Stuffed peppers don't have to be bland and boring, these chile relleno-inspired peppers are full of tons of flavor. The zesty and satisfying filling of spicy chorizo, diced zucchini, poblano chile, and potatoes gets a creamy edge from queso fresco. The topping of melted and browned jack cheese ain't too shabby either.
Note that the potatoes and cheese add a bit of filling power, while the peppers, zucchini, and aromatics mean you're getting a decent dose of veggies in the mix. Rice and beans on the side are tasty and round out these peppers nicely, but simply a few tortillas or some bread fills out the meal too. You might also like these Baked Chiles Rellenos.
- 4 green bell peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 small red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 links Mexican chorizo (the kind in casings like bratwurst or Italian sausages)
- 2 Russett potatoes
- 1 zucchini
- 1 poblano chile
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 ounces queso fresco*
- 3 ounces Monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- Preheat an oven to 375F.
- Rinse the peppers clean and pat them dry. Use a sharp knife to cut out and remove the stems. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise; cut out and discard any white-ish parts from inside, and discard any seeds clinging to the sides.
- Lightly grease a large baking dish using about a teaspoon of the olive oil, lay the peppers inside in a single layer, and set aside.
- Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the chorizo from its casings and add it to the onion. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the chorizo into small bits as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes. Add the to the pan, cover and cook, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking, until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
- While the potato cooks, chop the zucchini and chile and add them to the mixture for the last 5 minutes of the potato cooking time.
- While that all cooks, peel and mince the garlic. Add it to the mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Crumble in the queso fresco and toss to combine. Divide the mixture between the 8 peppers halves.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. While they bake, grate the jack cheese. Uncover the pan sprinkle it on top of the stuffed peppers, and bake until bubbling and browned.
Serve hot, garnished with cilantro, if you like.
Make Ahead Tip: Make the peppers up through step 9 the day or morning before, cover and chill until ready to bake.
*Queso fresco means "fresh cheese" and is a softly firm milky cheese common in Mexican cooking. Look for it in the dairy case with other cheese. It crumbles easily into creamy chunks. If you can't find it, ricotta is frequently mentioned as a suitable substitute, although won't look as nice, or make the bit of effort and drain cottage cheese (just put it in a sieve or fine colander for about ten minutes) to dry it out a bit—it works great!