These Vegan Chile Rellenos are coated in a super fluffy batter made from aquafaba, and are crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside. Stuff them with vegan cheese, beans, potatoes, corn, soyrizo, or vegan meat, and top with canned enchilada sauce for a tasty meal anytime!
Living in LA, I’ve had my fair share of good Mexican food.
But tacos and tortas aside, my favorite Mexican dish by far is Chiles Rellenos.
And although I’ve been vegan for over 14 years (yes, I’m an OG vegan✊🏽), I’ve never thought of making Vegan Chile Rellenos at home, until I came across aquafaba.
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably come across this amazing new wonder ingredient which vegans are using in place of eggs for recipes like macarons, meringues, and other baked goods.
I love all things savory, so using this fluffy wonder ingredient to replace the egg coating for a vegan chile rellenos was a no-brainer.
The only problem is that since aquafaba is literally just bean water, the moment you place it into hot frying oil it splutters violently and basically burns away. As we know, water and oil – do not mix (and I have the burn to prove it 😓).
So I had to think of a way to add body to the aquafaba, without losing the fluffiness we’ve created by whipping the aquafaba to peak perfection. That’s when I decided to use good old all-purpose flour; and hey, while we’re adding dry ingredients, let’s add some flavor and color with nutritional yeast and turmeric!
The result? A thick batter with the heart and soul of aquafaba, but the body of a fry batter.
Once fried, the batter becomes crispy and golden on the outside, but is super fluffy and airy on the inside. The perfect texture for vegan chile rellenos!.
But as we know, we can’t judge
people food on just their outer appearance.
It’s what’s inside that counts.
Which is why the filling is the most exciting part.
Of course, you can’t have a vegan chiles rellenos without vegan cheese, but what you pair the cheese with makes it exciting. In this run I did corn & cheese, potatoes & cheese, and beans & cheese.
The last component of vegan chile rellenos are… well the chiles themselves.
I’ve read that people also use bell peppers, but I would advise against that since the flavor from the charred poblano peppers really make this dish iconic. You can easily find poblano peppers at most grocery stores, and they’re a staple at most Hispanic grocers as well – plus they’re also available via Amazon here.
Finally, serving your vegan chile relleno couldn’t be easier.
Some people are keen on making their own tomato based sauce to serve the peppers with, but I believe in efficiency and saving time in the kitchen when possible, so I like to use a can of basic enchilada sauce instead.
I coat the pepper in some enchilada sauce and vegan cheese, place it under a broiler in a cast iron pan, and minutes later I have a sizzling hot cheesy masterpiece to serve alongside my canned [vegetarian] refried beans and boxed Spanish rice 🔥🔥🔥.
Could it get any easier?
Try out this recipe, and leave a comment below letting us know what you decided to stuff your vegan chile rellenos with. ¡Buen provecho!
- 4 Poblano Peppers
- 1 cup Aquafaba Liquid (un-whipped) from a can of Chickpeas or Beans
- ¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 3 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ⅛ tsp. Turmeric
- 1 batch of stuffing (see below)
- 1 can of Enchilada Sauce
- 4-6 cups of Oil, for frying
- ¼ cup Flour, for dusting
- 1 tbsp. Oil
- 1 cup Frozen Potatoes O'Brien
- ¼ cup Diced Onions
- ⅔ cup Vegan Cheese Shreds
- Salt, to taste
- *cook all ingredients in a skillet, except for the cheese, until golden brown; let cool completely and mix with cheese until ready to stuff
- ½ can Vegetarian Refried Beans
- ¼ cup Taco Sauce or Salsa
- 3 tbsps. Water
- ⅔ cup Vegan Cheese Shreds
- *mix all ingredients in saucepan, except for the cheese; let cool completely and mix with cheese until ready to stuff
- ⅔ cups Canned Corn
- ⅓ cup Vegan Cheese Shreds
- 1-2 tbsps. Chili Flakes
- Salt, to taste
- *strain the corn well, and mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside until ready to stuff
- Thoroughly wash your peppers and dry them off with a paper towel
- Place peppers over open flame on stove top, and char on medium high heat all around; if you don't have a gas stove, you can also char them on a hot pan or under your oven's broiler*
- Place charred peppers into a heat safe container with a lid, or bowl with a cling wrap; let them sit and steam for 10 minutes in said bowl or container
- Once cooled, use the serrated edge of a knife, or your hands, and carefully remove as much of the skin as possible (it's okay if you can't get it all)
- Carefully cut a 2-3 inch slit on one side of the cleaned pepper and remove the seeds and membranes from inside
- Stuff each pepper with your ¼ of your filling of choice, and seal the seam with 2-3 toothpicks (but remember where you put them, because it is a choking hazard!); set stuffed peppers aside until it's time to fry
- Drain off your chickpeas or beans and collect 1 cup of 'aquafaba' (bean water)
- Place aquafaba and cream of tartar into a bowl, and beat on high with a stand mixer or electric beater* for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks form and the aquafaba sticks to a spoon without falling
- Before you make the batter, heat your cooking oil in a large pot or deep fryer at 350 degrees, so that it's ready when the batter is done
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and turmeric then add nutritional yeast
- Slowly fold in ⅓ of the whipped aquafaba into the dry ingredients - the batter will deflate considerably, but that's okay
- Mix in the remaining 2nd third and the final third of the aquafaba until you have a thick batter that resembles pancake batter (you can add a few tablespoons of water if its too thick)
- On a plate, dust the stuffed peppers with flour; carefully dip one pepper into the batter making sure to completely cover/seal the opening with batter so that it doesn't open during cooking
- Place the coated pepper into the oil, opening side down; fry for 3-5 minutes until the coating turns golden brown
- Once cooked, remove the peppers from the oil and strain it on a paper towel and remove toothpicks immediately; repeat with remaining peppers
- Once peppers are done, place half of the enchilada sauce on a cast iron skillet, followed by the cooked peppers; cover with the rest of the sauce, and a handful of vegan cheese
- Place under your oven's broiler for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese melts*
- Serve immediately with beans, rice, lettuce, and more sauce
*you'll definitely want to use an electric mixer to whip up the aquafaba - please refrain from doing it by hand, as you need to have it whipped at high speed for close to 15 minutes to incorporate enough air to hold it up
*if you don't have a broiler in your oven, you can heat the enchilada sauce and melt the cheese at the end in your microwave on a microwave safe plate