Rajas con Crema are roasted poblano peppers cut into strips and sautéed with onions, garlic, and Mexican crema. They can be served as a filling for tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and more! Simple, comforting, and gluten-free!
If you grew up eating Mexican food or are simply a lover of Mexican cuisine (like I am), then you’ve probably enjoyed Rajas con Crema before.
This simple, creamy mixture of charred poblano peppers, onions, garlic, and faintly tart cream are perfection.
They can be enjoyed tucked into corn tortillas for a delicious vegetarian taco or folded into a quesadilla or simply enjoyed on their own as a cozy side dish.
What I love about Rajas con Crema is how just a few ingredients and a few minutes of cooking time results in something so complex and wonderful and adaptable to just about anything.
In fact, rajas are a made for meal prep, if that’s your jam.
You can make them up to 5 days in advance and turn them into lots of different Mexican dishes, like a topping for a rice bowl or vegetarian taquitos (or the tacos, quesadillas or side dish I already mentioned).
what are rajas con crema?
Rajas (pronounced ra-has) are roasted poblano chiles cut into rajas or strips.
When they are con crema, they are mixed with Mexican crema which is a thinner, less sour version of American sour cream. Look for it at your local Latin market.
Sometimes they are also con queso. Which is when cheese is mixed in almost like a queso fundido with gooey bits of Monterey Jack cheese or any other melted cheese you might love.
how to make rajas
The first step is to roast the poblanos by placing them directly on an open flame. You are looking for the skin of the peppers to really blacken and char.
After they are charred on all sides, set them on a large platter and cover with plastic wrap. This steams them a bit and makes it easier to remove the blackened skin once they cool down.
Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds and cut the peppers into strips.
Then comes the good stuff—melt a good amount of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Add the onions and season generously with salt and pepper.
Once the onions are starting to get tender, add the garlic, season with some more salt and pepper and let those two get nice and caramelized.
Add the rajas and cook just until they are warmed through, they are already cooked so you don’t want them to get too mushy.
Finally in goes the crema. If you can’t find Mexican crema, substitute half American sour cream and half heavy whipping cream.
Let this simmer for a few minutes until everything is coated in cream. Taste and season again with salt if needed.
Feel free to experiment with this basic recipe. Here’s a few different ideas to try:
- Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn kernels.
- Stir in about 4 ounces of cheese at the end. Monterey Jack or Queso Oaxaca are good melting cheeses, but also a sharp cheese like Cotija crumbed in at the end is good.
- Add a teaspoon of herbs like dried or fresh Mexican oregano, marjoram, or thyme.
how to serve
As we’ve discussed, this recipe is perfect as a filling for so many Mexican dishes. One of my favorites are Aida’s Tamales de Rajas that we made for one of our Tamales classes a couple years ago.
But as I was doing a bit of research for this recipe both Pati Jinich and Gabriela Cámara mentioned in their cookbooks that they love rajas on top of a special type of cornbread made in Mexico.
If they both recommended it, how could I not try it?
I decided on Pati’s version of this cornbread which is almost like a corn pudding cake, I don’t know, it’s hard to describe but you can find the recipe in her first cookbook, Pati’s Mexican Table.
This fluffy corn cake made with whole corn kernels and whipped egg white topped with the smoky roasted rajas was a perfect plant-based dinner.
more poblano pepper recipes to try!
- Chiles en Nogada
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Chorizo and Poblanos
- Charred Poblano Corn Crepes
- Chiles en Nogada Tacos
- Spicy Chorizo and Poblano Stuffing
- Carne Asada Torta with Roasted Poblano Salsa
it doesn’t get much easier than this
When the results are much greater than the effort, there’s no excuse not to try something new! When you try these Rajas con Crema please let me know by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- Char the poblanos. Place poblano chiles directly over the gas flame on your stove. Char the peppers, turning occasionally until all sides are blackened. Transfer to a heatproof dish. If you don't have a gas stove you can also char the poblanos under the broiler or on a grill.
- Peel and cut the poblanos. Cover poblanos with plastic wrap and let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel the blackened skin off with your fingers. Remove the stem and seeds then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Sauté onions and garlic. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter in the pan and then add onions. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about a minute longer.
- Add poblano strips. Stir in the strips of poblanos and season again with salt. Cook for about 3 minutes more or until heated all the way through.
- Add crema. Stir in crema and let simmer gently until vegetables are well coated. Taste and season again with salt and pepper.
- Serve. Enjoy rajas as a side, a filling for tacos or quesadillas, or on top of cornbread for a comforting dinner.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 411mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
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