Recipe: Baked Chili Relleno


I just returned from seeing friends and family in Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee, St. Louis, Chicago, and Atlanta. Dear friends in Atlanta took me to a Mexican restaurant that offered a delicious Chili Relleno entree that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Back home, I concocted a healthier version of the traditional Chili Relleno, by baking the stuffed chili peppers, rather than breading and frying them.

Here is the dish I developed, which I think retains the flavor and experience of chili Relleno, without frying.


2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
6 pods of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1 10 oz. can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilis
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried cilantro
6-8 green poblano peppers
1 can of black beans or kidney beans, drained
8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. of cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Optional garnishes - avocado slices, sour cream, salsa

Wash and then roast the chili peppers. I used the outside gas grill and a basket to lightly char the peppers. This can also be done in a 375-degree oven, turning the peppers as necessary. The goal is to cook and char the peppers lightly.  Individual grills will vary as to temperatures and cooking times, so watch the peppers carefully as they cook.

Remove the peppers from the heat source, and let them cool.

Once cool, remove the stem and slit each pepper, scraping out the seeds at the same time.

Using the stovetop, sautée the diced onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.

Place the tomato sauce and the Ro-tel into a blender. Add one-half of the cooked onions, garlic mixture and the spices. Process in the blender until smooth.

Place the canned, drained beans into a large bowl. Add the remaining cooked onions and garlic, the cheddar cheese and the Monterey Jack cheese to the bowl. Stir thoroughly until all ingredients are incorporated. This will become the stuffing for the peppers.

Place a small amount of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.

Stuff each pepper with the bean mixture, placing each in the baking dish with the slit side up. Complete this step for each pepper. Pour the remaining sauce over the peppers in the baking dish. Top with pepper Jack cheese.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-45 minutes.


Shannon Beigert is a chef and baker who loves to entertain guests at her Olympia home. If you want to let her know that this recipe worked well for you, send her a note at


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