Spicy Hatch chiles are a Fall favorite in the Southwest. You can’t go wrong with your choice to either roast them for salsas or stuff them whole with meat and vegetables. This Hatch Chile Recipes Guide walks you through preparing, storing, and serving them. Read along as this will continue to be updated with new recipes and tips.
What are Hatch Chiles?
Hatch green chiles come out and play during the Fall season in the American Southwest. These seasonal chiles come from Hatch Valley in southern New Mexico, creating a passionate fan base throughout the states of Texas, Arizona, and southern California. Every year the reach seems to grow a little more, with online producers able to ship out the Hatch chiles across the country.
New Mexico hosts an annual Hatch Chile Festival, drawing in 30,000+ people to their tiny town for the celebration. These are a big deal! The big debate is typically choosing between Hatch red chiles or Hatch green chiles, which do have different flavors. The red tends to create a heat that lingers in the back of the throat, whereas the green is more crisp and sharp with heat up front.
There are many varieties of Hatch Chile Peppers. Red and green aren’t the only choices, there are other characteristics such as heat, pungency, and size that vary as well. Read here if you’d like to learn more about the different varieties.
Different Ways to Cook
Hatch chile recipes seem to be growing in popularity, exposing themselves to many new home cooks every year. The biggest question I always see is “How do I cook Hatch chiles?“
Use them fresh. They can be eaten raw, or cooked without having to roast and peel the skins. Hatch chiles have a crisp, bitter flavor similar to an Anaheim chile. There’s a lingering pungent flavor, similar to green onions. Cooking them does enhance their sweetness, also drawing out additional flavor compounds. Try out this Hatch Chile Rellenos recipe, using fresh chiles.
Roast them for enhanced flavors. You can certainly use them as-is, but to bring out the special buttery flavor that they are known for, roasting them is the key. Grilling them over high heat for a few minutes blisters the skin just enough that it will peel off, giving you the soft chiles to use for salsas, queso, toppings, stews, and so much more. One of my favorites would be Creamy Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese!
Roasting Hatch chiles happens to be the best way to prepare large batches for storage. Skinned and seeded, the chiles freeze extremely well for months at a time, allowing you to enjoy them throughout the winter. That’s if you don’t eat them all immediately. Just go buy extra.
How to Roast Hatch Chiles
The key is direct, high heat. You can even throw them directly in the coals if you want, but if you’re cooking up a big batch the grill or the oven will be the best options. Chiles are usually full of dirt, so make sure you rinse them well first.
- How to grill Hatch chiles: Heat up your grill, charcoal or gas, to a high heat similar to searing steaks around 450F. Make sure your grill is clean, and place the hatch chiles directly over the heat. They will blister, so rotate them as needed until each side has been charred.
- How to broil Hatch chiles: Place the chiles on a baking sheet in the oven using the broiler setting – about 6 inches away from the broiler element – roasting until the skin blisters and becomes charred on all sides. You will need to watch closely and flip the chiles after a few minutes.
Once the skin is evenly charred, place the hot chiles in a plastic bag, or sealed container. This allows them to sweat and steam, loosening up the skin.
Put on a pair of plastic gloves. After about 15 minutes have passed, you may take the chiles out and gently peel off the skin, removing the tops and the seeds.
Do NOT wash the Hatch chiles with water
This removes the natural oils and juices from the Hatch peppers and will reduce the flavor. Doing so will significantly reduce the lifespan of the chiles as well, should you choose to keep them in the fridge or freezer. Once you skin the chiles, you may use a paper towel to wipe off any excess charred skin if necessary.
How to Store
- Remove the skin, stem, and seeds before you freeze. It’s a huge mess when you thaw them out and have to attempt to clean them if you don’t. Trust me.
- Cool off the chiles before you store them. Warm chiles can grow bacteria. Set them on paper towels to pat them dry, and place them in a sealed freezer bag or vacuum-sealed bag before going into the freezer.
- Remove air from the bags. Vacuum-sealing is ideal, but if you’re using a zipped plastic bag you’ll want to press out as much air as possible before storing, even in the fridge.
- They do not last long in the fridge. Chiles have a lot of moisture and will go bad within 3-5 days in your fridge. They thaw easily and should be used quickly once thawed.
Storing hatch chiles is very simple and they will last for months in the freezer. There are always a few tips for success so here we go:
Recipes that use Hatch Chiles
You’ve roasted them, now you need to use them! Here are a few Hatch chile recipes you can use with the fresh hatch green chiles. I will continue to add more over time, providing you with a lot of options:
Hatch Chile Chimichurri Sauce
You must make this fresh blend of herbs, chiles, spices and fat. Hatch chile chimichurri belongs on anything roasted, smoked, or grilled.
Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
This simple recipe for roasted hatch chile salsa verde needs to be doubled. This smoky, fiery salsa will go on just about everything.
Roasted Hatch Chile Rellenos
These Roasted Hatch Chile Rellenos are stuffed with spiced ground pork, corn, and topped with cheese for a delicious melty explosion with each bite.
Smoked Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Hatch Chiles
This Stuffed Pork Tenderloin packs the flavor from the spicy hatch chiles, creamy cheese, and sweet BBQ rub. Rolled up and slowly smoked, this juicy meal will impress anyone.
Creamy Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
Creamy, luscious, decadent, and oh so cheesy, Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese is the ultimate celebration of Hatch chile season.