How to Make Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos
Prep time
Cook time
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One of Mexico's most famous dishes is actually a vegetarian one! Try this authentic chiles rellenos recipe with two stuffing options -- you're going to love it.
Recipe type: Main, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Serves: 4 servings
Peppers Ingredients:
  • 4 large poblano peppers (or try to make sure they're all the same size)
  • 200g or 7 oz Oaxaca or Chihuahua or Manchego cheese* (use more if desired)
  • 1+ cup of refried beans (roughly)
  • vegetable oil for frying
For Batter Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs whites
  • 3 egg yolks
  • all purpose wheat flour
Tomato Salsa Ingredients:
  • 104g or 3.65oz of white onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 553g or 1.2lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 fresh red chiles (like serrano or arbol or jalapeño), can omit if you want a mild salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ½ vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 Tablespoon of masa harina, optional
  • 60ml or ¼ cup water or vegetable broth (if using broth omit the bouillon cube), to start
  1. Charr the poblano peppers, sweat them and peel them -- watch our videofor a visual guide. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chile from the tomato ingredients on top of a comal/griddle and charr until soft, please keep an eye on them as each vegetable will be ready at different times.
  2. Place all of the charred tomatoes, onion, garlic, and the rest of the salsa ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. After peeling and seeding the poblanos stuff them with the cheese and/or refried beans. If needed you can use toothpicks to hold them together.
  4. In a heavy skillet or cast iron skillet heat enough oil to fry your poblanos, amount will depend on the size of your pan and the peppers. While you wait for the oil to heat up, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peeks then fold in the egg yolks and give them a little whirl with the mixer.
  5. Dust the stuffed peppers with flour making sure that the entire chile is covered. Carefully dip the pepper into the beaten eggs, making sure that the whole chile is coated. Very carefully place the pepper into the hot oil and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on one side before flipping over and frying another couple of minutes. If you watch the video you'll notice that I spoon over hot oil from the pan over the peppers as they're frying, this is to help it cook faster and be in the oil less time so resulting in slightly less greasy peppers. After frying place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil.
  6. Heat a little bit of oil in a large pan (large enough to fit your fried poblanos) then carefully pour in the blended tomato sauce and a large bay leaf. Since we let the sauce sit it will have thickened so add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan to thin down a little. Simmer for 10 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  7. Remove any and all of the toothpicks from the fried peppers, place them in the tomato sauce and simmer under low heat for 10 minutes. Serve each pepper with some of the tomato sauce, warm corn tortillas and white or Mexican rice if desired. Enjoy!
*I used Oaxaca cheese but growing up my mother also used chihuahua cheese.

**The masa harina is used to thicken up the tomato sauce a bit, I prefer this to the runnier tomato broth that is more common.
Recipe by Mexican Made Meatless™ at