This tasted and felt just like a chile relleno, which isn't surprising, as we used the same ingredients. Not only did it taste the same, but I think it's easier to eat, since we don't have to worry about eating around the seedpod and stem. If you love chile rellenos as much as I do, you'll love these pancakes.


Recipe Summary

4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
For the Sauce:
For the Pancakes:


Instructions Checklist
  • Char peppers over an open flame, turning often, until skin is black and they are almost soft. Wrap peppers in a few paper towels and then in a kitchen towel. Let steam in the towel for at least 15 minutes.

  • While peppers rest, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and a big pinch of salt; saute until onions turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, 1 1/4 cup chicken broth, chili powder, oregano, pepper, more salt, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add more chicken broth for a thinner sauce if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Keep warm until needed.

  • Remove the charred skin and seedpods from the peppers and rinse out the loose seeds. Slice the pepper into 1/4-inch strips.

  • Crack 2 whole eggs into one bowl, and then separate 3 more eggs, with the whites going into another bowl, and the yolks going into the first bowl with the whole eggs.

  • Whisk until the bowl of whole eggs and yolks with a pinch of salt until light and airy. Gradually whisk in flour and set aside. Whisk the whites into soft peaks and use a spatula to fold the whites into the yolk mixture. You don't have to be too gentle, but the batter should end up light and foamy.

  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat, and place down a pepper-shaped or round-shaped layer of the batter, about 1/4-thick, using about 1/8 of the batter for each pancake.

  • Cover the surface with sliced pepper and cheese cubes and spoon and spread another 1/8 of the batter over the top, covering up as much of the peppers and cheese as possible, going all the way to the edges.

  • Cover and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, before flipping over. Cover and cook the second side until golden brown, or until the batter is cooked though, and the cheese inside has melted, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Ladle sauce onto a plate or into a shallow bowl and top with a chile relleno pancake.

Chef's Notes:

If you don't have gas burners, you can use a blow torch or a gas grill to char the peppers--or you can skip this step and saute the peppers instead.

This is typically made with fresh tomato sauce instead of marinara, but that's what I prefer. You can use either.

You can use a mild white Cheddar instead of Monterey Jack, or a combination of the two.

This recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce, or 4 to 6 portions.

Nutrition Facts

466 calories; protein 23.2g; carbohydrates 31.4g; fat 28.1g; cholesterol 274.7mg; sodium 1226.3mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Made these last night and they were great? I had a couple of poblano peppers that I needed to use, but going forward for ease of prep, I will some roasted poblano pepper strips that I get at grocery. Save a lot of prep time. I also used fancy shredded MJ Cheese instead of cubing block cheese. I made the sauce in my Ninja Hot and Cold Blender using my enchilada sauce recipe adjusted to the spices call for in this recipe. I think using this process, I can turn this out for regular weekly dinner in about 30 min. Great idea to sandwich the peppers and cheese between basically egg omelettes. Highly recommended. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
These rellenos were amazing! I grew up in New Mexico and love spicy foods. Had some XX Hot Hatch green chile that's normally too small to use for rellenos, so this was the perfect method! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We made these tonight and they were fantastic!! Easy and so much flavor. Another win from Chef John! Read More