It's hard to improve on homemade mac and cheese unless it's Hatch chile season! Hatch chile mac and cheese is a creamy, spicy, match made in heaven.
Nothing says August quite like the sight of Hatch chiles at the grocery store. These beauties only grow in Hatch, New Mexico, but we're close enough here in Arizona to get a good supply in each year.
And we love them! When I was shopping the other day, they had a massive Hatch chile display. Fresh ones, roasted ones, Hatch chile cheese dips, Hatch chile chips, and Hatch chile mac and cheese.
I can't remember the last time I made mac and cheese, but since I already grabbed a bag of fresh Hatch chiles, I HAD to run home and make some.
Usually, I find the more mild, green chiles at the store. They're similar to Anaheim or Poblanos, so if you don't have access to Hatch chiles, those make great substitutes. This year (maybe because it's been so hot?) there were tons of orange chiles available. They were labeled as hot, and boy were they ever!
I roasted them on the grill before adding them to the mac and cheese. Just two chiles added a nice amount of heat to this dish, and the creamy cheese did a great job of taming the fire.
This stovetop mac and cheese recipe is one of my favorites, but I can't take credit for it. It's from one of my favorite America's Test Kitchen Cookbooks and I tweaked it a bit for this recipe.
If you're not into chiles in your mac and cheese (what's wrong with you?!) you should still make this recipe. It's ridiculously easy because it cooks on the stove. I like to add breadcrumbs to the top so I pop it under the broiler for a minute, but that's totally optional.
It's a really easy 30 minute meal.
If you love Hatch chiles, make sure you check out my recipes for Pickled Hatch Chiles and Sweet Onions, and Baked Zucchini Fritters with Hatch Chiles and Roasted Corn. SO good!
Stovetop Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
- 2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped or more to taste
- 8 ounces small pasta macaroni, shells, orichiette
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounce evaporated milk regular or low fat
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha optional, if using mild chiles
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese grated
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup bread crumbs or panko
- If your chiles are fresh, roast them on a hot grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they're evenly charred. You can also char them under the broiler. Let them cool. Remove the papery outer charred skin with your fingers and chop them up.
- Fill a large saucepan with about 2 quarts of water, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add salt if desired.
- When the water is boiling add the pasta, and reduce the heat to medium high. Boil until the pasta is almost al dente. It should be slightly undercooked.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine half of the evaporated milk, the 2 eggs, mustard, and Sriracha if using. Whisk well to combine.
- Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Turn the heat down to low.
- Add the butter to the pasta, and let it melt. Add the evaporated milk and egg mixture, and half of the shredded cheese. Stir to combine and let the cheese melt.
- Add the remaining evaporated milk and the rest of the cheese. Stir everything well to combine.
- Add the chopped Hatch chiles and mix well.
- If desired, pour the mac and cheese into a casserole and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Place it under a hot broiler for a minute to let the crumbs toast.
- Let the mac and cheese sit for about 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will tighten up as it cools.
If you like a spicier mac and cheese, or if your chiles aren't super spicy, feel free to add more chiles.
Do you find Hatch chiles where you live?