This Mexican-inspired baked macaroni and cheese with diced poblano chile, mushrooms and two kinds of Mexican cheese is an awesome vegetarian-friendly recipe you can serve as a main dish or a side. It’s a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dish that’s the perfect way to fill your belly during the fall and winter.
I love to serve this variation of mac and cheese inside of poblano chile boats for a dramatic, fun look (and to get more veggies in), but you can also bake it in a casserole dish if you like.
If you want to bake this pasta in a casserole dish, spray the dish with a little nonstick cooking spray, spoon into the dish, top with the breadcrumb and cotija mixture and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending how deep your casserole dish may be, you may need to increase the cooking time by 5-7 minutes.
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 medium poblano chiles (roasted, skins and seeds removed, and diced into small pieces)
- 4 large poblano chiles, cut in half lengthwise and seeds and veins removed
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 15 ounces Cacique® Queso Quesadilla, shredded
- 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Cacique® Queso Cotija, grated
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain pasta in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Roast and sweat two medium poblano chiles. Remove skin, seeds and veins, and then dice chile into small pieces.
- In a stock pot, add heavy cream, 2% milk, butter, Mexican oregano, dry mustard powder and kosher salt. Bring to a boil and after 2 minutes, reduce to a simmer. Add shredded Cacique® Queso Quesadilla to the stock pot and stir until cheese is melted completely.
- Add the macaroni, diced chile poblano and sliced mushrooms to the stock pot and stir well to coat. Simmer for 5-7 more minutes, until the mushrooms are slightly softened.
- On a parchment paper or aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, spoon macaroni mixture into the poblano chile halves. Mix breadcrumbs and grated Cacique® Queso Cotija in a small dish. Sprinkle generously over the top of each poblano chile filled with the macaroni mixture. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumb and cotija mixture has turned golden brown.