Rajas con Crema offers a delicious combination of smoky, slightly spicy poblano peppers and a rich, creamy sauce. Enjoy as a main dish with rice or serve in tacos with warm tortillas!
Rajas con crema is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of strips of roasted poblano peppers cooked in a creamy sauce. The term rajas refers to the strips or slices of peppers, and “con crema” means “with cream” in Spanish, referring to the creamy sauce.
To make rajas con crema, poblano peppers are first roasted or charred, then peeled and cut into thin strips. The pepper strips are then sautéed along with onions and sometimes corn, then cooked into a creamy sauce made of crema Mexicana, milk, and cheese.
- Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers are the key ingredient in rajas con crema. They have a mild to medium level of spiciness and are known for their rich flavor. If you can’t find poblanos where you live, use bell peppers or Anaheim peppers instead.
- Onion: One large onion or a couple of smaller onions are usually used to add flavor and texture to the dish. The onion is typically sliced or chopped.
- Corn: This is an optional ingredient but is often used in Mexico to make rajas con crema y elote. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels.
- Cream: The creamy element of rajas con crema comes from heavy cream or Mexican crema. Mexican crema is similar to sour cream but has a slightly thinner consistency.
- Cheese: You will need melty cheese to make this recipe, I recommend queso Oaxaca (quesillo), queso Manchego, or any melty cheese available to you.
- Butter and Oil: For sautéing the peppers and onions.
- Stock: Vegetable stock or chicken stock, can also be substituted with milk to add more creaminess to the dish.
- Garlic: Garlic is an optional ingredient, but it can add extra flavor to the dish. You can use powdered garlic or 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
How To Make Rajas Con Crema
Thoroughly wash the poblano chiles, dry them with kitchen paper towels, and roast them on a griddle or a comal.
Once the poblano peppers are roasted, place them in a bag and wrap them with a kitchen towel. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
TOP TIP: Wrapping and resting the poblano peppers will allow the skin to detach from the pepper, becoming more easier to remove!
Remove the charred skin from the peppers. Discard the seeds and the stem and cut the peppers into strips (rajas). Set aside.
Heat the oil and butter in a medium sauté pan or skillet.
Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat until the onions will be tender and translucent.
Add the poblano slices and corn. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and sauté over medium-high heat for one minute.
Add the cream and the vegetable broth and mix well to combine.
Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes or until onions and peppers are tender and the cream sauce has thickened. Adjust salt and pepper.
Add the cheese and stir until it melts. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.
- To enhance the flavor of the poblanos, it’s best to roast them until the skin is charred. This can be done over an open flame, on a grill, or under a broiler.
- You can use your hands or a kitchen paper towel to gently scrape off the skin.
- If you want to add more spicy, you can use one or two sliced jalapeño or serrano peppers and sauté them along with the onions.
- Go easy when seasoning with salt as the cheese is salty already and may affect the overall saltiness of the dish.
- if you can’t find Oaxaca cheese where you live, use also other types of cheese like Mozzarella, Fontina, Monterey jack, or Mexican blend for quesadillas.
- Add some shredded chicken to this dish to make it more fulfilling.
These creamy rajas can be served in various ways, depending on your preference and the occasion. Here are my serving suggestions:
Quesadillas: Use the mixture to make quesadillas fritas, the crispy masa tortilla contrast deliciously with the creamy rajas!
Appetizer: Serve the creamy poblano mixture as a dip with totopos tortilla chips, or toasted baguette slices. It makes a flavorful and creamy appetizer option for game days or parties.
Store And Reheat
Allow the leftovers to cool down to room temperature and transfer them to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator and store it for up to 3-4 days.
- Transfer the desired amount of leftovers from the refrigerator to a saucepan or skillet.
- Add a splash of milk or chicken stock and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through. Be careful not to overheat to prevent the cream from curdling or separating.
- Or, heat in the microwave using short bursts of 30 seconds to 1 minute on medium power, stirring in between.
- Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and give it a stir. Let it sit for a minute before serving.
What are rajas?
Are rajas spicy?
Rajas are made with poblano peppers which are known for their mild heat compared to jalapeño or to other chili varieties.
More Poblano Rajas Recipes
There are many more recipes you can make with rajas, see my suggestions below:
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Rajas Con Crema
- large pan or skillet
- 1 ½ lb Poblano peppers (see notes)
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1 medium white onion (sliced)
- 1 cup Mexican cream (or sour cream)
- ½ cup Oaxaca cheese (or your favorite melty cheese)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- garlic powder (to taste)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Roast poblano peppers with your preferred method (oven, stove, or grill).
- Place them in a bag, close and wrap them with a kitchen towel to allow them to sweat. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
- Peel the peppers and discard the seeds and the stem, then cut them lengthwise into strips. Set aside.
- Heat oil and butter in a sauté pan.
- Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat until the onions will be tender and translucent.
- Add the poblano slices and corn —season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and sauté for a minute.
- Add the cream and the vegetable broth. Mix well and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes or until onion and peppers are tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Add the cheese and mix quickly until it melts. Serve.
- In a pinch, you can use bell peppers or Anaheim peppers to substitute poblano peppers.
- If you want to give your Rajas con Crema a spicy touch, you can use one or two sliced hot peppers and sauté them along with the onions.
- Wrapping and resting the poblano peppers will allow the skin to detach from the pepper, becoming more easier to remove.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.