Chile Rellenos with California Raisins, Cheese, Pecans, and Guajillo Chile Sauce

The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!

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12 large poblano chiles
oil, as needed

Filling for Chiles:

8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 oz. Muenster cheese, grated
8 oz. California raisins
4 oz. pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Gaujillo Chile Sauce:

1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes (approximately 8 medium tomatoes)
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 large white onion, peeled and cut into eighths (approximately 10-12 oz.)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 oz. guajillo chile or dried New Mexico Red Chile (approximately 4 chiles)
hot water, enough to cover
1 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt


To prepare the chiles:

Lightly oil the poblano chiles and char the skins over an open flame or under a hot broiler. Allow the chiles to cool to room temperature. Peel the skins from the chiles and discard. With a small knife, make a slit down the side of each chile and gently cut the seedpod free from the base of the stem and remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and reserve the chiles.

Combine all of the ingredients for the filling and mix well. Divide the filling and stuff into each poblano chile. Reserve.

To prepare the Guajillo sauce:

Combine the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic cloves in an ovenproof pan just large enough to hold the ingredients in a single layer. Place the ingredients under a hot broiler and broil until the ingredients are lightly blistered and charred (approximately 15-20 minutes). Turn the ingredients occasionally, then remove from the oven and allow the ingredients to cool.

Remove the stems and seeds from the guajillo chiles. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the chiles. Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow the chiles to soak for 15-20 minutes or until softened. Drain the chiles and discard the water.

In a blender, combine the broiled ingredients with the softened chiles. Add the 1 cup water and puree. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and heat the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Just before serving add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Baking the chiles:

Arrange the stuffed poblano chiles in a single layer in an ovenproof pan. Place in a preheated 350F oven and heat just until the cheese begins to melt.

To serve:

Transfer 2 chiles to each plate and spoon some of the guajillo sauce over each chile. Drizzle the chiles with the sour cream or creme fraiche and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Suggested Accompaniment: White rice and crisp green salad.

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