Hatch Green Chile Recipes: From Mild to Fiery

Hatch green chiles: What makes these peppers so special? Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, we've got some Hatch green chile recipes you ought to try.

If you don’t live in New Mexico or the surrounding states, you may not be aware of Hatch green chiles and the cult following they’ve amassed over the decades. What makes these peppers so special that people come from as far as the east coast to buy them freshly roasted? Whether you side with the believers or the skeptics, we’ve got some Hatch green chile recipes you ought to try.

Why Try Hatch Green Chiles

Hatch green chiles hail from southern New Mexico. While you can buy canned green chiles, including those from the Hatch Chile Company (which aren’t necessarily grown in New Mexico), nothing beats the annual harvest that’s currently in progress.

Several varieties are grown that offer differing levels of heat. The 1904 variety is large and mild and a great place to start for those who aren’t accustomed to spicy food. The Big Jim variety is also on the large side, with heat levels that can be inconsistent but are generally in the medium range. The Sandia variety is smaller and hotter, and it’s perfect for anyone who loves both the taste and the burn of spicy chiles.

Hatch Green Chile Skeptics

Not everyone agrees Hatch green chiles are special. Dave DeWitt — named “The Pope of Peppers” by the New York Times — is a New Mexico resident and food historian. He offers some important clarifications regarding chiles; in particular, that there isn’t a green chile variety called Hatch, contrary to popular understanding. In the strictest terms, Hatch green chile is a misnomer.

Hatch green chiles are peppers grown in southern New Mexico. Varieties include 1904, Big Jim, and Sandia.

DeWitt also argues that the soil around Hatch doesn’t impart any differentiating qualities to the chiles grown there. He also maintains that only the Rincon and Mesilla Valleys exist in southern New Mexico; the Hatch Valley doesn’t exist.

We’re not going to dip a toe into this argument. We’re foodies, not fighters. Instead, we’re going to get busy cooking with these delicious Hatch green chile recipes we found.

Hatch Green Chile Recipes: Chile Verde

A ton of research and testing went into this recipe from Foodie Crush. It will take time: first, you’ve got to roast the chiles; next, you roast the tomatillos, onion, and garlic; then you brown the cubed pork sirloin; and finally, you put it all in the slow cooker. But the results look amazing, and they’re so versatile. We’re tempted just to grab some silverware and dig in.

Hatch Green Chile Recipes: Green Chile Mac and Cheese

We’re always looking for filling recipes that will satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, like this mac and cheese from Macheesmo. We love the addition of black beans and corn to give this dish even more Mexican flair without turning it into “salad covered in cheese sauce.” While nothing beats fresh Hatch chiles, this recipe will give you a good reason to freeze some to have at the ready this winter.

Hatch Green Chile Recipes: Hatch Chile Sweet Potato Cornbread

We’re big fans of cooking with cast iron skillets, so it’s no wonder we couldn’t resist this recipe from Budget Bytes. We love how sweet potato adds nutrients and helps cut down on the amount of granulated sugar in this recipe. Eat this cornbread as a side at dinner, or with eggs at breakfast. Beth offers great tips for roasting your chiles in the oven, including rubbing them with oil beforehand. Genius!

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