Green Chile Mac and Cheese


What could make mac & cheese even better? Taking it on a southwestern spin with roasted green chiles, corn, and jack cheese!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

So, our markets are awash with New Mexico Hatch green chiles right now, and our garden is bursting with poblanos and Anaheims.

This is not a bad problem to have.

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We may complain about the zucchini beast and her cousin the cucumber monster, but the chile plants? Uh uh. We roast and eat every one. Here’s my new favorite recipe for putting to good use garden or market green chiles—a green chile mac and cheese casserole, with corn. Yum!

This is so crazy good that even my friends who typically shy away from cheesy dishes asked for more. There’s something about the trio—green chiles, corn, and cheese—that’s irresistible. The splash of lime? Perfect.

Green Chile Mac Cheese

Green Chile Mac and Cheese Recipe

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

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.


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


1 Cook the macaroni very al dente: 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.

2 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3 Make a roux with butter and flour: 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.

4 Slowly whisk in milk, then the cheeses: Add the milk to the roux, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that lumps do not form. Whisk until smooth.

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

5 Stir in pasta, chiles, corn, lime juice, salt: Add the macaroni, chiles, corn and lime juice and stir until well combined. Taste for salt, add a teaspoon, less or more, if needed.

6 Top with panko and bake: 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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Chili Mac and Cheese, from Weelicious

Green Chile, Chicken and Bacon Mac and Cheese, from Picky Palate

Lobster Green Chile Mac and Cheese, from Rogue Gourmet

Green Chile Mac Cheese

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

61 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Diana

    Hi, Im going to make this today possibly. Can I used Green Chile powder and how much would I use?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Charles Rodkey Sr.

    In a word incredible. I have made many recipes and this is OUTSTANDING!!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Amy

    Great balance of yummy flavor. A keeper!


  4. Lynn

    Great idea to add the green chilies to Mac and cheese. I used the Sandi chili from a local farm In Albuquerque. And froze a full bushel when they were in season. These Have a great flavor, but a hot heat green chili…not an extra hot chili…just hot. Make sure all seeds are removed and skin is removed. I omitted the corn. I also used the Italian Cavatappi pasta and maybe about a half cup or more then recipe calls for. Nothing else was changed. I did discover the spiciness of the dish does increase in heat the next day.


  5. Leanne

    Awesome! My boyfriend’s mac always comes out too dry so I wanted something to blow his out of the water. This delivered! I did 2 T cornstarch:1 T flour to assist with the creaminess. Equal Colby jack to Mexican melting cheese. Half green chile with half poblano plus some other unidentified pepper from farmers mkt (a wee too spicy). Added bacon and tomato and then breadcrumbs for the last 10 minutes. Avo and Brussels sprouts on side. Will make again but without that mystery pepper. Thx for recipe!


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