Origin: American, North AmericaJump to Recipe
There are few things more homestyle American than Mac and Cheese. It truly seems to be a dish that bridges the gap between generations, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels. To dislike Mac and Cheese is simply, Un-American. With this recipe we take one of our favorite mac and cheese recipes and kick it up to the next level with the addition of Hatch chile peppers and smoked cheddar. Once you try this Smoky Hatch Mac and cheese, I guarantee you will never look back. (Disclaimer: If you are a college student I make no guarantee that you will not revert back to Easy Mac. That stuff is the bomb).
Making the Smoky Mac and Cheese
First, gather your ingredients. If you smoke your own cheese, then by all means put that smoky goodness to use. If you have not ventured down that trail yet, than most grocery stores carry smoked cheddar these days.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the smoked cheddar then shred all of the remaining cheeses. Shred the reserved 1/2 cup of the smoked cheddar and set aside for topping later. Cut the Velveeta into 1 inch cubes.
Dice the roasted Hatch Chiles and put aside. Those that have followed my blog know that Hatch green chiles are one of my favorite things ever. We take advantage every year during Hatch chile season to stock up on bushels of this delectable pepper. For those that can not find fresh roasted Hatch green chiles, you can usually find a diced version in a can. They are not nearly as good, but will work in a pinch. If you are interested in more Hatch chile recipes check out our Hatch Chile Verde or use them to make our Scratch Fire Roasted Beef Enchiladas.
After prepping all of the ingredients, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni until al dente per the package instructions. Drain the pasta.
Preheat your smoker or oven to 350 degrees. While the macaroni is boiling, combine cream, milk and butter in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat and warm until butter is melted.
Add mustard powder, nutmeg, pepper, salt and diced chiles and stir until combined. Add all the cheeses (except 1/2 cup of smoked cheddar reserved for topping) to the cooked pasta and pour sauce over the cheese and pasta. Stir the mixture well until just combined.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and pour the Hatch Mac and Cheese into it. Top it with 1/2 cup reserved Smoked Cheddar.
Bake until the cheddar is melted, about 25 minutes. If you are doing this in the oven or a pellet smoker, you can leave uncovered for the duration of cooking, covering if the cheese on top starts to look too brown. If you are using a smoker other than a pellet smoker, you may choose to cover the Macaroni and Cheese with foil half way through to avoid it taking on too much smoke flavor. For those using a ceramic style smoker make sure you have a place setter in place so you are cooking with indirect heat.
Bon appetite. Serve this up as part of your smoky BBQ spread or you can make it a meat by adding your favorite protein.
Finish the Smoky Mac and Cheese Carne Diem Style
The only thing better than Smoky Hatch Mac and Cheese is to top that cheesy goodness with meat. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Buffalo Chicken Mac: Topped with buffalo chicken
Brisket Mac: Topped with chopped brisket or burnt ends
Crab Mac and Cheese: Topped with Dungeness crab
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Smoky Hatch Mac and Cheese
- 8 oz Smoked Cheddar Cheese (shredded and divided)
- 4 oz Provolone Cheese (shredded)
- 4 oz Swiss Cheese (shredded)
- 8 oz Velveeta (1-inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup Mild Hatch Green Chiles (Roasted, skin removed, diced)
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 8 Tab Butter (1 stick)
- 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 16 oz Macaroni, cooked per package instructions
- Shred all the cheeses and reserve a 1/2 cup of the smoked cheddar. Cut the Velveeta into 1 inch cubes.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni until al dente per the package instructions. Drain.
- While boiling the macaroni, in a small sauce pan, combine cream, milk and butter over medium-low heat and warm until butter is melted.
- Add mustard powder, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and diced chiles and stir until combined.
- Preheat the smoker or oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all the cheeses (except 1/2 cup of Smoked Cheddar reserved for topping) to the cooked pasta and pour sauce over the cheese and pasta. Stir until just combined.
- Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and pour the pasta into it. Top with 1/2 cup reserved smoked cheddar.
- Bake until the cheddar is melted, about 25 minutes. Consider covering with foil half way through if using a smoker, to avoid it being overly smoky.