Baked Chili Rellenos with a Smoky Tomato Sauce

Before Sauce

I love to read through cookbooks and food magazines. The few times I have fasted, I’ve spent hours gorging myself on the pictures inside, able to taste each ingredient and imagine how they would all go together. My husband would just shake his head at me – unable to understand why I would do that to myself, though I thoroughly enjoyed it. By the time the fast was over, I’d have a whole slew of new things to try.

I don’t always get around to all of them, but am so glad I jumped right on this one – it’s from September’s issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. I have always been a fan of chili rellenos in restaurants, and this is a great and healthier version to make at home. The sauce is divine – really, it’s so good that I tripled the recipe this time and have 2 1/2 jars in my freezer waiting for the next dish that needs a little pizazz. Seriously…

Poblanos, Fresh & Roasted

I have never roasted peppers before, so this was a new thing for me. To roast the peppers, put them in an oven heated to 425 for 30-45 minutes, turning carefully with tongs every 10 minutes or so. It’s important to watch them closely so you don’t over do them. Once they get that charred skin, take them out, let them cool, then peel under cool water and put aside.


I have not yet had success at filling the peppers and keeping them intact, but it still works. When the filling is in, I just wrap the peel around it, reshaping it and holding it together while I coat it with the egg wash and then the panko crumbs. Once they are lined up in the dish, they hold together well.


Chiles Rellenos:
6 large poblano chiles
2 tsp vegetable oil (or olive)
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 large egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
1/4 cup of low fat sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)

Smoky Tomato Sauce:
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1- 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained

-To make chile rellenos: roast and peel chiles cut 3 inch slit in each chile and remove seeds with spoon
-Preheat oven to 425. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 mins. Add zucchini and corn, and cook 5 mins. Season with salt, if desired.
-Transfer to bowl and stir in cheese.
– Stuff each chili with 1/2 cup zucchini mixture. Secure closed with toothpicks.
– Whisk egg with 1/2 c of water in bowl. Spread breadcrumbs on plate.
– Dip chiles in egg wash. Coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet, and bake 15-25 mins or until golden.
Make the sauce: Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, chili powder and cumin and cook 4-5 mins. Add tomatoes, and simmer 10 mins, breaking up tomatoes with spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer to blender, add chipotle chile, and blend on low speed until sauce is smooth. Serve Chiles Rellenos with sauce, cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream/yogurt.

This is a great dish to make ahead. Just put them together, stick ’em in the fridge, and cook them when you’re ready to eat.

Hopefully you’ll like them as much as I do. If you try them, please let me know!

Tomatoes and Spices


Filed under Uncategorized, Vegetarian

3 responses to “Baked Chili Rellenos with a Smoky Tomato Sauce

  1. Wes

    You forgot to mention that when you stick the sauce in the fridge, you need to label it so it’s not mistaken for spaghetti sauce!

  2. Haha, you two are cute! I’ve made vegetarian stuffed poblanos in two different smoky sauces this week and I remembered that you’d endorsed this one! I am all over it for the weekend! Can we really eat too many chile rellenos type dishes in one week?

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