These Roasted Hatch Chile Rellenos are stuffed with spiced ground pork, corn, and topped with cheese for a delicious melty explosion with each bite. Simple to throw together and customize, you’ll be experimenting in no time.
Stuffed Hatch Chiles
What? These are not the typical Hatch chiles we’re used to seeing. That’s right, you do not have to roast and peel every single one. These are roasted in the smoker or oven for a period of time to soften them, not blister the skins, giving them a meaty texture you’d find with a Bell pepper.
Chile rellenos are a popular dish, essentially a green chile stuffed with cheese and fried. Stuffing chiles with cheese, meat, and other veggies offers exciting ways to prepare and even utilize leftovers. While these may not be fried, they share the same elements of chile rellenos with the melty cheese and crispy spiced pork in lieu of a crispy batter. Plus, hatch chile rellenos don’t come with the cleanup.
My mind works in weird ways, thinking about a dish and deconstructing two dishes to create one. Ideation started with chile rellenos and ended up exploring the green version of chorizo, Chorizo Verde. Breaking apart the flavors in chorizo builds on this dish, keeping in line with the earthy, spiced pork and utilizing the Hatch green chile for the heat. Chorizo Verde plus Chile Rellenos and here we are.
Looking for another spin on chile rellenos? Try the Chile Relleno Shredded Beef Tacos. Trust me.
Finding the Right Chiles
These Hatch chile rellenos obviously start with the main ingredient: Hatch chiles.
Poblano chiles are traditionally used for chile rellenos, Anaheim chiles are a close second. Any larger green chile will work for you here, but the combination of sweet heat from Hatch chiles pairs perfectly with the spiced pork. Over time you’ll likely try new combinations, like poblanos with red onions, ground beef, and cheddar. Now I need one of those.
Whichever chile you use, be familiar with it. Red and orange Hatch chiles are going to have more heat in the back of your throat, while the green ones will be milder overall. Hatch chiles are not as spicy as jalapenos but don’t count on nature to be consistent. Every so often you’ll get a surprise.
Filling the Chile Relleno
Pork was intentionally used here, so consider your spice choices if you’re going to try ground beef or chicken. Chorizo Verde was the inspiration for these flavors, minus the chiles used from the marinade. We’ve got that covered with our Hatch chile boat. Let’s discuss the filling recipe:
Spiced Pork Filling:
- 1lb ground pork
- 1 cup of sweet corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste, roughly 1 tsp or more
Chorizo Verde also has parsley, chiles, and vinegar added to the spices creating the green marinade. Here we’re adding corn for some crunch and sweetness. We’re cooking the mix before we stuff the chiles. Grab a skillet and cook up the seasoned pork and corn, adding in the salt, lime, and cilantro at the very end.
This dish also works well with Red Chorizo. Check out my quick and simple recipe for Fresh Chorizo.
Roasting the Stuffed Hatch Chiles
Smoking isn’t the correct term for these Hatch chile rellenos, simply due to the higher temperature. We’re going to be cooking these at 350F for about 25-35 minutes, just until the pork starts to crisp on top and the chiles are starting to soften.
Tips for Roasting:
- Don’t have a smoker? Use the oven, 350F for the same length of time.
- The length of time will vary. Your preference might be for softer chiles, or you might be roasting 20 of them instead of 6. Maybe you added more or less stuffing. Use your judgment.
- You will get smoke flavor, use the smoker. Even at 350F it’s generating enough smoke that the pork will pick up that wood-fired flavor. It’s worth it.
- Add the cheese at the end. Right when the pork is getting crispy and the chiles are almost where you want them, that’s the time for cheese. Be generous too, it will seep into the filling.
- Use a pan or baking sheet. Chiles are all sorts of shapes and sizes, meaning that they will likely roll around on the grill grates. That mountain of cheese you’re throwing on them will leak into the grill as well, so place these on a vessel for easy cleanup.