This Green Chile Mac and Cheese is sure to be a new family favorite! This extra cheesy mac and cheese recipe is made with two types of cheese and is taken to the next level with the addition of green chiles, chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika. Topped with a buttery, crunchy topping and and baked to perfection, this mac and cheese definitely aims to please!
Love mac and cheese? Try my Chili Mac and Cheese, classic Mac and Cheese and this delicious Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese!
Green Chile Mac and Cheese Recipe
Green Chile Mac and Cheese might seem like one of those dishes that requires a ton of effort, but really, it’s super simple and easy to prepare! Great for family dinners, game day or even as a delicious side for the holidays. You can crank up the spice level or tone it down for more sensitive guests.
Serve it as a side dish or add in your favorite meat or veggie options and turn it into a main entree. The smoky flavors mixed with cheese and pasta make this a crowd favorite every time!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The flavor.The pepper jack cheese, diced green chiles, chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika combine with the cheddar cheese to take this traditional recipe to the next level. You can control the spice level but we like to bring on the heat!
- The cheese. The type of cheese really makes all the difference. With this recipe you’ll want to use block cheese that is freshly shredded so it melts smoothly. Pre-shredded cheese just doesn’t melt the same and you’ll really be able to tell in the taste and consistency of the final dish.
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What You’ll Need
This Green Chile Mac and Cheese is a little cheesy, a little spicy and a whole lot delicious! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
- macaroni – Cooked. You can also substitute the elbow macaroni for any pasta shape of your choice. Bow tie or spiral are always fun options.
- butter – Salted and divided. You can of course use unsalted but you may want to throw in a dash of salt and pepper along with your seasonings for taste.
- flour – All purpose flour combined with the butter and milk will create the roux which is the base of the cheese sauce.
- milk – I like to use whole milk for the richer flavor and texture but you can use whatever you prefer.
- seasonings – Chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika adds a little heat and a lot of flavor to this easy mac and cheese.
- cheese – I prefer to use pepper jack and a mild or sharp cheddar to go with the green chiles but if you have another cheese you love – use it!
- green chiles – Diced green chiles add a ton of flavor to this recipe.
- Panko breadcrumbs – The breadcrumbs are combined with butter to create a tasty, crunchy topping!
How To Make Green Chile Mac and Cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the salted butter and flour in a large skillet. Stir until the butter has completely melted, creating a roux.
- Whisk in the whole milk, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, pepper jack cheese and cheddar cheese.
- Stir continuously until all the cheese has melted.
- Add in the cooked macaroni pasta to the cheese mixture and combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Fold the diced green chiles until they are evenly distributed.
- Melt the butter and combine with your breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture in an even layer over the macaroni.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is a crispy golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
- Serve and enjoy.
Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days.
You can freeze this mac and cheese for up to 3 months. Wait until the dish cools completely before transferring to a freezer safe, airtight container. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat, pop in the microwave and heat until warm.
Mac and Cheese FAQs
When it comes to flavor this recipe calls for both pepper jack and mild cheddar. In my opinion you really need both to get that blend of classic and spicy. As for buying cheese, I recommend a fresh block. Avoid the bags of pre shredded cheese (even if it does save a bit of time). Freshly shredding your cheese is worth the time and effort. It melts and blends so much easier and the taste doesn’t compare.
If you’re wanting protein, cooked ground beef (or turkey or chicken), sliced baked chicken, or even bacon are mouthwatering options. To add some veggies to this dish try diced tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, and mushrooms.
Absolutely! Prepare the recipe as directed but wait to add the topping right before baking. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let the dish sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats so it’s not going in super cold. Also allow additional time for baking since the entire casserole will be chilled. You can freeze this mac and cheese for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then proceed as directed above.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Freshly grated cheese will melt the best and won’t get gritty like pre-shredded cheese might. Pre-shredded cheese is drier and is coated with an anti-coagulant and won’t melt nearly as well as freshly grated cheese.
- For those who aren’t as keen on spice, feel free to leave out the chipotle chili powder. You can also cut the amount of diced green chiles by half.
- Don’t stop stirring when it comes to the cheese mixture! This is so important otherwise the cheese may begin to burn and stick to the bottom of your pot.
- Cheddar is my go to for this recipe. I love the sharp flavor and find that it doesn’t overpower the pepper jack.
More Cheesy Recipes To Try
- Cheeseburger Casserole
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Stuffed Shells
- Cheesy Green Chile Rice Casserole
- Cheesy Potatoes
How To Make Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces macaroni cooked
- 6 tablespoons salted butter divided
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese shredded
- 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese shredded
- ⅓ cup diced green chiles
- ⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons salted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet, whisk the butter and flour together until the butter has completely melted.6 tablespoons salted butter, ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Whisk in the milk, spices and cheese. Stir the mixture continuously until the cheese has completely melted.2½ cups whole milk, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese
- Fold the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce and transfer to the prepared baking dish.16 ounces macaroni
- Stir in the diced green chiles until they are evenly distributed among the pasta.⅓ cup diced green chiles
- Combine the melted butter with the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the pasta and bake the dish for 25 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.3 tablespoons salted butter, ⅔ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Serve and enjoy!
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