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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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Chile Relleno Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 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!