Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos Recipe

Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos or stuffed peppers are one of my favorite Guatemalan traditional foods. 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. This popular Guatemalan dish is made with sweet peppers, filled with a mixture of beef and veggies, served drizzled with tomato sauce. 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!

Guatemalan chiles rellenos

This Stuffed Chile Relleno recipe is easy to make, even though it takes a bit of time to prep. To make Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos, 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. These are then dipped in beaten egg whites and pan-fried, and usually topped with a homemade tomato sauce. Many people like to eat them inside a tortilla, which eliminates the need for cutlery. 

What kind of peppers do you use to make Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos?

         Sweet or Bell Peppers are the most frequently used in this Guatemalan recipe.  There are some variations for the Chile Relleno from Guatemala; some like using Chili Peppers, known for their spiciness, to bring a whole new different flavor to your plate. 

What kind of peppers do you use to make Chiles Rellenos

What are the ingredients for Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos?

         The stuffed Chiles Rellenos recipe uses sweet or bell peppers as the main ingredient for stuffing and frying.  The filling includes a blend of 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. 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.

Ingredients for chiles rellenos

What is the difference between Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos and Mexican Chiles Rellenos?

         While the first Chile Relleno recipe is considered to have originated in Mexico, many variations of this dish are found all over Central and South America.  The traditional Guatemalan version of the stuffed Chile Relleno recipe mainly uses sweet peppers. At the same time, the Mexican Chiles Rellenos are made of 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 some variations, such as pork, turkey, or ground beef.  It also may include some sweet ingredients, such as nuts and raisins.  Chiles Rellenos from Guatemala are stuffed mostly with a mixture of beef and vegetables, seasoned with traditional Guatemalan spices and condiments.

Guatemalan chiles rellenos

Make ahead of time

         With today’s hectic life, we moms must stick together!  Anything that can make our lives easier, it is welcomed with open arms, especially when it comes down to cooking.  Some recipes may take longer than others or have more elaborate procedures, which makes us think twice before even starting a new one.  With this easy Guatemalan Chile Relleno recipe, there are a couple of things you can make ahead of time, saving you to “slave” time over the kitchen.  One thing you can make in advance is the Chile Relleno topping sauce; you can put 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.

Chiles rellenos recipe

Tips for making Chiles Rellenos

  • Broil the sweet peppers: Customarily, chiles are roasted over an open flame to brown the skin in order to make it easier to peel.  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 couple of minutes.

tips for making chiles rellenos

  • Fry the Chiles Rellenos 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 Chiles Rellenos 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 Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos for a crowd, 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 you are ready to serve, warm them up in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes, to get all the soaked-up oil to crisp up again.

Can you freeze Chiles Rellenos?

         Fried food, as 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.  You can do this by wrapping 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 dish, covering them up with aluminum foil.  Wrap the entire dish in plastic wrap to avoid freezer burns.  Whenever you plan to eat them, simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, dip them in the batter and fry away!

What to serve with Chiles Rellenos?

         When it is time to serve, you can pour some delicious Chile Relleno sauce on top of the fried peppers.  Garnish with some seasoned onion slices, fresh oregano, and chopped parsley.  You may also add some crumbled queso fresco and serve with white rice.

Chiles rellenos recipe

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:  Itis 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 and 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. 

Guatemalan Chile Relleno Recipe:

Ingredients for the Chiles Rellenos:

  • ½ pound green beans, chopped
  • 4 medium-size potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 3 medium-size carrots, cut in small cubes
  • 6 sweet peppers
  • 1 Lb. cooked eye of round
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 thyme leaves
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • ½ cup of oil (olive oil??)
  • 3 whole eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered onion salt
  • ½ teaspoon powdered garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce for chiles rellenos

Ingredients for the Chile Relleno sauce:

  • 6-7 Roma tomatoes
  • ½ white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ sweet pepper

Instructions:

  • In a pot, cook the eye of round in water with a little salt and pepper until tender. If you prefer, you can shorten the cooking time by placing the beef in the pressure cooker for 35 minutes after it starts to whistle. 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 Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon.

chiles rellenos filling

  • Chop the eye of round into small bits and blend with the cooked vegetables.
  • 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.

how to peel sweet peppers

  • 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 place the cloth in a plastic bag and let 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.

how to peel sweet peppers

  • Add vinegar and salt to taste to the pepper sections. 

How to make Guatemalan chiles rellenos

  • 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 with onion salt, garlic salt, and ½ teaspoon of Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste. 

Chile relleno

  • Combine the breadcrumbs and excess vinegar from the peppers into the mixture, mixing until it is well blended.
  • Using a spoon, put about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the filling and place it on top of the pepper strip. Using both hands, press firmly molding the filling until it feels solid, and it is not crumbling.
  • Put the chiles rellenos aside.

how to make chiles rellenos

  • 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.

How to make chiles rellenos

  • 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 are browned.

How to make Guatemalan chiles rellenos

  • Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Repeat with the next batch, adding more oil if needed.

Guatemalan chiles rellenos recipe

Fort 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.

Tomato sauce for chiles rellenos

  • Remove tomatoes, onions, pepper, and garlic from 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.

Tomato sauce for chiles rellenos

  • Return sauce to the saucepan and add salt to taste and ½ teaspoon of Maggi’s bouillon. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens a bit.  It is ready to serve.
  • Serve the chiles rellenos drizzled with the tomato sauce and garnish with parsley, queso fresco and onion. You can also add some Mexican crema.

Guatemalan chiles rellenos

Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos

Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for the Chiles Rellenos:
  • • ½ pound green beans, chopped
  • • 4 medium-size potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • • 3 medium-size carrots, cut in small cubes
  • • 6 sweet peppers
  • • 1 Lb. cooked eye of round
  • • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • • 2 thyme leaves
  • • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • • 3 bay leaves
  • • 1 tablespoon Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon
  • • 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • • 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • • ½ cup of oil (olive oil??)
  • • 3 whole eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • • 1/2 teaspoon powdered onion salt
  • • ½ teaspoon powdered garlic salt
  • • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ingredients for the Chile Relleno sauce:
  • • 6-7 Roma tomatoes
  • • ½ white onion
  • • 3 garlic cloves
  • • ½ sweet pepper

Instructions

    1. In a pot, cook the eye of round in water with a little salt and pepper until tender. If you prefer, you can shorten the cooking time by placing the beef in
      the pressure cooker for 35 minutes after it starts to whistle. Set aside.
    2.  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 Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon.
    3. Chop the eye of round into small bits and blend with the cooked vegetables.
    4. 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. 
    5. Wet a large, clean cloth and wring excess water. 
    6. Remove peppers from the oven and place them on the wet cloth and cover
      them. Then place the cloth in a plastic bag and let stand for about 10 minutes.
    7. Remove peppers from the plastic bag and uncover. Let stand until cool enough to
      handle.
    8. Remove skin, seeds, and stem and divide into 2-3 long sections depending
      on the size of the peppers. 
    9. Add vinegar and salt to taste to the pepper sections. 
    10. 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 with onion salt, garlic salt, and ½ a teaspoon of Maggi’s powdered beef bouillon, salt, and pepper to taste. 
    11. Combine the breadcrumbs and excess vinegar from the peppers into the
      mixture, mixing until it is well blended. 
    12. Using a spoon, put about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the filling and place it
      on top of the pepper strip. Using both hands, press firmly molding the filling
      until it feels solid, and it is not crumbling.
    13. Put the chiles rellenos aside.
    14. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large saucepan. 
    15. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly incorporate the yolks and keep beating.  Add flour until everything is well combined.
    16. Carefully, dip the stuffed peppers into the egg batter until completely covered. 
    17. Remove excess egg and carefully place each stuffed pepper in the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning until all sides are browned.
    18. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
    19. Repeat with the next batch, adding more oil if needed.

Fort 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 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 Maggi’s bouillon. 
Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens a bit.  It is ready to serve.

Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos Recipe

Guatemalan Chiles Rellenos Recipe

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