Smoked cheddar and spicy green chiles take this gooey green chile macaroni and cheese to the next level! Easy to make and a great way to level up your side dish game.
Mac ‘n’ cheese diehards, you’re in trouble today. You’re about to meet your new obsession.
A whole panful of it, in fact. Hopefully you have better luck than I do not demolishing it in a matter of days.
Everyone needs a good mac ‘n’ cheese twist up their sleeve and this green chile smoked cheddar version just does the job VERY well!
I’m personally a mac ‘n’ cheese purist a lot of the time, but occasionally I like to shake things up with a good mac loaded with the fun stuff.
This killer pan does the job. It’s spicy, it’s extra cheesy, a little bit smoky, and a definite crowd pleaser. Hello, side dish to beat ’em all!
This Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese features…
- A gooey, rich macaroni and cheese base
- Rich, smoky cheddar cheese and creamy Gruyere cheese
- Spicy green chiles in every bite
- A crispy panko breadcrumb topping
Making the Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Cheddar cheese
- Gruyere cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
- All-purpose flour
- Unsalted butter
- Green chiles
- Panko breadcrumbs
Choosing Your Cheese
We use a combo of smoked cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese for this macaroni and cheese. We find that the sharp, smoky flavors of the cheddar and the smooth creaminess of the Gruyere works best.
If you can’t find smoked cheddar cheese in your grocery store, regular cheddar cheese will work just fine! Mild, sharp, or extra-sharp all work great, just choose based on your preference.
Tips for Perfect Macaroni and Cheese
- Make a roux – A roux is just equal parts fat and flour that serve as the base for sauces. For this recipe, we will be using butter + flour + a little minced garlic and cooking them together in a medium saucepan until golden brown
- Add milk + cream slowly – use a whisk to incorporate the milk and cream into the roux, adding the liquids slowly and whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Melt cheese offheat – once the sauce is bubbly and thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the cheeses until fully melted. Adding the cheese offheat prevents it from burning.
- Use canned green chiles – while you can certainly roast your own chiles, we love the ease of using canned. You will need 1 cup of green chiles which equals about 3 (4 oz) cans.
- Bake macaroni and cheese – this is key to getting those incredible crispy baked edges! Plus you get to have that classic crispy breadcrumb topping.
- Try another cheese combo – cheddar + gouda, provolone + colby jack, etc. Feel free to experiment!
- Make it southwest-style – add a can of corn and a can of black beans for a hearty southwest mac!
- Skip the breadcrumbs – crushed Ritz crackers would be a great sub or just leave the topping off entirely.
Make Ahead Instructions
This macaroni and cheese can be assembled and stored in the fridge up to 2 days in advance.
When you are ready to bake, top the macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake per recipe instructions. Be aware, if you are cooking this macaroni from the fridge, you will need to add an extra 15-20 minutes to the cook time.
There’s really not much more to say about this mac ‘n’ cheese, you guys. It’s just plain cheesy goodness with a little spicy spin from the green chiles and it.is.dynamite.
If you haven’t quite nailed down your side dishes for the long Labor Day weekend, consider this mac your sign to make it happen this weekend!
Or just anytime, really. Breakfast is not off the table.
Watch this mac ‘n’ cheese made step by step on Google Web Stories!
Try these other comfort food sides on for size next time!
- Bursting Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
- Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Scalloped Potatoes
- Sun-Dried Tomato Mushroom Carbonara
Smoked Cheddar Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% or skim milk
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup shredded smoked cheddar
- 1 cup (3 4-oz cans) diced roasted green chiles, drained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 lb pasta shells (or your choice of shape) cooked according to package instructions until al dente
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Whisk in flour until smooth and let cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Slowly drizzle in milk and cream, whisking constantly until smooth and incorporated.
- Cook sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat and add cheeses and green chiles whisking until cheese is melted. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and add cayenne if using.
- Combine cooked pasta and sauce and scrape into prepared pan. Top with breadcrumbs.
- Bake macaroni and cheese at 400F 15-20 minutes until bubbly and top is browned. Serve macaroni hot and enjoy!