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A chili relleno casserole is a specific kind of casserole that uses a Latin American menu item called chili rellenos. This Spanish language food translates in English to “stuffed peppers.” The chili relleno casserole incorporates stuffed peppers into a broader casserole recipe.
The original recipe for many kinds of traditional chili rellenos calls for poblano peppers, a larger variety of green peppers. Recipes for chili relleno casseroles might use these peppers, or more general varieties of red or green bell peppers. Other varieties of hotter or spicier peppers may also be used for these sorts of dishes.
While the original recipes for chili rellenos sometimes involve grilling or frying peppers, many of them call for boiling or baking the peppers after they are stuffed with raw foods. Recipes for chili relleno casserole most commonly involve baking the entire casserole. A broad, flat glass baking pan is typically used. In chili relleno casserole, the stuffed peppers are stacked or otherwise placed together and covered with other additional food elements.
Common fillings for chili rellenos include beef, chicken, or cheese. Other kinds of meats can also be used. In addition, some kinds of chili rellenos are filled with a mixture of beans and cheese. All of these can be parts of recipes for chili relleno casseroles, where the individual peppers are parts of a more integrated dish, rather than single à la carte units.
Cooks who are making the most common kinds of chili relleno casserole will typically fill the peppers and lay them in the bottom of the casserole dish. The baking dish is often sprayed with nonstick elements in order to prevent items from burning to the bottom. After adding the peppers, cooks will typically cover them with grated cheese. Many recipes also call for pouring egg-based mixes over the peppers.
Along with the above fillings, some recipes for chili relleno casserole include tomato sauce or other tomato products. This element of a recipe fits with some traditional kinds of stuffed peppers in some food cultures that were originally cooked in tomato sauce. Other varieties of chili relleno casserole simply consist of peppers stuffed with ground beef and cheese.
Each specific type of chili relleno casserole has its own cooking time and temperature. It’s generally important to keep heat consistent for this type of casserole. After heating it sufficiently, cooks will let it cool before serving.