This image courtesy of Jeanine Thurston

If you love chile rellenos like I do, then you’ll love this recipe. It’s actually a healthier version of a traditional chile relleno that still packs a bold Mexican flavor. If you want the good old traditional egg-battered deep-fried recipe, that one is on page 189, but I encourage you to give this one a try too, Poblanos are readily available at grocery stores year-round, which makes this dish a welcoming dinner choice for any time of year. It’s also a filling and flavorful meat-free meal during Lent.



Preheat broiler

Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles. Rinse thoroughly to remove dust particles.

Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pierce each chile with a knife.

Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 3 to 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.

Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a wet kitchen towel and when cool, peel off blackened skin. Tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem unless you are making chile rellenos. In which case you will simply remove the stem carefully along with the seeds, leaving the chile intact for stuffing.


Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, hot & spicy


  • 8 poblano chiles, roasted and peeled (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup crema Mexicana or sour cream
  • ¾ cup fat-free milk, divided
  • ¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded quesadilla cheese
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)


  1. Using a small sharp knife, carefully slit roasted chiles open along one side. Remove seeds, leaving stems attached. Set aside to fill later


  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with ¼ teaspoon salt. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and reserve.

  4. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add flour and ground black pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add crema Mexicana, stirring with a whisk. Stir in ½ cup milk; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 2 minutes.

  5. Add quesadilla cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt and stir until smooth and cheese melts. Place 1/3 cup of cheese mixture in a large bowl; reserve remaining cheese mixture.

  6. Add cooked shrimp, roasted bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice to the 1/3 cup cheese mixture; toss to coat.

  7. TO SERVE:

  8. Stir remaining ¼ cup milk into reserved cheese mixture. Spoon 3 tablespoons of this cheese sauce onto each of four plates.

  9. Stuff each poblano chile with 6 tablespoons shrimp mixture. Place 2 stuffed poblanos onto each plate with cheese mixture and garnish with crumbled queso fresco, some cilantro, and pomegranate seeds (optional).


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