Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Oven baked macaroni and cheese casserole with roasted green chiles and corn.

We used a mixture of hatch, anaheim, and poblano chiles for this dish, but any combination of those you'd like will work. Just remember to taste test the chiles before adding them to the casserole. Even though these are mild green chiles, once in a while you'll get a hot one!

Some markets sell a "Mexican blend" of shredded cheese; feel free to use this cheese blend in this recipe.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded jack chese
  • 1/4 pound (1 cup, packed) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels (frozen is okay, if frozen, defrost before using)
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped roasted, seeded green chiles (or two 4 ounce cans diced roasted green chiles)*
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup panko or other breadcrumbs

*If you are roasting your own chiles (highly recommended), start with about 5-6 large green chiles—Hatch, Anaheims, or poblanos, or a mixture—and char them over a gas stove (see directions for roasting over a gas flame), under a broiler (roast until one side has blackened, then flip to blacken the other side), or on a grill. Place in a covered bowl to steam, then peel off the charred skin. Remove and discard the seeds and stems. 

Method

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1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Add the macaroni pasta. Return to a rolling boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 2 minutes less than the cooking time given on the pasta box instructions. The pasta should be mostly cooked, but still a little too firm to eat; it will complete its cooking in the oven. When the pasta is ready, drain it into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking.

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2 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat the milk in a small pot until it is steaming. Keep it warm while you continue with the dish.

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3 In an ovenproof pot such as a casserole or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly, stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. You don't want the roux to brown. Add the hot milk to the roux, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that lumps do not form. Whisk until smooth.

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4 Stir in the cheeses third at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition.

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5 Add the macaroni, chiles, corn and lime juice and stir until well combined.

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6 Top the mac and cheese with panko or breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes at 400°F, or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. Jenna

    Pinned this. I think we’ll make it soon!

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Looove the sound of this! Yum!

  3. Matt

    Oh my…is there a low carb version? :-/ Looks way too good.

    • Shelly

      Substitute half of the pasta with cauliflower.

    • Elena

      Use brown rice pasta or quinoa and corn pasta. That is all I use now and am extremely happy with the change. No more guilt :) I buy mine online by the case. It is a lot more economical that way.

      • Elizabeth Fitzmaurice

        Good idea! Might I ask where online you’ve been able to get a reasonable bulk price on any of those items? Thanks, Elena!

        • Elena

          I get them at Amazon. I also bought br rice lasagna and we could not tell the difference. I am leaning more towards the br rice noodles instead of the quinoa.

          Trader Joe’s also carried br rice spaghetti. That is the only pasta I could find there that was made of br rice.

          Once you try this, you may not go back. No guilt :)

      • Andrea Goldsmith

        These types of pastas are not low carb, but they are wheatless and may be gluten free. Carbohydrates are abundant in all grains and starch. Replacing some of the pasta with cauliflower does remove some carbohydrates, since cauliflower is a vegetable and not starchy.

        • Elena

          My bad – You are absolutely right about the carbs but at least one is eating something healthier than just empty calories. And, yes, they are gluten free.

          My husband has some skin issues and we found that not eating gluten has helped him tremendously. Now he eats arepas (a puffed up version of a taco shell).

          • Paul Gibson

            BGThere is a new product from Tolerant food…pasta made with 100% red lentils or 100% black beans. Obviously gluten free AND low carb….and high protein AND actually holds its form and texture better than any quinoa or brown rice pastas we’ve tried. Plus the red lentil one has a nice spicy flavor. One downside $8 for 12 ounces. But so worth it.

      • Bobbi

        Corn pasta is not low carb and is actually higher in calories than most other pastas.

        What do they fatten up cows with? Corn.

        • Elena

          I did say I prefer the br rice pasta.

          You are probably right about the corn and quinoa but at least there is fiber and not just empty calories.

    • Melissha Southard

      Sprouted grain pasta :)

  4. Ashley

    Looks divine! I love chili season!

  5. Lisa

    This look like the most delicious dish I can imagine. I can’t wait to make it. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those rare occasions when my kids actually thank me for dinner.

  6. dixya| food, pleasure, and health

    yum yum yum

  7. sheila

    I am all over this one Darlin’!! I’m going to have to ask about Hatch Chili’s though I don’t think I have ever seen them around here (michigan)…we must have them right?! I’ll ask. This looks amazing…all the flavors I love.

    • deb

      Hatch’s Chiles are a New Mexico specialty; they’re the best green chiles anywhere! They are ripe about this time every year, and there are roasting and canning and eating celebrations all around! Sometimes you can find them in the grocery store , canned, saying “Hatch’s.” If not, your best substitution is a regular green chile (many brands available). They are usually marketed as “mild” green chiles; you’re not looking for the heat of a jalapeno.

      • Terri

        Hi Deb — if you have opportunity to try the Pueblo chile, please do so. Also known as the Mira Sol chile, it’s out of Pueblo CO. Sometimes described as more floral and grassy than Hatch chiles. Certainly meatier. And, IMHO, tastier!

        • Celia

          Terri, I second that regarding the Pueblo Chile. I order every year, roast and freeze for the year. Very tasty and meaty, I order Vic Mauro brand of Pueblo Chili, the best.

          • Terri Maize

            Hi Celia —
            If you ever want great Pueblo Mira Sol chile that you can order online roasted-peeled-packaged frozen and 2 to 5 lbs, I can connect you. Chopped chile is also an option.
            BTW, I recently learned that the Pueblo Mira Sol chile genetics come from Mexico vs. via New Mexico, hence the chile’s distinct characteristics vs. Hatch and Anaheim.
            Warm regards, Terri

    • Elizabeth Fitzmaurice

      If you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, they carry Hatch green chiles (canned). Not as good as fresh but way better than any other canned green chile. I don’t think all Trader Joe’s carry exactly the same products so it may just be that I’m in luck here. Hope you can find them. But definitely fresh is best.

      If you become an addict (easy to do), you can order them online (Google New Mexico Hatch Chile) in either the fresh state (and you’ll have to roast and freeze them all yourself), or I think some companies will send you them already roasted and frozen in packages, packed in dry ice. It’ll cost you a pretty penny though :)

  8. Carmela

    Yummy yummy! That looks delicious!

  9. Candy C.

    Yum, yum! This looks heavenly! You are right, the combination of green chiles, corn and cheese is so, so good! I have one bag of locally grown, roasted green chiles left in the freezer from last year and they will be going into this dish. Thanks!

    • Candy C.

      Made this tonight for supper and I have to say that it is the best mac & cheese I have ever had! Thanks Elise for another great, great recipe! :)

  10. Karen

    If you ever do feel that you have too many chiles, you may send them my way and I will gladly take them off your hands.

    I was ECSTATIC to find some in the store the other day. They are not common cuisine.

    I have a craving for real mac & cheese lately, so this just sounds delicious!

  11. fabiola@notjustbaked

    Honestly, simply, yes please and thank you. Our markets are littered with the chiles up here as well, and I have been meaning to do some canning in the next couple of weeks. I can eat chiles of any kind all day long, but in mac and cheese, omg. I will eat the whole pot. thank you.

  12. sara

    Ok, I soooo need to try this…just looks fantastic!! Yum.

  13. LaWanda from Iowa

    Oh, my… Green Chile Mac and Cheese! What could be better? This is defintely going on my “to make” list!

  14. nikkipolani

    This was fantastic — even though I didn’t have corn and used padron peppers. I substituted the wheat flour with rice flour for the roux (which works quite well) and instead of panko or breadcrumbs, I used almond flour and slivered almonds for crunch. Easy gluten-free subs. And my dinner companion had heaping seconds :-)

    • Sandy S

      Thanks for the GF info! Love hearing that rice flour worked in the roux and your idea of slivered almonds! This put it on the To Do list!

  15. Alison

    Made pumpkin mac n’ cheese last week, gonna make this one next! Yum! ;)

  16. Sandra

    Can I make this and then portion it up into little containers for freezing?? (please let the answer be yes! :) )

  17. mantha

    I’m looking at this after a working all-nighter, no breakfast yet, and it’s almost lunchtime. I could eat the whole pan full and then sleep for three days. Taking the time to make the sauce from a roux puts it right over the top — the ultimate satisfying food.

  18. Jeff @ Cheeseburger

    The addition of corn was surprisingly great. I wouldn’t have thought that corn would be a delicious addition to mac and cheese.

  19. Jane H.

    OH, myyyyy!

    I visited New Mexico for the first time one winter break (I’m a teacher) in 1994, and I became addicted to Hatch chiles. My dear friend and host Susan, the first night of my visit, served spaghetti and red sauce—with the addition of a blob of green chiles she’d roasted and frozen the previous September. I was dubious…until I tasted. Swooning ensued.

    I know the serendipity of chiles, cheese, and corn, since I sort of invented a chile relleno casserole that is a regular in our “rotation.”

    I cannot WAIT to try this recipe…THANK YOU.

  20. David

    I made this for supper tonight. My wife and I loved it! Not too spicy for her and she can not handle really spicy food.

  21. Mimi

    Looks fabulous!

  22. Espahan

    Elise, you are brilliant. Green chile with mac and cheese. I roasted 25 pounds of hot Hatch chile for my freezer but keep pulling out packages to add to food everyday. Here is one more way to enjoy them.

  23. josie

    I live in Sydney, Australia I’m wondering where I can phurchase monterey jack cheese if not available can I substitute with other cheeses like cheedar tasty cheese and gruyere.

    • Elise

      I don’t recommend using gruyere; it doesn’t play well with the chile and corn. I would go all cheddar if Monterey Jack is not available.

  24. JoyofCooking

    This looks phenomenal! They’ve been roasting hatch chiles at the nearby Whole Foods recently–I’m definitely going to pick some up to give this a try.

  25. Christian Gehman

    Sounds more entertaining than Martha’s “Crack and Cheese” recipe …. thanks!

  26. Robyn

    Ohmygarsh… This looks like Comfort food with a capital C. Am going make it at the first available opportunity. As you say, it looks crazy good. Think it’ll work with habaneros?

  27. Graham

    Huge success with this recipe, I used jalapenos as my choice of chillis.

  28. Sarah

    Mmmm. I do something similar but add diced seeded tomatoes, black olives, and some chopped cilantro in addition to the chiles (usually jalapenos, because I like a little heat!). So good.

  29. Jim Gauntt

    Elise, we often find that mac and cheese is not creamy for us. If we make 1.5 recipes of the roux we could reserve some for serving, yes? Also, if this was mentioned forgive, but the best part of this might end up being the leftovers. We often cut into squares and re-Panko then freeze or refrigerate in serving sizes. When ready to use then thaw and deep fry – can’t wait

  30. Meredith

    Tastes kinda like a jalapeño popper. Yum!

  31. CWarnahan

    What size dutch oven/ovenproof pot is recommended? Roasted my peppers last night and will be making this for dinner this evening. Can’t wait!

  32. Jennifer

    I made this over the weekend and we had it with red snapper and grilled peppers. It was so good – thanks again for another great recipe! I used canned chilies because that’s all I had the energy for but I’ll bet it’s wonderful with fresh!

  33. Heather

    This looks amazing, but I was hoping to know the weight of 2 cups of elbow macaroni. Is this simply a pound of dry pasta? Thanks for any advice.

  34. Lee

    I have made this without the corn and lime juice but with a healthy dose of goat cheese. The goat cheese and chiles go together beautifully!

  35. Claire

    So delicious! I added onions and smothered the finished product with some sour cream, and I’m so making this over and over and over. Thanks!

    • Christian Gehman

      Minced onions, properly browned in a little butter — especially shallots or Vidalia onions — can be very good indeed. No need to go light, though they do change the nature of the beast a bit.

  36. Rosie

    Made this for dinner tonight and we all (hubby and 5 1/2 yr old included) loved it. Followed the recipe to the letter other than using 2% milk in lieu of non-fat but the sauce was just as rich and creamy. Thanks for giving me a reason to use those Hatch chile’s that I roasted and froze a month or so ago!

  37. Dave

    This was pretty good. My grocer was picked clean on chilis so I was only able to get three anaheims. They were enough to give a nice flavor, but I really wish I could have gotten more. I’m not sure what I did wrong the first time I made the sauce, but I needed to add a lot more milk to get it to a consistency where I could add the pasta. Still good though!

    I used the sauce again tonight and had zero problems the way the recipe is written. Instead of the chilis, I used bacon and broccoli tonight as I needed to use ‘em or toss ‘em. Can’t wait to dig in.

  38. Illa

    My boyfriend is a cheese loving Wisconsin guy with an equal love of chili peppers. This had him bouncing up and down (literally) saying yummy over and over. Great recipe! Will definitely make it again.

  39. Deena Kakaya

    I feel a few notches warmer just looking at this recipe! I love chilies with cheese. I tend to use chipotle with cauliflower cheese…magic. I hope that you’ll take a look at some of my recipes too. Xx

  40. Ashley

    Well, I had great plans for the leftovers, but, no. In our experience, served 3, then pot empty. Good thing husband was out of town. Excellent as it is, though some among us can never resist adding hot sauce.

  41. Amanda

    Looks sooooooooo good. Say I DO want the heat of jalapenos, would I just throw a couple of seeded ones in there. What do you think? We also don’t seem to have access to many varieties of peppers up here in ol’ Northern Canada. I never seem to find anything but jalapenos and the usual bell.

  42. Christian Gehman

    A much easier way to turn up the heat is to gently wave some Scotch Bonnet peppers through the milk while it heats. No seeds. Be careful. Wash your hands carefully after cutting a few large, easily retrievable shreds of a Scotch Bonnet. Use a fork and a small paring knife. Drop these SB Shreds in the milk while it heats. Fish them out before making the sauce. Alternatively, just add several extra jolts of Tabasco to the sauce.

  43. Kitty Wilcox

    I made it and it is delicious! Do pay attention to keeping the macaroni el dente .
    the sauce is delicious.

  44. Shannon

    Loved this recipe! It strongly suggests using fresh roasted peppers, and I couldn’t agree more. Using an open gas burner, this probably added about 10-15 minutes on to the cook time but it had such a great smokey flavor, and the roasting was way easier than I expected. We also oven roasted some brussels sprouts and broccoli and tossed them into the pasta at the same time as the roasted peppers, which was delicious. I also found that this needed a pinch of salt, but that can always be added after the fact.