My favorite breakfast recipe EVER: Easy Chile Relleno Casserole. This beloved recipe has received a lot of feedback, good and bad, read below to see why!
This Chile Relleno Casserole can be served as a breakfast casserole or a savory dinner casserole. Brinner, if you will. It is made with eggs, two types of cheese, and mild green chiles; perfect for feeding a crowd.
What's In This Article
What Is Chile Relleno Casserole?
There are a lot of haters out there too. It’s okay, I have thick skin. But if you are a hater, read on for my answers to your burning chile relleno casserole questions… the main one being that we are very aware this is not an authentic chile rellenos recipe.
This is a fairly common recipe and a take on true chile rellenos, which are chile peppers stuffed with cheese (and sometimes meat), battered and then fried. Most will use an egg batter, but where I grew up in Colorado, it was customary to use an egg roll wrapper.
We’ve been serving this recipe for years in our house on my maternal side. It was first prepared out of a Junior League cookbook. The chiles are still stuffed with cheese and then covered in eggs, but it is baked instead of fried and crispy. Deconstructed, if you will.
Past that, I can’t authenticate it. And I’ve never claimed it to be an authentic Mexican recipe or any other type of Mexican food.
What You’ll Need to Make a Chile Relleno Casserole
The ingredient list fairly short and simple.
- Mild green chiles- Grab whole green chiles and stuff them with long, thin pieces of cheese or get a few cans of diced chiles. You can also use fresh chiles, like Hatch green chiles, poblano peppers or Anaheim peppers, to roast and peel yourself over an open flame or the flame of your stove. There are instructions for both whole and diced in the recipe card.
- Cheese– When I say cheese, I mean CHEESE! Two pounds of cheese. I like pepper jack and colby jack, but any blend of these: sharp cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese is delicious. For the best texture, use freshly shredded cheese.
- Eggs– Use 5-7 large eggs. This can also be an egg white casserole, just use 10-14 large egg whites.
- Flour– Is the flour necessary? No. But it does help give the eggs some lift and fluff up.
- Whole milk– Adds richness and liquid to the mixture and helps keep the eggs moist and soft. Heavy cream can also be used, as can reduced fat milks or nut milk, they just won’t have as much depth.
- Coarse kosher salt– Salt helps to bring out and balance natural flavors.
- Powdered dry mustard – I get a lot of questions about this ingredient. Adding acid to a recipe gives it more sophisticated flavor. My family always used dry mustard because that’s what was listed in the old cookbook, but you can leave it out or use an equal amount of yellow or Dijon mustard whisked in with the eggs.
How to Make Chile Relleno Casserole
Making this casserole is super easy, it can be made ahead of time and even frozen. See my notes below!
- Preheat the oven and coat a 9×13 baking dish or casserole dish with cooking spray.
- For Using Whole Chiles: Stuff each chile pepper with a stick of cheese or a generous handful of shredded cheese, placing more on top of each pepper. Put the peppers in the pan, evenly spaced.
For Using Diced Green Chilies: Evenly spread the green chiles in a baking dish. Top with half of the shredded pepper jack cheese and half of the colby jack cheese. Set it aside while you get the egg mixture ready.
- In a separate medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and dry powdered mustard until the clumps are gone (some may remain).
- The flour will clump if added straight to the eggs, so you’ll add them to a small amount of the eggs, making a paste. Spoon out 1/4 cup of eggs mixture to a small bowl and whisk with the flour, making a paste. Whisk the flour mixture back into the main egg mixture and it should blend well, if it doesn’t, don’t fret, it will bake out.
- Pour the egg mixture over the chiles and cheese. They will float and sink, this is normal.
- Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the casserole and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the center has set and no longer jiggles. The cheese will have melted and the edges are golden brown.
- Let the casserole rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Eggs hold heat well, so it will stay hot for up to 20 minutes and if eaten sooner, will likely burn your mouth, so be careful!
- Slice and serve with your favorite condiments. I like using a dollop of sour cream.
Anything that you would put on top of eggs or a chile relleno are also great for this spicy breakfast casserole.
- Sour cream
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Fresh avocado slices
- Red enchilada sauce
- Chamoy Sauce
- Hot sauce
- Salsa verde
- Jalapeno slices
- Fresh cilantro
- Green enchilada sauce
- Cottage cheese
Variations of Chile Relleno Casserole Recipes
There are so many ways to make this chile relleno breakfast casserole your own. I like to keep mine vegetarian, but feel free to add meat.
- Add 1 cup browned ground beef, chicken or turkey.
- Add 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.
- Add 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken, like a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.
- Like it hot? Swap mild green chiles for jalapenos or hot green chiles.
- Use a variation of cheese like monterey jack, pepper jack, habanero laced cheeses, colby jack, queso fresco or cotija cheese.
- Add 1 cup of cooked (or thawed) hash browns or breakfast potatoes to the eg mixture.
- Add 1 teaspoon of chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, cumin, coriander or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Fold 1 cup cauliflower rice or white rice to the egg mixture for more body and texture.
What Do You Serve With Chile Rellenos?
For breakfast, you can easily have some meat on the side. Bacon and Homemade Breakfast Sausage are good bets. Even just heat up some ham.
Toast, biscuits, English muffins or scones are great too. Even a cream cheese board with bagel tidbits is great. Make sure to get some fruit in with my favorite fruit salad.
Crispy home fries, sweet potato hash browns or potatoes o’brien are fantastic too!
For lunch or dinner, consider refried beans, warm corn tortillas tortilla chips or Mexican rice.
Is It Chile or Chili?
So before you throw stones, I didn’t name it either. All I know is that this make ahead breakfast casserole is delicious! And if you try it, you’ll probably agree.
And the last bashing it gets is if it is a chile rellenos or chili rellenos. Geez, the “i” or the “e”. Well, my friend who is an editor claims that the chile pepper is indeed with an “e” and the soup is with an “i”. Some folks even go a step further and call is chiles rellenos and pluralize both.
Call it a chili Relleno Casserole if you’d like. It still tastes the same!
Make Ahead, Storage & Freezing
How long is chile relleno casserole good for?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a warm oven or in the microwave. Be mindful that eggs always get a tad rubbery when reheated in the microwave.
Can you make a chile relleno casserole ahead of time?
You can make Chile Relleno Casserole the night before you intend to bake it. It might take a few more minutes in the oven to come to temperture seeing that it will be chilled instead of room temperature. About 10 minutes.
You can also prep the ingredients, mainly shredding the cheese and making the egg mixture, and just assemble it morning off. Or night, if you are making brinner.
Can you freeze a chile relleno casserole?
If you freeze this casserole, cook it, then freeze it in small batches with as little air as possible.
Wrap in aluminum foil or freezer paper, then in an airtight bag. It should be good for up to 3 months. Also see our guide to freezing food, or more specifically how to freeze a casserole!
Questions About Making This Casserole
I agree, it seems like a lot of cheese, but I can promise you that after it bakes, it won’t be a steaming dish of melted cheese (although I wouldn’t be opposed to that).
Read a few of the comments and the cheese, they have vouched for me. That said, if you want to reduce the cheese, be my guest!
You sure can. Shred all of the cheese and used diced chiles instead of whole. Bake in a muffin tin on 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until the centers bounce back easily.
If you omit the flour, it is gluten free. I am not a registered nutritionist or expert, this is just my basic understanding.
More breakfast recipes for feeding a large group:
- Cheesy Vegetable Casserole
- Sausage Hashbrown Casserole
- Creamed Chipped Beef Toast
- Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
- Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
- French Toast Casserole
Chile Relleno Breakfast Casserole
- 30 ounces mild green chiles (whole or diced) , drained (2 large cans or 3 small cans)
- 1 pound pepper jack cheese , freshly shredded or cut into sticks and divided
- 1 pound cheddar colby jack cheese , freshly shredded or cut into sticks and divided
- 5-7 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered dry mustard
- 1/4 cup flour
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- For Using Whole Chiles: Stuff each chile pepper with a stick of cheese or a generous handful of shredded cheese, placing more on top of each pepper. Put the peppers in the pan, evenly spaced. Only use half of your cheese, you'll need the rest for topping. For Using Diced Green Chiles: Evenly spread the chiles in a baking dish. Top with half of the shredded pepper jack cheese and half of the colby jack cheese. Set it aside while you get the egg mixture ready.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and dry powdered mustard until the clumps are gone (some may remain). Spoon out 1/4 cup of eggs mixture to a small bowl and whisk with the flour, making a paste. Whisk it back into the main egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture over the chiles and cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the casserole and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the center has set and the cheese has melted.
- Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- If you've tried this recipe, we want to hear about it! Come back and leave us a comment or star rating!
Oh goodness me this looks delicious! I will have to see about making this!
This looks really good! You had me at cheese 🙂
Cheese! Yum! This looks so good! I would def try this!
This looks amazing! I love anything covered in cheese! 🙂
Hubby’s got a big golf tournament on Sunday. This would be a great treat for him to send him on his way!
Your recipe looks so good! My husband loves chiles, I’m going to have to try this!
I can deal with that much cheese. Sounds so tasty.
Oh that sounds so yummy! I love chiles!!
I rely on those chopped green chilies a lot now too. The cheesy goodness of this is killer!
Nice looking casserole. I am sure it was super yummy
This breakfast casserole looks delicious! I’m kind of picky about breakfast, but I know I would enjoy this!
Love this recipe! I made it for a potluck and everyone raved about it. My family loves when I make it. Being from New Mexico, there is no comparison between fresh roasted and canned chile, So if you ever have a chance to use fresh or frozen chile, it’s a must. I also like to change up the cheeses, sometimes I use pepper jack, sometimes I throw some Mozzerella in there.
Yum! Thank for stopping by to let us know!
I only have two bags of for she green chiles left until the Hatch chiles are back in season. One of those have to be used to make this! Sounds awesome!
I am from New Mexico and I love Hatch chile. I bring it when I visit. You can get it at some Walmarts, not all I am trying to have walmart in San Diego to have it. There are many people that would love it and Walmart would make a fortune.
This looks amazingly delicious! I can’t wait to make it for my family.
2 pounds of cheese or not, I’m totally in to it!
I need more breakfast casserole ideas. I never would have thought to eat chile relleno first thing in the morning, but it sounds good!
I love stuff like this for breakfast. It always fills me up on those mornings when I workout!
YUM! Delish casserole…perfect for breakfast!
This sounds delicious! What a great way to start the morning.
That is a TON of cheese! My husband would go for this. He’s always ordering the chile rellenos at restaurants!
Does this not look awesome?