Rajas con Crema is an easy Mexican dish that combines roasted poblano peppers with onions, Mexican cream, and melted cheese. It’s a creamy and satisfying recipe to enjoy for lunch or dinner with a warm tortilla, or as an appetizer with tortilla chips!
This creamy and satisfying recipe for Rajas con Crema is just the best!
What is Rajas con Crema?
Rajas con Crema is a Mexican dish made from roasted and sliced poblano peppers combined with onions, cream, and melted cheese.
It’s served hot, ready in only 30 minutes, and is a comforting addition to a warm flour tortilla for a satisfying lunch or dinner. Alternatively, it can be served as an appetizer (almost like queso fundido) with homemade tortilla chips and frozen margaritas for all of your friends!
Rajas (rah-Has) translates to “strips” in English, and Rajas con Crema refers to sliced poblano peppers strips in cream sauce.
Some recipes call for lots of cream to be added, like cream cheese, sour cream, or heavy whipping cream. And others call for the addition of fresh corn kernels.
To keep things simple while achieving the best flavor, I’m leaving out the corn and letting the poblanos shine through, as well as using Mexican crema and Oaxaca cheese. (Can’t find these ingredients near you? See my recommend substitutions below.)
Ingredients You Need
- Poblano peppers – Poblanos are fairly mild and have heaps of rich flavors when roasted. If they’re still a little too spicy, cut the roasted peppers down the middle and remove all the seeds and veins before slicing them up. (Learn more about poblano peppers and where they fall on the scoville scale.)
- Butter – This adds some flavor as well as helps to cook the onions. If you don’t have butter, you can use olive oil or a different vegetable oil instead.
- Onions and garlic – To add texture and flavor.
- Kosher salt – For balance.
- Mexican crema – Use store bought or homemade. I highly recommend using Mexican crema if you can find it. More and more large grocery stores are starting to carry it in the dairy aisle near the cheeses and milks.
- Oaxaca cheese – This cheese melts smoothly and gives the dish a luxurious stretch. You can usually find Oaxaca cheese in the specialty cheese section or the dairy section in your grocery store. It’s also very common in specialty Hispanic grocers.
How to Make Rajas con Crema
Roast the poblanos: Place the poblanos in the oven and broil for 5 minutes on both sides, until the skin is blackened and blistered. Alternatively, you can roast them over an open flame on a gas stove or a grill.
Leave them to sweat: Once roasted, loosely cover the poblanos with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to trap the heat and allow the peppers to steam. Let them to sit for 5 minutes. Afterward, use your fingers to pull and rub off as much of the loose skin on the peppers as possible (it doesn’t have to be perfect).
Cut into strips: Cut the poblanos into thin or thick strips and set aside. I removed most of the seeds, but you can leave them in for some added spice if you prefer.
Saute onions and garlic: Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s melted, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Next, add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
Mix it all together: Add the roasted poblano pepper strips, Mexican crema, and salt to the skillet and stir together. Cook for 2 minutes before adding in the shredded Oaxaca cheese. Stir together until the cheese completely melts, then remove from the heat and serve immediately in warm tortillas or with tortilla chips.
Tips and Substitutions
- If you’ve never roasted poblano peppers before, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to roast poblano peppers.
- If you can’t find Mexican crema, a good substitute is crème fraîche. If you can find that, you could also use heavy whipping cream. Or better yet, make your own Mexican crema at home!
- Can’t find Oaxaca cheese? Feel free to use any cheese that will melt and stretch, like monterey jack or mozzarella.
- If poblanos are too spicy for you, use anaheim peppers or bell peppers instead.
- If poblanos are not spicy enough, add in some a sliced jalapeno or serrano pepper.
- Make this dish a little more hearty with the addition of cooked shredded chicken. Add it in the skillet along with the sliced peppers. My recipe for easy shredded chicken would go perfectly!
- Need a little more texture? Add in 1 cup of frozen corn kernels when cooking the onions.
Storing and Reheating
To store, add the leftovers to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, place the leftovers in a skillet on the stove and heat on medium heat. You can also place them in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
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- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place poblano peppers on top. Set your oven rack directly underneath the broiler and turn the broiler on high.
- Broil poblanos in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered. Carefully flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered on all sides.
- Remove them from the oven, loosely cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep in some of the heat to help them steam, and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Pull and rub off as much of the loose skin on the peppers as possible. It doesn't have to be perfect. (View some step-by-step photos on how to roast poblano peppers.)
- Transfer poblanos to a cutting board, discard the stems and seeds. Cut poblanos into strips and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
- Add roasted poblano pepper strips, Mexican crema, and salt. Stir together to combine and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add shredded cheese and stir together until the cheese completely melts. Remove from heat and serve immediately in warm tortillas or with tortilla chips.
- I highly recommend using Mexican crema if you can find it. More and more large grocery stores are starting to carry it. It’s typically found in the dairy aisle near the cheeses and milks. If you can’t find it, a good substitute is crème fraîche. Or better yet, you can make your own Mexican crema at home.
- Oaxaca cheese is recommended because it melts smoothly and gives the dish a luxurious stretch. You can typically find Oaxaca cheese in the specialty cheese section or the dairy section in your grocery store. Specialty Hispanic grocers also commonly carry it. If you can’t find it near you, you can use monterey jack cheese or mozzarella.