You guys, this Chile Verde Mac and Cheese—sponsored by BUSH’S® Chili Beans—is rich, comforting and SO delish. Like seriously, I can’t stop eating this 😂
First, I need to take a quick moment to describe what this dish actually is, because to be honest, the flavors are familiar, but the recipe itself is my own unique creation. This Chile Verde Mac and Cheese is mainly a southwestern chile verde with macaroni and BUSH’S® Mild Pinto Chili Beans mixed in. Shredded Monterey Jack cheese is added at the end, and broiled until golden and bubbly.
So this is more of a chili mac with cheese on top, and not a mac and cheese with chile verde on top. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dig into the details. Continue reading for the recipe.
I picked up all the ingredients needed for this Chile Verde Mac and Cheese at my local Vons. They’ve got a fab selection of fresh produce and convenience products, so I can easily whip up a comfort food dish when the craving strikes. I found these BUSH’S® Mild Pinto Chili Beans in the canned vegetable section of Vons.
These pinto beans are simmered in a tangy chili sauce infused with tomatoes, chile peppers and garlic. In this recipe, the beans are swirled into the chile verde along with some of the chili sauce. The chili sauce adds depth of flavor while the beans add variety to each bite. These flavorful beans really stand out among all the other bold flavors in the dish!
To make Chile Verde Mac and Cheese, you start by blending up roasted tomatillos, poblano chiles and garlic along with fresh jalapeños, cilantro and lime. Then, you simmer bits of browned pork in the green sauce until tender and melting.
Once the pork is cooked through, you swirl in large elbow macaroni and BUSH’S® Mild Pinto Chili Beans. The macaroni will cook in the chile verde sauce, thickening the dish as well.
You can finish this Chile Verde Mac and Cheese in a few different ways. Pictured up top, the chile verde is spooned into smaller cast iron skillets, topped with cheese and broiled until golden and crispy. You can also just top the entire batch with cheese and broil in bulk. Finally, if you don’t want to broil the cheese, you can just fold the cheese in, infusing the whole chile verde with melty Monterey Jack goodness. Whichever method you choose, this Chile Verde Mac and Cheese will be 100% delicious.
Chile Verde Mac and Cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, skins removed and rinsed
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 poblano chiles
- 2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Kosher salt
- 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 12 ounces large elbow macaroni
- 1 can (16 ounce) can BUSH’S® Mild Pinto Chili Beans
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Place tomatillos, garlic and poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Check the garlic cloves, and if they’re golden brown, flip them. Broil for 3 minutes more, then check the garlic again. If the other side is golden, transfer them to a blender. At this point, flip the tomatillos and chiles if they are charred. Continue to broil the tomatillos and chiles until blackened in spots on the other side (about 5 minutes more).
Transfer the tomatillos to the blender and place chiles in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes, then remove skin and seeds. Chop and add to the blender along with jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. Blend until smooth.
Meanwhile, place pork on a foil-lined baking sheet and season both sides with salt and pepper. Broil on high until browned (about 8 minutes), flip each cube and boil until the other side is browned (about 8 minutes more). Set aside.
Warm olive oil in a large cast iron pot (or high-walled sauté pan) over medium heat, then add onion and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute more. Add oregano, tomatillo-chile sauce, chicken stock and browned pork (with any accumulated juices), stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pork is tender (2 to 3 hours). Stir from time to time to ensure the sauce isn’t burning on the bottom.
Add macaroni, Pinto Chili Beans and most of the sauce from the can (I think I had about 1 tablespoon leftover), stirring to combine. Return to a simmer, cover the pot and let cook until macaroni is al dente (about 10 minutes). You’ll want to stir occasionally to make sure the contents aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt.
To serve, spoon the Chile Verde Mac and Cheese into a small cast iron skillet. Top each skillet with cheese and broil on high until golden and bubbly. If you are serving the entire portion, you can top the whole pot with cheese and broil on high. You can also transfer to a baking dish, top with cheese and broil. Finally, if you don’t want to broil the cheese, you can just fold it in and enjoy as is.
This post has been sponsored by BUSH’S® Chili Beans. All thoughts and opinions are my own.24