Mar 9, 2015

Skillet Green Chili Mac & Cheese

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
The combination of the Velveeta and half & half keep the noodles velvety and rich while the diced green chilies add a southwestern twist.

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The winter blizzards got you down? Indulge in this rich comfort food with a twist. Even if you aren’t living in a state struck by record snowfall this year you can make this dish in solidarity with those feeling the cold. The green chilies in this aren’t overpowering by any means, they are subtle and give the dish a good flavor.

Even people who aren’t the biggest fans of chili will find this dish comforting in the cold winter months. I find that often when you bake mac and cheese, it becomes too dry rather than creamy. The combination of the Velveeta and half & half keep the noodles velvety and rich. If you don’t want to fully indulge, I like to serve the mac and cheese with a side salad.

Skillet Green Chili Mac & Cheese

green chili mac and cheese cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Green chilies – Canned diced green chilies are typically made from mild chilies like Anaheim (New Mexico chili), Poblano or Pasilla varieties. They add a great flavor to any recipe without adding much heat.
  • Cheddar cheese – Always use sharp Cheddar when cooking. If you use mild or medium Cheddar the flavor will cook out and the recipe will be lacking in that cheesy flavor.
  • Velveeta – Velveeta is a brand name by Kraft foods for a processed cheese block with a flavor similar to American cheese. It keeps this green chili mac and cheese extra creamy.
  • Monterey Jack cheese – Monterey Jack is a semi-hard, white cow’s milk cheese. It has a mild flavor and melts well.
  • Bechamel – Bechamel sauce is made from a roux base. Flour is cooked in butter to reduce the flavor of the flour in the sauce. It’s then simmered with whole milk to make a thick, creamy sauce as the base of this mac and cheese recipe. Once the cheese has been incorporated into the sauce it becomes a mornay sauce.
  • Pasta – I use elbow macaroni in this recipe though another shape like shells can also be used.
green chili skillet mac and cheese from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Green Chili Mac and Cheese

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta until just al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the onion and chilies. Heat the olive oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and green chilies, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Make the roux. Add the butter and allow to melt, then whisk in the flour, continuing to stir until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until thick, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese. Whisk in the Velveeta® cheese, a few cubes at a time, until it is all incorporated. Whisk in the cheddar cheese and the Monterey jack cheese until the mixture becomes smooth.
  5. Add the pasta to the cheese mixture. Next, add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture, and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Move the mac and cheese to a large cast iron skillet.
  6. Top with panko and broil. Heat the broiler to high. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese mixture with panko breadcrumbs and broil until the top is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure that it does not burn.
  7. Garnish and serve. Garnish the mac and cheese with cilantro and green onions then serve.
green chili skillet mac and cheese recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Try adding bacon or shredded chicken to this green chili mac and cheese recipe for added protein.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Skillet Green Chili Mac & Cheese

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 8 as a side, 4 as an entree

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup cubed Velveeta® cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the pasta until just al dente, drain and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and green chilies, stirring occasionally, until the onions become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter and allow to melt, then whisk in the flour, continuing to stir until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk in the Velveeta® cheese, a few cubes at a time, until it is all incorporated. Whisk in the cheddar cheese and the Monterey jack cheese until the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese mixture, and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Add to a large cast iron skillet.
  • Heat the broiler to high. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese mixture with panko breadcrumbs and broil until the top is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure that it does not burn.
  • Garnish the mac and cheese with cilantro and green onions then serve.

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