Spicy Green Chile, Smoky Bacon, 3 Cheese Grown Up Mac and Cheese

Such a very long name, but I can’t help it.  There’s smoky crisp bacon, roasted green chiles, 3 different cheeses, butter and pasta – it’s really hard to come up with a quick, succinct, concise name.

Macaroni and Cheese is the name of the game.

Mac and Cheese MANIA!!!!!!

I’m joining Rachel and Brandy and a plethora of other food bloggers in the ultimate Mac and Cheese celebration!

green chile bacon mac and cheese

This isn’t your traditional mac and cheese – this is mac and cheese that makes your taste buds stand up and holler HELL YEAH – let’s do this!

Smoky chipotle powder, crisp bacon, sharp cheddar, onions, garlic, roasted poblano peppers and crisp smoked bacon.

Cast iron skillet mac and cheese

Did I mention that it’s topped with a buttery panko topping that gets baked to create a crisp, golden crust atop the delicious creamy, spicy goodness that is this smoky bacon, spicy green chile, 3 cheese mac and cheese

Oh – I don’t use just any pasta noodle either – I use Cavatappi because I love the textured swirls and how they allow for flavor to infuse and blend with every single twisted bit of goodness.

chipotle pepper green chile mac and cheese

This is the perfect dish for your next barbecue, family get together, or just because you feel like making a truly WOW dish.  This works as a side dish, or main dish, hell – you can eat it as an appetizer, if you want.  Just make it!

Spicy Green Chile, Smoky Bacon, 3 Cheese Grown Up Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Spicy Roasted Poblano Peppers, Smoky Chipotle Pepper Powder, Crispy bacon and more combine to make a southwest style mac and cheese that will knock your socks off!
Serves: 1 large skillet
  • 2 Roasted Poblano Peppers how to roast peppers, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked
  • 1 medium to large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 16 oz Cavatappi
  • 6 Tbsp butter - divided 2 Tbsp and 4 Tbsp
  • 7 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Cups milk
  • 2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 lb (16 oz) freshly grated cheese (I use equal parts Extra Sharp Cheddar, White Sharp Cheddar and Pepper Jack)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Cup panko bread crumbs
  • handful of cooked bacon and roasted poblano peppers
  1. Roast the peppers according to instructions, place them in the bag and set them aside to cool
  2. Cook bacon
  4. While the peppers and bacon are cooling, chop and mince the onions and garlic
  5. Skin, seed, and chop the poblanos - place about ¼ cup of the poblanos to the side for the topping
  6. Chop the bacon, and set a small amount to the side for the topping
  7. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter, add in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften and the smell makes your mouth water. Add in the diced poblanos and cook a few more minutes
  8. While this is cooking start a large pot of water boiling for your pasta
  9. Cook the pasta according to the package directions - drain, cover and set to the side
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the 4 Tbsp butter. Once the butter is melted, slowly start adding in the flour - whisking well with each addition to eliminate any clumps. Once all the flour has been incorporated it's time to slowly add the milk and spices (chipotle powder, ground mustard, pepper and salt) - whisking the entire time. Cook about 8 or 9 minutes, until the sauce thickens, stirring the entire time
  2. Once the sauce has thickened, add the cheese a handful at a time and stir until completely melted and the sauce is creamy.
  3. Add in the onion, garlic, poblano mixture, bacon and stir until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour the pasta into the pot with the sauce and stir to fully coat
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° F
  6. Pull out your largest oven safe skillet - baking dish or cast iron skillet and pour the 'mac' and cheese mixture into this.
  1. melt 1 Tbsp butter in a microwave safe dish, add in 1 C panko and stir to mix.
  2. Place this evenly over the pasta mixture and sprinkle the reserved bacon and poblanos evenly across the top
  3. Place in the oven to bake for 10 - 15 minutes - or until the cheese is bubbly and the top a crispy - gorgeous - golden brown.
  4. Serve immediately!

As if a WHOLE bunch of delicious and amazing Mac and cheese recipes isn’t enough – Mac and Cheese Mania has MORE TO OFFER!

mac and cheese mania

There’s a GIVEAWAY, too!

But it’s not over here! It’s over on Rachel and Brandy’s blogs!!!

I will tell y’all what’s up for grabs, though.

  • Prizes include: Door to Door Organics Gift Cards, OXO Gift Baskets, Zak Designs Prize Pack, a year’s supply of Cabot cheese, a Vermont Creamery gift basket, a risotto kit from Marx Foods, Barilla pasta, Anolon Advanced Bronze 4.5 Qt. Tapered Stockpot, Rachael Ray Stoneware Casseroval, Wusthof CLASSIC Studio Block Set, Microplane Graters and Kitchen Tools, a SavorX Starter Block with spices and Le Cordon Bleu by Swissmar oven to table roasters.

Mac and Cheese Mania is being sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO. In html: Mac and Cheese Mania is being sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO.

This post is not sponsored in any way, though!  I haven’t received any compensation, product etc…  I participated because I love creating recipes, sharing recipes, and I adore the ladies who put this all together!  Thanks for including me girls!!!


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    • says

      There’s just something about Cavatappi, right?! Gotta love comfort food, Gaby 😉 I think we need a bowl of this – a margarita and some of your kahlua cookies!

  1. Kim Beaulieu says

    This looks absolutely amazing. I’m a big fan of using different kinds of noodles. So many options, so little time. Chipotle makes my heart happy. Love your photos.

  2. says

    There’s a restaurant near me that is all about mac n’ cheese–seriously, it’s in the name! And they have some amazing mac and cheese combos that have now made me want to branch out and try something beyond just plain cheese. Your recipe looks super delicious so will be going to the top of my list!

  3. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says

    Love the green chiles in there. They go perfectly with the bacon, and I would love this for dinner!

  4. Cass says

    This sounds so yummy! I want to make it this week and I have a couple questions…
    -My grocery store often doesn’t have poblanos- could i sub with a red pepperand jalapeno?
    -Not a mustard fan and Ive never used ground mustard – should i halve the amount or its not overpowering?
    -Could I make pasta mixture ahead and then when ready to serve, add topping and bake as directed?
    Thanks in advance!!!

    • says

      Hi Cass!

      * yes you could – poblanos don’t have as much heat as a jalapeno – so that would be spicier. As long as you know your tolerance 😉 They are also known as pasilla peppers – I know some stores call them different things
      * It’s not overpowering at all.. it just adds a bit of depth – you could leave it out or even reduce it – your call
      * Absolutely! If you’re having the pasta and sauce from chilled – I would bake it covered to heat it all the way through and then remove the cover to crisp and bake the topping.


      • Cass says

        just wanted to let you know i ended up making this for a party this weekend and it was SO amazingly delicious. i ended up finding poblanos after calling a couple grocery stores so i followed the recipe exactly. i assembled everything thurs night and then on sat night i just reheated through (350 for 30 mins) and then added the topping for 15 more minutes. it was gone in literally 15 minutes! putting it all together did take a little longer than i anticipated (about 1.5 hours total) but it was totally worth it. thanks for the great recipe!!!!

        • says

          I’m SO excited to hear it! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and tell me! Glad that you found the peppers, and that it was a hit! Have a fabulous week, Cass!

  5. says

    Hi Rachel,

    One of my customers forwarded me this recipe and we’d love to feature it on the official Hatch Chile facebook page. Would you be OK with that? Also, as a thank you, we’d love to ship you a box of our flame roasted, hand peeled hatch green chile. Feel free to email me at admin@hatch-green-chile.com if you’d like a box. We’ll just need your address and confirmation of what you’d like (medium or hot).

    All The Best,
    Preston Mitchell
    The Hatch Chile Store


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