These Baked Chile Rellenos are a healthy take on the traditional Mexican classic. We roast the poblano chilies (rather than fry them in egg white mixture) and stuff them with black beans & cheese, and bake them in an incredible rancheros sauce. Vegan-Adaptable! Video.

A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chiles Rellenos Recipe - that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients - all baked together on one sheet-pan - saving a step!  #chiliesrancheros

My husband Brian loves a good Chile Relleno. The problem is I love them too, but they don’t look quite as good on me. 😉  Typically, they are battered and fried, oozing with cheese, and often greasy and heavy, dripping with fat and calories. This lightened-up healthy chile rellenos recipe calls for roasting the poblano peppers, not frying, and includes cholesterol-lowering black beans instead of using all cheese. They are also made without flour- so, gluten-free. So, not an authentic Chile Rellenos, but just as delicious!

I’ve even included a vegan version if you want to eliminate the dairy, which surprisingly got a huge thumbs up from my husband. The nice thing is you can make some vegan and some vegetarian with cheese based on your preferences.

What I love MOST about this recipe is the sheet-pan roasting method, where the poblano peppers and the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients are roasted together.  It saves a huge step. It is so easy and much quicker than traditional Chiles Rellenos while being much lighter and super delicious!

Baked Chile Rellenos! | 45-seC video 

Baked Chili Relleno Ingredients

  • Poblano peppers- Use the largest poblano chiles you can find. Poblano Peppers (vs hatch chilies or Anaheim peppers) are the easiest to work with- they are sturdier!
  • Tomatoes- Roma tomatoes or vine-ripened
  • Garlic cloves and Onion – add depth of flavor
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • olive oil
  • Black beans, drained and rinsed -seasoned (see notes)  or Cuban Style are nice
  • Melty Cheese: Monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese or Mexican queso fresco (or 1 cup vegan Herbed Tofu Ricotta )
  • Spices cumincorianderchili powderdried oregano &  salt and pepper
  • Tomato paste
  • Fresh Cilantro leaves
  • Serve with sour cream, lime, and hot sauce!

How to make Baked Chili Rellenos

Roast the poblano peppers and the ranchero sauce ingredients on one or two baking sheets. Use parchment (not foil, unlike the pictures).

Roasted Black bean Chile Rellenos Recipe- a healthy lightened up version that is roasted instead of fried and is gluten free and vegan adaptable! | www.feastingathome.com

While this is roasting, make the filling. In a medium bowl, mix the black beans, spices and cheese. You can also use vegan ricotta instead of cheese for a tasty vegan version!

Once the poblano chilies are roasted, slit them vertically and stuff with the filling mixture.

Roasted Black bean Chile Rellenos Recipe- a healthy lightened up version that is roasted instead of fried and is gluten free and vegan adaptable! | www.feastingathome.com

Blend the rancheros sauce ingredients in a blender.

Stuff the roasted peppers with the black bean and cheese mixture and place over the ranchero sauce in an extra-large casserole dish or baking dish.  A chile relleno casserole!

Roasted Black bean Chile Rellenos Recipe- a healthy lightened up version that is roasted instead of fried and is gluten free and vegan adaptable! | www.feastingathome.com

You can also bake in individual baking dishes or mini cast iron skillets.

A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chiles Rellenos Recipe - that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients - all baked together on one sheet-pan - saving a step!  #chiliesrancheros

Then Bake! This vegan version is made with black beans and herbed tofu ricotta – it’s really flavorful!

A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chiles Rellenos Recipe - that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients - all baked together on one sheet-pan - saving a step!  #chiliesrancheros

Or bake them all together in a large cast iron skillet until golden and melty.

A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chiles Rellenos Recipe - that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients - all baked together on one sheet-pan - saving a step!  #chiliesrancheros

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, reheat in a 350F oven, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Sylvia’s TIPS

  • VEGAN: If cooking for mixed households where some folks are vegan and some are vegetarian- you can use our vegan ricotta instead of cheese. Bake in separate baking dishes.
  • MEAT: You can easily add browned, seasoned ground meat to some while keeping others vegan or vegetarian. If adding meat, this Mexican Turkey chorizo is nice, as well as cooked shredded Chicken Carnitas.
  • CHILES: Purchase the biggest Poblano Chilies you can find. The peppers in the photos were abnormally large poblanos (like 8 inches long!).  One pepper was one serving.  If you only have smaller ones available (like 4-inch ones), get double the amount; you may need to serve 2 as a serving.  Poblano Peppers (vs Pasilla or Anaheim peppers) are the easiest to work with- they are sturdier! They will most likely take 30 minutes to roast, while the others roast much quicker, so if using Pasillas or Anaheims – check after 10-15 minutes, or they may get too soft to handle and hard to stuff.
  • GRILL: You can also blacken the peppers on a gas grill or on a stovetop gas burner (easiest), rotating with tongs until charred on all sides, then wrap up in a paper bag, or foil for 8-10 minutes to allow them to steam and soften before seeding and peeling under cool running water.
  • TIME SAVORS: Two products that come in handy at home- that I try to always keep in my pantry:  Tomato Paste in a tube– because we rarely use the whole can in one sittting. And seasoned Black Beans- a faster way to add more flavor to meals- already have onion, garlic and green chilies in with them.
A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chiles Rellenos Recipe - that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients - all baked together on one sheet-pan - saving a step!  #chiliesrancheros

Chili Rellenos FAQs

Q: What is a Chile Relleno?

A: A Chile Relleno is a traditional Mexican dish made from whole poblano chilies that are stuffed with cheese, battered in an egg batter, and fried until golden brown. They are typically served with Ranchero Sauce.

Q: Can I make a healthier version of Chile Rellenos?

A: Yes, absolutely! In fact, this recipe provides a healthier take on Chile Rellenos. Instead of frying the chilies, they are roasted, and black beans are added to the filling for a lighter and more nutritious option. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to suit your dietary preferences!

Q: Are Chile Rellenos gluten-free?

A: Yes, these Chili Rellenos are made without flour so that individuals can enjoy them following a gluten-free diet.

Q: Can I make a vegan version of Chile Rellenos?

A: Yes, you can! Use this vegan ricotta cheese instead of dairy cheese. Depending on your preferences, you can also adapt the recipe to make some vegan and some vegetarian Chile Rellenos.

Q: How do I blacken the chilies?

A: To blacken the poblano chilies for the recipe, you can either char them on a gas grill or on a stovetop gas burner by simply rotate the chilies with tongs until they are charred on all sides. Then, wrap them up in a paper bag or foil for 8-10 minutes to allow them to steam and soften. After that, you can slit, and remove the seeds.

Q: How should I store leftover Chile Rellenos?

A: Leftover Chile Rellenos can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat them, simply place them in a 350°F oven until warmed through. If you have more leftovers than you can consume within 4 days, they freeze well.

What to Serve with Chile Rellenos!

When serving chili relleno, you can pair it with a variety of delicious side dishes. Here are some options:

  1. Mexican Slaw: A refreshing and crunchy slaw with a zesty dressing perfectly complements the chili relleno flavors. You can find a recipe for Mexican slaw here.
  2. Mexican Rice: Serve chili relleno alongside a flavorful Mexican rice dish. The combination of the spicy chili relleno and the savory rice is irresistible. You can find a recipe for Mexican rice here.
  3. Mexican Pinto Beans: A classic side dish in Mexican cuisine, pinto beans are the perfect accompaniment to chili relleno. Their creamy texture and rich flavor complement the dish beautifully. You can find a recipe for Mexican pinto beans here.
  4. Guacamole: Add some creamy and tangy guacamole to your chili relleno plate. The coolness of the guacamole contrasts nicely with the spiciness of the dish. You can find recipes for guacamole here with three different variations.
  5. Hibiscus Margaritas with Ginger and Lime: For a refreshing and unique beverage, try serving hibiscus margaritas with ginger and lime. The floral notes of the hibiscus and the zing of ginger will perfectly complement the chili relleno’s flavors. You can find a recipe for hibiscus margaritas here.
  6. Mexican Papaya Salad: If you’re looking for a light and refreshing side dish, a Mexican papaya salad is a great choice. The sweetness of the papaya and the tanginess of the dressing balance out the savory flavors of the chili relleno. You can find a recipe for Mexican papaya salad here.

Feel free to mix and match these side dishes to create a complete and satisfying meal with your chili relleno. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this lightened-up, healthy version of Baked Chile Rellenos! Let us know what you think in the comments below. Have a beautiful weekend! xo

Sylvia

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Roasted Chile Rellenos- vegan adaptable, lightened up a nd can be made on one sheet pan!

Baked Chile Rellenos

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner recipe,
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A healthy, lightened-up version of Chile Relleno made by roasting (instead of frying) the poblano peppers. Stuff with savory black beans and bake in the easy Rancheros Sauce. Vegan-adaptable.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 46 extra-large poblano peppers, leave whole with stems on. (see notes)
  • 6 ripe, medium tomatoes, (roma, or vine-ripened) halved
  • 6 fat garlic cloves- whole
  • one large onion, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges or slices
  • 2 small jalapeños- halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Black bean FILLING:

  • 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed -seasoned (see notes -Cuban Style are nice)
  • 6 ounces grated Monterey jack cheese, cheddar, or Mexican queso fresco (or 1 cup vegan Herbed Tofu Ricotta )

Rancheros Sauce Additions

  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional, but good)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
  • 1/41/2 cup water or broth ( to the desired consistency)

Serve with cilantro lime rice, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro


Instructions

  1. Please READ DIRECTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH
  2. Preheat the oven to 450F
  3. ROAST Poblanos and Sauce ingredients: Line two sheet pans with parchment. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them on the sheet pan along with sliced onions and whole garlic cloves, halved jalapeños. On the second sheet pan add the whole poblano peppers. (You can also char the peppers on a gas burner, see notes) Drizzle all with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and check after 10-15 minutes. Turn the poblanos. (If your oven runs hot, turn it down to 425 if needed.) When the garlic and poblano peppers are just tender, remove them (pasilla peppers will cook much faster than poblanos- please see notes) Otherwise, continue roasting with the tomatoes and onions for another 15-20 minutes until the peppers and onions are tender and the tomatoes are caramelized and juicy -take out of the oven (leave the oven on) and let these all cool.
  4. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix the canned beans (drained, rinsed) with the cheese. OR If going vegan, mix the beans with 1 cup of vegan herbed tofu ricotta.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper. If using plain black beans, add a teaspoon of cumin and chili powder. Taste, adjusting salt, pepper and spices.
  5. Take ⅓ of the roasted onions, chop them up, and add them to the bean filling mixture and stir.
  6. Blend up the Roasted Ranchos Sauce: Place the remaining onions into a blender along with the tomatoes, pan juices, jalapeño,  garlic,  and Rancheros Sauce additions:  cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, salt, tomato paste and fresh cilantro, adding a little splash of water (or broth if needed) to thin it out, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  7. STUFF POBLANOS: Carefully cut a slit in the poblano peppers from stem to pointy end and using your fingers, gently remove seeds while rinsing them under cold running water. If the thin skins slip off, let them, but don’t worry about actively peeling them, especially poblanos – their skins are quite thin -leaving some of the skin on is perfectly fine.
  8. In a 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish (or oven-proof skillet) pour a little of the roasted tomato ranchero sauce to coat the bottom (use half the sauce). Place the peppers over top of the sauce, slit side up, then spoon the black bean filling into each one. Pour the rest of the flavorful ranchero sauce over the top. At this point, you could add more shredded cheese to the top, is you want.
  9. Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes in a 425F oven- or until the filling is warm and melty, then uncover and bake 5 more minutes.
  10. Garnish with cilantro leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream if you like.

Notes

When roasting, ff you have an electric oven, or your oven runs hot, lower heat to 425F or just keep a close eye, removing things as they become tender.

PEPPERS: Get the biggest Poblano Chilies you can find. The peppers you see in the photos were abnormally large poblanos (like 8 inches long!).  One pepper was one serving.  If you only have smaller ones available ( like 4-inch ones) get double the amount, you may need to serve 2 as a serving. Poblanos (vs Pasilla peppers) are easiest to work with- they are sturdier! They will most likely take 30 minutes to roast while pasillas roast much quicker, so be sure to check pasillas after 10-15 minutes or they may get too soft to handle, and hard to stuff.

You can also blacken either of the peppers on a gas grill or on a stovetop gas burner (easiest), rotating with tongs until charred on all sides, then wrap up in a paper bag, or foil for 8-10 minutes to allow them to steam and soften before seeding and peeling under cool running water.

MEAT: If cooking for mixed households you can bake these individual baking dishes or even in mini cast iron skillets like you see here – which is especially nice if cooking for both vegans and meat-eaters. You can easily add browned, seasoned ground meat to some while keeping others vegan or vegetarian. If adding meat, this Mexican Turkey chorizo is nice, as well as cooked shredded Chicken Carnitas.

Make ahead: Feel free to make these ahead, assemble and refrigerate for up to 3 days before baking. ( Let them come to room temp before baking).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 302
  • Sugar: 7.9 g
  • Sodium: 890 mg
  • Fat: 11.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.9 g
  • Fiber: 14.2 g
  • Protein: 16.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 24.5 mg

Keywords: chili relleno recipe, chili relleno chilies rellenos, healthy chili relleno, Chile relleno recipe, vegan chilies rellenos, baked chilies rellenos, chilies rellenos healthy

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Comments

  1. Delicious! A little less vegan ricotta, replace with a little Monterey Jack. Dollop of guac. Yum!

  2. This is one of the most remarkable recipes I have ever made! Chile rellenos are so difficult for me, the batter part is messy and challenging. Not only are these super easy, but they are super delicious too! Everyone loves them. Thanks!

  3. Fabulous flavor, healthy, and great directions. I have long loved interesting interpretations of poblano rellenos, and this recipe ranks right on top. Made it for the first time last night, but definitely not for the last. It’s a keeper!

  4. Wow made this recipe on my pellet grill/smoker the smoke on the sauce ingredients and the pablanos absolutely put it over the top!!!!!

    1. Hi Vivian- yes I leave the skins on and I don’t deseed the peppers- but feel free to if you wish.

  5. I made this healthier vegetarian version and absolutely loved it! We ate this with a side of Mexican street corn. No shortage of flavor here!

  6. It’s SO good!! Everything, but especially the sauce! I’ll be making this sauce probably once a week; it would be great on anything. I’d even eat it as a soup.

  7. I braved this recipe in 30 degree, 68% humidity because it looked SO delicious. It was absolutely worth heating up our home for. I loved it and intend to make it many more times in the future. 10/10.

  8. Delicious! I used anaheims because that’s what I had on hand. The whole family sought out the leftovers!

  9. Soooo good!!! I haven’t rated a recipe before but I have loved every one of your recipes that I have tried and I look forward to reading each well written post. Thank you for your generosity in providing your phenomenal recipes. They have such wonderful flavor combinations and have given me exposure to new cuisines! This recipe turned the heads of my non-adventurous family of eaters !!! (And the Chana Masala was also game changing!). You’re the best!!! Just had to finally thank you! 🙂

  10. Another absolute hit! The sauce alone is amazing, I’ll be making that for other things as well. I gilded the lily a teeny bit – filling was beans AND fresh corn AND real ricotta, topped with cheese and more corn, then fresh cilantro, lime, avocado and corn tortillas. We loved them!

  11. This recipe makes a tasty supper! I followed the directions for oven roasting everything, used commercially available vegan shredded cheddar, and I made it ahead. I stored it in the refrigerator in a covered casserole overnight. Next day, oven baked till hot and bubbly. Served with rice and salad. Between three adults, (one who is a picky princess) no leftovers; it was really really good. I’ll be making this again and looking forward to Your other recipes, Thank You

  12. Another big winner! Deeeeelicious! Made it exactly as per the recipes and it was a big hit with my family.

  13. I can’t get poblano peppers where I live. Would this be worth trying with bell peppers? It looks delicious!!

    1. Amanda- I bet it would taste good! Poblanos are a little spicy so you may want to make the filling just a little spicier. 🙂

  14. Wow! This is amazing! I made it with the vegan ricotta and it was a hit with vegans, non-vegans, and even my 3 year old son. It had great depth of flavor, was filling, and yet still felt light and healthy.

  15. I’ve made this recipe every Linton season for the last several years and it is a family favorite.

    Of course it’s not only for Lent, and I’ve also modified it to add beef mixtures along with the beans and cheese.

    We’ve made using several different cheeses and have finally decided that queso fresco is the best one to use.

  16. One of our favorites! I’m very liberal with the amount of filling used – this time I used 16oz of beans and vegan ricotta made from 16oz of tofu and the amount turned out to be perfect for the number of poblanos that I could fit in my 9×12 dish.

  17. Unbelievably delicious and simple! Just finished making and it’s already become one of my favorite recipes!

  18. Loved this recipe & you feel healthy after eating it! I added ground chicken chorizo from the suggestion because my husband loves meat:) we had left over stuffing mixture so the next day I served it as a dip with tortilla chips 🙂 definitely make again! Thanks!

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