This Green Chile Mac and Cheese is a win win dinner in our house.
If I allowed it, my husband would live off of macaroni and cheese and if I had my way, everything would have spicy Mexican flavors in it. So to satisfy both of our cravings I made this creamy, cheesy, slightly spicy Green Chile Mac and Cheese. In case you haven’t noticed Hatch green chile season is upon us and I can’t get enough of them. If there’s ever a question as to where I might be, head to the nearest store or farmer’s market that is roasting chiles that day and you’ll find me hovering over them breathing in the smokey, spicy aroma and wiping drool from the corners of my mouth as I anxiously wait for the chiles to be ready.
If you are unfamiliar with Hatch chiles here is a little history on them. First off did you know chiles have been in existence for over 10,000 years?! New Mexico is the leading producer of chiles in the U.S. and Hatch, New Mexico is known as the chile capital of the world. Many people believe that chiles are vegetables, but they are actually a fruit according to horticulturists and a berry according to botanists (maybe this is why they taste so good in an apple pie)! A few nutrition facts about the green chile are, they have more vitamin C than citrus fruits, eating chile peppers helps you burn more calories by boosting your metabolism, the peppers have been known to give you the same kind of “high” that exercise can, and capsaicin (the active ingredient in chile peppers that gives them their heat) has been used to relieve back pain, joint pain, and muscle pain. So as you can see, these spicy little green peppers aren’t just for giving food a little heat! Now I know people tend to shy away from macaroni and cheese if they are watching what they eat. However, this version I’ve made for you is a little more figure friendly.
For starters I used whole wheat macaroni. But I don’t like whole wheat pasta you
whine say. I urge you to give it a try in this dish. With all the flavor from the sauce, cheese, and chiles, you hardly notice that the pasta is whole wheat. I also used a minimal amount of butter, 2 tablespoons, and instead of whole milk I switched it to skim. I chose to use a very flavorful cheddar cheese with Hatch green chiles in it which allowed me to use less cheese and still keep that rich flavor. So while this version of macaroni and cheese isn’t bursting with butter, cream, and mounds of cheese, it is still super creamy, cheesy, and most importantly packed full of that slightly spicy Hatch green chile flavor. The Green Chile Mac and Cheese makes a great meatless meal or if your prefer it would be great with some grilled chicken or even some chicken chopped up and added into the macaroni. However you decide to eat this mac and cheese I promise it will wake up your tastebuds and have you reaching for another scoop!