Chiles Rellenos

At a Glance

Chiles stuffed with cheese or beef, then breaded & fried.

More Info

What are chiles rellenos?

A chile relleno is a chile pepper, usually a poblano, that’s stuffed with something, normally cheese or ground beef. Then it’s breaded with flour and egg before being fried. Usually, a tomatoey non-spicy salsa is ladled on top.

A chile relleno (stuffed pepper).

A chile relleno served at Fonda Los Jarritos.

Depending on the chef’s preference, the breaded outside of the chile can be fried until it’s soft or crispy. They’re usually accompanied by rice and/or beans, and tortillas.

Silvia coats stuffed chiles with flour and eggs for chile rellenos.

Silvia at El Chile Verde coats stuffed poblano chiles in a layer of flour and egg before frying them.

Poblano chiles are usually mild, but they can sometimes be spicier than expected. Normally anyone who can eat a basic medium-spicy salsa can handle a poblano.

A few toothpicks are the secret to keeping the filling inside the chiles as they fry. They’re usually left inside the chiles when they’re served to you, so… remember to eat around them or pick them out.

LEARN MORE: About common types of Mexican food found at Lake Chapala by reading our food guide.

How do you pronounce “chile relleno”?

The word “chile relleno” is commonly mangled by English speakers, who like to pronounce “relleno” like “rellano.”

Speakers will also often unconsciously try to make the word relleno sound “more” Spanish by mispronouncing the letter “n” as “ñ” — a phenomenon of language known as hyperforeignism. The words habanero and empanada are often given this treatment, too.

WATCH: Listen to how “chile relleno” is pronounced and see how they’re made.

Mary prepares a chile relleno, which is a poblano pepper that's stuffed with cheese, then breaded and deep fried.

Poblano chiles are first de-seeded and de-veined, then filled with cheese or meat. Mary de los Ángeles Castillo stuffs a chile at Lonchería Mary.

A prepared chile relleno in a bath of a non-spicy, tomato-based sauce.

A chile relleno with rice served at Lonchería Mary.

Chiles rellenos: breaded poblano chile peppers stuffed with cheese.

The chiles rellenos at Café en Acallí.

LEARN MORE: About common types of Mexican food found at Lake Chapala by reading our food guide.

Last updated September 20, 2019

Dane Strom

Dane Strom The Lakeside Guide

I moved to Ajijic in 2010 when I decided to quit my job of seven years as an editorial assistant at The Denver Post in Colorado. I'm the photographer, web designer, programmer, marketer, writer... the everything behind this website, The Lakeside Guide. All of the businesses on this website appear here for free at no cost to them. If you find this site useful, please consider giving a small donation to become a site patron. Learn more about The Lakeside Guide or check out my other website about photography of Mexico.

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Dance of the Little Old Men

Dance of the Little Old Men

A boy in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, performs La Danza de los Viejitos, the Dance of the Little Old Men, a traditional dance from Michoacan.

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