Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe (Best Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos Casserole) 

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This Easy Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe is a cheesy delicious Chile Rellenos Casserole the whole family will love. This Vegetarian stuffing is perfect for Meatless Monday or any weekday meal! 

This Stuffed Poblano Casserole is a departure from the authentic Chile Relleno recipe, but this easy version is a lot less labor but still has all the flavor you love from the traditional Mexican recipe. 

Mexican cuisine is one of my favorites. Once you are familiar with the flavors in Mexican cooking, you can play around with traditional recipes and tweak them a bit for easy adaptations. 

This healthier version is perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebration! 

Don’t forget to check out this delicious collection of over 20 Mexican Recipes if you are a Mexican food fan! 

tray of Stuffed Poblano Pepper Casserole

Poblano Peppers

Peppers are probably the most stuffed vegetable. You can stuff and fry or roast or steam any kind of stuffed peppers, be it bell peppers, jalapenos or any other kind of sweet or spicy peppers.

Poblano chiles are mild in heat although they are large in size. This makes them perfect for stuffing. Traditional chiles rellenos are usually roasted and stuffed. They are then dipped in a batter and deep fried and then served in a tomato based sauce.

If you are not big on super spicy food, the milder poblano pepper in this chili rellenos casserole is one dish you are are going to love. They are absolutely delicious.


There are many different stuffings you can choose to make your chiles rellenos with – both vegetarian and meat. These are a few of my favorite fillings:

  • refried beans
  • sour cream and monterey jack or pepper jack cheese
  • ground beef seasoned with onions, garlic, ground cumin and oregano
  • mushrooms and spinach

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze chiles rellenos casserole?

This is the perfect make ahead recipe. It can be baked and then cooled to room temperature. Cover it well with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Now it’s ready to freeze. 
Alternately, you can also assemble the casserole and freeze it prior to it being baked. When you are ready to eat it, defrost it and bake it. 

Do you have to peel poblanos before stuffing? 

When you batter and deep fry stuffed poblano peppers they must be peeled to help the batter stick to the peppers. Since this recipe is just baked, peeling the peppers is not necessary. 

What if I can’t find poblano peppers? 

The best substitute in Anaheim peppers. They have a similar texture, size and flavor to poblano peppers. Another good substitute in Hungarian wax peppers. 

Now let’s check the pantry for the ingredients you need.

The Ingredients

  • olive oil 
  • garlic cloves 
  • baby spinach leaves 
  • canned corn 
  • canned black beans 
  • queso fresco 
  • salt 
  • black pepper 
  • crushed tomatoes 
  • onion 
  • chipotle chili powder (or cayenne pepper) 
  • cilantro 
  • poblano peppers 
  • Monterey Jack cheese 
  • scallions 

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How to Make Chile Rellenos Casserole

  • Saute the spinach and garlic. 
  • Mix the cooked spinach with the corn, beans, queso fresco, salt and pepper. This delicious stuffing can be used in other Mexican recipes like quesadillas or chile relleno burritos. 
filling for chiles rellenos
  • Make the sauce by combining crushed tomatoes, onions, cilantro and salt in a food processor. 
  • Now stuff the peppers with the filling. 
  • Layer the sauce, stuffed peppers and cheese in a casserole dish. 
How to make Chiles Rellenos Casserole
  • Bake until all bubbly and cheesy.

If you’d like to add some extra spice into the mild stuffed poblano peppers, you can drizzle some Salsa Verde or Salsa Macha over the delicious stuffed peppers. 

Instead of the deep fried peppers and the egg batter, this healthier baked version is still so delicious. It is the best option to still get the same flavor of Chiles Rellenos without frying! 

Oozing with melty cheese deliciousness, these are hard to resist. 

To serve, ladle some of the sauce over the stuffed peppers.

plate of Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Pepper Casserole

These are scrumptious, smoky and hearty with the fresh garnish make a perfect bite.

Stuffed Poblano Casserole -edit
platter of Stuffed Poblano Casserole with serving spoon
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5 from 4 votes

Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Pepper Casserole

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 410kcal


Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup drained canned corn
  • 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • a pinch of black pepper

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Casserole Ingredients:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • chopped scallions garnish
  • chopped cilantro garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and saute for 1 minutes, until it starts to change color.
  • Add spinach and cook until leaves wilt. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked spinach with the corn, black beans, queso fresco and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Mix to combine.
  • In a food processor. combine 2 cups of the tomatoes, onion, chile powder, cilantro and the rest of the salt. Puree well.
  • Cut off the stem end of the poblanos. Cut down the middle of the top of the pepper. Remove seeds and membranes.
  • Stuff peppers with the spinach filling.
  • Lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Pour tomato sauce on bottom of dish. Place poblanos on top.
  • Top with the remaining crushed tomatoes, placing a dollop on each stuffed pepper.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Garnish with scallions and freshly chopped cilantro.


You can use different cheese if you prefer, as long as it is a good melting cheese. Other cheese options you can use are cheddar cheese, fontina or mozzarella.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Potassium: 1117mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 4304IU | Vitamin C: 123mg | Calcium: 503mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

Don’t forget to visit the RECIPE INDEX with over 1000 recipes from around the world including lots of Vegetarian Recipes and Gluten Free Recipes!

originally posted in 2015

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Reader Interactions


  1. 5 stars
    Oh, wow!! Thank you for this recipe. It looks amazing. We can’t wait to make it. We’ve never made chiles rellenos!

  2. 5 stars
    This is officially our favourite stuffed pepper recipe now! Made it a couple of times over the last week and the whole family finishes the casserole before I get the chance to sit down at the table! So easy to make and simply the most wonderful vegetarian dinner for us all! Thanks for the recipe!

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