Homemade Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese

Green Chile Macaroni and CheeseHappy Green Chile month! That’s right, after some discussion with my assistant editor (aka my daughter), we’ve decided to celebrate green chilies all month long on the blog. This doesn’t mean there won’t be other features as we get closer to back to school and the glorious beginnings of football season, but you can expect at least one post each week to feature green chile, a favorite ingredient in our family. As the month goes by I’ll be sharing my favorite green chile enchilada recipe along with recipes that spice up some traditional favorites like risotto and maybe even bread.

As a start to this month of green chile goodness, I thought I’d start with a fun recipe that infuses one of my personal favorite dishes, macaroni and cheese, with the mild heat of green chile. I’ve had a few versions of this dish at different restaurants and wanted to try my own hand at it. The result is an intense combination of chile, cheese, and pasta that you’ll want to eat right out of the baking dish.

Recipe: Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese

Details

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. macaroni or similar pasta
  • 3 whole green chilies, roasted, peeled, and seeded.
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 3 oz. manchego cheese, grated, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1 ¼ c. whole milk
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz. queso asadero or provolone cheese, grated
  • 4 oz. green chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped. (about ½ c.)

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, toss with a little bit of olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  4. Puree the whole green chilies in a blender or small food processor. They should yield about ¼ to 1/3 cups of pureed chilies. Reserve the puree to use later in the sauce.
  5. Tear the corn tortillas into pieces and place them in a food processor mini chopper. Process until they resemble coarse corn meal. Add 1 oz. of the manchego chese to the chopper bowl and pulse until the entire mixture is uniform in size. Reserve the mixture to use as the topping.
  6. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  7. Sauté the onion in the butter until soft but not brown.
  8. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and cumin to the butter and onion and stir to combine.
  9. Pour the milk into the pan in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Raise the heat to medium high and continue whisking until the mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Whisk for 3 more minutes then reduce the heat to low.
  10. Stir the puree into the sauce then add the cheddar, queso asadero, and remaining manchego cheeses in small batches, stirring until each batch fully melts into the sauce.
  11. When all of the cheese is incorporated, add the chopped green chilies and stir to combine.
  12. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it with the sauce until the pasta is evenly coated.
  13. Pour the sauced pasta into the prepared baking dish. Spread the tortilla and cheese topping evenly over the top.
  14. Transfer to the 350 degree oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce bubbles.
  15. Turn the oven broiler on to high and broil for an additional 7-10 minutes until the topping is brown and crisp.
  16. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe for Success

  • “Green chilies” in the Southwest usually refer to the Anaheim variety of pepper grown predominantly in New Mexico. If you can’t find this variety, you can easily substitute poblano peppers in this recipe. You can also order fresh Hatch green chilies online if you want the authentic thing delivered to your door.
  • You peel green chilies the same way you peel other peppers, by roasting them until the skin blisters and letting them sweat in a plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap. It’s a very simple process and the skins rub right off. If you’ve never peeled a pepper before, watch this quick video to see how it’s done.
  • You may also be able buy green chilies roasted and peeled in cans at the grocery store. My favorite brand is the Hatch brand, but others will do in a pinch.
  • My goal when I created this recipe was for the green chile flavor to be intense and pervasive. If you like a more subtle flavor, you can reduce or omit the puree all together and just use the chopped chilies. If you like your chile on the hot side, you can add some hotter chilies into the mix.

3 Comments

  1. Love green chili! I have to remember to get mine this month.

  2. This recipe sounds so delicious!!

  3. Jennifer /

    YUM!!! This is now our new favorite Hatch mac & cheese (and we have tried several different ones). Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

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