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The Cooking Through The Generation: Chile Relleno

July 14, 2022
Online Resources

Author: Natalie

Chile relleno is said to have originated from Puebla, Mexico. One of the legends surrounding its inception is that Agustín de Iturbide, who later became the emperor of Mexico, was traveling back to Mexico City after signing a treaty of Mexico’s independence from Spain when he stopped in Puebla on the day of his patron saint, Saint Augustine. The nuns of a local convent in Puebla created the chile relleno to celebrate both Mexico’s Independence and Saint Augustine.

The popularity of the chile relleno is widespread across regions of Mexico and in the United States. In Michoacan, Mexico, where my great-grandmother grew up, she learned how to make chiles rellenos and she taught my grandma how to make them. 

In addition to using poblano chiles, my great-grandma also used pasilla chiles, which is a different type of chile that is dried. Unfortunately, she never taught my grandma how to make chile relleno using the pasillas. But she is adamant that the pasilla chile rellenos her mom made were the best she’s ever eaten!

While cheese is usually used to stuff the chiles, my grandma also likes to use picadillo, which is another dish that consists of seasoned ground beef with carrots and potatoes, to stuff the chiles. 

Ingredient List:

  • 10 Poblano Chiles
  • 20 oz Ranchero Queso Fresco
  • ½ cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
  • ½ White Onion
  • 12 oz Tomato Sauce
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Toothpicks (same amount as chiles)


  1. Roast chiles on the stovetop.
  2. Once chiles are roasted, place each onto a hand towel inside a plastic bag and cover chiles so that it “sweats”, which makes the chiles easier to then peel.
  3. Peel softened chiles.
  4. Vertically slice into the chile and remove the seeds.
  5. Grate 20 oz of ranchero queso fresco (cheese).
  6. Stuff the chiles with cheese and use a toothpick to close the slice in the chile.
  7. Prepare flour mixture - mix together all-purpose flour, pepper, and garlic salt.
  8. Prepare batter - add 4 egg whites into a bowl and beat until fluffy. After, add 4 egg yolks and beat until incorporated.
  9. Coat chiles with the flour mixture.
  10.  Dip chiles into the batter and fry in a heated pan with oil.
  11. For the sauce, add minced garlic clove and ½ cut onion into a pot. 
  12. Once onions are translucent,  add a 12 oz can of tomato sauce and approx. 24 oz of water to pot - let come to a boil.
  13. After the sauce is boiling, add chiles to the pot and let the sauce return to a boil.
  14. Add salt to taste and chiles rellenos are ready to serve!

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