I love chiles rellenos, but let’s face it: This isn’t a quick-and-easy weeknight meal. I don’t always have the time to roast and stuff the chiles, make an egg wash, get my hands covered with gooey batter and deep-fry those suckers.

Guess what? We can make this process quick and easy! The beauty of this recipe is that it delivers everything you love about chiles rellenos (roasted chiles, gooey cheese, eggy batter and crunchy topping) without the time required to make the real thing. The other thing I love about this recipe is that it is extremely adaptable (see note below). Change up the ingredients depending on what you have on hand, or make modifications to fit a picky eater’s bill.

This is a perfect meal for busy weeknights, or it makes a great make-ahead meal. If there are any leftovers (okay, let’s be honest, I need to make double for leftovers!), I freeze them in individual portions so I have a quick-and-easy lunch later in the week. Serve with tortilla chips to eat as a dip or small corn tortillas to make tacos, or wrap it up in a large flour tortilla with some refried beans to make a burrito.

A note on adaptability: Feel free to make this your own by changing up the ingredients. Any combination of cheeses works well in this dish. If you live in the Southwest, use Hatch chiles! If not, any canned green chile, or roasted fresh poblano or Anaheim chile, will do. To make this dish vegetarian, swap in some sauteed mushrooms for the sausage, or keep it simple with just cheese. If you don’t like sausage, substitute ground beef, pork or turkey. Cook up the ground meat with some onion and spices, if you like, to give it an extra kick.

15 minutes
40 minutes
55 minutes
½ cup breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ pound sausage (such as chorizo or spicy Italian)
2 7-ounce cans whole green chile peppers, drained (or 4 whole, roasted, peeled and seeded poblano chiles)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce
6 eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste
Green onions, green parts, sliced (optional)
Cilantro leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and melted butter. Stir until the breadcrumbs are moistened. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, cook the chorizo over medium heat, breaking up the bits with a spatula as you cook. Cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking dish (this will keep the chiles from sticking).
Lay half the chiles evenly over the bottom of the dish.
Cover the chiles with all the cooked sausage and half of the cheddar and Jack cheeses.
Layer the remaining chiles on top of the sausage/cheese mix.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, paprika, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until slightly frothy.
Pour egg mixture over chiles.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, until the top starts to brown and the eggs are set. If you shake the pan, the filling should not jiggle.
Remove from oven, pour enchilada sauce evenly over the top and top with remaining cheese and buttered breadcrumbs.
Cook an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchilada sauce is bubbly.
Top with green onions or whole cilantro leaves if you wish!
Cut into squares and serve with tortilla chips, small corn tortillas or large flour tortillas.