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Chile Relleno Tacos

Chile relleno shredded beef tacos with crema

Chile Relleno Tacos are quick to prepare and an explosion in the mouth. Leftover BBQ to the rescue for some of the best tacos you’ll ever make. Pour on some crema and grab a beer because these are fiery!

Chile relleno shredded beef tacos with crema

We have a lot of leftovers in our house. That’s not a bad word when it comes to BBQ, it’s pretty standard. Pulled beef or chicken are my favorite leftovers, able to fit into just about any meal you can think of. Obviously, lots of tacos.

You have to start with the beef for this recipe. Our regular smoked pulled beef comes from chuck roast or brisket. Brisket tends to go quickly at family meals, so we lean towards the simpler method of smoking chuck roast. Check out this recipe for Smoked Chuck Roast. We intentionally cook this for tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, you name it.

Yes, you can easily swap this out for pulled chicken or pulled pork. Use any meat that you and the family enjoy, these tacos are a platform for family flavors.

Jalapenos, charring on the grill.

Simple Chile Relleno Tacos

This taco is far from authentic, but the name “chile relleno” has quite a few loose interpretations over the years. The chile relleno is a dish that’s over 150 years old, originally a green chile stuffed with meat and fried with an egg batter. Poblanos are the most popular, but over time we’ve seen them created using any green chile.

You are correct – this is not fried. The crispy corn tortilla replaced the fried batter, keeping in line with the different layers of textures and flavors you would expect when eating a chile relleno. Thankfully these chile relleno tacos are much easier to prepare, not to mention far less messy.

The first step is to char your jalapenos over an open flame. Use your gas stove, wood fire, or grill. You’ll want to char them to the point of the skin blistering, and then shove them in a sealed container or plastic bag. As they cool off, the skin will continue to peel, allowing you to wipe it off, revealing the soft chile inside. Cut a slit carefully down one side and remove the seeds & membranes. Don’t touch your eyes after, trust me.

Customizing your Chile Relleno Tacos

The best part about this meal is the fact that it’s leftovers. You can char the chiles the day before if you’d like because we’re going to add everything to the grill when it’s time to eat.

Open up the jalapeno carefully and add your fillings, which would be smoked pulled beef and cheese. Don’t worry if the chile rips a little as you open them up, you can just plug that hole with more cheese.

You’ll want to use a soft, melty white cheese for this recipe. Cheddar can work if you’re using pork, but it doesn’t tend to melt near as well. My recommendation for cheeses would be one of the following:

  • Oaxaca cheese
  • Monterrey Jack
  • Queso Fresco
  • Mozzarella
  • Pepperjack

Grill these little chile rellenos on medium heat until warmed through. They don’t take long to cook, so I chose to use my gas grill with the lid closed to make sure the cheese is completely melted. If you’re using an open fire that doesn’t have a lid, take a pot and turn it upside down to help melt the cheese.

What kind of tortillas should I use?

Corn. Definitely corn.

Or flour, I mean they taste good too.

Honestly, it does not matter, these chile relleno shredded beef tacos taste good with any kind. The corn tortillas have a nice sweet flavor that compliments the spicy jalapenos and shredded beef. The flour tortillas are more indulgent, and if you have a lot of toppings they seem to soak up the liquid much more. You cannot go wrong. Whichever one you choose, make sure you toss them on the grill for a minute or two to warm them up before you assemble.

I'm handing you a plate of these chile relleno tacos!

Toppings for the Chile Relleno Taco

You could eat these chiles right off the grill if you wanted, but everything tastes better with a tortilla. The smoked shredded beef has quite a bit of flavor already, and the cheese adds a level of richness. My top recommendation would be to find a topping or two that has acid to cut through the fat and cool off the heat from the jalapeno:

Chile relleno shredded beef tacos on the grill
I'm handing you a plate of these chile relleno tacos!
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Chile relleno shredded beef tacos with crema

Chile Relleno Shredded Beef Tacos

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Chile relleno shredded beef tacos are quick to prepare and an explosion in the mouth. Leftover BBQ to the rescue for some of the best tacos you’ll ever make. 

  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 6 jalapenos
  • 2 cups shredded beef
  • 1 cup white cheese, shredded (see note)
  • 6 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • Salsa verde
  • Crema
  • Red onions (raw or pickled)


  1. Get out the shredded beef ahead of time so it comes to room temp.
  2. Char the jalapenos. I recommend using a gas grill outside if you have it, so it doesn’t make the house smell like charred chiles. Grill the chiles over direct heat, rotating them so they char on each side. Once the skin is black and blistered, take them off and place them in a sealed container to cool down.
  3. Carefully remove the skin from the jalapenos, I recommend using gloves or a paper towel. You can also do this with a slow stream of running water in the sink to help take off the bits. Pat them dry afterwards, and carefully cut a slit length-wise down the chile. Remove the stem and innards (seeds and membrane) and open them up slightly.
  4. Preheat the grill for medium heat.
  5. Prepare the chile rellenos. Lay out the jalapenos on a cutting board and stuff carefully with the shredded beef and cheese. Try not to open the chiles up completely.
  6. Place each stuffed chile on the grill grates directly, closing the lid. Allow them to cook for 5-6 minutes, checking to make sure they are warmed through and the cheese has melted. Add the tortillas to the grill for a couple of minutes to warm them up.
  7. Assemble the chile relleno shredded beef tacos, and add your favorite toppings.


You’ll want to use a soft, melty white cheese for this recipe. I recommend Oaxaca, Monterrey jack, mozzarella, or pepperjack.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Tacos
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