Authentic Chiles Rellenos

About eight years ago, I spent some time living with my husband’s family in Michoacan, Mexico. While it wasn’t the easiest time in my life, I definitely treasure having the opportunity to get to know my in-laws. The best part of my days there was dinner time.

small church in mexico

My mother-in-law is an excellent cook and she taught me how to cook many of my husband’s favorite recipes.

One of those recipes is Chiles Rellenos and I’m excited to share it with y’all today. There are several ways to make this dish, ranging from simple to complex fillings.

The recipe below includes quite simplistic ingredients: cheese for the filling and a basic tomato salsa on top, but the results are fantastic!!

In the past, I would always include mashed potatoes along with cheese to fill the peppers. However now that we are following a Keto diet, I omit the potatoes and use coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour in preparing the chiles to be fried.

A word to the wise before we begin: much of authentic Mexican cooking can be somewhat time intensive.

Foods like enchiladas, tamales, sopes, etc. don’t necessarily require difficult techniques but they do have many parts and steps to complete.

Chiles rellenos is no exception, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth your time and effort. So let’s begin!!

Here are the ingredients you will need. Everything should be easily found in a regular supermarket:

For the chiles:

8 medium sized poblano peppers (about 3 inches long)
8 oz shredded mozzarella or queso quesadilla cheese
3 tbs coconut flour (regular flour is fine too, but not Keto)
5 eggs, separated
toothpicks (to keep the poblanos closed while frying)
Oil for frying
*queso fresco for garnish (optional but DELICIOUS)

For the salsa:

1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (plain diced tomatoes are fine, but the fire roasted variety gives the salsa that extra oomph)
3 Roma tomatoes
¼ white or yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1-2 jalapeno peppers (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tsp canola oil

Preparation:

  1. Start by washing the poblano peppers and placing them on a foil lined baking pan. I usually use my toaster oven to save electricity.Heat the (toaster) oven to 400℉ and roast the peppers for 20-25. Turn half way through the cooking time to ensure even charring.salsa ingredients in front of blender
  2. While the peppers are roasting, you will want to get the salsa going. Put all of the ingredients for the salsa (except the oil) in a blender and liquify.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the salsa from the blender. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
    cooked salsa in panThe salsa should turn from an orangish color to deep red.charred poblano peppers in plastic bag
  4. Once the peppers are nice and charred, place them in a plastic bag and seal. (I often just use the produce bag that I had them in originally and tie a knot). This is done to steam the skin of the pepper so that it peels off easier. Let sit 5 minutes.peppers without seeds and skin
  5. Now we need to prepare the peppers to be filled. I’m not going to lie, I don’t like this step. It can be messy and I hate getting all those little seeds on me.You will need to peel off the charred skin. It should come off easily at this point, but if you can’t get every little bit off, it will be fine.Then make a slit lengthwise from stem to tip and reach inside to clean out all of the seeds and veins. Sometimes the seed pouch pops out easily and intact and makes light of the work. It doesn’t happen very often for me though….cheese filled peppers on plate
  6. Once the poblanos are nice and clean, fill each with about ¼ cup of cheese. Any sort of melting cheese will work fine.I also like to include a chunk of queso fresco from time to time if I have it on hand. Insert the toothpick along the length of the pepper to close the seam.sealed pepper coated with flour
  7. Place the coconut flour in a shallow dish and roll each filled pepper into the flour. Please make sure you dust off any excess as you don’t want any coconut flavor in the dish which can happen if its really caked on there.beating egg whites in bowl with electric beater
  8. For the batter you will begin by beating the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Handheld mixers are fine, however it will take a long time and a lot of elbow grease to try and beat the whites by hand with only a whisk. Beat until firm peaks form.
    Add the egg yolks to the whites and beat with the mixer until fully incorporated.
  9. Heat oil (about 1” high) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. The size of your pan isn’t super important– you will just have to do more batches the smaller it is.I use a 10 inch pan and fry two chiles at a time. I like to test the heat of the oil with a toothpick. If bubbles form when the toothpick is dipped in the oil, it’s hot enough.peppers coated in batter in frying pan
  10. To batter the peppers, hold each one by the stem and dunk into the batter until its fully covered. Gently place the pepper into the hot oil, careful not to touch the batter with your fingers.peppers frying in pan
  11. As the batter turns golden brown, flip each pepper to fry all sides. Drain on a paper towel covered plate.
  12. Repeat steps 10 & 11 until all chiles are fried.finished pepper topped with red salsa
  13. To serve, top each chile with salsa roja and additional queso fresco if desired.Whether you are a Mexican food freak (like me!) or want to add something new to your Keto dinner rotation, I hope you give these Authentic Chiles Rellenos a try.Please let me know what you think in the comments!! What is your go-to Mexican comfort food?

Authentic Chiles Rellenos--Keto Friendly!

Roasted and cheese filled poblano peppers make this dish a great way to satisfy cravings for authentic Mexican food.
Course Main Course
Cuisine keto, Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

For the chiles:

  • 8 medium sized poblano peppers about 3 inches long
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella or queso quesadilla cheese
  • 3 tbs coconut flour regular flour is fine too, but not Keto
  • 5 eggs separated
  • toothpicks
  • Oil for frying
  • *queso fresco for garnish optional but DELICIOUS

For the salsa:

  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ white or yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers optional
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp canola oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the poblano peppers and place on a foil lined baking pan. Heat the (toaster) oven to 400℉ and roast the peppers for 20-25. Turn half way through the cooking time to ensure even charring.  

  2. Put all of the ingredients for the salsa (except the oil) in a blender and liquify. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the salsa from the blender. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. The salsa should turn from an orangish color to deep red.

  3. Once the peppers are nice and charred, place them in a plastic bag and seal.  This is done to steam the skin of the pepper so that it peels off easier. Let sit 5 minutes

  4. You will need to peel off the charred skin. It should come off easily at this point, but if you can’t get every little bit off, it will be fine. Then make a slit lengthwise from stem to tip and reach inside to clean out all of the seeds and veins. 

  5. Fill each with about ¼ cup of cheese.  Insert the toothpick along the length of the pepper to close the seam.  

  6. Place the (coconut)flour in a shallow dish and roll each filled pepper into the flour. Dust off excess. 

  7. For the batter you will begin by beating the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat until firm peaks form.

    Add the egg yolks to the whites and beat with the mixer until fully incorporated.  

  8. Heat oil (about 1” high) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. 

  9. To batter the peppers, hold each one by the stem and dunk into the batter until its fully covered. Gently place the pepper into the hot oil, careful not to touch the batter with your fingers. 

  10. As the batter turns golden brown, flip each pepper to fry all sides. Drain on a paper towel covered plate. 

  11. Repeat steps 11 & 12 until all chiles are fried. 

  12. To serve, top each chile with salsa roja and additional queso fresco if desired.  

authentic chiles rellenos keto friendly preparation

1 thought on “Authentic Chiles Rellenos-Keto Friendly version”

  1. I love Mexican food and have been on the paleo diet for a little over 2 years. Iost 80 lbs . I did cut cabs out ‘, other than my light beer. But now that I am close to my goal weight and probably at a heathy weight . I still have fat around my tummy, and I have been doing the keto diet in hopes to shed the remaing fat. And it does seem to be working but slower for me. I only need to drop 10 lbs but would love to drop 15.
    I loved your recipe and would enjoy more. Thank u for the authentic recipes

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