A cheater version of classic Chile Relleno, this Chile Relleno Casserole is so much easier without any frying. It has layers of gooey cheese and peppers, with puffy clouds of baked eggs on top. So delicious. And crazy simple. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
We absolutely love the flavors of chile relleno as seen in our chile relleno dip and chile relleno soup. And if you want the real thing, don’t miss our step by step guide and video for authentic chile rellenos! More labor intensive, but it’s amazing.
Easy Chili Relleno Casserole Recipe
It wasn’t until well into my adult years when I found out chili relleno casserole wasn’t the “real” way to make chili relleno. My mom made chili relleno fairly often when I was growing up…or so I thought.
Chile rellenos is Spanish for “stuffed peppers.” Traditionally, poblano chiles are stuffed with only cheese (but can also include refried beans, pork, beef, or shredded chicken), they are then battered and fried, and covered with salsa roja. Um…amazing. But, pretty labor intensive. My mom made it more like this casserole with layers of chiles, eggs, and cheese, then baked.
What I love about this casserole is you get all the elements and flavors of classic chile relleno, but it’s so much easier to make and there’s no deep frying. I make it all the time – it’s always a big hit whenever I serve brunch for friends.
Is it Chile Relleno or Chili Relleno?
According to the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, the spelling of the word ‘chile’ has a long and varied history. Chile comes from the term chilli that comes from the Aztec, Nahuatl language. According to Jean Andrews the Spanish spelling was later changed to chile by Spanish-speaking Mexicans and chili in the United States. So basically, in my opinion, they’re both ok. It just depends on the region.
You only need a handful of very simple ingredients to make this chili relleno casserole recipe.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Poblano peppers – The number of peppers you need depends on the size of them. You want enough to make 2 single layers in your baking dish.
- Cheeses – We use a combination of Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese, freshly shredded off the block for best flavor.
- Eggs – Eggs are a key ingredient which hold the casserole together and make it thick and filling.
- Whole milk – Whole milk or 2% is my preference for taste and creaminess.
- Flour – Just a little all-purpose flour is used to help the casserole hold its form.
- Baking powder – Gives the egg mixture lift and makes them nice and fluffy!
- Seasonings – Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper season the casserole.
- For serving – We like to serve portions with sour cream, salsa, and fresh chopped cilantro.
Make this dish even easier!
Video: How to Make Chili Relleno Casserole
To make chili relleno casserole, scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements and don’t miss the video below.
What to Serve with Chili Relleno Casserole
We like to serve portions with sour cream, salsa or pico de gallo, and fresh chopped cilantro. If you hate cilantro, parsley is totally fine. For even more of a meal, it’s great with simple spanish rice.
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
- To make in advance. This is a great made-ahead dish. You can roast the peppers 1 to 2 days ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the casserole. You can also assemble the entire dish, and then cover and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you bake.
- Storing leftovers. Let cool completely, then cover the casserole (or put individual portions in an airtight container) and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This also freezes well. Cover in plastic wrap and again in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge reheating in the oven or microwave.
More Mexican Breakfast Recipes:
Chile Relleno Casserole
- 6-8 large poblano peppers (see note)
- 2 cups freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese , divided
- 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese , divided
- 5 large eggs
- 1 & 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- sour cream, salsa, and fresh chopped cilantro , for serving (optional, but recommended)
- Preheat the oven's broiler and set the rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers on the baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes, using tongs to turn them occasionally, roasting until the skins are blackened and charred.
- Transfer the roasted peppers to a plastic bag for about 10 minutes, allowing them to steam as they cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, cut off the stems, open them up and remove the seeds.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Lay half of the roasted chiles in the baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle 1 cup of the jack cheese and 1/2 cup of the cheddar on top. Repeat layers once.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, until thoroughly combined and no lumps of flour remain. Pour mixture evenly over the cheese and chiles.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until puffed up in the center and eggs are set and golden around the edges.
- Let stand and cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Slice into squares and serve with a dollop of sour cream, a little salsa, and freshly chopped cilantro. Enjoy!