chili rellenos with a spanish twist

Chili Rellenos with a Spanish Twist

My Chili Rellenos with a Spanish Twist is a real international dish. We’ll start with the chili rellenos part, which is dish with Mexican origins. It is a dish where mild chili peppers (usually poblanos) roasted, stuffed and fried. That’s a triple play of flavor there!

My “international” version however uses Cornito Pepper, which is an American hybrid of an Italian frying pepper. I stuff them with mahon cheese and place them on a Spanish Romesco sauce bed. Finally, I top with a “salsa” with inspiration in Spanish flavors.

My first introduction to chili rellenos when living in Texas for nearly six years. I came to really enjoy the Tex Mex food, and anything stuffed with cheese was sure to be a hit. The technique is a bit tricky because first you roast the peppers, then stuff, then dip in an egg batter. Finally you deep fry them. But they are so worth it.

Here, I adapt the technique using different peppers, and a cheese from Spain. The topping salsa is a combination of pequillio peppers, green olives, tomatoes, and smoked paprika. I used yellow tomatoes to play with the red of the peppers, and to mirror the colors in Spain’s flag.

The thing that this dish really shows is that with a little bit of inventiveness, and you can adapt a recipe to mirror the flavors you want, even if different from the original. Always respect the original, but don’t be afraid to break a tradition or two once and a while. Enjoy!

chili rellenos with a spanish twist

Chili Rellenos with a Spanish Twist

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish
Keyword: chili, cornito, pepper
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Print Recipe



  • 4 cornito sweet peppers or cubanelle or poblano⁠
  • 2 oz mahon cheese cut into 4 small ‘batons’⁠

Fry Batter

  • 3 eggs separated⁠
  • ½ cup all purpose flour


  • ½ cup yellow grape tomatoes chopped⁠
  • 2 pequillo peppers or other roasted red pepper, chopped⁠
  • ¼ cup green olives chopped⁠
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped⁠
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika⁠
  • Salt & pepper to taste⁠
  • 1 TBL olive oil⁠
  • 1 ½ tsp sherry vinegar⁠

Romesco sauce

  • ½ cup Romesco sauce


  • Set your oven broiler to high, & move a rack to the 2nd from top slot in the oven⁠
  • Prepare a wired rack on top of a baking sheet for the peppers⁠
  • Give each pepper a single slice the long way down one side of the pepper & place on rack slice side up⁠
  • Put under the broiler, & heat for 7 minutes. Turn pepper over & heat 7 more.⁠
  • They will be well charred & that is ok. Allow to cool, sliced side down, so excess liquid drains away.⁠
  • While peppers are cooling, make topping salsa ⁠
  • Prepare topping salsa placing all ingredients in a bowl & mixing together. Set aside⁠
  • Turn peppers over & add a piece of cheese to each. Pinch together to ‘close’ the seam⁠
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 350F/180C⁠
  • For batter, whip egg whites with a mixer until they have stiff peaks⁠
  • Gently fold in the egg yolks & flour⁠
  • Dip each pepper into batter to coat⁠
  • Fry each pepper in oil, 2 minutes per side. ⁠
  • Put on paper towel to rest⁠
  • Serve on top of a smear of Romesco, & top with salsa⁠

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