Chile Relleno is my all-time favorite dish and I will order it every single time we go to a Mexican Food restaurant. I am rarely disappointed…except for that one time when it was filled with mashed potatoes. Who does that? It wasn’t that it was terrible tasting, even though I really, really didn’t care for it. But it was a major surprise! I was told that it is actually quite common.
Well, NOT in my world, it isn’t!
Anyway, I have come across several recipes for the real thing, but as the Haphazard Homemaker, I do not do anything remotely complicated or requiring deep frying in my kitchen.
I’ve been sitting on this chile relleno casserole idea for awhile. The recipes I have seen call for canned green chiles and a couple of pounds of shredded cheese and topped with a thin batter. Now, I love cheese, but 2/3 cups of cheese per serving seemed like an awful of cheese.
I also wanted a dish with more substance, specifically some ground beef and the real deal Pablano peppers.
NOTE: Can be made without ground beef for a vegetarian meal.
Easy Chile Relleno Casserole
This baked chile relleno casserole serves 6 and is so easy to make! Easy 20 minute prep, 35-40 minutes in the oven and dinner is done.
If you don’t have Pablano peppers, substitute two 7 oz cans of green chiles, rinsed and drained.
- 1# ground beef, browned.
- 10 oz. Pablano peppers, about 8 medium size.
- 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- Prepare peppers: cut peppers open, flatten, then scrape and remove seeds and veins.
- Place 1/2 cup water and the pepper pieces in a microwave safe covered dish, steam for 5 -8 minutes. Let sit covered for another 5 minutes. Just before putting the casserole together, if you see any bubbles in the skin, poke careful and remove the larger pieces of thin skin.
- While the peppers are steaming, brown the ground beef, drain and blot dry to remove grease.
- Lightly grease a small baking dish, such as an 8″ or 9″ inch cake pan. (I thought I would save some clean-up time by lining my baking pan with foil. Not a good idea, because the food stuck to the foil. It wasn’t difficult to remove, but I did have to turn the casserole upside down to do so.)
- Arrange half of the peppers in the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle half of the cooked ground beef over the peppers.
- Sprinkle half of the shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses over the browned ground beef.
- Repeat steps #6, #7 and #8.
- In a medium deep bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper until well mixed. I had a heck of time mixing in the flour in that short bowl.
- Pour batter evenly over the the top of the casserole.
- Bake approximately 35 minutes at 350°, or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove casserole from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
To dish up, cut the casserole with sharp knife and carefully lift out the pieces.
This recipe makes 6 good size portions. Serve with refried beans, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes for a delicious meal to enjoy at home.
Hubby said it was really good and he wouldn’t mind having it for dinner every couple of weeks. It was cheesy, without being overwhelming. That being said, he thought it would be even better with some “Queso blanco” (white cheese) on top, like restaurants serve. I think it’s pretty easy to make, but it’s sold in cans too, and is the same thing some restaurants serve.
Keep a few 1# packages of already-browned ground beef in the freezer, then thaw one in the fridge for a few hours before putting casserole together. To prepare for use, heat in the micro-wave for a few minutes, then blot dry with a paper towel to remove excess grease. I put it on a paper plate and cover with a paper towel, then heat on low or defrost for 3 -4 minutes. You might like this post about freezing ground beef: How to Meal-Prep #10 of Ground Beef
The peppers can be prepped a day or two beforehand and put in a container with a paper towel in the fridge.