This easy chile relleno casserole (vegetarian) has all the wonderful Southwest flavors of the traditional dish, but is baked not fried, and it’s DELICIOUS!
This scrumptious chile relleno casserole is easy to make, is vegetarian, and has all the Southwest flavors of the traditional dish, but is baked, not fried!

I received this wonderful, meatless chile relleno casserole recipe over 20 years ago from my friend Lanita, who I sang with in a church choir.  She’s an amazing, strong woman, and I love her dearly! I’ve made her recipe for this dish several times over the years, but hadn’t made in quite a while.

So, I decided to make it once again, tweaked her original recipe ever so slightly, made it, devoured it, and am sharing how you can make it, too! Now I’ve made it countless times, and we love it!

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The Origins of Chile Rellenos

Did you know that the words “chile relleno” actually mean “stuffed chile” in Spanish?  This popular dish had its origins in Puebla, Mexico, and showed up in recipe form over 150 years ago.  If you enjoy Tex-Mex food or enjoy eating chile rellenos at your favorite Mexican food spot, I’m confident you will enjoy this twist on the original in this delicious layered casserole.

This easy to prepare dish has lots of mild flavor from whole green chiles and gooey melted cheese, and all the taste commonly found in the original dish, but guess what? It is BAKED, not FRIED, so there’s much less prep work (and calories), and it’s in casserole form! Did I mention how simple it is to prepare?

So How Do I Make This Casserole?

Start by spraying a 9×9 inch baking dish (bottom and sides) with non-stick spray. Slice whole canned green chiles open; rinse out any seeds, then drain. Using HALF of the chiles, place a first layer of chiles (spread open) on the bottom of an 9×9 inch baking dish.

Slicing and cleaning whole green chiles for casserole

Whole green chiles on bottom of glass baking dish

Sprinkle the chiles with HALF of the grated jack and cheddar cheeses, then add another layer of the remaining green chiles on top of the cheese.

Layers of green chiles and grated cheese for relleno casserole

Top with the remaining jack and cheddar cheeses.

Grated jack and cheddar cheese on top of green chiles in glass baking dish

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt until fully blended.  Pour this mixture over the casserole, distributing evenly.

Mixing flour, milk and salt for casserole

Pouring milk/flour mixture over chile relleno casserole before baking

Time To Bake The Easy Chili Relleno Casserole

This is what the casserole looks like when it is ready to bake.  Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (uncovered), until it’s golden brown on top. I baked mine for a total of 35 minutes.

Casserole with green chiles and cheese is ready to go into oven

When done, the casserole should be golden brown in color on top.  Remove dish from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let it cool and firm up for a few minutes, then slice the casserole with a sharp knife into 6 equal sized pieces, serve and enjoy!  See how simple it is to prepare?

Easy chile relleno casserole, hot out of the oven!

I took a photo after dinner so you could see what the INSIDE of the casserole looks like (after hungry humans had their fill).  See those chiles peeking out from under the cheese? Ooh- I’m telling you, this is one great tasting MEATLESS casserole! Truth is… it’s not only good for lunch or dinner… it’s even good for breakfast… yep!

A close up look at the inside of chili relleno casserole after baking

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I have a similar recipe for a layered casserole on this blog that uses tortillas, green chiles and chicken, if you are interested in looking at that one. It’s called Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole, and it also tastes fantastic.

Looking For More Southwestern-Style Recipes?

You can find ALL of my recipes in the Recipe Index, which is located at the top of the page. I have some delicious Southwest/Mexican-style recipes you might enjoy, including:

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Recipe Adapted From: My sweet friend, Lanita Moen

0 from 0 votes
Easy Chile Relleno Casserole
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

This scrumptious chile relleno casserole is easy to make, is vegetarian, and has all the Southwest flavors of the traditional dish, but it is is baked, not fried!

Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern
Keyword: chile, relleno
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 385 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 14 ounces whole green chiles , canned (2 -7 ounce cans)
  • 3/4 pound jack cheese , grated
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese , grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Slice whole canned green chiles wide open; rinse out any seeds, then drain. Arrange half of the chiles  in the bottom of the dish.

  2. Sprinkle chiles with HALF of the grated jack and cheddar cheeses.  Add remaining green chiles in another layer on top of the cheese. Top with remaining jack and cheddar cheeses.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk and salt until fully blended.  Pour this mixture over the casserole, distributing evenly.
  4. Bake casserole (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Remove dish from oven and transfer to a wire rack.  Let it cool and firm up for a few minutes, then slice casserole with sharp knife into 6 equal sized pieces, serve (a spatula works great) and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Easy Chile Relleno Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 127mg42%
Sodium 1118mg49%
Potassium 259mg7%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 905IU18%
Vitamin C 22.6mg27%
Calcium 665mg67%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!

This scrumptious chile relleno casserole is easy to make, is vegetarian, and has all the Southwest flavors of the traditional dish, but is baked, not fried!

Easy Chile Relleno Casserole

109 Comments on Easy Chile Relleno Casserole

  1. I have made this recipe several times… I put an enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan.. and after cooking .. I ad a layer on the top with some more cheese and and broil for a few minutes… I also use fresh chilies.. I just roast and peel them.

    It’s a versatile recipe.. and never fails.. you can use a variety of different fresh chilies.. or peppers.. and I may even try eggplant.

    • Hi I had a recipe like this one and it was from a Christian based diet. It came in a paper pamphlet. I can’t remember the name of the diet or church, but it used cornstarch and eggs. Also I think it called for ketchup on top, (which I thought was weird), but I love enchilada sauce and thought that sounded good so I put it on top instead. Anyway since you said it was a church friend wondering if it originated from the same origins. But either way very similar. I’m sure you could probably substitute either. But I will be trying yours out. I also like to caramelize my cheese on top. Oh and my version probably was not diet friendly! Lol… Lots of cheese.. yes!!

    • Hello, Henry… I have never tried that before, so I can’t tell you for sure. I don’t see why not, but don’t know how it will affect the taste of the original recipe.

    • Hi, Carrie… I’ve never made this dish with fresh chiles, BUT I would think that you would need to pre-roast and peel them to match the same type of canned chiles used in the recipe.

      • I get fresh poblanos from my farmer and roast in the oven. I do not seed or peel them. I like the charred flavor and they are soft enough.I also add cumin, chopped onion and garlic and chile powder to the milk and flour and eggs. There are so many variations!

  2. I’ve made this twice in the past, and family loved it. Tonight, I reported that I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner. My son piped up “Can you make that casserole with the chilis with the name I forget? It was bangin’! “ So, that’s what we’re having, by request.

    No canned chili’s available, so I subbed chopped, and it was great!

    • Thanks Jan, I wondered how it would turn out to use chopped chilis. I did the fresh chilies charred in the oven and found it more than I wanted to do. In the past I made it with a large can of Hatch chilies but can’t find them any more.

  3. My mother made this many years ago and loved it. Even tho eggs aren’t a favorite, it never had an eggy taste! Just made it with Hatch Big Jim’s and added Hatch hot chilies for spice! Thank you for posting, brought back sweet memories of my time with her! Plus, never had her recipe, but sure tasted like moms!

  4. Love your recipe comments- so happy to find the chili relleno recipe I forgot,
    Goes back 60 years, my boyfriend’s mother’s.
    So many happy memories!

    • Hi, Barbara… thank you for your note. Sorry for the late response, but I’ve been on a 3 week road trip, and just now am seeing this once we got back home! We love this recipe, and I’m planning it for a meal this week, too!

  5. My friend Martha gave me this same recipe about 40 years ago. It has medium tofu substituting the flour (tofu & chopped green Chile mixed) then layered) the last 15 minutes you top the Chili Relleno Casserole with salsa of your choice. I agree, it’s delicious!

  6. Just tried this and used Mexican combo cheese. Came out great. Made this as a side dish to Tortilla Soup from Costco with more trimmings added to soup. What a deliciouse meal we had!

  7. Good morning. I have looked through all the wonderful comments, but nobody has asked if you have ever doubled this recipe. I am planning to make this for a BBQ TONIGHT and need enough to feed a big crowd. I plan to double and use a deep 9 x 13 casserole. Just seems like a lot of milk when I double it to 3 cups. Have you ever done this? Thanks for responding…I hope you see this in time! Thanks so much!

    • Good morning, Val… I did NOT see this until this morning, unfortunately (took the day off yesterday). I have not doubled it before, so not sure how it would turn out, especially in a 9×13 pan. I would probably just put it into 2 dishes to ensure it bakes thoroughly and puffs up enough, but that’s just my opinion. Do hope it worked well for you.

    • I use pet milk or carnation milk. I haven’t doubled the recipe, yet.
      I made two Chile Relleno casseroles for a brunch at school, of course, I sliced the portions much smaller.

    • I have doubled the recipe and cooked in a 13×9 glass pan. I did cut milk to 2.5c & 3/4c flour with 3 eggs. It bakes up fluffy kinda like a souffle. I know this is way late but I have made this many many times. I’m so glad I found this recipe. Used to make it years ago but as kids left and busy with life and moving I lost the recipe.

    • I double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 inch pan, for about 50 minutes, until it is set. It comes out delicious every time. Hope this helps.

  8. Getting ready to make for tonight’s dinner also gonna make a batch of green Chile to smother it. Hope it comes out as delicious as it sounds.

    • I have never tried that, but can’t imagine why not (just cook the meat before adding to the casserole). Don’t know if it will puff up as much, due to the weight of the meat, but don’t think it would hurt a bit!

    • With recipes once you have the basics covered you can add anthing that will not destroy the foundation of the recipe. For instance you can add anything dry to this recipe but not liquids because liquids woukd break the foundation of the recipe. You can add spices, other cheeses, any meat you like, vegetables, potatoes as long as they are pre cooked, olives, herbs, etc. Anything that is not a liquid ingredient that you think will enhance it. To any other recipe it might be the opposite. Maybe you can only add liquid ingredients like extracts or juices and spices and not anything thay would take away from the liquids which might be the foundation of that recipe. Have fun and explore with recipes that is the joy in cooking.🙂

      • I have made it with fresh jalapenas….delicious! I have picky eaters so I chop peppers instead of using halves. When I hsve folks who do not like jot peppets, I have made with 1/2 hot and other half sweet green or red peppers…aldo very good

  9. Hello, want to make this for the weekend,but I don’t have a 9X9 dish, just 8X8. Any adjustments ?? Would it make much difference?

    • Good morning, Carol… go for it! Won’t make too much difference at all. Just make sure it is cooked through, ok? Have a great weekend.

    • I put 1 cup of milk….is that enogh or will it be dry.? Used large can hatch chiles and 5 eggs no salt or pepper guess forgot it but will add chilpote hot sause sour cream and homemade pintos..yum tk u. Cindy Wells

    • I have never tried it using almond milk, so I don’t know what the result would be, taste-wise. If you decide to try it, make sure it is unsweetened.

  10. I have made chili relleno but not casserole it sounds good I think I’ll try the receipt but I don’t use can green chili I roast hatch green chili peel and stuff with ground ground beef or turkey saute with onion and cheese. The batter is interesting but it’s good to know .

    • Good morning, Vicki. I don’t know if it would wreck the recipe, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it, due to flavor differences. Have a great day.

      • Buy fresh Anaheim or Poblano chilis, they are even available in small grocery stores in SD. Put them on a cookie sheet, under the broiler. The skin will turn black, turn a couple of times until fully black. Remove and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until cool. The skin will peel off. Seed and use as canned (much better).

  11. When I was little my aunt would make this dish. She got the recipe from the town newspaper (circa 1977). I had the original newspaper clipping but lost it in constant moving in the military. Your recipe is so very close to the one I grew up loving. Thank you for sharing, it has brought back fond childhood memories. I will add a “secret” touch that my aunt added to her recipe. Drizzle on small can of tomato sauce over the top half way thru the cooking will add an awesome flavor.

    • Thanks for writing, Jay! Thanks also for the tip about your “secret ingredient”. That would add a whole new layer of flavor to this yummy casserole. Hope you have a great day!

      • I have made this recipe for years using chopped chilies (so can mix mild and hot), do not add flour but sprinkle paprika on the top! Lots of variations and still yummy!

        • Hi, CK… thanks for writing! Thanks for another good tip on preparing this yummy casserole! Take care, and stay safe out there!

    • Hi, Mary! Thanks for writing. Yes, this seems to be a “classic” recipe that has been passed around a lot by LOTS of folks over the years in various parts of the country. Have a great day.

    • Hi, Barb… thank you for writing. Hopefully someone who reads your comment can help you with your question. I have not done any research into the keto diet, so am unable to help you with your question.

  12. This is really close to the chili rellano casserole my mom always made. But I think the egg, milk, flour mixture was different. I could’ve sworn she used 3 eggs, 1 can of evaporated milk, & 2 Tbsp of flour. Does that sound familiar at all?

    • Good morning, Shareen! Thanks for writing. Unfortunately that does not sound familiar to me, at all. The ingredients for this recipe are all I have ever used, so I cannot speak to that. Hope you have a great day.

    • Hi, Carrie… thank you for taking time to write. Not sure what could have occurred. There may be a couple reasons, but they are only guesses… perhaps flour was accidentally omitted (that thickens it up)? Perhaps casserole was not fully cooked, or hadn’t set up after removing it from oven and serving? Sorry you had this experience. I’ve made this chile relleno a LOT through the years, and have not ever experienced too much liquid. I hope you will consider trying it again, and will enjoy it! Have a great day.

    • Good morning, Donna! Sorry for the late response, but I have been on vacation out of the country for the past two weeks, and just returned home. I went to manually subscribe you to the newsletter, but I can see that you successfully signed up for it with the online form on September 14th. Hopefully you received the first newsletter last night! Thank you for taking the time to write, and I sincerely hope you have a wonderful day!

  13. Love this recipe! I used freshly roasted Hatch Chili’s from New Mexico. Yum!!! The leftovers refrigerated fine, so I’m making it again for camping trip…in the RV.

    • Good morning, Barbara! Sorry for my late response, but I have been on vacation out of the country for the past two weeks! I’ll bet the fresh roasted Hatch chili’s were fantastic in this dish. Hope you had ( or will have) a fantastic trip camping in your RV, and hope the casserole is a welcome sight while on the road. Have a wonderful day!

  14. ❣️❣️❣️❣️ Thank you so much for posting this recipe, and thank goodness I sit here unable to sleep, then as I’m scrolling through Pinterest this shows up…..
    this is absolutely the only Tex mex I eat…. I’ve traveled a lot so, when it comes to Mexican, Salvadoran, Honduran, Guatemalan, Mediterranean, etc… I want the real deal… but, when I’m dining with friends locally.. this is always what I order… if it’s the tomato sauce based I won’t order… but the Tex mex place by my house bakes theirs… it’s just like this!!!!!! Yummy!!!!! I’m going later on this morning to get what I need… can you guess what will be served for dinner at my house tonight??? ??❣️❣️

    • Good morning, Denise! Thank you for taking the time to write. I am sorry you were having a kind of sleepless night (I get it!-ugh). Hope you enjoy the dish. We absolutely love it, and enjoy it often! Hope you got some sleep after writing, and truly hope you enjoy your dinner!

  15. I have made an almost identical recipe for years, but I put in a pound of pork sausage. I use spicy, and my recipe calls for salsa mixed with the sausage. Very tasty.

    • Good morning, Rose! Thanks for taking time to write. Adding spicy pork sausage to this dish sounds wonderful! YUM! Have a GREAT day!

  16. Is there a way to make this low carb? Maybe omitting the flour and using heavy cream instead of milk? Thank you! It looks absolutely delicious ?

    • Good morning, Kelleigh! Thanks for writing! You know… the plain truth is I have NO idea if that would work or not. I have made this recipe a bazillion times, yet have never strayed from the original recipe I was given. I do know that the flour is there to help thicken the “quiche-like” filling. Perhaps someone reading this post will chime in to let us (all) know if your idea would be a good low carb alternative in this dish. Have a great day!

    • Hi, Ronni! Thanks for writing. You definitely want to add the flour, as it will help with the consistency of the egg filling for this dish. Have a great day!

  17. I have made a similar casserole, but always use fresh chilis. I have added jalapenos. Many are mild and add another wonderful flavor. Thank you for the measurements. I have always just guessed the amounts. Also I have used a large fry pan. Careful not to burn. Oven sounds easier.

    • Hi, Donna! Thank you for taking time to write! Yes… it is VERY easy to make in the oven. Hope you have good luck with the dish, and truly hope you enjoy it!

  18. This is by far one of the best. So cheesy and yummy. It can’t get any easier. Had a similar recipe that had chicken. This would be good with that or awesome with some leftover cooked salmon. Possibilities are endless! Thank you for sharing.

    • Good morning, Pinkie! Thank you for writing to let me know what you thought of this recipe. We love this casserole, too (just made it AGAIN a couple weeks ago!). Glad you enjoyed it! Have a wonderful day!

    • Thanks for writing, Lynne! We love this casserole, as well! Just made it again a few weeks ago. Next time, I think I will add some chicken, too! Have a GREAT day!

    • Good morning, Virginia! NO, I do not cover this casserole, which allows it to slightly brown on top. Thank you for asking this great question. I’m going to edit the blog post to add this information. Thank you for taking time to write. Have a GREAT day!

  19. I usually make them the traditional way, but I thought I’d give it a try and loved it. My husband loved it too. This is a keeper recipe. I will be trying this for breakfast when the family is all here.

    • Hi, Gloria! Thanks for writing and letting me know! I appreciate it, and am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Ooh… you are on to something. This would taste GREAT for breakfast! Gonna need to do that… I’ve got all the ingredients already. Have a wonderful evening.

    • Hi, Simone! I have never refrigerated it overnight before, BUT… there is absolutely no reason why you could not. I have other egg casseroles on my blog with similar ingredients and ALL of them are perfectly fine after sitting overnight in the fridge.
      I hope you give it a try, and hope that you and your friends from church enjoy this recipe. It tastes amazing!
      Thanks for taking the time to write. God Bless You!

      • Oops, Simone… I forgot to add this- if you refrigerate it overnight, you will probably need to take it out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before baking to let it “warm up” a bit!

        • Good morning, Ted! Thanks for taking time to comment. It is good to know that it freezes well. Usually ours is GONE in a couple of days, so have never made extra to freeze. Have a GREAT day!

  20. I couldn’t find whole canned peppers…so I got fresh poblano peppers, roasted them and removed the skin. After that, I followed your recipe exactly as written. Easy and tasty dish. Thanks!

  21. Tried this with easy charro beans and my 2 bff sisters. It was amazing. I did add hamburger and a couple other seasonings but the end reault…my husband who is a strictly meat and taters kinda dude LOVED IT!! I’ll definitely make it again.

    • Yay!!! So glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for taking time to let me know… I appreciate it, Trish. Enjoy your 4th of July today!

  22. I’ve made this recipe before, & it’s a winner! I usually make 2 at a time; one using the canned chilies (for my less adventurous friends), & one using roasted green chilies from our local Mexican market. These particular chilies have more kick to them, so it’s my fave.
    These are so easy to make, & I always have the ingredients on hand. I serve with shredded lettuce & chopped tomatoes on the side. Great recipe!

    • Thanks for your note, Esther! We think this is a winner recipe, also! Great tip for serving shredded lettuce and tomatoes on the side… they would be great additions! Hope you have a fantastic day!

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