Crispy, Cheesy, Chile Rellenos Made with Egg Roll Wrappers
There are few things better in life than a Crispy Chile Relleno, fried to golden perfection, stuffed with a roasted chile and plenty of melted cheese. This simple recipe uses egg roll wrappers to make homemade Chile Rellenos so easy you just might be tempted to make them every week.
Crispy, deep fried Chile Rellenos are easily one of my top 10 favorite things to eat. ESPECIALLY when they are smothered in Green Chili.
That crispy shell, wrapped around a whole Green Chile that’s been stuffed with cheese, fried to golden, cheesy perfection, and smothered in spicy pork green chili. So, so, SO good. There are few things in life I love more than this, which tells you a lot about my priorities. 🙂
Traditional Chile Rellenos involves stuffing chilies with cheese then coating them in a batter before frying. They aren’t super difficult…. but they are somewhat involved, messy, and time consuming.
Years ago, I discovered a much easier way to make crispy Chile Rellenos and I’ve been happily making them this way ever since. It requires only four ingredients and takes very little time.
But, the result (in my humble opinion) is just as good, if not better, than anything you’ll get from a batter. (And all the traditionalists gasp in horror.)
Here’s what you do…
Crispy Chile Rellenos Made Easy
The secret to super easy, super crispy, super cheesy Chile Rellenos is to ditch the batter and use egg roll wrappers in its place. Not only do egg roll wrappers allow you to skip the whole process of coating stuffed chiles in batter, they allow you to add considerably more cheese.
In my book, the more cheese, the better. If my book looks a lot like your book, this recipe is for you.
#1. The Chiles
For this recipe, you’ll need 12 whole roasted and peeled Green Chiles. In the town where I grew up and raised my own children, local family farms grew chiles, roasting them in hand crank roasters for weeks at a time during harvest season. There are few things I love more than the smell of roasting chiles.
Every year, I would buy bags of roasted chiles, peel off their blackened skins, and use them to make Chile Rellenos.
But, I didn’t relegate myself to making Chile Rellenos once a year. And I was never disciplined enough to purchase, peel, and freeze chiles during harvest season.
So, the rest of the year, I would simply purchase a can of whole roasted Green Chiles at my local supermarket. Recently, I’ve started ordering them from The Hatch Chile Store.
All of these options are good options. If it’s Chile season where you are and you have the luxury of purchasing a bag of fresh roasted chiles, do that. Otherwise, order a box of frozen whole roasted Chiles from the Hatch Chile Store or pick up a can of whole chiles at your local market.
#2. The Egg Roll Wrappers
As you may or may not know, my husband and I are full time travelers, rolling across the country in our 5th wheel RV.
As such, I am constantly shopping at unfamiliar supermarkets. Happily, I’ve found that most major supermarkets carry packages of egg roll wrappers, usually stocked in the refrigerated cases of their produce section.
I can tell you from experience, that while most supermarkets cary egg roll wrappers, they typically don’t stock a lot of them and that can make them difficult to find. If you don’t see them, it’s worth it to ask. They are probably there… somewhere.
For the Chile Rellenos you see here, I used Twin Dragon Egg Roll Wrappers because that’s what was available in the supermarket I happened to be shopping in at the time. I’ve used them many times in the past and can attest to their quality. If your local market has a couple of options, opt for the Twin Dragon wrappers. (And, while you’re at it, pick up a package of wonton wrappers so you can make these delicious little two-bite wonton cups.)
If your market carries another brand, don’t worry about it. Most egg roll wrappers are going to work perfectly fine.
#3. The Cheese
My favorite cheese to use in Chile Rellenos is Monterey Jack because it has a mild flavor and melts really well. Sometimes, when I want to add more heat, I’ll use pepper jack. I also personally like cheddar… however, depending on the type of cheddar you use, it can overpower the flavor of the chili. This is neither good nor bad. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.
My other favorite cheese to use in Chile Rellenos is Oaxaca cheese (also known as Queso Oaxaca, Asadero, or Quesillo), a semi-soft cheese that is similar to Monterey Jack.
How to make Chile Rellenos with Egg Roll Wrappers:
- Lay one egg roll wrapper on a work surface in front of you and place a whole Green Chile in the center, laying it open.
- Dip your fingers in the water and brush it along all 4 edges of the egg roll wrapper to dampen.
- Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese in the center of the Green Chile.
Then simply enclose the Chile in the egg roll wrapper as follows:
- Fold the left side of the egg roll wrapper over the Chile and cheese, towards the center.
- Fold the bottom corner up towards the center
- Fold the right side of the wrapper over the chile and cheese, covering it completely
- Fold the top corner down to the center, forming a nice little package.
Press the seam with your fingers to seal and lay the relleno on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining egg roll wrappers and filling.
The moistened edges of the egg roll wrapper should hold it in place. If it starts to come apart, simply re-moisten the edges.
How to Deep Fry Chile Rellenos:
Fill a deep skillet or saucepan with enough oil to come about 3 inches up the sides. Most of the time, I use a stockpot for frying because it keeps more of the oil splatters inside the pan, making cleanup easier later. But, a deep skillet works great too. You can also, of course, use a deep fat fryer.
The most important thing about deep frying anything is temperature. If the temperature of the oil is too low, the rellenos will end up soggy and extremely greasy. If the temperature of the oil is too high, the outside of the rellenos will burn before the cheese on the inside has fully melted.
It’s nearly impossible to know the temperature of the oil without using a deep fry/candy thermometer. Deep fry thermometers are fairly inexpensive and readily available at supermarkets and home stores. Or, you can order one on Amazon.
As the Chile Rellenos fry, do your best to keep the temperature of the oil somewhere between 325 – 340 degrees (F). Let them cook on one side until deep golden brown, then use metal tongs to flip them over.
When the Rellenos are golden brown on both sides, remover them from the oil, letting them drain on paper towels.
That’s it. You’re done. Easy peasy.
What do you serve with Chile Rellenos?
Hands down, my favorite way to eat Chile Rellenos is smothered in Pork Green Chili. Making Green Chili is not difficult, but it does take some time. The chili needs to simmer low and slow for about 3 hours to allow all the flavors to blend and develop, and the pork to reach maximum tenderness.
My favorite Green Chili recipe makes a lotto chili – about 16 cups. I almost always make this much (sometimes more!) because it freezes really well. And, being one microwave defrost cycle away from a bowl Pork Green Chili is a beautiful thing.
- 12 egg roll wrappers
- 12 whole Green Chiles, roasted and peeled (see note)
- 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, or Mexican blend cheese
- Vegetable oil (enough to fill a large pot with 2-3 inches of oil)
- Get a work surface set up to assemble the chile rellenos: Drain the green chilies and put them in a bowl. Place 12 egg roll wrappers on the counter and cover them with a damp paper towel. Add the shredded cheese to a bowl and set it next to your other ingredients. Line a baking sheet or platter with parchment paper. Fill a small bowl with water.
- Working with one at a time, lay an egg roll wrapper in front of you. Dip your fingers in the water and brush it along all 4 edges of the egg roll wrapper to dampen. Lay one Green Chile open and flat in the center of the egg roll wrapper. Add 1/4 cup of cheese in the center of the Green Chile. (See step-by-step photos above)
- Fold the left side of the egg roll wrapper over the Chile and cheese, towards the center. Fold the bottom corner up towards the center, then fold the right side of the wrapper over the Chile and cheese, covering it completely. Fold the top corner of the egg roll wrapper down to the center, forming a nice little package. (See step-by-step photos above.) The moistened edges of the egg roll wrapper should hold it in place. If it's coming apart, simply re-moisten the edges.
- Press the seam with your fingers to seal and lay the relleno on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining egg roll wrappers and filling.
- Fill a large saucepan or deep skillet with enough oil to come up the sides of the pan about 2 inches and set it over high heat. Heat the oil to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet or platter with paper towels and set it close by.
- Using metal tongs, add 3 or 4 rellenos to the hot oil. As they fry, turn them so that they brown on all sides. When the rellenos are a deep golden brown, use the tongs to remove them from the oil and lay them on the paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining egg rolls, watching the heat and adjusting the temperature of the burner to keep the oil between 325 – 340. *You can keep them warm in a 300 degree oven if you wish.
- My absolute favorite way to eat these is smothered in Green Chili with Pork
What kind of green chiles are best for chili rellenos?
Use either Poblano Peppers or Hatch Chiles to make Chili Rellenos. Both varieties of chile need to be roasted and peeled before use. If it's Chile season where you are and you have the luxury of purchasing a bag of fresh roasted chiles, do that. Otherwise, order a box of frozen whole roasted Hatch Chiles from the Hatch Chile Store or pick up a can of whole Hatch Chiles at your local market.
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Hatch Chile Company Hatch Whole Green Chilies, 27-Ounce
Goodcook Nonstick Bakeware, Set Of 3 Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
Cuisinart Chef's Classic 8-Quart Stockpot with Cover, silver
Deep Fry Thermometer Stainless Steel with Pot Clip
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover
Serving Size:2 rellenos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 489Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 758mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g