roasted poblano peppers, gooey cheese, and savory egg mixture. This casserole offers a convenient way to enjoy the beloved flavors of traditional chili rellenos without the hassle of individual stuffing and frying. In this article, we’ll explore the simplicity of making this crowd-pleasing casserole, celebrate its versatility, and highlight why it deserves a spot on your dinner table.

Discovering the Essence of Chili Relleno Casserole: Chili Relleno Casserole captures the essence of authentic Mexican cuisine with its rich layers of roasted poblano peppers, creamy cheese, and flavorful egg batter. Each bite offers a symphony of textures and tastes, from the smoky heat of the peppers to the gooey goodness of melted cheese. Whether served as a comforting weeknight dinner or as the star of your next fiesta, Chili Relleno Casserole is sure to impress with its bold and satisfying flavors.

Ingredients for Chili Relleno Casserole:

  • 6 large poblano peppers
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro for serving (optional)

Instructions for Making Chili Relleno Casserole:

  1. Roast and Peel Poblano Peppers:
    • Roast the poblano peppers under the broiler or over an open flame until the skins are charred and blistered. Place them in a sealed plastic bag for 10 minutes to steam, then peel off the skins, remove the seeds, and cut them into strips.
  2. Prepare the Cheese Filling:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. Reserve a portion of the cheese for topping the casserole later.
  3. Assemble the Casserole:
    • Layer half of the poblano pepper strips in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the peppers. Repeat the layers with the remaining peppers and cheese.
  4. Prepare the Egg Mixture:
    • In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and ground cumin until smooth. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the peppers and cheese in the baking dish.
  5. Bake the Casserole:
    • Bake the casserole in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Allow the Chili Relleno Casserole to cool slightly before slicing. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro if desired.

Why Chili Relleno Casserole is a Hit: Chili Relleno Casserole has become a favorite among home cooks and food enthusiasts for several reasons. Not only does it capture the essence of traditional chili rellenos, but it also offers a convenient and fuss-free way to enjoy this beloved dish. With its customizable flavors and simple preparation, Chili Relleno Casserole is a versatile option that can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish and Accompaniments: Serve Chili Relleno Casserole hot, straight from the oven, for the best taste and texture. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of salsa, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro to enhance the flavors and add a pop of color.
  2. Pairing Suggestions: Pair the casserole with traditional Mexican sides such as rice and beans, cornbread, or a crisp green salad. The contrasting textures and flavors create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
  3. Presentation: For a festive touch, serve Chili Relleno Casserole on a decorative platter or individual plates garnished with extra cheese and a lime wedge for squeezing over the top.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Allow any leftover Chili Relleno Casserole to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: To freeze Chili Relleno Casserole, wrap individual portions or the entire dish tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Frozen casserole can be stored for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Reheating: When ready to enjoy leftover or frozen Chili Relleno Casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. For the best results, cover the casserole with foil to prevent the cheese from overcooking.

Variations of Chili Relleno Casserole:

  1. Chicken Chili Relleno Casserole:
    • Add cooked shredded chicken to the layers of roasted poblano peppers and cheese for a protein-packed variation. Season the chicken with Mexican spices such as cumin, chili powder, and garlic for added flavor.
  2. Vegetarian Chili Relleno Casserole:
    • Create a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and incorporating additional vegetables such as sautéed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach. Layer the vegetables between the poblano peppers and cheese for a hearty and satisfying dish.
  3. Beef and Bean Chili Relleno Casserole:
    • Brown ground beef with onions, garlic, and Mexican spices, then layer it with black beans or pinto beans, roasted poblano peppers, and cheese. This variation adds a hearty texture and savory flavor to the casserole.
  4. Seafood Chili Relleno Casserole:
    • Incorporate seafood such as shrimp, crab, or diced fish into the casserole for a delicious twist. Sauté the seafood with onions, garlic, and bell peppers before layering it with the poblano peppers and cheese for a seafood lover’s delight.
  5. Spicy Chipotle Chili Relleno Casserole:
    • Add diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the egg mixture for a smoky and spicy kick. The chipotle peppers add depth of flavor and heat to the casserole, making it perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their dishes.

FAQs about Chili Relleno Casserole:

  1. What is Chili Relleno Casserole?
    • Chili Relleno Casserole is a Mexican-inspired dish made with roasted poblano peppers, cheese, and a savory egg mixture, baked to perfection in casserole form.
  2. Can I use other types of peppers instead of poblano peppers?
    • While poblano peppers are traditional for Chili Relleno Casserole, you can experiment with other types of peppers such as Anaheim peppers or bell peppers for a milder flavor.
  3. Is Chili Relleno Casserole spicy?
    • The spiciness of Chili Relleno Casserole can be adjusted based on personal preference. Poblano peppers have a mild to moderate heat level, but you can remove the seeds and membranes for a milder dish, or leave them intact for more heat.
  4. Can I make Chili Relleno Casserole ahead of time?
    • Yes, Chili Relleno Casserole can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated before baking. Simply cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  5. What kind of cheese is used in Chili Relleno Casserole?
    • Traditionally, Monterey Jack cheese is used for Chili Relleno Casserole due to its mild flavor and melting properties. Cheddar cheese or a blend of cheeses can also be used for added flavor.
  6. Can I make Chili Relleno Casserole gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can make Chili Relleno Casserole gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend in the egg mixture and ensuring that all other ingredients are gluten-free.
  7. What can I serve with Chili Relleno Casserole?
    • Chili Relleno Casserole pairs well with rice, beans, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, or a side salad for a complete meal.
  8. Can I freeze Chili Relleno Casserole?
    • Yes, Chili Relleno Casserole can be frozen for future enjoyment. Wrap the cooled casserole tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  9. How do I reheat Chili Relleno Casserole?
    • To reheat Chili Relleno Casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator if frozen, then bake it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.
  10. Can I customize Chili Relleno Casserole with additional ingredients?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to customize Chili Relleno Casserole by adding ingredients such as cooked meat (chicken, beef, or pork), beans, vegetables, or spices to suit your taste preferences.


Embrace the bold and satisfying flavors of Mexican cuisine with Chili Relleno Casserole. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply craving comfort food with a kick, this casserole is sure to satisfy. With its layers of roasted poblano peppers, gooey cheese, and savory egg batter, Chili Relleno Casserole is a culinary delight that will have everyone coming back for seconds. So why not spice up your dinner routine tonight with this delicious and satisfying dish?

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