Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos

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Preparation time
15 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
6 people
Meal course
Posted by
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jalapeño chilies (optional for those that like their food hot!)
largish red bell peppers
1 half pound
cheese (I used queso fresco in Guatemala but use whichever you like the most, feta should work well)
1 cup
1 cup
flour plus at least half an extra cup for coating all the chilies
egg, beaten
1 tsp
Baking Powder
1 tsp
baking soda
1 tsp
1 tsp
Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos

Chile rellenos (stuffed peppers) are a popular Guatemalan dish. This recipe is a quicker version than the original because it fills the peppers with cheese rather than meat and vegetables, and uses a simple batter mix without the need of an electric whisk. However, it is by no means comida rápida (fast food) so give yourself an hour or two on a rainy weekend to experiment with this recipe.

The batter should be enough to cover about 6 red peppers and 4-6 jalapeños (optional if you like hot chilies. Otherwise use extra red peppers). Make as many as possible to make the most of the batter and fat. I tend to serve one large red pepper and one jalapeño per person.

  1. The first step is the most time-consuming: char-grilling the peppers. Heat a heavy bottomed pan or a griddle and begin to toast the peppers, turning to blacken each side. This can be done over an open flame. The skins need to be pretty black on all sides so you can then peel them off. Putting them in a plastic bag in the freezer once toasted to sweat for a while helps speed up the process of skinning the peppers
  2. Once the peppers are skinned, carefully make one long vertical slice to open them up, take out the seeds and membrane. Repeat with the rest. This is a particularly important step for the jalapeños
  3. Slice the cheese into lengthways pieces and stuff each pepper with one slice, wrapping up to close
  4. Now make the batter. In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, make a well in the middle and add the whisked egg and teaspoon of oil, gently begin to combine the egg with the flour with a whisk or fork then gradually adding the milk until you have a smooth paste
  5. In a deep frying pan fill with approximately one inch of oil and begin to heat over a medium high flame
  6. While the oil is heating, pour the extra flour onto a flat plate. Take the chilies one-by-one and roll in the flour to completely cover
  7. When the oil is hot (you can test this by dripping a droplet of batter in the oil. If it bubbles straight away it should be hot enough), take the first floured pepper and dunk it in the batter to fully cover, carefully place it in the hot oil. Cook on one side until golden brown then turn over to cook the other side (if not completely submerged) repeat with the rest until the pan is full (but not too full). You will probably need to do 2-3 batches
  8. Once the peppers are golden brown remove and place on kitchen roll to soak up some of the excess oil. Continue to make the rest and either serve warm with rice, avocado and tomato sauce or with salad, not forgetting a huge pile of freshly made tortillas if you can get them!

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