This version of chile relleno casserole is made with ground turkey in one skillet and has just a few ingredients! I love this for a low carb Mexican dinner, or serve this with my favorite red rice for a yummy burrito bowl variation. This tastes like a chile relleno in a bowl and is SO yummy and easy to make!
Definitely the easy weeknight dinner we have been waiting for: blanket it with melty cheese and call it GOOD.
Ok, real quick: are you a pick-up food person or more of a knife and fork person? I'm 100% knife and fork, especially with Mexican foods, preferring a burrito bowl or combo plate over tacos or a handheld burrito. BUT ALSO, being able to eat with just a fork is even better because then we can eat on the couch which is my preferred location for dinner.
Our kids are old enough for family dinner (at the table, no screens), and honestly I miss 9pm couch dinners from when they were babies.
YOU, however, can totally eat this chile relleno casserole skillet of joy on your couch.
The flavors are this: very classic Mexican stuffed pepper, meat + cheese + spices without any stuffing or frying or even the need for a knife. Chile relleno is one of my favorite things to order in a restaurant, and I simplified the process by tossing everything in a cast iron skillet then under the broiler for browned bubbly cheese goodness.
Ground turkey, or beef if that's what you've got. Onion, garlic, green bell peppers (I had these long smaller peppers, but one big green bell pepper will be the amount you need, or two smaller ones) for veg. Spices are chili powder, salt, cumin, flour to thicken, stock for sauce, cheese for cheese.
Start by preheating your skillet to medium-high with a tablespoon or so of oil, then adding the turkey. Brown and cook the turkey, breaking it up, until it's crumbly and cooked through. Then add the veggies! Peppers, onions, garlic. You can definitely chop the peppers smaller if you'd prefer; I wanted the big pretty chunks of peppers but also really like this with everything finely chopped to blend in with the turkey a bit better.
Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring, just to soften them a bit. If the skillet seems dry, drizzle in a bit more oil.
When the vegies are soft, sprinkle the flour, chili powder, salt, and cumin all over the veggie/meat mixture. The flour will stick to the veggies and make a quick thickener for the stock.
Stir the flour into the veggies for about a minute, then pour in the stock, stirring as you go. The stock should bubble and thicken and reduce a bit.
At this point, turn the heat OFF and sprinkle grated queso quesadilla or any melty white cheese you like all over the dish. Monterrey jack, pepper jack both work great in this dish as well.
Now! Into the oven she goes, 400F for 15 minutes, uncovered until the sauce thickens and reduces even more and the chile relleno casserole is just begging for dinnertime.
Done! How you serve this is up to you. Chips on the side? Red rice? Some extra skillet fajita veggies? Shredded lettuce and tortillas for dunking and swooping through this sauce? The sky's the limit.
I really, really like this dinner, friends. It feels very for-the-moment: simple, comforting, flavorful but not unfamiliar, and really delicious. I know this is the place where one might write "plus, ha, kids eat more veggies when they're blanketed with cheese!" but honestly....that's me too. Always.
THE POINT IS, that this easy ground turkey Mexican fakeout dinner is very, very yummy, very, very easy, and you should absolutely make it for yourself this week.
Turkey Chile Relleno Skillet
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 small or 1 large green bell pepper diced
- ½ onion diced
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 14 ounces white melting cheese such as queso quesadilla monterrey jack, etc
- Preheat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet to medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet, and cook the turkey until browned and crumbly, breaking it up with a spoon as you go.
- Add the bell peppers, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Stir for about 5 minutes more until the veggies are slightly soft.
- Add the flour, chili powder, salt, and cumin to the skillet. Stir to combine to coat the ingredients in the seasonings.
- Slowly pour in the stock, stirring as you go, to release any bits from the bottom of the skillet and incorporate the flour into the stock. Turn the heat off the stove.
- When the stock bubbles and thickens, sprinkle all of the cheese all over the skillet. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the chile relleno casserole skillet is bubbly and slightly brown on top.
- Serve with stuff! Whatever you like. Rice, cilantro, salsa, jalapenos, lime wedges, chips - sky's the limit!