If you love to order chili rellenos at your favorite Mexican restaurant, you will appreciate how easy it is to enjoy the same flavors at home with this easy recipe for Baked Chili Relleno Pie.
We recently returned from a 2-week vacation to Central Europe–visiting Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, and other places previously unheard of by me. The scenery was spectacular, the weather perfect, and the food delicious, even though it was mostly meat and potatoes. The men were happy, but anytime I leave home for more than a week, I start to crave Tex-mex. Baked Chili Relleno Pie qualifies as comfort food for a jet-lagged, homesick Texan. Refried beans on the side are a requirement for maximum enjoyment.
Chili rellenos are my #1 Mexican food. Whenever we try a new Mexican restaurant, my likelihood to return will depend on their rellenos. My favorite ones come from the El Rancho Grande restaurant in the Ft. Worth Stockyards. These aren’t the same as theirs because I left out the “stuff, batter, and-fry-each-individual-poblano-pepper” part. Instead, I layer it all in a casserole dish and call it an easy but scrumptious dinner.
Because anytime a recipe calls for layers, I can get confused, so I’ll make it easy. Start with the ground beef, second, poblano peppers, and then shredded pepper jack cheese. Repeat. Pour the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with cheese. See pictures below.
FIRST: Half of the seasoned and browned ground beef
SECOND: Half of the poblano peppers
THIRD: Half of the shredded pepper jack cheese
REPEAT layers again with the other half of the above ingredients.
Then pour egg mixture over all.
Sprinkle Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese over the top.
A note about the peppers specified in this recipe:
Fresh poblano peppers are cheap and fairly easy to broil and peel yourself. They give this dish the best flavor, making them my first choice. If you lack the time or inclination, buy a can of whole green chilies and slice them lengthwise to lay flat, or use chopped green chilies if you can’t find the whole ones. It all gets mixed up in the wash anyway.
Any leftovers make a scrumptious filling for a burrito using a flour tortilla. (I wonder how many times I’ve said this about a recipe on this blog. It’s my #1 recycling trick.)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 4 poblano chilies (broiled with charred skin peeled off and seeded) or 8 ounces whole or chopped green chilies
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 packet cilantro-tomato seasoning SAZON (optional)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack, shredded
- Brown ground beef, sprinkled with a pinch of salt and pepper, and drain off any excess fat. Stir in taco seasoning.
- Broil fresh poblano chilies just until skin is charred. Place in a paper bag or covered bowl to steam for about 10 minutes. Carefully peel away blackened skin. Split open and remove seeds. OR, use canned whole green chilies and split lengthwise so you can open them up flat. You can also use chopped green chilies.
- Whisk together heavy cream, tomato paste, Sazon seasoning, and eggs in a medium bowl.
- In a 9-inch square dish or pan, layer half the ground beef, then half the green chilies, and a cup of pepper jack cheese. Make a second layer using the remaining beef, chilies, and pepper jack cheese.
- Pour cream mixture over the layers. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until pie is set and knife comes out clean.
- Allow to set for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with sour cream and/or cilantro, diced tomatoes, or avocado slices. In my family, refried beans must be served on the side. Fresh, hot tortillas are also good.