Welcome to the world of culinary exploration where we are taking a trip down to the Southwest region of the United States. Today, I am thrilled to share with you my take on one of the most beloved comfort foods – mac and cheese. However, this is no ordinary mac and cheese recipe. It is an extraordinary twist on the traditional recipe that will leave you feeling satisfied and craving for more.
Introducing: Green Chili Mac & Cheese Recipe! A recipe that combines cheesy goodness with the perfect amount of spice for a savory experience that will leave your tastebuds dancing. This recipe has been inspired by the flavors of New Mexico and Arizona, where green chilies are commonly used in dishes to add a little kick.
This dish is the ultimate crowd-pleaser that will bring people together over a bowl of velvety smooth pasta laced with spicy notes. The ingredients used in this recipe are fresh, flavorful, and easy to find in your local grocery store or farmers’ market. If you’re ready to take your taste buds on a journey into Southwestern cuisine, then let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you a fan of comfort food? Do you love indulging in cheesy goodness? Then, make sure to add this green chili mac and cheese recipe to your list of favorite dishes!
This recipe is a perfect combination of velvety cheese and warm spices. The use of Hatch green chile, Anaheim chile, and mild green chilies give the dish a well-balanced yet spicy kick. The mixture of parmesan, asadero, extra-sharp cheddar, and pepper jack cheese creates an irresistibly creamy sauce.
But what makes this recipe unique is that it’s not just any ordinary mac and cheese. The inclusion of green tomatoes, orange bell peppers, and red onions adds a refreshing crunch to the dish. The addition of heavy cream elevates the creaminess, making it more decadent.
Moreover, with its versatility in pasta choices including ziti pasta, mostaccioli pasta or penne pasta one can quickly switch up the basis for their favorite macaroni and cheese style.
Not only is this recipe packed with flavor, but it’s also easy to make. With simple instructions to follow, even novice cooks can whip up a restaurant-quality dish in no time.
So go ahead and indulge in this one-of-a-kind green chili mac and cheese recipe. It’s the perfect comfort food for any occasion – from game day gatherings to weeknight dinners.
Here are all the ingredients you need to make this delicious Green Chili Mac & Cheese Recipe:
- 1 pound ziti pasta or penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions with salted water
- 2 cups elbow macaroni or mostaccioli pasta or Cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package instructions with salted water
- 1 Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup green tomato, diced
- 4 oz can mild green chilies
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 6 oz Asadero cheese, grated
- 8 oz Extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 oz Pepper Jack cheese, grated
Milk and Cream:
- 3 cups whole milk
- *1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Flour and Butter:
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp (or more) Roasting Fork Hatch Green Chile Salsa or Trader Joe’s Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
Make sure you have all these ingredients before starting to cook.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Cook the Pasta
First things first, let’s get our pasta cooked. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound of Ziti pasta, Mostaccioli pasta, or Penne pasta according to the package instructions until they’re cooked al dente. Once done, drain and set aside.
Step 2: Prep the Vegetables
Next, preheat your oven to 375°F. While it’s heating up, chop 1 yellow onion, and seed and dice 1 Anaheim chili, 1 orange bell pepper, and 1 red bell pepper. Mince 3 garlic cloves, slice 2 green onions, and roughly chop 1 green tomato. Drain 1 can of mild green chilies.
Step 3: Make the Cheese Sauce
Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour and stir constantly for about two minutes until the mixture begins to turn light brown in color.
Slowly pour in 3 cups whole milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps from forming until the mixture is smooth. Add in the drained green chilies, minced garlic, chopped green tomato, diced Anaheim chili, sliced green onions, diced orange bell pepper, diced red bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon each of salt and fresh ground black pepper, stirring occasionally as you go.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from heat and add in shredding cheese of your choice – I personally suggest using a combination of freshly shredded parmesan cheese, asadero cheese, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and pepper jack cheese for that extra flavor boost.
Stir everything together in the saucepan until it’s smooth and creamy.
Step 4: Combine Everything Together
Add cooked pasta to your saucepan with cheese sauce over medium heat , stirring frequently for 5-6 mins making sure all ingredients are being combined evenly .
Transfer everything to a baking dish and sprinkle with an additional cup of shredded pepper jack cheese on top.
Step 5: Bake
Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Garnish with some chopped fresh herbs such as chives or parsley if you’d like.
Now that’s what I call a dish packed with flavor! Enjoy your Green Chili Mac & Cheese hot out of the oven!
Substitutions and Variations
Green Chili Mac & Cheese is an incredibly versatile comfort food that can be customized to your personal preference. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:
– Pasta: Instead of ziti, penne, or mostaccioli pasta, you can use other types of pasta such as elbow macaroni, cavatappi pasta, or even whole-wheat pasta for a healthier twist.
– Cheeses: This recipe calls for a combination of Parmesan, Asadero, and extra-sharp cheddar cheese. However, you can experiment with other cheeses such as Pepper Jack, Monterey Jack, or even a four-cheese blend for a richer flavor.
– Heat level: If you prefer your dish to be less spicy, you can reduce the number of anaheim chili peppers or mild green chilies. Conversely, if you want to add more heat to your dish, try using jalapenos or serrano peppers instead.
– Protein: Green Chili Mac & Cheese is delicious on its own but adding protein such as chicken or bacon elevates it to another level. You can either cook the chicken separately or use pre-cooked shredded chicken. For bacon lovers, simply add cooked bacon pieces to the mac and cheese mixture before baking.
– Salsa verde: Adding salsa verde is an excellent way to amplify the heat and tanginess of this dish further. Try using Trader Joe’s Hatch Chile Salsa Verde or Roaring Fork Hatch Chile Verde if you can’t find fresh hatch green chilies in your area.
By experimenting with different variations and substitutions, you can create your unique and flavorful Green Chili Mac & Cheese.
Serving and Pairing
This Green Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is incredibly versatile and can be paired with a variety of sides or enjoyed simply on its own. It is perfect to serve as a side dish at a summer barbecue or as a hearty main dish for a cozy night in.
If you’re looking for something to serve alongside this comforting mac and cheese, I suggest keeping it simple yet delicious with some roasted vegetables. Try roasting some broccoli or asparagus with olive oil, salt, and fresh ground black pepper to bring out their natural sweetness and nuttiness.
For meat lovers, grilled chicken or steak would also make great choices. A juicy grilled chicken breast or a succulent ribeye steak seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder will complement the creamy, spicy flavors of the mac and cheese perfectly.
If you want to go full-on comfort food, I recommend pairing this Green Chili Mac and Cheese with some crispy bacon crumbles on top or a side of biscuits slathered with butter and honey.
As for drinks, you can never go wrong with a cold beer or a glass of chilled white wine. If you’re feeling festive, try serving this mac and cheese with some homemade margaritas or icy mojitos to balance out the heat from the green chilies.
Whatever your preference may be, this Green Chili Mac and Cheese recipe will surely satisfy your cravings and leave your taste buds begging for more!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
This recipe for Green Chili Mac & Cheese is an ideal dish for preparing ahead of time. Cook the macaroni and cheese as directed, then let it cool completely before refrigerating in an airtight container. You can store the macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator for up to three days.
When reheating, spoon the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish, then add a splash of milk or cream to loosen it up. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), then bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave.
One tip to keep in mind when reheating leftovers is to ensure that the macaroni and cheese does not dry out. By adding a little bit of liquid, like milk or cream, you can maintain its creamy texture and prevent it from tasting dry or overcooked.
If you plan on freezing this dish, it’s best to do so before baking. Freeze the macaroni and cheese in an airtight container for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.
Overall, this Green Chili Mac & Cheese recipe is convenient for busy weeknights or whenever you need an easy make-ahead meal. This also makes it a great option for potlucks, family gatherings or entertaining guests.
Tips for Perfect Results
To make sure you get the best dish possible from this Green Chili Mac and Cheese recipe, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Don’t overcook the pasta. It’s important to cook the pasta just until it’s al dente, or firm to the bite. Overcooking it can result in mushy mac and cheese.
2. Season well: Be generous with salt and fresh ground black pepper throughout cooking. Without enough seasoning, your green chili mac and cheese may be bland.
3. Keep the sauce creamy: Add more milk or heavy cream if your sauce is too thick, but be careful not to make it too thin.
4. Choose good quality cheeses: Use a blend of cheeses that melts well, like cheddar, parmesan, asadero cheese, or pepper jack cheese.
5. Experiment with toppings: Try adding roasted hatch green chili, green onion, chopped tomatoes or fresh cilantro on top to elevate the flavor profile of the dish.
6. Do not stir aggressively when combining ingredients: Gently fold in the pasta and cheese sauce; avoid stirring aggressively so the pasta doesn’t break apart and become mushy.
7. Allow sufficient time for baking: Make sure to give yourself enough baking time so that your mac and cheese has a crispy top layer and is heated through completely.
By following these tried-and-true tips for perfect results in making green chili mac and cheese recipe, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with a deliciously comforting meal that’ll bring them back wanting more!
In conclusion, the Green Chili Mac & Cheese recipe is a must-try for any culinary explorer. The combination of zesty chilies, savory cheese, and pasta cooked to perfection offers an explosion of flavors in every bite. With easy-to-follow instructions and readily available ingredients, this recipe offers versatility to suit individual preferences and dietary needs.
Not only is this mac and cheese recipe delicious, but it’s also highly customizable, providing endless possibilities for variations and substitutions. From swapping out pasta shapes and types of cheese to adding in bacon or chicken, this recipe can be tailored to fit any taste preference.
Whether you’re serving it as a main course or a side dish, the Green Chili Mac & Cheese is sure to impress your guests with its incredible flavor and uniqueness. Plus, with the ability to make it ahead of time and store it for later use, this dish is perfect for busy weeknights or meal prepping.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and get cooking! Trust me; once you’ve tried the Green Chili Mac & Cheese recipe, you won’t go back to regular mac and cheese again.
Green Chili Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups dried white breadcrumbs, coarsely crumbled
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt, to taste
Green Chili Crema
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 (13 ounce) can mild green chilies, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) or 13 ounces fresh stemmed, seeded, roasted, peeled green Anaheim chilies (about 1 1/2 cups)
- half a tomatillos, papery skin removed, sticky coating rinsed off, stemmed, chopped or half a green tomato, chopped and mixed with 1/2 t. lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 green onion, including green part, chopped
- salt, to taste
- 1 1 lb mini penne pasta (any short tubular pasta) or 1 lb mostaccioli pasta (any short tubular pasta)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 9 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 9 ounces queso asadero cheese (if you cannot find, substitute Monterey Jack, Muenster or Fontina)
- 1 1/2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese (finely grated, about 3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup minced yellow onion (4 ounces or about 1/2 large onion)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green poblano peppers (seeds removed) or 1/2 cup anaheim chili (seeds removed)
- 1/2 cup fresh sweet corn
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Breadcrumb Topping:.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, and garlic. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
- Green Chili Crema:.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and add the chiles, tomatillo, and garlic. Simmer gently for 2-4 minutes and then remove from the heat. Let cool.
- Pour mixture into a blender and liquefy. Add the green onion and liquefy. Season with salt to taste.
- Pour the crema through a single mesh strainer or sieve. The crema should be very smooth.
- Mac & Cheese:.
- Coat an 8- to 10-cup capacity, ovenproof casserole with vegetable spray or a dab of butter; or coat six 1½-cup capacity stoneware ramekins.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, add 1 teaspoons of salt, return to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until still al dente (but not until until fully tender).
- Remove the pasta pot from the stove and carefully drain in a large colander. Run cold water over the pasta to cool it to room temperature.
- Add pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the cheddar, queso Asadero, and Parmesan and toss. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and peppers and saute until just beginning to soften.
- Add the corn and stir to coat with butter. Stir in the flour and cook without browning for two minutes.
- Slowly pour in the Green Chile Crema and whisk constantly while bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and cheeses in the bowl. With a large spatula, fold to combine.
- Spoon into the prepared casserole, mounding slightly at the center. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb topping.
- Bake at 350º 30-40 minutes for a large casserole (or 10-15 minutes for individual ramekins), or until heated through and just bubbling. (High heat or excessively long cooking time may curdle the cheeses.).
- Broil for a minute or two to finish browning the top.
Your Own Notes
Recommended Recipes Just For You
Mishra Vikas is a digital nomad who loves to explore the world and learn about its cultures. As a programmer, backpacker, and cook, he enjoys sharing his adventures and cooking up delectable dishes. Writing about his experiences, creating tasty recipes, and discovering new places are some of his favorite activities. He’s an avid traveler and passionate chef, always on the lookout for an exciting new journey.