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Guatemalan chiles rellenos or stuffed peppers are one of my favorite Guatemalan traditional foods. It is a popular Guatemalan dish made with sweet peppers, filled with a mixture of beef and veggies, served drizzled with tomato sauce. This Guatemalan chiles rellenos recipe I’m sharing with you today comes straight from my mom’s kitchen. You will see that this traditional Guatemalan recipe is somewhat different from the Mexican chiles rellenos. For me, this recipe is the perfect example of Guatemalan comfort food. If you’ve never tried Guatemalan food, chiles rellenos should be at the top of your list!
Chiles Rellenos, a Traditional Guatemalan Recipe
This stuffed chile relleno recipe is easy to make, even though it takes a bit of time to prep. To make this traditional Guatemalan recipe, start by roasting the sweet peppers and peeling them. Then you stuff them with a mixture of beef and vegetables like carrots, peas, and potatoes.
The stuffed peppers are then dipped in beaten egg whites, pan-fried, and topped with a homemade tomato sauce. Many people like to eat them inside a tortilla, which ends the need for cutlery.
What Peppers to use for Chile Rellenos?
The most frequently used for this Guatemalan recipe are sweet or bell peppers. However, there are a few variations for the chile relleno from Guatemala; some like using chili peppers (known for their spiciness) to bring a whole different flavor to your dish.
What are the ingredients for Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos?
The recipe uses sweet or bell peppers as the main ingredient for stuffing and frying. In addition, the filling includes a blend of the eye of round beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and onions.
Given that Guatemalan cuisine has an immense variety of vegetables available throughout most of the year, the combination of stuffing ingredients is vast. Therefore, it comes down to your personal preferences and what is available near you. Nonetheless, I have focused on the more traditional Guatemalan Chile Relleno recipe, packed with rich, time-honored flavors.
What is the difference between Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos and Mexican Chiles Rellenos?
While the first chile relleno recipe may have originated in Mexico, many variations of this dish are found all over Central and South America. For example, the Guatemalan version of the stuffed chile relleno recipe mainly uses sweet peppers. At the same time, the Mexican chiles rellenos use poblano chiles, which are larger than sweet peppers but skinnier and with pointy tips.
Another main difference is the stuffing. The Mexican version of this plate stuffs the peppers with Oaxaca cheese. It has other variations, such as pork, turkey, or ground beef, and may include some sweet ingredients, such as nuts and raisins. Chiles rellenos from Guatemala are stuffed with meat and vegetables seasoned with traditional Guatemalan spices and condiments.
Guatemalan Chile Relleno Recipe:
For the Peppers:
- 6 sweet peppers
- 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar
- Salt to taste
- A clean cloth and a plastic bag
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 6-7 Roma tomatoes
- ½ white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ sweet pepper
- ½ teaspoon of powdered beef bouillon
- Salt to taste
For the Stuffing:
- 1 Lb. cooked eye of round
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 medium-size potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 3 medium-size carrots, cut into small cubes
- ½ pound green beans, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 thyme leaves
- ½ tablespoon of powdered beef bouillon + ½ teaspoon extra
- ½ small white onion, chopped
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- ½ teaspoon powdered onion salt
- ½ teaspoon powdered garlic salt
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
For Dipping and Frying
- ½ cup of vegetable oil
- 3 whole eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Chopped parsley
- Queso fresco (farmers cheese)
- Chopped onion
- Mexican crema
Char the Peppers
- Place peppers on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F and bake until browned on top, then turn over until all sides are slightly browned.
- Wet a large, clean cloth and wring excess water. Remove peppers from the oven and place them on the wet cloth and cover them. Then put it in a plastic bag and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Remove peppers from the plastic bag and uncover. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
- Remove skin, seeds, and stem and divide into 2-3 long sections depending on the size of the peppers.
- Add vinegar and salt to taste to the pepper sections.
Make the Tomato Sauce
- In a saucepan, place tomatoes, onion, garlic, and sweet pepper, adding water. Bring it to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove tomatoes, onions, pepper, and garlic from the pan and place in a blender. Add about ½ cup of the water, reserve the rest of the water.
- Blend until sauce is smooth, adding more water if needed, discarding the rest.
- Return sauce to the saucepan and add salt to taste and ½ teaspoon of beef bouillon. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens a bit. Reserve.
Prepare the Stuffing
- In a pot, cook the eye of round in water with salt and pepper until tender. If you prefer, you can shorten the cooking time by placing the beef in the Instant pot on the pressure cooker mode for 35 minutes. Set aside.
- After it cools down, open the pressure cooker and use the beef broth to boil the potatoes, carrots, and beans, along with the bay leaves and thyme. Season the vegetables with ½ tablespoon of powdered beef bouillon.
- Chop the eye of round into small bits and blend with the cooked vegetables.
- In a saucepan, fry the onion with a little bit of olive oil until it turns soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and stir. Pour in the chopped meat and vegetables. Season it with onion salt, garlic salt, and ½ teaspoon of powdered beef bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and excess vinegar from the peppers into the mixture, mixing until well blended.
- Put about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the filling and place it on top of the pepper strip using a spoon. Use both hands and press firmly, molding the stuffing until it feels solid and not crumbling.
- Put the stuffed chiles rellenos aside.
Dip and Fry
- Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large saucepan.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly incorporate the yolks and keep beating. Add flour until everything is well combined.
- Delicately, dip the stuffed peppers into the egg batter until completely covered.
- Remove excess egg and carefully place each stuffed pepper in the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning until all sides turn brown.
- Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Repeat with the next batch, adding more oil if needed.
Serve the chiles rellenos drizzled with the tomato sauce and topped with parsley, queso fresco, and onion. You can also add Mexican crema over them.
Make ahead of time
With today’s hectic life, we moms must stick together! Anything that can make our lives easier is welcomed with open arms, especially when it comes to cooking. Some recipes may take longer than others or have more elaborate procedures, making us think twice before starting a new one. With this easy Guatemalan chile relleno recipe, there are a couple of things you can make ahead of time, saving time in the kitchen.
You can make the topping sauce in advance, putting it in a mason jar in the fridge for over a couple of days. Another thing you can do is roast the peppers, peel them, and put them away in a container, ready to be stuffed.
And last, you can make the stuffing a couple of days early. Of course, you can choose to do just one of these things at a time, so it doesn’t feel like it took you three days to make a simple chile relleno from Guatemala.
Tips for making Chiles Rellenos
- Broil the sweet peppers: Customarily, chiles are roasted over an open flame to brown the skin to make it easier to peel. However, to make things simpler, I use the oven to char the skin, giving me the option to roast six at a time. Place the sweet peppers on a baking sheet and broil until browned, turning them over every few minutes.
- Fry in small batches: You don’t want the temperature of the oil in the saucepan to drop; otherwise, this can set off the peppers to drown in excessive oil when frying. Fry three or four stuffed peppers at a time, not overcrowding your pan when placing them. Don’t forget to check your oil temperature between batches for a better frying technique.
- Cooking for a bigger crowd: When making this Guatemalan dish for a group, fry the batches one at a time. Afterward, place the peppers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a silicone baking mat. When ready to serve, warm them up in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, to get all the soaked-up oil crisped up again.
Can you freeze Chiles Rellenos?
Fried food, as in this stuffed chile relleno recipe, is always best when eaten right away. But don’t fret! You can take some other time-consuming steps to make up for the lost time. After roasting, peeling, and stuffing the peppers, you can freeze them for up to one month. Then, wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap, setting them into airtight freezer bags.
You can also place all the stuffed peppers into a sizeable freezer-friendly container, covering them up with aluminum foil. Next, wrap the entire dish in plastic wrap to avoid freezer burns. Then, whenever you plan to eat them, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, dip them in the batter and fry away!
What to serve with Chiles Rellenos?
This delicious Guatemalan food is a stand-alone dish, thanks to all the ingredients that will satisfy you. You can pour some delicious chiles rellenos sauce on the fried peppers when it is time to serve. Garnish with some seasoned onion slices, fresh oregano, and chopped parsley. You may also want to add some crumbled queso fresco and serve with white rice.
Other Traditional Guatemalan Recipes
- Pollo en Jocón (Tomatillo Chicken Stew): This easy recipe for pollo en jocón is a traditional Guatemalan chicken stew, with a tomatillo and cilantro sauce, perfect comfort food for cold weather.
- Traditional Guatemalan Enchiladas Or Jardineras Recipe: Guatemalan Enchiladas are an all-time favorite dish of mine for any season, occasion, or just a little taste from back home. They are the perfect blend of flavors and textures, from the tanginess of the beet escabeche to the crunch of the tortilla.
- Shucos: Guatemalan Inspired Latin Hot Dog Recipe: It is a Guatemalan spin on the old-time hot dog recipe, infused Latin flavors like guacamole, chorizo, ham, and unique sauces. Shucos have now become a traditional Guatemalan dish.
- Guatemalan Tapado Recipe: A taste of the Caribbean and Garifuna flavor, Guatemalan Tapado is an exquisite seafood soup. It is cooked in savory coconut broth that you can fill with fish or go crazy and add anything from clams to shrimps and lobster.
- Guatemalan Torrejas Recipe: Very popular during Christmas and Lent, torrejas is a traditional Guatemalan dessert. It is a mouthwatering sweet dish that uses Panes Dulces (lard or sweet bread) as the main ingredient dipped in delicious syrup.
- Guatemalan Rellenitos Recipe: Rellenitos are made with ripe plantains, filled with beans, and covered in sugar. This sweet plantain recipe is one of the most delicious Guatemalan foods.
A sure crowd-pleaser, this traditional Guatemalan dish is fun to make and delicious to eat! Whether having a simple family gathering or celebrating Guatemala’s Independence Day, Guatemalan chiles rellenos will be the perfect touch for an authentic Latin feast!
A traditional Guatemalan dish made with sweet peppers, stuffed with beef and veggies, served drizzled with tomato sauce. Serve the chiles rellenos drizzled with the tomato sauce and topped with parsley, queso fresco, and chopped onion. You can also add Mexican crema over them.
Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos
For the Peppers:
For the tomato sauce:
For the stuffing:
For dipping and frying
Char the Peppers
Make the sauce
Prepare the Stuffing
Dip and Fry
Serving Size: 1 portion
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449
A traditional Guatemalan dish made with sweet peppers, stuffed with beef and veggies, served drizzled with tomato sauce.
Serve the chiles rellenos drizzled with the tomato sauce and topped with parsley, queso fresco, and chopped onion. You can also add Mexican crema over them.
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5 thoughts on “Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos Recipe”
This is a great recipe! I made it tonight and it was so good!
I don’t think she is from Guatemala first the recipient she mentioned is not the way she said is to bad went people changing the real recipient from the Guatemalan
I am absolutely from Guatemala. There are many versions and variations of Guatemalan recipes depending on the region and on the family. This is my family’s recipe and my favorite one for chiles rellenos.
In my 60÷ years of life I have never eaten a Guatemalan chile relleno made with beef,ever!! As far as I know they have always been made with pork. And the envuelto is made with the complete egg not just egg whites!! Perhaps your recipe is specific to a particular region
I’ve always eaten beef chiles rellenos and yes there are many different recipes depending on the region and the family too. This is my family’s recipe and my absolute favorite.