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Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

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This flavor packed poblano macaroni and cheese recipe is packed full of roasted poblano peppers, lots of cheese and just a hint of zesty lime.

Macaroni and cheese were a big part of my childhood.  My mom makes the best. No lie. She totally does.  I have also always been a purist when it comes to my mac and cheese.  Just cheese and noodles. No fancy breadcrumbs or any type of additions.  I just wanted cheese and noodles.

Then I grew up and started playing around with stuff. The addition of bacon is always good, and crispy bread crumbs on top are not so bad.  Then I had this poblano macaroni and cheese. My oh, my! It rocked my mac and cheese purist mind. It contains roasted poblano chiles, lots of seasoning and just a hint of lime.  This is not my mama’s mac and cheese…that is for sure!

It’s beautifully creamy yet still, has a nice stringy cheesiness to it. I loved the addition of the roasted poblano chiles because it added a nice depth of flavor that most mac and cheese does not have.  It could easily make dinner on its own or a perfect side dish. I served mine alongside some delicious fried pork chops.  I also used my grandmother’s cast iron skillet as the cooking vessel. It was a perfect choice.  And (in case you are worried) it’s not that hard to clean out the pan afterward

Also, I couldn’t find cotija cheese at my local store BUT I have made this several times and have been able to use the cotija in the recipe. Totally worth it! If you can get your hands on some it’s HIGHLY recommended!

{Looking for my delicious mac and cheese recipes? Try my Beer Bratwurst Macaroni and CheeseFive Cheese Mac and CheeseGorgonzola Bacon Mac and Cheese or my Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese.}

Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

This flavor packed poblano macaroni and cheese recipe is packed full of roasted poblano peppers, lots of cheese and just a hint of zesty lime.

Yield: 12 inch skillet

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 2 Poblano chiles
  • 8 oz. elbow pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (I could not find)

Source: The Homesick Texan Cookbook


Roast the poblano chilies under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tightly, and let the for 20 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Take the chiles out of the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stem and seeds and chop the chiles into 1-inch long pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to your package's directions ad then drain the pasta. (You want the pasta to be cooked but not mushy; cook for 5 minutes.)

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease a large baking dish or a large 12 inch cast-iron skillet, and pour the drained pasta into the dish.

In a pot (you can use the pot the pasta cooked in or you can do this while the pasta boils), on low heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook until a light brown, toasty paste is formed, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and stir until it's thickened a bit but still fluid, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard powder, cayenne, cumin, lime zest, cilantro, and chopped poblano chiles. Adjust seasonings and add salt and black pepper.

Slowly add half of the cheddar cheese and stir until it's melted and well combined into the sauce. (If the sauce has cooled too much and the cheese won't melt, return the pot to low heat on the stove seems a little thick return it to the stove until soft again. If however, the sauce gets too thick, like a custard, you can thin it by stirring in milk, a teaspoon at a time.) Pour sauce over pasta and top with the remaining half of the cheddar cheese and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese, and serve immediately.