Chili Relleño Rolls

I've made up my mind.  Spring is finally here.  

I’m not jinxing it, this is just positive thinking. 

Here's my proof: 

#1 - We bought some gorgeous springtime ranunculus in Asheville last weekend. 
(I prefer to call these Redunkulas.  Kinda like redonkulous. Get it!?  FYI - These flowers were in my bridal bouquet. I said redonkulous a lot that day.  Get on board.) 

#2 - I finally went for a run yesterday on the Huckleberry Trail after a month-long hiatus. It was still quite chilly out and that is my excuse for not running very far. My legs are sore today, how pitiful. BUT, I didn't have to worry about people stretching in front of me or running the wrong direction on the rat race indoor track.  So hallelujah! 

Side note: My favorite things to do while exercising is think and talk about food. This may be slightly counterproductive. Within the first half mile yesterday, we had already discussed dinner plans (Healthified Chicken Parm for me!). Also, when I play racquetball with Mike, I’m constantly calling time-out to tell him about the latest, greatest food concoction that I've just thought up. Sound a little annoying? It is. Just ask Mike. 

#3 - There are humongous robins hopping around my back yard at all times. I don’t think I've ever seen robins so big.

Must be global warming.

So now that we've established that spring is happening, let’s talk about this redonkulously amazing appetizer.  
Or breakfast. Or better yet, dinner.

This dish was inspired by something I saw on the appetizer menu at L.A.B. in Asheville.  I LOVE chili relleños.  They are cheesy, and spicy, and gooey, and saucy, and a little crunchy.  But making them requires patience, which for me, is fleeting.  So I combined the flavors and ingredients of my favorite chili relleños recipe, added some amazingly spiced cream cheese and wrapped everything in crescent rolls.  We devoured these savory snacks while watching our new guilty pleasure

Long story short: I’m a genius. 

Printable recipe HERE


2 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used this new low fat Greek yogurt cream cheese I found in the store!)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 roll reduced-fat crescent rolls (makes 8 rolls)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups tomato sauce, seasoned with a dash of cinnamon and cumin 
(I used our homemade marinara sauce) 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the poblanos on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil on top. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping them half-way through to blacken each side.  Cool slightly.  Remove as much of the outer skin as you can. 

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each piece in half again, lengthwise, so you have 8 total strips of pepper.

Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, add the cream cheese, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, minced onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Prepare a baking sheet (spray with cooking spray or lay a silicone mat on top).  Gently unroll each crescent triangle onto the prepared baking sheet.  Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on each triangle.  Sprinkle some of the fresh cilantro on top of each triangle. Place 1 strip of pepper on each triangle, lengthwise, and then roll everything up into a crescent roll.  (This may seem like a lot of pepper for each roll, but since they are roasted, they aren't very spicy at all, so have no fear!)  Place each crescent roll seam-side down on the baking sheet so they seal during baking. 

Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Serve immediately with the warmed, seasoned tomato sauce. We also topped with some chopped poblano, charred corn and tomatoes. 


  1. I am glad I am not the only one who decided that Spring is here & is rejecting the reality. Positive thinking,right?

    Your rolls looks positively yummy :)

    1. Thanks so much Bibi :) We finally planted some flowers in the garden yesterday, so spring better be here now!


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