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Green Chiles Stuffed with Almonds and Raisins

Annabelle Breakey
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield Makes 5 or 6 servings (serving size: 3 chiles)
This dish softens the chiles' heat with raisins, nuts, spices, and a slightly sweet tomato sauce. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 3/4 hours. Notes: Queso fresco is a mild, crumbly Mexican cheese sold in Latin markets and some supermarkets. You can substitute farmer's cheese or feta.


  • 15 to 18 fresh green New Mexico or Anaheim chiles
  • 1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (see Notes)
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Nutrition Information

  • calories 568
  • caloriesfromfat 52 %
  • protein 31 g
  • fat 33 g
  • satfat 11 g
  • carbohydrate 40 g
  • fiber 4.4 g
  • sodium 1202 mg
  • cholesterol 76 mg

How to Make It

  1. Slice off chile stems. With a spoon or melon baller, reach into chiles to scoop out and discard seeds and white membranes (avoid slitting chiles); set chiles aside. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, toast all the almonds, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  3. Add oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Mince 4 garlic cloves and add to pan along with onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beef, 1 tsp. salt, the cinnamon, cumin, and pepper and cook, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, until beef is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add raisins and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add bread crumbs, oregano, 1/3 cup toasted almonds, and queso fresco. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes; remove from heat.

  4. Carefully pack each chile with filling. Arrange chiles in a large baking pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until chiles are browned and beginning to blister.

  5. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large frying pan over medium heat, bring tomatoes, honey, remaining 4 garlic cloves, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to a gentle simmer. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup toasted almonds. Transfer to a blender, add 1/2 cup water, and whirl sauce until very smooth, about 1 minute. Drizzle sauce over chiles and serve warm.

  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

  7. Cooking with chiles

  8. This recipe is best when made with New Mexico chiles, preferably northern varieties such as Chimayo. Anaheim chiles, which are a New Mexico variety, are widely available throughout the West and make a fine substitute for northern green chiles—roast them over a stovetop burner or under a broiler to blacken the skins. (And if you're sensitive to chiles, wear gloves when handling.) Canned green chiles just don't cut it here.

  9. See “Finding New Mexico Chiles,â€Â� (below) for mail-order sources.

  10. Finding New Mexico chiles

  11. Native Seeds/SEARCH. Grow northern New Mexico chiles from heirloom seeds. or 866/622-

  12. New Mexican Connection. We couldn't find a reliable mail-order source for roasted northern green chiles, but we did find good roasted Sandia chiles here. $56 for 5 lbs., including shipping; or 800/933-

  13. Santa Fe Farmers Market. The best place to find northern New Mexico chiles, both fresh and dried. Various locations and hours; contact or 505/983-