This low carb Hatch Chile Rellenos Casserole has all the flavor of regular chile rellenos, but without the breading and frying.
Once a year, my girlfriend Jelayne has a Chile Rellenos party. Her family is from New Mexico, and her uncle sends a large care package of assorted Hatch chiles. Jelayne and her husband, Dan, spend the afternoon charring, filling, battering and then deep-frying dozens of chiles. (This post was originally posted on July 17th, 2013, and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
What are Hatch Chiles?
While While Hatch Chiles have been a Southwest staple for generations, the Hatch Chile phenomenon seems to have just picked up steam in the rest of the country over the last several years.
The Hatch chile craze is all over Southern California now, with roasting events popping up all over the city. Now, it’s hard to miss the word “Hatch” in August and September! There are roasting events all over the country now! If you can’t find a chile roasting event near you, you can roast them yourself.
When are Hatch chiles in season?
Depending on the season, Hatch chiles can be available from late July to early October.
Where are Hatch chiles grown?
Hatch chiles come from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. Chiles grown outside New Mexico are not allowed to be called “Hatch”. In fact, chiles grown outside the designated region of the Hatch Valley cannot claim the name. Depending on the soil and climate, the chile crops in a particular plot can vary in heat from year to year.
Are Hatch Chiles hot?
The fun thing about Hatch chiles is you never know what you’re going to get. You can’t tell by the color how hot a chile will be. If you purchase Hatch chiles from a roasting event at grocery store, you will be asked if you want mild, medium or hot. But that’s no guarantee!
What can I substitute for Hatch chiles?
While there is no real substitute for Hatch chiles, Anaheim chiles are readily available in major grocery stores. Anaheim chiles were originally from New Mexico and were brought to Anaheim, California in the late 19th century. If you can’t find Hatch chiles, Anaheim will work too.
How do you roast Hatch chiles?
Most major grocery stores offer Hatch chile roasting events from mid August to late October. Most people will purchase chiles 10 and 20 pounds at a time! While many places will do the roasting for you, you can easily roast your own at home, especially if you’re only roasting 3-4.
Don’t worry if you don’t have access to Hatch chiles, you can always use poblanos, pasillas, or Anaheim chiles. There are a couple of ways to roast them. First, you can throw them on the grill, no need to do anything to them. Just rotate them until the skin is charred and blackened.
You can also roast them over an open flame, or under the broiler. Then pop them in a brown paper sack and close. Let them sit and steam in the bag for a few minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
If you don’t use plastic gloves to remove the skins and seeds, be mindful of your hands and don’t touch your face or eyes.
The skins should peel of very easily. Scrape the seeds out and remove the stem end. Pat them dry with paper towel to get the last bits of skin, seeds and char off. Rinsing them will remove some of the spiciness so be mindful if you like hot and spicy!
If you are lucky enough to pick up pre-roasted Hatch chiles, you might want to buy a case. (I did just that last weekend when I bought 10 pounds of roasted chiles from my local grocery store).
What do you do with TEN pounds of Hatch chiles?
Well, I’ve make Hatch Chile and Cheddar Egg Bites, which make a nice grab and go, breakfast that’s low-carb and gluten free. Or this Hatch Chile Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which is definitely not low-carb! (Spencer gets to eat that!) Or we’ll just dice them up and pop them in omelets or scrambled eggs.
How to Freeze Chiles
If you do buy more chiles than you can possibly use in a week, you’ll want to freeze them.
First pat them dry or lay them flat on some paper towels to absorb some of the moisture. DO NOT PEEL them, the skins will help keep them moist. Freeze them flat in plastic bags and then stack the bags. Once they’re defrosted, the skin should easily slip off.
This low carb Hatch Chile Casserole doesn’t involve any stuffing, breading, or frying, so most of the work is in prepping the fresh chilies. Once you’ve got them skinned and cleaned, it takes just a few minutes to pull the casserole together.
We’ll have this for breakfast, lunch or even as a side dish to go with dinner. Since it’s vegetarian, it also makes a great entree. Did I mention that it works well with a Keto diet too?
Roast, and skin the chiles using plastic gloves.
Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil. Line chiles on the bottom of baking dish.
Layer 1/3 of the cotija and sharp cheddar over chiles.
Add another layer of chiles.
Repeat, ending with a layer of both cotija and cheddar cheeses on top layer. Beat eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl and pour over chiles and cheese.
Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
How to freeze this Chile Rellenos Casserole?
Yes! I usually freeze this casserole in squares after I’ve baked it. Wrap pieces well in plastic or foil and then seal in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Low Carb Hatch Chile Rellenos Casserole
- 1 1/2 pounds chiles, Hatch, poblanos, pasilla, or Anaheim chiles, charred, skins and seeds removed.
- 6 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese, you can also substitute ricotta cheese for a similar texture and flavor.
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Roast chiles under the broiler or on a charcoal grill, turning often, until the skin is blackened. Place them in a paper bag and close tightly. When chiles are cool enough to handle, pull away and discard the seed and inside veins.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Brush olive oil on the bottom of a 10.5" x 7.5" baking dish. Line with chiles.
- Cover chiles with about 2 ounces of crumbled cotija and 4 ounces of shredded cheddar. Repeat twice, ending with cheeses on top. (three layers total).
- Beat the eggs, with the salt and pepper and pour over the chile and cheese mixture.
- Bake at 425 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and no longer jiggly in center.
- Serve hot or room temperature.
- Casserole can be frozen. Cut into squares and wrap well.
- To reheat, defrost the night before and heat each square about 45-60 seconds in microwave.
Teri K says
Do you have the nutritional info for this?
it should be there Teri, I updated it.
I’ve made this twice, and we love it! I used reduced fat cheese. The second time, I used fat-free cottage cheese. The texture was a little loose, but it was still delicious. Works great in the crock pot, too! Thanks for sharing!
Wow! I’ve never made it in the crock pot! I’ve tried it with low fat cheeses too and it works fine…the fat keeps it keto and low carb friendly as well as helping keep it a bit thicker.
Paper bags use glues which can also be harmful. I guess you just have to choose your poison.
wow…I did not know that!
I love this low carb version! It’s similar to a green chile tacos I used to get requests for at the school I taught for Friday treats. It could be eaten with or without tortillas as you like. Difference in the recipe is I added garlic and cumin, cream cheese, black olives and sausage to the mix.
that sounds wonderful too!
NM GIRL here… My only criticism is that this is called a CHILE RELLENO recipe. I expected a whole chile stuffed with the cheese inside of it and somehow made into a casserole.
We also place our chiles in a plastic bag after roasting so it steams on the way home.
Hi Tara, You’re right…but I really wanted everything traditional chile rellenos had flavor wise, but without the breading. So I guess “deconstructed” would be a better title! I wonder about the toxins in the plastic bags though? Another reader suggested putting them in a large bowl and covering them. I’m roasting today, so I think I’ll try that.
Cecelia M Teague says
I’ve found the easiest way is to put the chile on a cookie tray after roasting and covereing them with a damp dish towel. After steaming put as many as you want in a ziplock bag and in the freezer. When you remove the frozen bag and thaw the skins come off very easily!
nice! I’ll try that next time. I put my husband on roasting duty this time.
I’m am definitely going to try this recipe. I am only concerned with all egg and no milk mixture. I wonder what 1or 2 Tablespoons of milk or cream would produce texture wise? Another recipe I saw had a mixture with 5 eggs and two cups of milk—that seems like way too much milk!
What I was going for here, was more of actual chiles rellenos, rather than a eggy/cheesy dish, so that’s why mine does not have any milk in it…I totally think you could add a couple of tablespoons of cream or whole milk and it will be just as delicious. Let me know!
Pat R says
this is one of our favorite dinners! It’s quick & easy and delicious topped with a little pico de Gallo and sour cream!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!
Awesome! Thank you for writing a review!
I love this recipe! I adjust it sometimes. No hatch chilis here but I use poblanos and cubanelles. I’ve even added red and yellow peppers to the mix when I have some I need to use. I’ve also added ground turkey just to see how it would turn out. I have also added cumin, chili powder, green onions. It always turns out awesome!
Millican Pecan says
My mom had a similar recipe for a chile rellenos casserole that is delicious. I can’t wait to try yours! I love the combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing.
That’s awesome Millican! Let me know how you like it.
great recipe. I use poblano chiles, roast them in the morning, and so easy to assemble everything for a quick delicious dinner i make this often since flavor profile reminds me of chiles rellenos – a favorite dish
totally! That’s what I was going for chiles rellenos without the breading and frying! (and carbs)
Georgia Dorsey says
am i the only one who lives in Colorado and knows that the best hatch chilis are grown here; every year there is competition between the two states. I don’t know which is better but Colorado Hand’picks the peppers and New Mexico uses machines. Colorado hatch chilis are delicious
Well, “Hatch” I believe is reserved for a small part of NM. Just like sparkling wine grown outside the region of “Champagne” cannot be called “Champagne”, I believe it’s the same with Hatch chiles. No doubt the chiles in Colorado are outstanding, just as the sparkling wines in California are as delicious as the Champagne in France.
It’s not Hatch chile unless it’s grown in Hatch, NM. They have a copyright and everything. Colorado chile is just Colorado chile, and far inferior to Hatch, Socorro, Chimayo chile (in my opinion).
For those that are not familiar with NM chile, it is more closely related to an Anaheim than a pablano.
Thanks Steve! I think I covered all that in the post! I recommend anaheim for those not lucky enough to find Hatch chiles.
Dawn Cox says
I have made this a couple of times and it is really delicious. I love traditional Chilis Rellenos and this has a lot of the flavour with way less work. I added a layer of panko flakes toasted in a bit of butter and it took the flavour up but of course it adds a little more carbs. I found it was a little less rich by adding the “breadcrumbs” and I liked that.
Hi Dawn, thanks so much! I love your addition of panko!
Marie Sokolik says
Live this recipe ! Easy and easy to freeze.
Thank you Marie! So glad you like it!
Hi Cynthia, I’m so looking forward to trying this recipe. I’d like to try the canned Hatch chili route and will be using the chopped version of the Hatch chilies. Could you please advise how many 4 oz. cans I’ll need? Thank you so much!
Funny, I just got 5 lbs of chopped hatch chiles. I usually use about 1 1/2 pounds of hatch chiles, so 6 about 6 4 ounce cans.
Susan E Uhl says
Really good, but the written recipe is no printer friendly, 4 pages?
Hi Susan, when you print a recipe (from any site, including mine), you should have the option to just print the recipe and not the images from your printer.
Can you please look again and see if your printer has that option, they all do. Let me know if that works for you. Thank you, Cynthia
Daphne L. says
Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!
Thank you for sharing. Utterly deliciously!! We did not have enough chiles (maybe only a third of what was called for), so I substituted some enchilada sauce in the middle layer and some roasted zucchini for the top. And we used ricotta instead of queso fresco b/c that’s what I had on hand. Lordy lordy it was tasty <3
Michael Spoehr says
This recipe is very easy to prepare and your guests will be requesting the recipe! And low carb to boot!
Thanks Michael! I’m glad it was a hit!
Has anyone noticed that the ingredients list calls for way more cheese than the instructions? Lay down chiles, cover with 2oz Cotilla and 3oz Cheddar. Repeat once, ending with cheese. That’s one more layer of chiles and one more of cheese. That’s 4oz of cotilla and 6oz cheddar. Ingredients call for 6oz Cotilla and 12oz Cheddar. Even if there were three layers the cotilla would be right, but the cheddar would still only be 9oz.
you are correct, it should repeat “repeat twice for three layers”.
Thanks! I’ve always made it with a lot of cheese, but you can certainly cut back
Used peppers grown in my garden, I only had banana peppers and Pinot noir peppers, my other ones aren’t producing yet. This recipe was delicious, even with all the wrong variety of produce. Looking forward to making this again with my fresh peppers. I added left over pot roast in the dish, didn’t want it to go to waste. My husband gave the meal 5 stars. This recipe will be added to my summer dinner list, thank you for sharing!
Thank you! So nice to hear Nancy. But now I’m intrigued about Pinot Noir peppers! I’ve never heard of them. I need to know more! I’ve planted Italian sweet peppers in addition to jalapenos this year.
They’re one of my favorites! I discovered them on Burpee Seed Catalog. They have the feeling of being hot, but they’re mild. They’re ok raw but the flavor is best when cooked.
Thank you Nancy! We love hatch chiles around here and don’t mind the hot ones.
I agree, best when cooked or roasted.
heather johnson says
so delicious – love this casserole!
This is one of our favorite breakfast casseroles! My hubby will be excited to have this for breakfast again! I’m so excited to make this again. So delicious and very tasty!
Those chiles look sinfully delicious. I love the cheesy goodness.
I’ve never tried making chile rellenos at home in any form, but always love it when we go out. This recipe sounds a lot easier than stuffed peppers so I’ll definitely give this a try first 🙂 Thanks for all of the great tips!
So much easier! Same flavor, no deep frying.
David Hughes says
A friend had us over for dinner & had made your hatch chile rellenos; I had grilled some steaks (ribeye & filet), but preferred your dish. The steaks were great, but your chili rellenos were DELICIOUS. However, in looking at your recipes, I am confused by the kcal numbers assigned. It was my understanding that 1 kcal is 1,000 calories. According to the information above, a serving is 1 g (?) and 303 kcal; please enlighten me, I know that 1 serving doesn’t provide me with over 100 days of calories.
Hi David,No, you’re right to be confused! The way the recipe card app is set up, I have to remember to put the word “servings” or “people” otherwise it’ll default to 1 “gram”. I’ve corrected. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Cynthia
David Hughes says
What about the confusion I have with the kcal ratings?