Grain Free Chili Rellenos

Grain Free Chili Rellenos

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What’s your favorite Mexican dish in the whole wide world? Mine is, most definitely, chili rellenos. Fried goodness stuffed with cheese?! Who wouldn’t like that?! I’ve never seen a gluten free version, though, at any restaurant. So, of course, I had to try and recreate them gluten free myself. I’ve never made chili rellenos, even gluten-filled ones, before. They’re super easy! All I did was substitute a blend of cassava flour and arrowroot powder instead of plain white wheat flour. And voila! Grain Free Chili Rellenos coming your way!


Several weeks ago, my family went vegetable picking up at a local farm. And chilis were in season! Colorado is known for their abundance of chilis and we have whole festivals devoted to it. I picked bags and bags of chilis, without knowing exactly what most of them were! Don’t worry, my social media friends came through and let me know what they all were. LOL. The only ones I DID know were the poblanos. And the whole reason I picked an entire bag full of them was to experiment with this recipe for grain free chili rellenos. 


chili peppers

Colorado chili peppers


I expected chili rellenos to be a complicated task to recreate, but it really wasn’t. All you do is roast your poblanos, stuff them with cheese, and then roll them in flour and egg. Fry until perfectly golden brown and you’re done! The first few peppers weren’t all that pretty. The breading on the outside kind of fell off, but I quickly got the hang of it! Also, fry them fairly slowly, so the cheese melts inside. The breading cooks quickly and the peppers are already roasted before you start, but the cheese takes a bit longer to melt. Next time, I may try shredding the cheese to see if it melts quicker. I just sliced my cheeses into strips and some of them didn’t melt all the way through. But they were still delicious!

Find the recipe below and if you make these, come back and tell me how it went! I always like to hear when readers try out any of my dishes.

Grain Free Chili Rellenos


  • 8 poblano peppers deseeded
  • 1/3 cup cassava flour I used Otto's
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch You could use cornstarch or tapioca if desired
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs separated
  • 4 ounces pepperjack cheese
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese or Queso Fresca
  • oil for frying

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp arrowroot flour
  • cilantro for garnish, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to broiling.

  2. Place poblanos on cookie sheet and broil in oven 4-5 minutes on each side, or until a nice char forms.

  3. Remove poblanos from oven and allow to cool. Slice down one side of pepper and scoop out seeds. Set aside.

  4. Seperate eggs into whites and yolks. Whip egg whites with a hand blender until stiff peaks form.

  5. Whisk egg yolks until smooth. Add baking powder to egg yolks and fold in egg whites.

  6. In a separate bowl, combine cassava and arrowroot flours.

  7. In a large skillet, add oil and heat over medium.

  8. Stuff poblano peppers with both cheeses. Take toothpicks and close up opening so cheese doesn't fall out.

  9. Roll peppers first in flour and then in egg.

  10. Place peppers in hot oil and fry till golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

For the sauce

  1. Heat oil in a skillet for medium heat.

  2. Mince garlic and fry until golden brown. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for arrowroot) and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. You can puree in a blender or food processor if you'd like a smoother sauce.

  3. Whisk in arrowroot flour and simmer until sauce thickens.

  4. Pour over chili rellenos and top with more cheese and cilantro, if desired. Serve hot.