Aunt Vina’s Chili Relleno Casserole

This is my great Aunt Vina’s wonderful recipe for chili relleno casserole. It has far less cheese and fat than most recipes, but couldn’t be more delicious.


  • 8 fresh poblano or Anaheim chili peppers (canned will also work)
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey cheddar, Jack cheese, Mexican blend or my favorite is a combo of cheddar and part skim mozzarella
  • 2 eggs

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water (just fill the tomato sauce can half way)


Pre-heat oven to broil and then set to 350.

  • Place poblanos onto a sheet pan and place under the broiler until charred on both sides, approximately 8 minutes per side (check every 4 minutes).
  • Place the peppers into a paper bag or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow the steam to loosen the skins for a 10-15 minutes.
  • Peel the skins. Slice the chilies lengthwise and remove the seeds – you may need to put them under a little running water to help.
  • Place the cleaned and peeled chilies into an 8×12 inch casserole dish.

  • Divide the cheese equally among all the peppers.
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites. With a hand blender, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the yolks back into the whiltes just until incorporated.
  • Evenly distribute the eggs on top of each pepper (seen in photo below).
  • Place the peppers under the broiler until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.

For the sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic; cook for 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Add tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Pour tomato sauce over the chilies and bake at 350-F for 25 minutes or until the tomato sauce starts to bubble around the edges.

Serve alongside white rice.