Gluten Free Chile Rellenos with Ranchero Sauce

Chile rellenos have always been one of my favorite Mexican dishes. My one of my favorites would have to be at Super Cucas. A buck fifty on the a la carte menu! Um… sí, por favor! I decided it would be worth a shot to try to make my own chile rellenos gluten-free style.


I must admit until I started making my own homemade Mexican food from scratch, I have no idea how much damn work in some Mexican dishes. These chile rellenos were no exception. I had no clue how chile rellenos were actually made and this dish had a little more work than I anticipated. I definitely have a new found respect for Mexican cooking.

Ranchero Sauce

I based my ranchero sauce on this version from Epicurious making a few adjustments based on ingredients on hand and to make it vegetarian


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups canned low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato paste

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth and tomato sauce and cook until sauce thickens and reduces to 1 1/2 cups, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.


Chile Rellenos (for 2)

I had no clue how chile rellenos were actually made. I didn’t know that there was whipped eggs involved in the batter process, but when you think about the consistency of the batter, it makes sense. I also encountered a bit of a problem with the peeling and seeding of the roasted chiles. I was originally going to attempt to use canned roasted chiles, but despite searching several huge grocery stores and Mexican markets, I couldn’t find any canned chiles bigger than a jalapeno. I would also suggest using slices of cheese as opposed to shredded cheese like I did. Slices would definitely be easier to stuff the chiles with than shredded cheese. I followed the instructions found here, making a few adjustments as I needed to.


  • 4 large pasilla chiles
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • Oil for frying
  1. Roast the chiles. I roasted the chiles on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet under a broiler on high for about 10 minutes, turning them after 5.
  2. Peel the chiles. In order to make the chiles easier to peel, it’s a good idea to sweat them. After the chiles have been removed from under the broiler, place them in a plastic ziploc with some paper towels, and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes. This will help the skins come off a lot easier. If possible, try to keep the chiles in one piece when you are peeling and removing the seeds, this will also help with stuffing the chiles.
  3. Stuff the chiles. Once the chiles are peeled and seeded, stuff them with cheese or whatever other filling you would like (roasted vegetables, onions, peppers, chicken, etc.). I had to use toothpicks to keep my chiles together  because they had split while I was peeling them.
  4. Batter the chiles. Dredged the stuffed chiles in a bit of the rice flour to help the batter stick better. Then whip the egg whites together until they are stiff. Fold in the egg yokes and a pinch of salt. Dip the peppers into the batter. Use your fingers to coat the chile, if the batter will not stick.
  5. Cook the chiles. Place the chiles one at a time in a pan of heated oil and cook each side until golden brown. Once cooked, drain the excess oil on paper towels.
  6. Serve the chiles. Make sure to remove any toothpicks if you used them to hold the chiles together. Top with ranchero sauce. Serve and enjoy!


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