Vegan Chile Rellenos

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

  • 8 poblano chiles (canned green chiles okay)
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vegan soymilk
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • chili powder, to taste (optional)


This is a modification of my grandmother's traditional chile rellenos recipe. Note that the traditional recipe calls for beaten egg whites instead of the flour/soymilk batter and cheese instead of tofu. The recipe sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is!  Roast chiles* until skin begins to blister on all sides (this will require turning the chiles).  You can do this over an open flame or on a cast- iron skillet. (I prefer to use a comal - a flat cast-iron skillet.) Set chiles aside to cool.

In a small pan, simmer diced onion, cumin, salt and pepper in olive oil until the onions become translucent. (You can also add chili powder if you prefer.) Add tomato sauce.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, but preferably longer.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk flour, soymilk, and pinch of salt. The batter should be thick, but not so thick that you can't move a whisk through it easily. (You might have to adjust the flour/soy milk ratio accordingly.)  Set aside.

Slice tofu into 3/8" slices.

Peel the cooled chiles.* The skin should pull off easily. (Don't worry, the chiles aren't hot; you'll be able to touch your contact lenses and eyes without any irritation.) Using a small knife, core the chiles, seeds and all, by slicing off the stem side.  Stuff the chiles with one slice of tofu, dip in batter, and fry in vegetable oil until each side is golden. Set on dry paper towels to drain excess oil.  Serve the chile rellenos with a dollop of the tomato sauce and enjoy!

* If using canned chiles, skip this step.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30-45 minutes

These are yummy but very spicy, at least the way I made them! I used the canned roasted green chiles which worked well. If you are using canned chiles, increase the milk in your batter since the chiles are very fragile and break if you dredge them in what the recipe calls for. I did my own tomato sauce w/these ingredients:

  1. 1 can RoTel style tomatos and green chiles
  2. 1 tsp cumin
  3. 1 tsp chili powder
  4. Several good shakes onion powder
  5. Drizzle of olive oil. Blend in blender and heat through. Yummy!