Rajas con crema

Rajas con crema is what you get when you combine flavorful roasted poblano peppers, sweet corn, tender browned onions, and a creamy sauce made with heavy cream and Monterey jack cheese. Chiles and cheese are truly a match made in heaven. Just think of all the wonderful dishes you can make when you combine chiles and cheese – jalapeño poppers, chile rellenos, jalapeño cheese balls, and more! Well now you can add rajas con crema to your list of mouthwatering dishes that combine chiles and cheese. 

The best part about rajas con crema is that the dish is naturally gluten free! In addition to being gluten free, this recipe is vegetarian, egg free, nut free, and keto friendly. 

Rajas con crema: strips of roasted poblano pepper and onions in a sauce made with Mexican crema and Monterey jack cheese.

What are the ingredients for rajas con crema?

What are the ingredients in this recipe for rajas con crema? Here are the main ingredients in this recipe. 

  • Poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are perhaps the most prominent ingredient in rajas con crema. The poblano peppers are roasted, skinned, and sliced into thin strips before they are added to this dish so they are tender & flavorful. 
  • White onions. Onions are sliced into thin strips and cooked until they are sweet and tender to serve as a companion to the strips of poblano peppers. 
  • Corn. The corn contributes a lot to this recipe for rajas con crema! The corn adds an extra burst of sweetness as well as some contrast in texture to this dish. You can use frozen corn or fresh corn in this dish.
  • Monterey jack cheese. In this recipe for rajas con crema we use Monterey jack cheese because it is readily available in American grocery stores. Oaxaca cheese, which is a mild cheese like Monterey jack, is another great option. If you can find Oaxaca cheese at your grocery store you should try out both to see which you like more!
  • Mexican crema & heavy cream. Plenty of heavy cream & Mexican crema are added to this dish to make it nice and creamy. If you cannot find Mexican crema at your grocery store you can use sour cream instead. Sour cream on it’s own is not a great substitution for Mexican crema, but when it is combined with heavy cream it works better.
  • Smoked paprika. A little bit of smoked paprika is added to the creamy base of this rajas con crema recipe to give it more depth. If you do not have smoked paprika you could use regular paprika or even chile powder. 

Charred and roasted poblano peppers.

How do you make rajas con crema?

How do you make rajas con crema? Here is a summary of the steps you need to take in order to make rajas con crema. If you have made rajas con crema before you can skip this section and head straight to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. If it is your first time making rajas con crema, it’s easiest to read through a high level summary of the instructions first to orient yourself.

  1. Stem and deseed the poblanos. The first step to making rajas con crema is stemming and deseeding the poblano peppers. Some recipes defer this step until after the peppers have been cooked but it is much easier to remove the seeds from the peppers when they are raw and stiff rather than when they are cooked and tough.
  2. Roast the poblanos. Roast the poblanos under your broiler. Wait until the poblanos are charred and the skin of the poblanos is starting to peel back then flip the poblanos over. Remove the poblanos from the broiler after the second side starts to char. 
  3. Remove the poblano skin. Remove the skin from the poblano pepper. The skin starts to peel away from the flesh of the poblanos as they cook so the skin should be easy to pull back.  
  4. Slice the onions and poblanos. After you have roasted the poblanos it is time to slice the onions and poblanos. You should slice both the onions and poblanos into long, thin strips. 
  5. Cook the onions. Add vegetable oil to a pan and cook the onions over medium heat until they start to brown. After they start to brown you can add the roasted poblano strips and the corn to the pan and cook them for 5 more minutes.
  6. Mix in the other ingredients. Once all your veggies are cooked all that is left to do is mix all of the ingredients together.

Charred and roasted poblano peppers sweating in a bowl after being cooked.

What peppers can substitute for poblanos?

Is your grocery store out of poblanos? If your grocery store is out of poblanos then you can substitute the poblano peppers with Anaheim chiles. Anaheim chiles are probably the most similar to poblanos in terms of texture and flavor. If your store does not have Anaheim chiles then larger varieties of chilaca peppers also work. 

How to skin poblanos

Are you looking for tips on how to skin poblanos? We have a method that you can use to make skinning poblanos even easier. After you take your poblanos out of the oven, put them in a bowl and cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Make sure that the towel covers the entire opening of the bowl so that the air inside of the bowl cannot escape. If you do not have a large enough towel you can also cover the bowl with saran wrap. Leave you poblanos in the bowl for 10 – 20 minutes. 


Rajas con crema: strips of roasted poblano pepper and onions in a sauce made with Mexican crema and Monterey jack cheese.

How to eat rajas con crema

What is the best way to eat rajas con crema? It is hard to pick just one when there are so many options! Here are a few of our favorites. 

  • As a topping for tacos, burritos, sopes. This tasty dish makes a great topping for tacos, sopes, and burritos. No matter what your favorite meats and veggies are, they are almost guaranteed to go well with this cheesy dish. 
  • Stuffed inside freshly made gorditas. This is our absolute favorite way to eat rajas con crema. If you have never had gorditas before, they are like tasty little Mexican pita pockets that you can stuff with any kind of filling you could imagine. Gorditas taste even better when they are stuffed with creamy roasted poblano peppers!
  • With a splash of hot sauce! This dish has a heavy, creamy sauce that can be lightened up with a little splash of a vinegar based hot sauce! We love to grab a bowl of rajas con crema, sprinkle a little queso fresco on top, and finish it all off with a dash of hot sauce.

Rajas con crema

This tasty recipe for rajas con crema is gluten free, vegetarian, and keto friendly!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, keto, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people


  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Mexican crema
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • Preheat your broiler on high.
  • Stem and de-seed the poblanos then broil them on high for 5 minutes until they appear charred and the skin starts to peel back. Flip the poblanos then cook them for another 5 minutes until the second side starts to char.
    While the poblanos cook you can move on to the next step and start to slice the onion.
  • Slice the onion into long strips and cook the onion in the vegetable oil over medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes. Cook the onion until it has lightly browned throughout.
    While the onions cook you can move on to the next step and skin the poblano peppers.
  • Skin the poblano peppers. You do not have to get every bit of skin off of the pepper but you should at least get the parts of the skin that have charred, browned, or peeled away from the flesh of the pepper.
    The skin should peel back from the peppers as they cook, so the skin should be relatively easy to remove. Check out our section on how to peel poblano peppers for more tips on how to make this process even easier.
  • Slice the poblanos in long strips. After the onions have cooked for 15 - 20 minutes, add the roasted poblanos and the corn to the pan with the onions. Cook the poblanos, onions, and corn for 10 more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat then add the rest of the ingredients to the pan with vegetables. Stir the mixture until the cheese melts.


  • Mexican crema. If you cannot find Mexican crema in your grocery store then I recommend substituting the crema for cream fraiche. If you cannot find that then you can substitute the crema with sour cream. Sour cream on its own is not a great substitute for Mexican crema but when you mix the sour cream and the heavy cream together you get a similar effect.
  • Poblanos. If you cannot find poblano peppers at your grocery store then you can use anaheim chiles as a substitute.
  • Monterey jack cheese.  If your grocery store has a reliable stock of oaxaca cheese then you should try replacing the Monterey jack cheese with oaxaca cheese. The flavor of the dish will not change that much but the texture will be creamier as oaxaca cheese melts better than Monterey jack.
  • Smoked paprika. If you do not have smoked paprika you can substitute the smoked paprika with regular paprika or chile powder. Regular paprika is less flavorful than smoked paprika so you might want to use a little extra paprika if you use regular paprika. 

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We love to stuff gorditas with rajas con crema! Need advice on how to make gorditas at home? Checkout our comprehensive article on how to make gorditas!

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Speaking of stuffing gorditas with rajas con crema, check out our full recipe for gorditas de rajas con crema! Gorditas and rajas con crema are truly a match made in heaven!

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Are you looking for another creamy recipe you can make with poblano peppers? Check out this recipe for poblano cream pasta sauce!

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