Cooking Green Chili Mac and Cheese for Beginners

Elevate your comfort food game with Green Chili Mac and Cheese, a bold and flavorful take on the beloved classic. This dish combines the creamy, cheesy goodness of traditional macaroni and cheese with the tangy kick of green chilies, creating a perfect balance of flavors that’s sure to excite your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a cozy meal to warm you up or a crowd-pleasing dish for your next gathering, this spicy twist on mac and cheese promises a deliciously satisfying experience that will leave everyone asking for seconds.




Why You’ll Love Green Chili Mac and Cheese:

  • Creamy and Spicy: A delightful combination of rich cheese sauce and the vibrant heat of green chilies.
  • Comforting: Offers the ultimate comfort food experience with an added layer of flavor.
  • Customizable: Easy to adjust the level of spiciness to suit your preference or audience.
  • Simple to Make: Just as straightforward as classic mac and cheese but with a tasty twist.

Ingredients Notes For Green Chili Mac and Cheese:

  • Pasta: Elbow macaroni is traditional, but feel free to use any short pasta you like.
  • Cheese: A mix of sharp cheddar for depth and Monterey Jack for creaminess works best. Consider adding some pepper jack for extra heat.
  • Green Chilies: Canned green chilies offer convenience and consistent flavor, but fresh roasted and peeled green chilies can elevate the dish.
  • Roux: A simple roux of butter and flour thickens the cheese sauce, ensuring it clings to the pasta beautifully.
  • Milk: Whole milk creates a rich and creamy sauce, but you can use a lower-fat option if preferred.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  2. Make the Roux: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour, and cook for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  3. Create the Sauce: Gradually add milk to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, then stir in the grated cheeses until smooth.
  4. Add Chilies: Stir in the green chilies, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine and Bake: Mix the cheese sauce with the cooked pasta, transfer to a baking dish, and if desired, top with breadcrumbs or extra cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until bubbly and golden on top.
  6. Serve: Enjoy hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or green onions for a pop of color and flavor.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Best reheated in the oven or microwave, with a splash of milk stirred in to keep the mac and cheese creamy.


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Cooking Green Chili Mac and Cheese for Beginners


  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole or 2% for creaminess)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 can (4 ounces) green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional for extra flavor)
  • Breadcrumbs or crushed tortilla chips for topping (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro or green onions, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the Pasta:
    • Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Make the Roux:
    • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously for about 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste, creating a roux.
  3. Add Milk:
    • Gradually add the milk while continuously whisking to prevent lumps. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken and is smooth.
  4. Add Cheese:
    • Lower the heat and add the grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, stirring until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
  5. Combine with Green Chilies:
    • Stir in the drained green chilies, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ground cumin (if using). Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Mix with Pasta:
    • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring to ensure the pasta is fully coated.
  7. Bake (Optional):
    • For a crispy top, transfer the mac and cheese to a greased baking dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs or crushed tortilla chips, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy.
  8. Serve:
    • Garnish with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions before serving, if desired.
  • Author: Maria

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