my take on chile relleno | kelly’s kitchen

Hi friends! I am super excited about today’s recipe. The idea for it comes from my Dad, who lives in Northern California. Each year, he and his wife count the days until it’s Hatch chile season. So this year when he told me they got their shipment from New Mexico, I had to wonder if I would be able to get them easily in Athens, Georgia. Well, I was able to get them locally. (thank you, Trader Joe’s!) So today, it’s my take on Chile Relleno. 


Hatch chiles are similar to Anaheim chiles, but are native to the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. They are prized for their spicy sweet flavor and you can get them in a range from hot to mild. Mild is best for making chile relleno. So if you can’t find them, an Anaheim chile will work just fine. 


My Take on Chile Relleno

I am going a little rogue with this Mexican dish: I am stuffing them with chorizo and jack cheese, and adding panko to the breading for a nice crispy crust. 

But first I need to roast the chiles. I cut their tops off, set them out on a sheet tray and broiled them on each side until they were bubbly and had a nice char to them. Just put them in and keep an eye on them, they go pretty quick.

Then put them in a Ziplock for just 15 minutes and the steam will soften the chile so they are easy to peel.

Then, carefully peel off the skin and remove the seeds. I didn’t bother with removing them altogether, I just got rid of the main cluster of them at the top of each chile.


Rest of the Prep

I had some leftover grilled tomatoes from Joojeh Kabob we made over the weekend, so I took those charred grilled tomatoes and I pureed them with two of the smallest roasted Hatch chiles I had. Then I rough chopped one yellow onion, 5 cloves of fresh garlic, and a good handful of cilantro (stems and leaves) in the food processor. I also added a glug of olive oil.

I mixed the onion, garlic, cilantro mixture into the tomatoes and added lime juice (half a lime) and Kosher salt to taste. Set it aside to let the flavors hang out a bit. 

Then it’s on to the chorizo. This is Mexican chorizo which is a soft sausage. It comes in a casing that you remove and cook it like ground meat. I am using 8 ounces of chorizo. The brand I get is portioned out in 2 ounce sausage links, but otherwise you can make the whole package and save what you don’t use for breakfast tomorrow! Chorizo and eggs in a tortilla is THE BEST breakfast. (just sayin’)

The chorizo cooks pretty quickly over medium high heat. It’s done when the texture is crumbly and it’s slightly more brown than red. Use a slotted spoon to remove chorizo from the pan and let it drain on a few folded paper towels. 

I am using pre-shredded Monterey Jack cheese. To make filling the chiles easier, I mixed my shredded cheese with the cooked chorizo ahead. This made the possibility of tearing the chile as I filled it less of an issue. 

For toppings, I have chopped cilantro, sliced scallion, avocado and Cotija cheese. All of this is optional, but really goes nicely, especially with the roasted tomato salsa. 


Making the Relleno

Take your chile and slice a slit down the center. If you can, try not to cut it all the way to the bottom. Only go as far as you have to to get filling into the bottom without compromising the chile. 

My mixture is pretty crumbly so I decided to hedge and use toothpicks to help keep it closed. 


The Set Up

Set up your breading station right to left: prepared chiles; then in shallow bowls,  ½ – 1 cup all purpose flour, 1-2 beaten eggs, ½ -1 cup panko. Then finally, a sheet tray with a wire rack placed inside. 

A note on the ratios: I usually go for the higher quantities for the dredge because nothing is worse than having to break your assembly stride to beat more egg. So I used: 2 eggs, 1 cup flour and 1 cup panko. I definitely had leftover, but that was ok. 

Also think ahead on your fry station set up. Go right to left. I have my breaded chiles; then my dutch oven filled with about a ½ inch of grapeseed oil, heating to 350 degrees. I turn my burner on low to get the oil going while I fill and bread my chiles. Then I turn the burner up to medium high once I am ready with the chiles. 

Then I have my landing tray: another sheet tray lined with a wire rack. This will keep your rellenos from getting soggy bottoms while they cool. 


Tools to have

If you don’t already have one, you must get a fish spatula for a job like this. It is life-changing! Another great tool is a pair of large chef’s tweezer-style tongs. They have a very pointy tip which makes turning the chiles much easier because you don’t have gangly tong tips accidentally scraping off any of your panko crust. Also, have your handy thermometer to read the oil temp. 

When your oil is hot, gently lay in one chile at a time, with a maximum of two in the pot. after about 3 minutes, check the bottoms, and if they are golden brown flip them over. 

To flip: in your right hand use your fish spatula to lift up one side of the chile. With your left hand use your tongs to gently help scoot the chile onto the fish spatula. With your fish spatula hand, slowly flip the chile over onto the tong arms and then gently pull out your tongs from under the chile. 

Repeat this process for the four chiles. 

Once slightly cool, pull out your toothpicks and plate up your Hatch Chile Rellenos! 

You guys, I have to say I haven’t made these before because they have never been my favorite Mexican dish. I think usually at restaurants, they’re always too cheesy and too soggy. But when my Dad got all excited about making chile relleno with his Hatch chiles, I had to try my hand at it. 

Dad, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for today’s recipe inspiration! And thank you, everyone for spending some of your Saturday with me this week. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly

4.5 from 4 votes

Hatch Chile Relleno with Chorizo and Panko

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Author Kelly Djalali


Tomato Salsa

  • 2-5 Roasted Tomatos
  • 1-2 Roasted Hatch Chiles, skins removed
  • 1 Small to Medium Onion
  • 4-6 Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1/4 Bunch of Cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Chile Relleno

  • 4-6 Large Hatch Chiles or Anaheim Chiles
  • 8-10 oz Mexican Chorizo, cooked
  • 1/2-1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1-2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2-1 cup Panko
  • 1/2" Grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven
  • Sliced Avocado, optional topping
  • Cilantro, optional topping
  • Cotija Cheese, optional topping


Tomato Salsa

  1. Purèe tomatoes and Hatch chiles to a chunky salsa consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside

  2. Rough chop onion. Peel and smash garlic cloves. Add cilantro, onions, garlic and olive oil to food processor. Process to a chunky salsa consistency.

  3. Stir onion garlic mixture into tomato chile mixture, add lime juice and season with Kosher salt to taste.

Chile Relleno

  1. Broil chiles until they are blistered and charred on both sides. Put chiles in a Ziplock and let them steam for 15 minutes.

  2. Cut off chile stems and remove seeds. Carefully peel the charred skin off of the chiles. Set aside.

  3. Cook your chorizo until the sausage is crumbly and browned. Using a slotted spoon transfer the chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  4. Prepare your dredge station with shallow bowls with flour, egg and panko.

  5. Prepare your fry station with 1/2" grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Turn your burner on low.

  6. Mix your cooked chorizo and cheese and set near your dredge station.

  7. Slice each chile down the center only long enough to easily fill with filling. Gently fill each chile with filling and close the chile with toothpicks. Repeat with each chile.

  8. One chile at a time, carefully dredge each chile in the flour, then the egg, then the panko.

  9. Turn up the heat on your burner to medium high to get the oil to 350 degrees. Then carefully place two chiles in the oil, frying for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Adjust burner temp to maintain 350 degrees. Repeat for remaining chiles.

  10. Remove toothpicks from each chile, plate with toppings and whatever sides you like.



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  1. Sylvia Espinoza wrote:

    5 stars
    Hi, Kelly! Today’s post brought back memories of my mom making Chile Relleno for my dad. Seemed so labor intensive! As young as I was, thought mom sure must love dad to go through all that work. Her reward was watching him enjoy them and complimenting her effort. Sweet memory. May I say, it still sounds labor intensive, and oh so delicious! Should I give them a try, will let you know. Thanks for sharing your talent with us every Saturday morning. Happy Fall Weekend! Hugs~

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Hi Sylvia, I am so happy this recipe brought back such sweet memories for you! Thank you for sharing with me. You know it does appear to be labor intensive but I actually broiled the chiles and made the tomato puree a day ahead, which made it all seem a little less intensive. You could even make the filling a day ahead too. I encourage you to give them a try! Let me know if you do, how it goes. Thanks for popping in this week, it’s always so nice to hear from you, Sylvia. Have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  2. Jenine wrote:

    5 stars
    I love the chili relleno’s! My mom and aunt used to get them from a nearby restaurant when I was a teen. Such memories! I am from Northern CA (now in Texas)! I MISS Trader Joes! I have not found one near me yet! Thank you for the recipe. Hope your Dad is doing well in California with all of the fires.

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Hello Jenine, Thanks so much for writing in today. I wonder where you’re from in NorCal…? My Dad is up in Mt. Shasta, and is ok, the Zogg fire is pretty far from them. And yes, we are so thankful there is a TJ’s here in Athens! I am happy this recipe brought back fond memories for you, it’s one of my favorite things about cooking. Have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  3. ANN ROURKE wrote:

    Thank you Kelly for this amazing looking recipe. I live in Mexico near Guadalajara and I think this refreshing take on the chili relleno is one I will try!

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Hi Ann, Thanks so much for writing in today! I really enjoyed the panko crust, it is a refreshing difference. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes for you. Enjoy your weekend! xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  4. Judi Hume wrote:

    Wow! I love hatch chilies, and those chile rellenos look DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing this!

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Thanks so much, Judi! Good to hear from you, have a lovely weekend! xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  5. Carolyn wrote:

    Hi Kelly,
    I just wanted to say that I fixed your chicken with olives and artichokes last night. It was delicious. Thank you for a new recipe that I”ll definitely make again.
    Olives and artichokes are always a favorite of mine.

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Wonderful, Carolyn! I am so happy you enjoyed it and will make it again! Thank you so much for writing in to let me know. I love to hear that y’all are trying these recipes. I hope you have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  6. Deanna wrote:

    A lot of steps, thanks for the detailed instructions. These look and sound downright delicious. Will gather the ingredients, and give them a try next week. Thanks!

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • There are definitely more than a few steps, Deanna! Haha! But, might I suggest making the filling, salsa, and roasting the chiles a day ahead? I am excited to know what you think after you make them, be sure to let me know! Have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  7. Sue wrote:

    Live in the Napa Valley and the smoke is less this morning which is good news plus the winds never
    blew. My mom stuffed Chile’s that were absolutely delicious. Yours look like less calories ;-). I wish there was an easy way to print your recipes xoxo Sue

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Hi Sue. My thoughts are with everyone in the fire zones. My mom and Grandma live on Cobb Mountain just over Mt. St. Helena from you, I am always worried about them. I’ve been tracking the Glass fire everyday…I have spent a lot of time in Napa Valley and it’s just so hard to see the devastation. I am happy the weather is cooperating today. You should be able to print the recipe card I include at the end of the posts…give that a try, let me know if you still have trouble. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  8. Barbara Narsky wrote:

    3 stars
    Thanks for the post, but prefer something healthier.

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Thanks Barbara, everything in moderation. We maintain a healthy, balanced diet and sometimes we just like to indulge! Stay tuned, there will be plenty of non-fried recipes on Kelly’s Kitchen! Have a great weekend, xo Kelly

      Posted 10.3.20 Reply
  9. Steph wrote:

    5 stars
    These look fabulous!! I’m in NM and had these tonight for dinner (courtesy of my brother!!). His recipe is very similar, and very delicious!

    Posted 10.3.20 Reply
    • Hi Steph, Thanks so much! I bet you get to enjoy tons of Hatch chiles living in NM. I am only sorry I didn’t buy more than one package! Have a great rest of your weekend! xo Kelly

      Posted 10.4.20 Reply
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