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El Alma inspired rellenos

I can’t stop thinking about the Chiles Rellenos I had at El Alma, while visiting Marissa and Jeff in Austin last week.

el alma rellenos


At the time, I posted about it on Facebook and my high school friend and blog follower, Cynthia said, “I just want you to come home and start making some of those recipes.”

Great idea, Cynthia!

I did. I shared it not only with my family but also with my dear friend, Tram.

So here it is!

crab and shrimp relleno

Shrimp and Crab Rellenos with Chipotle Tomato Sauce and Chipotle Crema


  • 10 poblano chiles
  • 10-ounce package fresh spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch green onions (white and green parts), sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
    1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, and roughly chopped
    1/2 pound lump crab meat
    1 cup shredded queso quesadilla or panela cheese

tomato sauce

Chipotle-Tomato Sauce

  • 1 ½ to 2 cups tomato juice (preferably from drained canned tomatoes, as discussed HERE)
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

mex dairy

Chipotle Crema

  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons minced chipotle chilies, to taste


  • 1 cup shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco

roast chiles

Rellenos: Roast, steam and peel the poblanos over an open flame as described HERE.


Once peeled, carefully slice open each poblano from tip to just below the stem. Carefully remove the seeds with the assistance of dry paper towels. Set aside while you make the filling.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and add wet spinach, cook for a minute or two until wilted. Transfer to a strainer and squeeze dry, set aside.


In the same skillet, add the olive oil and then sauté the bell pepper, green and white onion, jalapeño, cumin, salt, and pepper until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the spinach and oregano.

shrimp crab

Remove from heat, and stir in shrimp and crab meat.


Fill each poblano with the shrimp/crab mixture, do not over-stuff.

ten rellenos

Place in a baking dish and then put a tablespoon or two of the shredded queso quesadilla in each and close slightly. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted.


Chipotle-Tomato Sauce:  While rellenos bake, pour the tomato sauce into a skillet and stir in the chipotle and cumin. Bring to a simmer and reduce slightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Chipotle Cream:  Pour the crema into a squeeze bottle, add the minced chipotle and shake to combine, and refrigerate until ready to use.


To serve; spoon some of the chipotle-tomato sauce on a plate, top with a relleno, and garnish with the cabbage, queso fresco, and drizzle with the chipotle crema.

Makes 10

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1 Ronnie Jaap { 04.14.16 at 6:44 AM }

Sounds yummy and healthy!

2 Marissa { 04.14.16 at 7:55 AM }

Can’t wait to make this! Or maybe I’ll just walk down the street to El Alma…

3 Shelley J. { 04.14.16 at 11:15 AM }

looks soooo good!

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