Vegan Chargrilled Chile Relleno with a Quinoa, Black Bean & Corn Stuffing

Healthy Recipes

2 May 2014

This time of year, every year, my obsession for Mexican food is borderline LOCO (crazy). I’m not sure if it’s the sunny weather that tends to have me craving refreshing, easy meals like veggie tacos seasoned with fresh cilantro and lime, or annual spring getaways to Mexico where I eat enough guacamole to feed a small country, or the plethora of Mexican themed recipes posted just in time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (maybe it’s all of the above), but like clockwork every late spring it’s pretty much all I can think about.

So believe me when I say I thought out this recipe, like, A LOT. Which means it’s like really, REALLY effin good. And IMHO (in my humble opinion for those of you non acronym nerds) it’s got all the components of a perfect meal, which if you’re wondering, are-

  1. Perfect balance of flavors & textures- The chargrilled poblano pepper, stuffing of quinoa, black beans and corn, melted vegan cheese and a cooling cilantro lime yogurt sauce master this exceptionally well.
  1. Nutrient Dense-
    1. Quinoa- No brainer. The only grain that’s a complete protein with all 12 essential amino acids. Meaning tons of fiber and protein.
    1. Black beans- More fiber and protein, which helps slow the absorption of food to the blood stream, meaning you’ll eat less overall and stay fuller longer.
    1. Herbs and spices- Cilantro binds to toxins to help excrete them and chili powder, cumin, jalapeno and garlic are naturally metabolic and immune boosting.
    1. Yogurt sauce- Coconut Greek style yogurt is an excellent alternative to regular yogurt as there is no dairy but it still contains probiotics, which increase good bacteria in the gut that help you to properly digest food
    1. Avocado- Do I really need to go over this one again? I didn’t think so…..
  1. Seasonal Ingredients- cilantro, peppers and avocado are all excellent right now, with tomato and corn coming in hot. Onion, quinoa and black beans are solid pretty much year round.
  1. Some heat- Because the best dishes always do.
  1. A really, really good sauce– Sauces can make or break a meal. This one adds just the right cooling flavor to compliment the heat and warmth from the pepper and stuffing.
  1. Leave you feeling better AFTER you eat it- Let’s be honest, most meals do just the opposite. This one is properly combined for optimal digestion, has vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables, healthy whole grain starch and protein, and doesn’t contain any acid-forming dairy, hormone ladden and cholesterol clogging meat, insulin-spiking sugar or unrefined carbohydrates . Every ingredient has a purpose and not only tastes good but will help you to look and feel even better.
  1. Mexican- just kidding….or am I?

Stuffed vegan Chile Relleno topped with vegan cheese and avocado

It’s also pretty inexpensive to make (rough cost $30 at Whole Paycheck for enough to feed four people) and will impress the heck out of guests. I’d also never made Chile Relleno before, and although I was somewhat intimidated at first, it’s not as hard as it looks.  If you have a grill it’s even easier, tastes better, and leaves you less work to do in the kitchen during warmer days. I set my MLB to work, and he was more than happy given the results, which “tasted better than it looks” and was “surprisingly good” given the fact it had his two most hated foods in it (onions and tomatoes…wah, wah).

Mexican food you win again. #Ijustcan’tquityou

A vegan Chile Relleno pepper topped with vegan cheese and avocado

5 from 1 vote

Vegan Chargrilled Chile Relleno with a Quinoa, Black Bean & Corn Stuffing

Stuffed vegan Chile Relleno topped with vegan cheese and avocado
Author: Lauren Chambers


  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups organic corn kernels, either frozen or fresh (if in season)
  • ½ yellow or sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup quinoa, approx 3 cups once cooked
  • 1 cup fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ lime, juice squeezed
  • ½ avocado, chopped

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 single-serving carton of Greek Style Coconut Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 large handful cilantro
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ lime, juice squeezed


  1. Cook your quinoa. Place one cup quinoa, one cup vegetable broth and one cup water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes covered or until fully cooked. Fluff with a fork then take off heat and let steam with lid on for an additional 10 minutes.
  2. Now get your grill up and running. I have no idea how to do this- MLB is the grillmaster. If you don’t have a grill, you can broil your poblano peppers until they char. Otherwise grill for approx 10 minutes or until charred on each side. Remove from heat and let sit for a couple minutes until cooled. Take a knife and slit open down the middle, so pepper is still in tact and connected at the bottom and top (see pic below as I have a hard time explaining this). Set off to the side and revisit lata.
    Two grilled poblano peppers on a cutting board
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Toss in chopped onion and jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes or so, until cooked through. Add in garlic and spices and cook a minute longer. Then add in black beans, corn and tomatoes and continue to cook, about another 5 minutes. Toss in cooked quinoa and stir until well combined and remove from heat. Toss in chopped cilantro and sprinkle with lime juice.
    Stuffing for the Chile Relleno recipe in a frying pan
  4. Stuff mixture in poblano pepper until full. Sprinkle with vegan cheese (daiya is my vegan cheese of choice) and put back on the grill for 5-10 minutes, or until dish is hot and cheese is melted.
    Two stuffed poblano peppers topped with vegan cheese ready to be grilled
  5. While the stuffed peppers are back on the grill, combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and mix.
  6. Once peppers are done, top with cilantro yogurt sauce, chopped cilantro and avocado. Sprinkle with more lime. Serve with margaritas.
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Happy Cinco de Mayo, betches!

A Chile Relleno pepper topped with vegan cheese and avocado