Chicken Chile Rellenos

chicken rellenos on a plate with salsa.

If you love Tex-Mex, and chile peppers, this stuffed chile rellenos recipe is for you. Stuff the fire-roasted hatch chiles, dip them in thechile rellenos batter and fry them for a hot, crispy nod to Southwestern cuisine.  Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos are the bomb!

I love a good chile relleno.  Mildly spicy chile peppers, fire roasted and stuffed with a meaty-cheesy filling and fried to crispy, golden goodness.  What could be better, right?   A while back, I ventured to a Southwestern restaurant called Canyon with some friends. One of the standout dishes — that none of us could stop picking at — were their chile rellenos.  Om-nom-nom!  Since then, I’ve been obsessed and these Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos are the insistent result of that fixation.

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

That’s right — a week later, I still couldn’t get them out of my head.  Happily, I had a few packages of fire-roasted hatch chilies in my freezer — whispering – no, TAUNTING —  “you know you want me…”  Yeah.  I did.

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

In general, I don’t make a lot of fried foods and usually steer clear of submerging anything in raging oil.  Partly because of the whole health aspect,  but if I’m honest, it’s more about the cleanup.  It’s kind of a P.I.T.A.  Not just the counter and stove, which inevitably accumulate a fine layer of greasy mist, but the whole house ends up smelling like a fast food restaurant that no amount of Febreeze will mitigate — so, you know I had a real hankerin’ when I decided to make these!

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Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

While they’re not hard to assemble, they do require more effort than I’m usually willing to make for dinner.  But I was committed.  The filling came together pretty quickly with cheddar and cream cheese plus some shredded chicken.   Depending on the type of pepper you use, stuffing the chiles can be simple or tedious.  The flesh of my chilies was pretty thin, so I had to be careful not to rip them when I added the filling.  Then I popped them into the fridge for an hour to firm up before frying.

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

While the chiles chilled, I started on the chile rellenos batter which is made from egg whites and cornmeal.  Mixing the dry ingredients with the egg yolks in one bowl, whipping the egg whites in another and folding them together.  Then adding the cornmeal to give the rellenos that crunchy crust.  Again, I REALLY wanted these rellenos!

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

Finally, working in batches, I dunked the peppers into the batter and carefully added them to the hot oil.  I used my cast iron skillet to achieve a dark golden exterior.  They only take a few minutes in the pan before they’re ready.  I drained the excess grease on paper towels and was ready to eat!   

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

You can dress them up however you like — with a chile spiked tomato sauce, pico de gallo, salsa verde or just cheese and a bit of jarred salsa.  There are endless options.  Whichever you choose, Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos will satisfy your cravings!

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

Since these do require more work than we’re usually willing to give to a standard dinner, I’d suggest making a whole passel of these crispy rellenos and inviting your friends to participate.  Give everyone a job from cleaning the peppers, making the filling, stuffing and dredging in the batter.  It’s more fun with more people, right? Whatever you do, make sure you’ve got the proper libation to go with your stuffed peppers.  An ice cold cerveza or margarita are obvious choices.

Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest
Tex-Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest

More Tex Mex style recipes:

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Tex Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos | Garlic + Zest
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4.13 from 8 votes

Tex Mex Chicken Chile Rellenos

If you’re a fan of Southwestern food, then you’ll love these hatch chile peppers stuffed with a chicken and cheese blend, then rolled in a cornmeal batter and fried.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword hatch chiles, mexican
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8 hatch anaheim or poblano chile peppers, charred, peeled and carefully seeded to retain shape
  • 2 cups chicken breast roasted , shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro freshly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¾ cup peanut or canola oil

For serving

  • cheddar cheese shredded
  • salsa or pico de gallo
  • cilantro
  • sour cream
  • green onions sliced


  • To roast your chiles, preheat the oven to 425 and place chiles on a baking sheet. Roast until skin is charred and blackened about 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Set aside until cool. When chiles have cooled (about 30 minutes, carefully peel off the skins. Make a slit about 2″ long on the chile and remove the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, and cilantro. Add the shredded chicken and mix with your hands until well combined.
  • Form 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture (depending on the size of your chilies) into a long roll, just slightly smaller than the chile. Stuff the chilies with the chicken mixture and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Separate the egg yolks and whites in two separate bowls. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the egg yolks and mix together. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites until just combined. Sprinkle in the cornmeal and fold to the egg white mixture, being careful not to deflate.
  • Place a heavy skillet over a medium heat. Add oil and wait until the oil reaches about 350-375 degrees.
  • Work with no more than 2-3 chiles at a time. Dip the filled chiles into the egg mixture and carefully place them in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, flip the chilies and cook the other side until golden. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to drain. Continue with the remainder of the chiles.
  • Serve with extra shredded cheese, cilantro, or your favorite salsa.


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 686mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1605IU | Vitamin C: 130.3mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 2.1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Well, this failed for me, just on getting a darned chili to not tear apart while removing the skin. So didn’t make a fried rellenos, but had made your smoky spicy enchilada sauce the day before planning to simply plate with some and serve the rellenos on top. Chucked the sauce and stuffed peppers as they were (toothpicks holding them together) into a cast iron and baked. It really did turn out well, both the peppers and the sauce. Happy accident that I definitely will make again in the future.

  2. Amin Oteifa says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. My wife and I had a similar Chile Rolleno over 20 years ago at a restaurant called Tahoe South in Greenville, SC, that unfortunately closed a few years later. We’ve been searching everywhere for a similar experience to no avail. Last night, for a special Father’s Day dinner, my wife made these and it took us right back to our romantic dinner when we first met. With kids now, 10 and 12 year old boys, we topped them with fresh guacamole, salsa and sour cream and devoured them. Thank you for reuniting us with one of our favorite dishes. We can’t wait to make them again.

    1. So glad you enjoyed them! Now you can make them whenever you’d like! Happy Father’s Day!

  3. I love chile rellenos and this recipe looks so delicious. And thanks you for the step by step photos/instructions. Love that!

  4. Wow now that is a creative dish! I have never tried cooked chile but would love to give this a try!

  5. Everyday Sarah Jane says:

    5 stars
    I love any and every Tex-Mex dish and it looks like this one will have to be added to the collection! The chicken filling sounds AMAZING!!

    1. I mean who doesn’t like a relleno? Thanks for your comment!

  6. hotpinkshrink says:

    I can tell this tastes amazing and I have to make it for myself now. 😀

  7. coralgableslove says:

    I know I say everything you make looks amazing, but these really do look fantastic!

    1. Thank you so much, Paola! I really appreciate that!

  8. Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C says:

    I love Mexican food but have never tried chile rellenos. I was just mesmerized throughout your post and must.make.these. I’m pinning for sure! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Gee, thanks Andrea! I’m so glad you like them!

  9. Mouthwatering. Never had this before but it looks like something I would love to try.

    1. Glad you like them, April! Who doesn’t like Tex Mex, right?

  10. foodtasticmom2013 says:

    Gosh these look fabulous. This is one recipe I’ve not tried at home yet so now I finally will!

    1. I had never made them before either, but they’re really good!

  11. I order these every single time I’m in a Mexican restaurant, but I’ve never attempted them at home, thanks for the inspiration, i really want to make these 🙂

    1. Glad you like them, Sue! I love these flavors!

  12. Wow! Those look fabulous! I dislike frying for the exact same reasons, but I’d say from reading about these it was definitely worth the prize at the end!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. Occasionally, I like to make an effort — and these were very tasty!