Episode 306: Where's the Smoke

Barbecued Bean And Cheese Chile Rellenos

Barbecued Bean And Cheese Chile Rellenos

You know Raichlen’s rule: if it tastes good baked or deep fried, it tastes even better smoked.

This Barbecued Bean and Cheese Chile Rellenos recipe is a vegetarian dish that’s high in protein and low in fat. Poblano chiles, a spicier cousin of the green bell pepper, are stuffed with a mixture of black beans, baked beans, and cheese. The chiles rellenos are finished off in the smoker for a delicious smoke flavor.


More Grilled Vegetarian Recipes:



Barbecued Bean And Cheese Chile Rellenos

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Method: Indirect grilling / smoking
  • Equipment: 1-1/2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably mesquite), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained


  • 6 large poblano peppers or green bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped (for a hotter filling, leave the seeds in)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 ounces each) low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces each) baked beans or grilling beans
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces) pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or white Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, or vegan cheese, such as Chao
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Steps

Step 1: If using poblano peppers, cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. If using bell peppers, cut off the tops about 1/2 inch below the stems. Scrape out the veins and seeds, taking care not to puncture the bottoms.

Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapenos, cilantro, cumin, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the black beans, baked beans, hot sauce, and 2 cups of the cheese. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and/or more hot sauce to taste. Spoon the bean mixture into the hollowed-out peppers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, dividing it evenly among the peppers. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the cheese.

Step 3: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Add the wood chips to the coals or place in your gas grill’s smoker box. Alternatively, set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat to medium (300 degrees).

Step 4: Place the peppers in the center of the hot grill grate, away from the heat, or in your smoker. Cover the grill and cook the peppers until they are tender and the cheese is browned and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a platter or plates and serve at once.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2017 Barbacoa, Inc.