Creamy Mac and Cheese

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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2 1/2 cups milk (low fat is fine)
2 tsp oregano
1 lb elbow macaroni (or other small, cut pasta)

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeno (or poblano) peppers, roasted and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile with adobe sauce
black pepper


Start off by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. If you haven’t already roasted your peppers, thrown them on a baking sheet lined with foil, drizzle them in olive oil, and roast for 15-20 minutes (fine to start while the oven is preheating.)

Add salted water to a large pot and boil your noodles. You want them to be quite al dente. Add milk and oregano to a small saucepan and heat on medium-low for about 5 minutes, until small bubbles form around the edge of the milk. Turn the heat off and let it sit.

Grate the cheese, chop the peppers. When you’re ready to make the sauce, melt three tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Once the butter gets foamy, add the flour and stir with a whisk. Pour about 1/4 cup of milk into the butter and flour mixture, stir until smooth. Continue pouring the milk in small increments, stirring with a wire whisk. Stir in the grated cheese, cilantro, and roasted, chopped peppers. Add in a few dashes of salt and black pepper. Pour cheese sauce over the noodles and stir until coated.

Add to a butter pan (one 9 x 13 pan, or, for handy leftovers, two 9×9 or similar pans). Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 15-20 minutes, until breadcrumbs are browned.