Baked Mac and Cheese with Poblano Peppers

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers. They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Serves: 6-8 servings

16 oz macaroni pasta
4 tbsp salted butter
2 small poblano peppers or 1 large poblano pepper
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk (I used whole milk, but you can use 2% as well)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 tsp salt
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare your pasta according to package directions, set aside.
Heat up a large pot. Add butter, then chopped poblano peppers. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until peppers become softened. Add flour to coat the peppers. Cook for about 1 minute until flour/pepper mixture is golden brown. Add milk and broth.

Heat up liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low. The mixture should become thicker. Add in white cheddar, and ½ cup regular cheddar. Continue to mix until the cheese is melted. Add salt to taste.

Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Place macaroni in the pan, add in cheese sauce. Coat the macaroni. Sprinkle panko and remaining cheddar on top of the dish.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.