Silky smooth, cheesy, creamy, and filled with tender poblanos, Rajas Con Crema is the perfect side dish to pair with so many delicious eats, and we love it with pan seared pork chops or smoked chicken quarters! It’s an easy dish to make, and if you love the big, bold, and sassy flavors of charred poblanos, then this dish is for you!

Overhead shot of skillet filled with cheesy creamy peppers in sauce on a rustic table with pork chops.

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We love poblano chiles, and this is one of our favorite poblano pepper recipes, right alongside our enchilada smoked stuffed poblano peppers. We love that they’re big and meaty and spicy, but not too spicy. They’re the perfect pick for Rajas con Crema because they infuse the creamy sauce with a smokey, grilled, and spicy flavor. 

Eat this by the spoonful, serve it as a side, or grab some warm corn tortillas to scoop it up – it’s that versatile.

And, you can cook this dish right on the grill as you’re making the rest of your grilled feast. Grab a cast-iron skillet, and let’s get cooking!

WHAT IS RAJAS CON CREMA?

Rajas con crema, or sliced peppers in a rich cream sauce, is a very popular Mexican dish and delicious side dish. It’s creamy, cheesy, and chunky all at the same time, similar to our fire roasted poblano crema. The sauce is flavored with garlic, onion, and chilis and takes on the light, smoky flavor of the roasted poblano peppers.

It’s also a bit spicy, but the cream keeps the spice in check so you can eat it all up.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Poblano peppers – Fresh, not frozen.
  • Bacon fat or butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Red bell pepper – Yellow or orange is also fine.
  • Onion – Yellow or white.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best!
  • Crema – You can buy Mexican crema or make your own.
  • Half and half cream – Or go super-indulgent with full-fat heavy cream.
  • Shredded Oaxaca cheese – Available at Latin markets and large grocery stores. Use Monterey jack cheese if you can’t find Oaxaca cheese.
  • Chicken broth – Low or no-sodium store-bought is fine.

HOW TO MAKE RAJAS CON CREMA

  • Fire up your grill or open flame of a gas stove on your stove and char the chiles poblanos. You want to blister and burn the skin. Turn them often, so they’re evenly blistered.
  • Put the poblanos into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to steam them. This will help loosen the skin.
  • Peel off the charred skin and discard it. Cut the poblanos open and remove the seeds and stem.
  • Slice the poblanos into long, thin strips about ¼-inch wide.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet on the grill or stovetop. 
  • Saute the red bell pepper and onions in butter. Season with salt and pepper, then add the sliced poblanos and garlic.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the crema and the cream, and bring it to a simmer. 
  • Add the cheese a bit at a time to the rajas mixture, stirring well to mix it in. If the cream sauce gets too thick, use a bit of chicken broth to thin it out. Reserve a bit of shredded cheese to garnish the top of the dish.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Like it spicier? Add some minced jalapeno when you saute the onions.
  • Make the poblanos ahead of time – the roasted peppers will keep in the fridge for a day or two in an airtight container. 
  • Can’t find crema? Make your own by blending equal parts of sour cream and heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh lime juice.
  • No Oaxaca cheese? You can use any mild easy-melting cheese. Monterey jack, chihuahua cheese, or Mexican manchego cheese. 
Pork chops on platters with rajas con crema on the side and in a large skillet for serving.

What to serve with Rajas con Crema

We love this easy Rajas con Crema recipe with grilled meat! Thick-cut pork chops, pork tenderloin, smoked prime rib, grilled bavette steaks, and even simple smoked chicken quarters are so much better with this saucy poblano peppers side dish beside them! Want to take your ‘cheesesteak’ to a whole new level? Serve a hot grilled steak sliced thin right over this! 

You can also scoop up this creamy and cheesy dish with tortilla chips, eat it in soft, warm tortillas, or spoon it on top of nachos. Serve it with your favorite cornbread – delicious! 

Instead of serving it as a side, stir in cooked shredded chicken or pork and fresh or frozen corn kernels to make it a saucy and hearty meal.

Chile en rajas con queso (sliced chilis with cheese) is versatile. Try it with a variety of your favorite south-of-the-border dishes!

LEFTOVERS & REHEATING

This Rajas con Crema recipe tends to get spicier as it sits, thanks to the roasted poblano peppers, so expect any leftovers to be spicier. You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days, but because of the dairy in this recipe, it won’t freeze well.

To reheat:

  1. Preheat a large skillet on the stove top on medium heat. 
  2. Add your leftover rajas con cream and heat up until warm. 

More Poblano Pepper Recipes

With a few simple ingredients, you can whip up the easy Mexican side dish in no time. Perfect for when you’re craving some authentic Mexican cuisine or impressing your guests for a special occasion.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

Rajas con Crema

5 from 18 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Two pans of rajas con crema on a table with a knife and fork.
Roasted poblano, red peppers, and onions swimming in a creamy cheese sauce make up this simple rajas con crema recipe. Serve it as a side dish for a variety of meals and pair it with grilled or pan seared meats to keep things keto with tons of rich flavors.

Ingredients  

  • 5 to 6 poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat
  • 1 red pepper stemmed seeded and sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup Crema
  • ½ Half and half
  • 6 oz Oaxaca cheese
  • Chicken broth

Instructions 

Char the poblanos

  • Using a lit grill or a gas oven burner, roast the poblanos on all sides until they are deeply blistered.
    5 to 6 poblano peppers

Steam

  • Remove the poblanos from heat and set under an upside down bowl, trapping the heat.
  • Allow the pepper to steam, untouched for about 10 minutes.
  • Once soft, remove the charred skins by rubbing the peppers with your hands.
  • Remove stems and seeds and discard.
  • Slice the remaining roasted poblano peppers into thin strips

Make the Rajas Con Crema

  • Preheat a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add bacon fat and swirl to coat the pan.
    1 tbsp bacon fat
  • Add the red peppers and onions to the pan and saute them until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
    1 red pepper, 1 onion
  • Season with a pinch of salt.
    Salt
  • Add the minced garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds longer.
    3 cloves garlic
  • Add the sliced roasted poblanos
  • Stir to combine.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the crema and half and half.
    ½ cup Crema, ½ Half and half
  • Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring to melt
    6 oz Oaxaca cheese
  • Return the pan to low heat, and while stirring, allow the cheese and crema mixture to thicken for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • If the mixture becomes too thick, whisk in a little chicken broth to thin.
    Chicken broth

Serve

  • Serve hot by ladleing portions out onto platters

Notes

We serve these cheesy creamy roasted poblanos with grilled or pan-seared pork chops, over char-grilled chicken, or even with steaks. 
Store leftovers, once cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Reheat in 30-second bursts in the microwave stirring as needed or in a small cast iron pan over low heat. If the crema gets too thick while reheating, splash a little chicken broth in to thin out. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1083IU | Vitamin C: 107mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: keto, Latin, Mexican
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

WHAT KIND OF CHILIS DO YOU USE IN RAJAS CON CREMA?

Grilled poblanos are the most common chili for this dish. They’re meaty and have a great spice level so that you can spoon up this delish dish and not have to worry about it being too spicy.
Anaheim peppers are also sometimes used, and if you don’t like the spice, use green bell peppers.

How spicy are poblanos on the Scoville scale?

They have 1,000-2,000 Scoville units meaning they have a slight kick but nowhere near jalapeño levels. 

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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5 from 18 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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