Healthy Chiles Rellenos with Roasted Salsa Verde

The start of 2017 has been a hectic one, exciting, but hectic. Giving my other half a complete makeover (this corner of the web I call mine) has been a big part of that, in addition to packed weekends, big decisions, and just the steady confusion with life in general. Don’t we all feel lost at times?

The tiny, but bright, light at the end of the tunnel is a reminder that this makeover is closer to fruition with every passing day, and so is spring.

If you’ve had chiles rellenos before, you probably know they aren’t the healthiest choice on a cantina’s menu. Often stuffed with cheese and meat, then fried, they’re certainly categorized as comfort food. This lighter version packs roasted poblano chiles with a mixture of lean turkey, black beans, crunchy jicama, spices, and a touch of cashew cream. Then a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a quick broil, and a dose of roasted salsa verde creates a satisfying meal you can feel good about.

Cashew Cream | Zestful Kitchen

Let’s take a moment to thank cashew cream for everything that it is. I’m serious, if you haven’t had it before, well…I’VE BEEN THERE. And I was blind. And I can see clearly now.

Since the Chiles Rellenos don’t use all of the cashew cream, check out this list for a few more ways to cook with it in your kitchen.

Cashew Cream | Zestful Kitchen

Cashew Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Makes: 1 cup
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside, at room temperature, and let soak for 2 hours.
  2. Rinse and drain, then transfer to a high powered blender or food processor with 10 tablespoons water, garlic, and salt; purée until smooth.
  3. Store refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Roasted Salsa Verde | Zestful Kitchen

Roasted Salsa Verde
Prep time
Cook time
Makes: 2 cups
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  1. Heat broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element. Line baking sheet with foil.
  2. Arrange tomatillos, onion, and serrano on prepared baking sheet and roast under broiler until charred on all sides, 15–17 minutes, turning every few minutes. Transfer tomatillos, onion, serrano, and any accumulated juices to a food processor. Add cilantro, garlic, honey, and salt and purée until smooth; season with additional salt.
If you’re hesitant about the spice level in this salsa, seed the serrano chile before puréeing or swap in a jalapeño for the serrano.

Roasted Salsa Verde | Zestful KitchenRoasted Salsa Verde | Zestful Kitchen


Healthy Chiles Rellenos | Zestful Kitchen

Healthy Chiles Rellenos
Prep time
Cook time
Makes: 4 stuffed poblanos
  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces lean ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup diced jicama
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced serrano or jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup cashew cream *see recipe above
  • ½ cup shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Heat broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element.
  2. Roast poblanos until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes, rotating every few minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add turkey, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook until turkey is browned, about 5 minutes. Add jicama, black beans, and serrano and cook another 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in lime juice, cilantro, and ½ cup cashew cream.
  4. Peel skin from chiles and cut a slit, lengthwise, down one side of each chile and remove seeds.
  5. Heat broiler to high, with rack set 6 inches from element. Stuff chiles with turkey mixture, top with cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown, 1–2 minutes.
  6. Serve chiles rellenos with additional cashew cream and salsa verde.

Healthy Chiles Rellenos | Zestful Kitchen


Healthy Chiles Rellenos | Zestful Kitchen



  1. Can totally understand that feeling of being lost especially at the beginning of the year. Guess we just hang in there and things start to fall back in place. I absolutely love to eat stuffed deep fried poblanos! So I am feeling excited about this healthier version. The filling sounds delicious and your pics are drool-worthy!

  2. This cashew cream is a whole new concept to me, but MAN does it look like a great one. These look so good and packed with flavor… definitely need to give them a shot!

    1. Thanks Karly! It was for me too, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the effort to whip it up, but it really takes no effort at all. So glad I tried it, it’s wonderful is so many different recipes!

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