Chile Relleno Casserole
I am not sure when I discovered the chile relleno. I think it was in college (Indiana University..GO HOOSIERS) and my sister and I would go to La Charreada for lunch or dinner. No matter when we would go, it somehow turned into endless laughs and silliness over some white queso dip and chips. Oh, and over my chile relleno. We called La Charreada our “happy place,” because we always had such a grand time even on a random Wednesday. And what is there not to be happy about if it isn’t some Mexican food?
Chile rellenos are a stuffed poblano peppers that are breaded and then deep fried. As much as I love cooking, I am not skilled at frying anything. Frying scares me due to the unhealthiness, but truly more so because I am a klutz. Even as I type I am thinking about my recent tummy burn from spilling boiling water on myself from a boiled egg fiasco. How is it that I have a cooking blog? Safety first, Hyam. Safety!
The idea of a chile relleno casserole came to me because I’ve been craving lasagna and was going to make some this weekend with eggplant as a sub for noodles. However, this idea transitioned to zucchini instead of eggplant. Then it evolved into the idea for a Mexican lasagna which finally made me think of using poblano peppers instead, and developing this awesome Chile Relleno casserole is what became of this process. Exhausting to be me with this brain? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Most of the ingredients are shown above. I did decide, however, to add a bit of hot sauce to the egg mixture before pouring over the casserole layers.
Putting the peppers face down allows the skins to get a good blistering.
Blisters on peppers are good. On skin they are bad.
The meat of the peppers becomes super and tender in the oven. Yummy!
The meat mixture is so delicious that you could really eat it on its own. It would also be a great filling for tacos or on top of a salad. Delicious!
Layer some poblanos…
then 1/3 of the meat and 1/3 of the cheese
then 1/3 of the egg mixture…
and repeat two more times…
bake and you have the most scrumptious Chile Relleno Casserole ever!
I won’t reveal how much of this I ate, but it does make six solid sized portions. Serve it alongside a salad and you have a tasty, very filling meal.
Feel free to have fun with your layering. Maybe you’d prefer a cheddar or a jack cheese instead of chihuahua. Perhaps a vegetarian spin would be great and sub black beans in for the meat. Making casseroles is something fun because you can easily change up the ingredients to suit your taste.
Looking forward to hearing your spin on my Chile Relleno Casserole!
- 6 fresh poblanos - stems and seed removed and sliced in half
- Olive oil or olive oil cooking spray (I used both)
- 1 lb organic ground beef
- 1/2 white onion - chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 tsp ground guajillo chili powder
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp hot water
- 7 oz chihuahua cheese - grated
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup of milk or half and half (I used the latter because that is all I had)
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch
- Hot sauce - optional (I like cholula)
- 3 chopped scallions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Deseed, stem, and halve poblanos
- Place in pan face down that's been sprayed with cooking spray
- Spray tops of chiles or coat lightly with olive oil
- Broil for 5-7 minutes on each side, watching carefully to not burn. Skins should blister
- Place chiles in bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam and allow easy removal of skins
- Meanwhile, heat cooking spray or 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium
- Sautee onion until soft, about 5 minutes
- Add garlic and all the spices. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so garlic does not burn
- Mix tomato paste with hot water so there are no clumps
- Add to pan and allow to cook 4-5 more minutes
- Let meat mixture cool
- Meanwhile, gently peel away the poblano skins
- Spray the bottom of an 8-inch round pan or an 8 x 8 square pan
- Layer the bottom with 4-5 of the poblano slices followed by the meat mixture and cheese
- Whisk together eggs, half and half, and tapioca starch, adding a few dashes of hot sauce if desired
- Pour 1/3 of the mix over the casserole
- Repeat with two more layers
- Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes
- Uncover and bake another 15 minutes, or until center is set
- Top with fresh, chopped scallions and serve hot