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Don’t show up to the party with a boring side dish. Be bold and serve up this smoked creamy pasta infused with a kick of roasted green chiles.
What is Hatch green chile mac and cheese?
Let’s start with the chiles.
Hatch chile peppers are fresh green chiles grown in Hatch, New Mexico. They are similar to the Anaheim pepper but have a unique earthiness because they’re grown in nutrient-rich soil in a dry climate.
When they’re roasted, they are soft and tender and add a touch of mild heat to the creamy macaroni.
This Hatch chile mac recipe is really easy, because it doesn’t require you to make a roux or special cheese sauce.
Instead, the cheeses and dairy are blended with the cooked noodles and chiles and everything comes together as it smokes.
If you’re looking for a classic mac recipe without chiles, try Groark Boys BBQ Smoked Mac and Cheese. It’s one of the most popular recipes on my website.
- Macaroni Noodles: Classic macaroni noodles are elbow-shaped noodles. This is what I usually use, but you can also use shells.
- Hatch Chiles: Roast fresh chiles yourself or use canned diced green chiles. If you can’t find the Hatch variety, you can use Anaheim green chile peppers.
- Cheddar Cheese: Buy pre-shredded or shred it yourself. If you shred it yourself, it will be creamier, because pre-shredded cheese contains stabilizers to keep it from sticking together.
- Velveeta Cheese: Get a big 24-ounce block.
- Cream Cheese: Adding one block of cream cheese to this recipe helps make it extra creamy.
- Milk: You’ll need two cups. Whole milk is best. You could also use half and half.
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, garlic and cumin.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to smoke green chile mac and cheese
If you’re going to roast your own green chiles, start with your grill set to high heat. Then, for the smoking process, you’ll reduce the grill to 250F.
To save a step, you can roast your Hatch green chiles when they’re in season and then freeze them and use them in recipes later.
- STEP ONE: Heat your grill to high. Roast the green chiles over high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
- STEP TWO: Place the roasted chiles in a plastic bag for 2-3 minutes. Remove the skins, stems and seeds. Then chop.
- STEP THREE: Cook the elbow macaroni noodles in a large pot of water according to the package directions. Drain.
PRO TIP: Cook the noodles until they are al dente, which means they should still have a little bite to them. You don’t want them too soft, because they’ll continue cooking on the smoker.
- STEP FOUR: In a large 13 x 9 aluminum pan or baking dish, mix together the cooked pasta, seasoning, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, Velveeta and cream cheese. It’s a little easier to blend if you use your hands.
- STEP FIVE: Pour one cup of milk on top, covering evenly.
- STEP SIX: Heat your smoker to 250F degrees with an indirect heat zone. Place the pan of mac and cheese on the smoker. Smoke for 20 minutes. Stir. Smoke 20 more minutes and stir again.
- STEP SEVEN: Pour 1 cup of milk evenly over the pan. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Continue smoking for 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
How to serve green chile mac and cheese
Let the macaroni and cheese rest for 10-15 minutes. This will help ensure that all of the milk absorbs into the noodles, making the side dish deliciously soft and creamy.
Serve this homemade green chile macaroni and cheese recipe with your favorite BBQ or burgers.
Store leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When reheating it, pour in a little extra milk. This will help return it to its creamy state.
You can also freeze leftover mac and cheese for up to four months. For best results, let it thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Roast fresh chiles or use canned to save time
- Cook your pasta to al dente; it will keep cooking on the smoker
- Add the milk in two stages to guarantee creaminess
Frequently Asked Questions
No. I include the instructions for how to roast green chiles, but you can also use canned green chile or frozen chiles for this recipe.
Absolutely. Set your oven to 250F degrees and follow the recipe. The only thing that will be missing is the smoke.
This recipe calls for cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese and cream cheese. You can use mild, medium or sharp cheddar cheese, depending on how pungent you like your cheese.
You can also change up the recipe and use pepper jack cheese, Monterey jack cheese or even Oaxacan cheese.
I don’t recommend substituting the Velveeta processed cheese or cream cheese. They help with the creaminess.
No. You can use any pasta shape you like. I do recommend using a shape that has a cavity. That way the creamy sauce can ooze inside of it. Shells and orecchiette are other great options for this recipe.
More side dish recipes
More recipes with chiles
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Smoked Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
- 3 hatch chile peppers, 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 24 ozs velveeta, cubed
- 8 ozs cream cheese
- 2 cups milk
- Cook Noodles: Cook the noodles in salted water according to the package directions. Drain.
- Heat Grill: Heat the grill to high heat.
- Roast Chiles: Grill the chiles on the grill for 4-5 minutes per side until tender. Place in a plastic bag for 2-3 minutes. Remove skins, stems and seeds and chop.
- Mix: In a large 13 x 9 pan, combine the cooked noodles with the seasonings, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and the roasted chiles. Stir in the Velveeta and cream cheese. (It's a little easier if you use your hands)
- Add Milk: Pour 1 cup of milk on top, distributing evenly across the pan.
- Adjust Grill: Adjust the heat of your grill or smoker to 250F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
- Smoke: Smoke at 250F degrees for 20 minutes. Stir. Smoke 20 more minutes. Stir again.
- Add Milk: Pour 1 cup of milk evenly over the pan. Top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Smoke for 10 more minutes until brown and bubbly.
- Rest: Let rest for 10-15 minutes. The milk will continue to absorb into the noodles during the resting stage.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.