Love cheese? Love some heat? This Tomato Topped Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese is destined to become your new favorite mac and cheese!
This mac and cheese! This Hatch green chile mac and cheese!
This is one of those dishes where you can’t help but sit back and just say, “Damn.”
A luxurious, creamy, cheesy sauce kicked up with roasted Hatch green chiles surrounds the pasta and thinly sliced tomatoes add a summery, tangy touch. All this goodness is topped with crispy, buttery breadcrumbs.
This amazing Hatch green chile mac and cheese starts with a very special chile pepper that’s available fresh this time of year—the New Mexico “Hatch” chile pepper. The “Hatch” chile pepper is actually several different varieties grown in and around the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about Hatch green chiles.
These chile peppers are a popular ingredient in Southwestern cooking and are available in cans in the international food aisle all year long.
However, if you can snag some fresh chiles now, all you have to do is roast, peel, chop and freeze and you can use them all winter long. So much better than canned!
To roast Hatch chiles, preheat a broiler to high. Place the chiles on a rimmed baking sheet about six inches from the heating element and broil until they’re beginning to blister and blacken. Watch them carefully as this takes only about seven to eight minutes. Turn and broil another four to five minutes on the other side. Take them out of the oven and immediately cover with aluminum foil or invert another rimmed baking sheet over them so they steam. The process of steaming will make the skins much easier to remove.
Once cool, they’re ready to peel. I highly recommend wearing disposable gloves, as some of these chiles can be quite hot. (Voice of experience here!) Scrape the seeds, chop and freeze unused chiles in small portions to use in a variety of recipes where diced green chiles are called for.
I’ve made macaroni and cheese many, many times for clients. Here are some tips and things I’ve learned:
- Do not overcook the pasta. Just get it to the REALLY al dente side of al dente as it will soften more during baking.
- A light coating of oil tossed with the pasta helps keep it from absorbing too much of the sauce so you don’t get blown out, mushy pasta.
- I prefer the sauce not be overly thick. Before adding the cheese, you may think the sauce is too thin. The cheese is going to thicken the sauce a bit more as will the starch in the pasta. This definitely is not dry mac and cheese!
- If you’re having any difficulty getting the sauce super smooth, use an immersion blender to smooth it out. An immersion blender can help hide a multitude of sauce sins!
This recipe makes one very major pan of mac and cheese! If using a 13 x 9-inch pan, make sure it’s deeper than a conventional Pyrex-type baking dish. If you want to divide it into two pans, simply reduce the baking time.
Equipment used (affiliate link):
Hatch green chiles are the star of this over-the-top mac and cheese!
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil plus more for the baking dish
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole or 2% milk
- 4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
- 8-10 Hatch green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a deep 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions in salted water, being careful not to overcook (leave as al dente as possible). Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Drain well and toss with canola or vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Heat 6 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until sauce thickens slightly, being careful not to boil it. Add the cheese by handfuls, whisking after each addition. Keep whisking until cheese is incorporated and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Stir in macaroni and green chiles. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Place tomato slices over the top.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the breadcrumbs. Season breadcrumbs with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the tomatoes.
- Cover lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes or until hot, bubbling and breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Prep time does not include roasting chiles. I highly recommend buying a bunch then roast and freeze to have on hand all winter long. To save time, use canned diced green chiles, hot or mild.
MAKE AHEAD: Prepare to the point of baking and refrigerate until needed. Extend baking time if dish has been refrigerated.