Chile Rellenos with Picadillo

Growing up with a Mexican grandmother, our family Sunday brunches often consisted of chile rellenos, rice, beans and any other delicious meals my Lita decided to cook. I remember her trying to teach us how to make chile rellenos, tortillas, menudo, etc…. but as a teenager, I didn’t really pay full attention to her instructions. She would always tell me to write every step down and even though I did – when I read it back, it never made sense. I moved away when I was 19 and ever since then I have always craved some of my Lita’s dishes. Chile rellenos always intimidated me – it seemed like a lot of work and if you didn’t get the egg whites just right it would ruin the dish. Almost 13 years ago I was watching one of my favorite chefs (Tyler Florence) on a show called Food 911 where he was teaching someone to make Chile Rellenos with Picadillo. After watching that episode, I finally decided to try to make them. The Chile Rellenos my grandmother made were made with Anaheim Chili Peppers, munster cheese and chopped onions. The Tyler Florence version uses Poblano Chili Peppers. I’ve cut a few corners in making these rellenos so if you want the full recipe which includes a Tomato Ranchero Sauce (I used canned), you can find it here



I bought these poblanos at my local farmer’s market
char the skins of the peppers over high heat. I have an electric stove. However, if you have a gas stove you can place them directly on the flame or use your oven broiler.
keep turning the peppers until the entire skin is charred and blistered but not overcooked.
here they are done
Place them in a plastic bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. This allows the peppers to sweat making it easier to peel off the skins. Leave them covered for about 10-12 min.
here they are with the skins off
cut a slit along side the pepper and take out the seeds leaving the stems in tact.

The Picadillo

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey – the original recipe calls for beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano – the original recipe calls for fresh Mexican Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce – the original recipe calls for 2 chipotles
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. saute onions, garlic and bay leaves.
add ground turkey (or beef)
cook thourougly
add salt, pepper, cloves, oregano, and cinnamon
add tomato paste and make sure it’s fully incorporated in mixture
add chipotle pepper – the original recipe calls for two peppers plus raisins, almonds and olives.
mix well
stuff the peppers with picadillo.


I like to put a generous amount of picadillo but also make sure I have room to close the peppers
add some cheese. I didn’t have queso fresco so I used the cheese I already had


Egg Mixture

*Heat vegetable oil over medium/high heat in a pan or skillet*

Separate egg whites from egg yolks
keep egg yolks in separate bowl.
beat egg whites
stop beating once stiff peaks form
lightly beat egg yolks with a fork
place flour on a plate
fold egg yolks into egg white mixture
close peppers and secure opening with tooth picks. coat peppers with flour
dip into egg mixture – hold by the stem
once pepper is fully covered with mixture pull it out by the stem
place in pan – oil and pan must be very hot
cook until both sides are evenly browned – about 3-4 minutes on each side
place on a plate lined with paper towels
continue cooking the rest of the peppers


Serve immediately with a side of rice, beans and tortillas. You can pour Tyler Florence’s Tomato Ranchero Sauce or use some Herdez salsa rancera.

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