Green Chili Mac and Cheese

Green Chili Mac and Cheese: A Spicy Twist on a Classic Comfort Food

Are you looking to spice up your mac and cheese game? Look no further than this Green Chili Mac and Cheese recipe! Combining the creamy goodness of classic mac and cheese with the bold flavors of roasted green chilis, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your household. Whether you’re hosting a casual weeknight dinner or a weekend gathering with friends, this flavorful twist on a beloved comfort food is guaranteed to impress. Let’s dive into the recipe and explore some FAQs, variations, and even keto and low-carb options!


  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Canned Hatch Green Chilis (with juices)
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Whole Milk
  • Half and Half
  • Yellow Onion (a wedge)
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Cook the Macaroni: Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Green Chilis: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Add the canned Hatch green chilis (with juices) to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Make the Roux: Sprinkle all-purpose flour over the green chilis and stir to combine, creating a roux. Cook the roux for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  4. Add Dairy: Gradually pour in the whole milk and half and half, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Allow the mixture to simmer until it thickens slightly.
  5. Add Aromatics: Add the finely chopped yellow onion and minced garlic cloves to the sauce. Stir well and let the flavors meld together.
  6. Season and Cheese: Season the sauce with salt to taste. Gradually add the shredded Monterey Jack cheese and mild cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  7. Combine with Pasta: Add the cooked elbow macaroni to the cheese sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Serve the Green Chili Mac and Cheese hot, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro for a pop of color and flavor.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of green chilis according to your preference for spice. For a milder version, use fewer chilis or remove the seeds and membranes before adding them to the dish. Conversely, for extra heat, leave the seeds and membranes intact or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce.
  • Extra Cheese: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese to customize the flavor of your mac and cheese. Smoked gouda, pepper jack, or even blue cheese can add depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Protein Additions: Want to make this dish heartier? Consider adding cooked and shredded chicken, crumbled bacon, or diced ham to the mac and cheese for added protein and flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use fresh green chilis instead of canned?

A: Absolutely! If you have access to fresh green chilis, you can roast and peel them before adding them to the dish. Simply roast the chilis under a broiler or over an open flame until charred, then let them steam in a sealed container before removing the skins and chopping them for use in the recipe.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the Green Chili Mac and Cheese ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the mac and cheese gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk to loosen the sauce if needed.

Q: Is there a keto-friendly version of this recipe?

A: Absolutely! To make a keto-friendly version of this dish, simply swap the elbow macaroni for a low-carb pasta alternative such as zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles. You can also use heavy cream instead of whole milk and half and half to reduce the carb content further.

In conclusion, Green Chili Mac and Cheese is a delightful twist on a classic comfort food that’s perfect for satisfying your cravings for something creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy. With its flavorful combination of roasted green chilis, creamy cheese sauce, and tender pasta, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether you’re serving it as a main course for dinner or as a side dish for a potluck or gathering, this indulgent mac and cheese is guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters. So why not give it a try and add a little spice to your next meal?

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