It’s New Mexican Green Chile season and the season is way to short in my opinion. Authentic New Mexican green chiles are usually sold late August-early September. You also might have heard of Hatch green chiles, which is a New Mexican green chile that is grown in the Hatch Valley. Years ago, my neighbor turned me on to them. She would order a 20lb. box (I’m sure she probably ordered more than that!) roast them and freeze them for use later throughout the year. Since then, almost every year I order a box from New Mexico, fire up the BBQ and roast those suckers, then freeze them for the winter. Well…freeze what I don’t eat right away for the winter. If you’ve never had fresh New Mexican green chiles you’re missing out. And if you miss the season, you can order frozen, already roasted chiles online…just do a google search, there’s several farmers that sell them.
So I have a big problem this year. You see, we’ll be moving soon and I can’t stock up my freezer which means I’m missing out on the fresh New Mexican green chiles this year 🙁 This is so sad to me. But even though I don’t have fresh green chiles, I will substitute canned green chiles from the grocery store just because I love chiles that much. And since I love this chile cheese casserole, that’s what I did this time since I don’t have any more fresh green chiles. It’s still awesome, and I would still recommend you make this dish!
This is such a simple dish to make and it’s fantastic with grilled steak or chicken. It also tastes great wrapped in a tortilla. I love to serve this dish to a crowd at pot lucks because everyone likes it and it’s always gone! Which is a problem because there’s never any leftovers for the next day.
The amount of cheese and chile you use will depend on how much you want to make. Want a 9×13 dish, use more cheese and chiles. Want an 8×8 dish, you’ll use a little less cheese and chiles. There’s really no exact proportions, and there’s no exact way to layer it. It’s kind of like a lasagna with the chiles taking place of the noodles. You can put a layer of chiles down, then layer all three of the cheeses, then repeat. Or, if you want more chiles, you can alternate layers chiles, cream cheese, chiles, monterey jack cheese, chiles, cheddar cheese, on and on for as many layers as you want! This way will use more chiles, which is great if you have a lot of them! Once it’s baked and all the cheese is ooey, gooey, and melty, just let it sit a few minutes to firm up a bit before serving.
Chile Cheese Casserole
Adjust the spiciness of this dish to your liking by using mild or hot chiles. And by all means, use canned green chiles if you don’t have fresh!
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1 block monterey jack cheese
- 1 block cheddar cheese
- Fresh, roasted New Mexican green chiles (amount depends on how many layers you want), or about
- 4 lg. cans whole green chiles (for 8x8 dish), drained and slit open to lay flat.
- Slice cream cheese, monterey jack cheese and cheddar cheese in slices (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick). Don’t use shredded cheese, it doesn’t work as well in this recipe. Layer an 8×8 casserole dish with chiles and cheeses. Two ways to do it and it doesn’t really matter how (I’ve done both): layer chiles, then all three cheeses, then another layer of chiles and another layer of the three cheeses. Or, chiles, cream cheese, chile, monterey jack cheese, chile, cheddar cheese, repeat as many layers as you want.
- Bake 350 degrees until cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit a bit to set up. Slice like lasagna and serve.
*This recipe uses canned green chiles which is great, but it’s totally awesome if you use fresh, roasted New Mexican chiles when they’re in season. I think it would be equally awesome with roasted poblano chiles. Use what you like!