This Rajas Con Crema recipe uses fire roasted poblanos in a cheesy, Mexican Queso style sauce. This thick, creamy roasted rajas recipe has just the right amount of heat and fresh corn & onions brings in a touch of sweetness. It packs so much flavor and is really easy to make in under an hour!
This Rajas recipe is super versatile and can be served as an appetizer with tortilla chips, or use it for dinner over sautéed chicken breast. I spread it over chicken with a side of chorizo and my husband loved it!
You can also use this rajas con crema in tacos and even on smash burgers! For a really simple dinner idea, grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it up with this rajas recipe on a flour tortilla. So yummy!
If you're a big fan of poblanos, check out my roasted poblano sauce, which is a lighter, salsa verde like sauce.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It is super simple to make with easy ingredients
- This recipe is creamy, cheesy and decadent
- It's versatile and you can serve it in many different ways from an appetizer, over chicken breast, on burgers, or in tacos
- It is spicy, savory and sweet all at once for a total flavor overload
What are Rajas?
Rajas are fire roasted poblanos, which the skin, seeds, and stems are removed and then they are cut into strips. The words "rajas" translates to strips in Spanish.
"Rajas con crema" means strips with cream. This recipe combines roasted poblano strips with Mexican crema, along with other tasty ingredients.
Poblano Peppers-A large, dark green pepper that can range from mild to moderate spice. Think of the heat level between a bell pepper and a jalapeño. In this recipe, the poblanos are fire roasted until charred and blistered, then they are steamed so the skin is easily removed. The peppers are then cut into strips (rajas) and cooked into a fabulous cream sauce.
Sweet Onion and Corn- Bring in a sweetness to the recipe as well as extra texture and crunch.
Jalapeño- Added for additional heat. If your poblanos are on the spicier side, you can leave this out, if preferred.
Butter-Used to cook the corn, onion, jalapeño and garlic and bring in a savory flavor.
Mexican Crema & Cream Cheese- The "con crema" of this recipe. This combination brings in a thick, creamy, milky texture.
Monterey Jack Cheese- Added for a queso style dip. Monterey Jack cheese is mild and pairs perfectly with the spicy and sweet flavors.
Garlic and Salt- Added for additional flavor.
Substitutions & Variations:
Worried about too much spice? Leave out the Jalapeño.
Can't get corn on the cob? If it's not in season, it can be trickier to find fresh. You can use about ⅓ cup of canned corn, look for a crisp version and make sure to drain out all the juice before adding to the skillet. A ⅓ cup of frozen sweet corn will work here too. Allow the onions and jalapeño to cook, then add the frozen or canned corn in before the garlic.
If you don't have Mexican crema, you can substitute in sour cream.
Not a big fan of Monterey Jack cheese? Shredded mozzarella, white cheddar or pepper jack would all be delish!
How to Make Rajas Con Crema:
Here are the Step by Step Instructions for this Easy Rajas Recipe.
Step 1: Roast Poblanos
Turn on the gas stovetop to medium heat. Roast the poblanos directly over the flame, rotating every minute or so with tongs until blistered and charred on all sides.
Alternate cooking method: If you don't have a gas stove, turn the oven on broil and roast them on the top rack until charred, rotating to get all sides blistered.
Step 2: Steam the Poblanos
Transfer the roasted poblanos into a gallon size ziplock bag or into a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the poblanos to steam for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Prepare the Other Ingredients
As the poblanos are steaming, slice the onion into thin strips, cut the corn off the cob, mince garlic and jalapeño, and shred cheese.
Cooking Tip: Cut the corn as close to the cob as possible and use a sharp knife rather than serrated. Slowly cut it as the corn has a mind of its own and wants to fly everyone. You can also cut it over a bowl, if that's easier to catch it.
Step 4: Prepare Rajas
Once the poblanos are finished steaming, remove the seeds, stems and charred skin from poblanos.
It's ok if a little bit of the skin remains. It will be difficult to get every last bit.
Next, cut the poblanos into strips, also known as rajas.
Step 5: Cook the Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Into a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, melt the butter. Toss in the onion, corn, jalapeño and salt and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until softened, stirring every few minutes.
Note: If the butter starts to burn, drop the heat to medium low.
Step 6: Add Rajas
Add in garlic and rajas and cook for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium low.
Step 7: Mix in the Creamy Ingredients.
Break the cream cheese into pieces and add it to the skillet, allowing it to melt for about 2 minutes. Stir well.
Decrease the heat to low, and add in the Mexican crema and ¾ of the cheese. Stir until nice and creamy and all the ingredients are incorporated.
Step 8: Bake
Transfer the Rajas con Crema to a baking dish and top with remaining ¼ of cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Step 9: Serve.
Allow this rajas recipe to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy on tacos, burgers, chicken, nachos or dunk a tortilla chip into it!
- Make sure to get the poblanos really charred on every portion of the pepper. This will help them to peel really easily.
- Don't skip the steaming in a bag portion. The skin will be much more difficult to remove without steaming. The skin of poblanos can be a papery and tough in texture, so you want as much off as possible.
- If the poblano skin is shriveled and the seeds look on the darker side, you may be dealing with a less fresh poblano and it might have more heat. If you don't want the rajas con crema to be too spicy, you may want to use less of the jalapeño or leave it out entirely in this case.
- When adding the cream cheese into the skillet, break it up into smaller pieces so it can melt faster.
- Use a block of Monterrey Jack versus pre-shredded. Pre-shredded, bagged cheese uses an anti-caking agent that helps the cheese not to stick. A block of cheese that you shred yourself will melt much better.
- Working with poblanos and jalapeño means hot oils can sometimes end up under your nails. Make sure to wash your hands really well or wear gloves. I've had some jalapeño oil in my eye before and it's not cool!
Rajas simply means strips. In Mexican dishes, it is referring to strips of peppers, usually poblano peppers that have been roasted with the skin and seeds removed, and are then cut into strips. Rajas mix really well with creamy, cheesy sauce, like in this rajas con crema recipe!
It's made up of cream and milk. It's similar to sour cream for its tangy flavor, but it has higher fat content and pours in a thick liquid form, like a heavy cream would pour. Mexican crema is delicious in sauces like this rajas con crema, or you can pour it directly over tacos and enchiladas.
Storing & Reheating:
If you're going to eat later in the day, leave it in the baking dish, and cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
If you are planning to eat it for the next few days, store it in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 3 days.
This recipe is really great to make ahead and heat back up. Allow it to come close to room temperature and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.
For a quick snack, you can use the microwave to heat it back up in 30 second increments until hot.