Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
Believe it or not, the first time I got my hands on Hatch chiles was at the end of last summer. While I had heard of them for the longest time, there wasn’t a grocery store near me that carried them when they were in season. Then, after moving about 30 minutes away the year that my husband and I got married, I finally found a grocery store that went all-in on Hatch chile season! For a few weeks at the end of August and beginning of September, not only do they stock enormous piles of Hatch chiles in the store, but on the weekend, they roast them outside the front of the store, so you can buy them raw or roasted. It’s chile heaven!
I did my annual stock up last weekend and one of the first things I wanted to make was a fantastic macaroni and cheese loaded with Hatch chiles.
I’ve made what seems like a million different macaroni and cheese recipes; my very favorite is a simple béchamel sauce with cheese melted into it, a topping of melted butter and plain breadcrumbs, and the whole thing baked in the oven until the topping is browned and crisp. It’s simple, classic, and a perfect base for all sorts of different add-ins – including, of course, Hatch chiles!
They give this mac and cheese the perfect amount of spice, which I would classify as a “medium” on the mild-medium-hot scale of spiciness. If you can’t get your hands on Hatch chiles, you can substitute another green chile, such as poblanos or Anaheims.
Be prepared to want to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner; it’s totally addicting and my husband and I polished off the whole pan in an embarrassingly short amount of time.
Four years ago: Traditional Pavlova
Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
For the Macaroni and Cheese:
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) cavatappi pasta, or shaped pasta of your choice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (732 ml) whole milk
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups)
- 6 ounces (170.1 g) smoked gouda cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 Hatch chiles, roasted, seeded and finely chopped
For the Topping:
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) smoked gouda cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (108 g) plain breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Heat a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta; cover.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta according to the box directions for al dente pasta (if your box doesn't specify al dente, cook it for 1 to 2 minutes shorter than the time called for - it shouldn't be cooked the whole way through). When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it in a colander.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until the flour starts to brown a bit and smells nutty, whisking constantly. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the milk. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer.
- Once the sauce comes to a simmer, stir in 6 ounces each of the cheddar and gouda cheeses, adding a handful at a time and stirring with a wooden spoon until completely melted before adding the next handful. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked, drained pasta and Hatch chiles to the sauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is completely combined and evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the macaroni and cheese with the remaining shredded cheeses. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the cheese.
- Bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Substituted the hatch chiles for 3 finely chopped, roasted jalapeños – chefs kiss 🤌🏼! Modified the gouda for grated pepper Jack cheese and it was delicious. People at work asking me to make it for their family, haha
Amazing Mac and Cheese been looking for a great recipe and finally found it. This is going be be a great dish for Thanksgiving and any other occasion.
Delicious! I added grilled chicken and mixed it in to make a complete meal. Definitely going to be making again.
I doubled this recipe, and substituted plain panko breadcrumbs for the topping. It came out great! I will definitely be making this one again.
For cheap & easy bread crumbs (I resent buying supermarket bread crumbs, they are so heavily marked up)
Take a couple pieces of bread (good use for stale bread but dodesn’t need to be stale), throw in the oven at 140F until nice & hard. Smash up thoroughly using a mortar & pestle. Season lightly with salt & pepper, if desired toss in additional seasonings of your choice.
Yes I made this delicious mac and cheese, for a potluck at work…. I used to poblano peppers (which I fire roasted) and I also Incorporated some hatch chili cheese, and some gruyere cheese into the recipe, then topped it off with some Italian seasoned bread crumbs! It turned out very delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Oh my goodness!!! This was delicious! Best Mac and cheese I’ve ever made. I love the smokiness and slight heat from the hatch chile. I used medium heat Hatch Chile and it was just right. The creamy flavorful sauce with the crunchy breadcrumbs were a perfect combination. I only had panko breadcrumbs on hand and that was fantastic. This will be a staple go-to recipe for my family. Thanks again!
I converted this to Gluten-Free. I used 5 fresh roasted hatch peppers. I made it gluten free- by using gluten-free pasta, cornstarch and Gluten-Free breadcrumbs. For the sauce I used a bit more milk and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a recipe instead of the flour. Melted the butter as called for- then used Vita-mix to blend 1/4 cup cornstarch with the chilled milk. I also used the Vita-Mix to chop the peppers. I then mixed the milk/cornstarch mixture over med. heat with the butter and followed the recipe. After the cheese was melted in I thought the sauce needed a bit more. I added a touch of garlic powder, a bit of cayenne pepper, a dash of nutmeg, a dash of dried mustard, and about 1/4 cup of Trader Joes Salsa Verde. I felt like it needed a bit more as my hatch peppers were mild. It was really good.
See my previous comment for a full review ;-)
LOVE this recipe! I used Gouda instead of smoked Gouda because my husband and I aren’t the biggest fans of “smoked” anything. I get paranoid diverting from a recipe when I haven’t tried it at least once and was scared it would leave the dish lacking in flavor… that definitely wasn’t the case! This recipe is getting added to my dinner rotation ASAP! Other things I may change: I used store bought breadcrumbs but next time I think I’ll use panko or homemade breadcrumbs. The store bought breadcrumbs didn’t have the texture I wish it did. I also think I’ll use 3/4 or 1/2 cup breadcrumbs instead of 1 cup.
Can this dish be made the day before; short of baking it?
Hi Karyn, Yes, that will work!
This Mac and Cheese is so yummy! I made it last year as soon as the hatch chiles were in season and made it again yeasterday. Thank you for another great recipe!
Made this recipe today and it was a rousing success.
— Used frozen roasted and chopped hatch chiles from our local Trader Joe’s.
That worked really well, but did raise the question of how much of the chopped chiles package
comprised the equivalent of the five hatch chiles called for in the recipe.
Eyeballing it, I settled on roughly half of the 24oz package.
I portioned the [previously thawed] chiles with a slotted spoon.
The heat and texture were about right for our taste.
Note that we like some heat in our food.
— Used half-and-half instead of whole milk.
This was a gesture toward my wife’s preferences.
It was delicious, but would use whole milk next time.
Might use half-and-half again and use a regular spoon to portion the chiles.
The extra ‘chile juice’ might enhance both flavor and heat.
— Used panko bread-crumbs for the topping.
Again, this is something I did because of my wife’s preferences.
Basically, I am a fry-cook, curry-cook, and griller/BBQer.
Don’t really know if panko bread-crumbs qualify as ‘plain.’
But they worked!
Thank you for this recipe.
I am sharing it with our daughters.
It is classic!
I can’t get fresh roasted chilis where I live. What do you think would be an appropriate amount of the canned chopped ones to substitute?
Hi Caitlin, I didn’t measure them once chopped, but maybe ¼ cup to ½ cup?
I used 12 oz of roasted hatch chiles.
[See my review below]
That’s probably a little chile-heavy, but it worked for us.
Our local Food City in Arizona roasts them and labels them as to the amount of heat. I buy both unroasted and roasted then freeze some. I never have enough for all I want to use them for. This mac & cheese is in the oven now and I can’t wait.
This recipe needs to come with a warning. Do not eat if you are on a strict diet. It is delicious and habit forming. I used the medium Hatch chilies and we could have stood a little more heat. But it was still the best mac and cheese we’ve ever eaten. Thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe.
Hatch Chile..available Mild, Medium, Hot and Extra Hot.. They are awesome. Moved to New Mexico Sept. 2009. That was my first experience in buy and having roasted at the grocery store. They roast a box or bag, send it home with steaming and simmering from the roaster. Need to take a plastic tub in vehicle to carry the hot bag home. Once home, they need to be sorted and put in quart freezer bags. Put in the freezer ASAP. Some people fill the bag, I prefer to just have a few, easier to clean later. The longer they are in the freezer, the stronger they get. Lots of fantastic recipes, including Green Chile Stew and Green Chile Apple pie. They are even good fresh, take out the spline and seed and munch. I have also learned ask them to lightly roast, just enough to soften and char the outsides. When ready to use take out of the freezer(I only put 3 to 5 in a bag). scrape off the charred skins pieces and de-seed to reduce the heat. Messy but necessary. The smell when roasting is awesome, not a body perfume, but wonderful for the air. Enjoy!!
Hatch chiles? Count me in…this is an amazing recipe!~Carolyn
Seeing this recipe made my day! I grew up in New Mexico, about 2 hours from Hatch. I live in England and have access to frozen New Mexico green chile, but I miss the experience of smelling the fresh roasting chile in the autumn air. This is a smell that blankets pretty much all of New Mexico in the fall. I’m glad non New Mexican’s can no appreciate it as well. I’ll have to try your recipe with the next container I pick up. I hope you find many more delicious uses for your green chile – some people even put it on ice cream, or in apple pie (delicious)!
This sounds like a good one to try. I’ve about had an overload of mac ‘n cheese recipes. But this one caught my attention. Thanks for sharing.
Wishes for tasty dishes, Linda
Looks amazing! Going on my menu!! Nettie
A store here does the same thing and having read so much about Hatch chilies I decided to try them. They were so hot I couldn’t eat them — actually, I had to get rid of them because the fumes took my breath away.
Hi Sally, Oh no! Maybe I got a milder batch? This mac and cheese has a kick, but is definitely not really hot. Maybe because they were already roasted?
This looks delicious! I’m trying to stock up on freezer meals before my baby is due in October. Would this work? I assume you would assemble and then freeze prior to baking?
Hi Kelly, Yes, you could definitely freeze this. And, congratulations!
Looks amazing! Can you share the grocery store that you went to for the hatch chiles (fellow pittsburgher here)! Thanks!!
Hi Kristn! Sure – it was the Market District in Pine Twp. I just checked their website and it looks like this past weekend was the last weekend they’ll be roasting them. You may still be able to get the chiles, though!
They also sell them – and do the roasting – at Reyna’s in the Strip District. :)
I guess I’m one of those people who have never heard of Hatch chilies. I will definitely go to our local store and ask about them. We love HOT so I guess will spice up the macaroni. Thank you for sharing and a new ingredient we need to try.
Hatch Chile’s aren’t all that hot. Heat scale has jalapeños at 5,000. Hatch Chile’s are 1,500. Sear them, put in a bag to sweat. Pull off the skin, use the inner ribs and seeds (where the heat is) to your desires. They are for flavor.
Actually, we grow a wide variety of heat levels here in Hatch. Hatch chile refers to chile grown here in the Hatch Valley of Southern NM. Similar to a Vidalia onion, Hatch chile isn’t a single variety of chile. We actually grow several dozen varieties. The mildest have under 500 scoville heat units and the hottest have over 10,000.