Recipe for Life: Guatemalan Chile Rellenos

Recipe for Life

Chile Rellenos are believed to have originated in Mexico, but different iterations of the dish can be found throughout Central and South America. This Guatemalan version features poblano peppers coated in a fluffy egg batter, making for a beautifully golden and crisp pepper. 


For the Peppers:
  • 10 poblano peppers (2 diced)
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil – (coat peppers with oil before roasting)
For the Stuffing Stuffing:
  • 3lbs (1.36 kg) ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 potatoes, cooked, diced
  • 2 cups (475 mL) black beans, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups (475 mL) shredded Chihuahua cheese (can substitute with shredded mozzarella)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cumin
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Egg Batter:
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 egg whites, beaten until soft peak
  • About 1/2 cup (120 mL) oil, enough to fill a large skillet with 1/4 inch of oil


Using a pastry brush or your hands, lightly coat the poblano peppers with oil.

Char the peppers over an open flame on a gas grill until blistered and mostly blackened. Remove from the grill, cover with plastic wrap or foil and allow peppers to cool completely. Using a paper towel, wipe off the excess oil and blackened sections of the skins.

While peppers are cooling, sauté the onions in oil over medium heat until translucent and soft. Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains. Using a colander, drain the meat mixture of any excess liquid and return to pan over low heat. Add the spices and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add all other ingredients and stir gently to combine.

Cut a small slit in one side of each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. Drain any excess water that might be in the pepper.

Fill each pepper with the meat and vegetable mixture, about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup (60 mL – 80 mL) depending on the size of the pepper. Coat each pepper with flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until soft peaks form.

Dip the pepper into the egg whites to cover all sides. Carefully place in a hot skillet filled with oil and cook on each side until golden brown. Do not over crowd the pan, only do 1 or 2 at a time depending on the size of the pan.

Serve with black bean puree, garnished with cheese. Makes 8 stuffed poblanos.

Tip: If making several peppers for a dinner party, fry them one at a time and then place on a sheet tray lined with a silicone baking mat or foil. When all of them are done, bake in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes to warm.