Saturday , 20 January 2018

Chicken Chile Rellenos with Mexican Zucchini Brown Rice

It’s pouring outside.  I almost feel like I’m back in the rainy season.  I’ve got Ms. Foxy Brown (my dog) by my side and Cooking Channel on the TV.  When you combine the rain with my snuggly puppy and fun food shows it equals one lazy day.

Definitely glad it’s Saturday!

Usually I’m a better planner and I try to vary the ethnic influences of my meals but somehow I ended up making two Mexican inspired dishes in a week.

Oh well.  I definitely didn’t regret making this dish.

Normal chile rellenos are overflowing with cheese, battered and deep-fried.  Not the healthiest thing around but definitely hard to resist when you’re out at your local Mexican restaurant.

To lighten it up and make it a bit heartier, these are stuffed with chicken, corn and some yogurt then lightly pan-fried.

On the side I adapted my recipe for Mexican rice, to use uncooked rice since I didn’t have any cooked rice on hand.

One caveat, these are a bit time-consuming to make once you consider the time to roast the peppers, make the filling, and then stuff, batter and cook them.  Make sure you have a bit of time when you plan to make them.

To make this a quicker dish, or more of a weeknight meal, you could definitely prep the peppers and filling and then stuff them ahead of time – one to two days in advance.  That way when it comes down to dinner time all you have to worry about is the actual battering and cooking.

The rice could also be made ahead of time and then reheated.

Chicken Chile Rellenos

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Serving Size: 2 Peppers Per Serving

Calories per serving: 379

Fat per serving: 17.2

Chicken Chile Rellenos

For an even lighter twist on this follow the recipe but instead of dipping in egg after the flour mix spray all sides of the chile with canola oil spray. Instead of pan frying in oil, keep the peppers on the baking sheet on a rack and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until crisp. This version will have approximately 320 calories and 12.4 g of fat.


    Seasoning Mix
  • 1 ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp onion powder
  • ¾ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ - ½ tsp chipotle chile powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • For the Chile Rellenos
  • 8 small poblano peppers
  • 8 oz chicken breasts
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ½ bunch scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ tsp salt + more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbs canola oil, divided


  1. To make the seasoning mix combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat broiler and place peppers (or chiles) on a large baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat source, turning once or twice, until the skins blacken and blister, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 10 – 15 minutes until cool enough to handle.
  3. As peppers are cooling, pound chicken breast to about ¼ inch thickness. Season on both sides with some of the seasoning mix, dust with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm ½ Tbsp canola oil. Cook chicken for 4 – 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes or until done. Set aside pan (you’ll be using it again for the peppers).
  5. Chop chicken into a small dice. Combine chicken (with any juices), corn, cheese, scallions, yogurt and the rest of the seasoning mix in a medium bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. For the peppers, carefully remove the blistered skin, doing your best to leave the stems intact. Make a medium slit lengthwise in each pepper and carefully remove the seeds. Fill each roasted pepper with about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Fold the pepper over to completely enclose the filling.
  7. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and flour in a shallow dish. Put egg whites in another shallow dish and beat until frothy. Dip each pepper in the flour mixture to coat on all sides, brush off any excess and then dip into the egg whites. Transfer to a rack set on a sheet pan and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Heat ¾ tablespoon oil in the same large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Carefully set 4 peppers into the hot oil and cook until the cheese is melted and the peppers are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a platter; tent with foil (or transfer to a 250°F oven) to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ¾ Tbsp oil and peppers, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve warm with salsa on the side (optional).

Adapted from Eating Well

Mexican Zucchini Brown Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories per serving: 203

Fat per serving: 2.7

Mexican Zucchini Brown Rice


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 1 bell pepper, small dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • ¾ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular if you don’t have Mexican on hand)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped


  1. In a deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add in garlic and red pepper and cook for an additional minute. Stir in rice and tomato paste and sauté another 2 – 3 minutes until rice is toasty.
  2. Add zucchini, chicken stock, ketchup and remaining seasonings (everything except the cilantro). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 – 50 minutes until liquid has absorbed.
  3. Fluff up rice and stir in cilantro. Serve.

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  1. These look tasty! I love how you lightened up this recipe and from the looks of it, it taste all the better then the deep fried recipe! Have a great weekend my friend!

  2. great healthy take on a tex-mex dish. would fix this for hubs anytime soon.
    happy sabado!

  3. NICE! Great meal for a rainy, lazy weekend day 🙂 I’ve even got a snuggly puppy to top off the experience!

  4. As far as I’m concerned there can never be too many Mexican dishes in a week. 🙂

  5. We love those flavors. The Rellenos and the rice on the side look fantastic!

  6. I love rellenos and these are a healthier version and a quite delicious version! Love it! Send us some of that rain will you?

  7. I never made chile rellenos yet but this could be the start!

  8. I have a miserable cold just now and not too interested in food but this is SINGING to my tastebuds – am sending my husband out for the ingredients as need pampering!

  9. Marisol Mirabueno

    Three words got me here: chicken, Mexican, and Zucchini! The name alone already sounds delicious! It doesn’t look too easy to cook but I’ll still try this definitely. Can you please post more of your chicken recipes?

    Your post is very much appreciated. Thanks!

  10. Wow, they may be a lot of work but I know a certain husband who would love these! What a wonderful recipe.

  11. My poor husband can’t eat anything spicy at home because I and my kids don’t eat spicy food. I think he’ll jump with joy if this chile dish is in front of him. I know he’ll be so excited. =) Wish I can eat more spicy food and my tummy can take it more.

  12. Love spicy food too. The fried battered chillies look marvelous!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Smoked Salmon and Lettuce Salad with Orange Cress DressingMy Profile

  13. Thats very creative with the simple illustration

  14. Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    First off let me just say kudos for trying a healthier option on thse. I adore poblanos so I know I would have gobbled these up in a heart beat. Secondly, your chile seasoning mix just makes my heart sing. FABULOUS!

    chow: Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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