Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Recipe

David Dial | Spiced Blog Updated

Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese bakes in a cast iron skillet. Cheesy and spicy comfort!

One of the coolest things about living in upstate New York is the awesome summer weather. Of course, I say that as it is currently well below freezing, and a warm summer day feels like a world away.

Once the weather starts turning warm-ish, we wander out of the house (sans winter coats, I might add) and start soaking in the rays. As soon as spring begins to think about arriving, we always end up heading up to Saratoga Springs to wander the streets.

Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Photo

If you’ve never visited Saratoga Springs, then put it on your must-visit list! It’s a quaint town with tons of charm, good shops, tasty restaurants and of course the racetrack.

The Saratoga Race Course is one of the oldest horse racing tracks in the country, and it just recently celebrated its 150th anniversary back in 2013.

Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Picture

I didn’t know much at all about horse racing before we moved up here, but you can’t help but be drawn to the track during the season (which runs in late summer every year). By many accounts, the track has not changed much in many years, either.

Picnic tables dot the grounds, and you can set up camp and watch the horses parade in from the paddocks prior to each race.

At just 175 miles from New York City, Saratoga benefits from weekenders wanting to escape the city each summer - especially once track season begins. A side benefit from the vacation appeal of Saratoga Springs? The restaurants.

This small city is home to some of the best restaurants in the region, and my wife and I often take the 20-minute drive up to enjoy a night out.

Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Image

Last summer, we were wandering along the main street of Saratoga Springs when we stepped into a local brewpub for a drink. We ended up staying for dinner, and it turned out that mac and cheese was one of the specialties at this brewpub.

Talk about my personal version of heaven! Good beer to drink and tasty mac and cheese to eat? Sign me up!

The mac and cheese is cooked and served in cast iron skillets, and I’m not just talking plain old Velveeta and shells here. I’m talking all kinds of awesome flavor varieties.

At one point, the owner stopped by our table, and we struck up a conversation about the tasty mac and cheese. He told me that if I could finish the entire skillet, then he would pay for it

. I’m always up for a good challenge, so I took him up on his offer. Little did I know that the skillet of mac and cheese was huge.

I’m not talking big. I’m talking huge.

I almost completed the challenge, but sadly I threw in the towel at about 3/4 of the skillet. (For the record, I totally could have finished that skillet… but I don’t think I would have been able to eat anything for the next 3 days.)

Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Pic

Inspired by this fun (and tasty) experience, I set out to create a delicious mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet here at home. A little bit of playing around in the kitchen led to this roasted poblano mac and cheese.

While I did exercise some self-control this time around, I still wanted to eat the entire skillet.

Macaroni and cheese is a childhood favorite, and it enjoys a permanent spot on my list of favorite comfort foods. This version includes roasted poblano peppers and a bit of sausage for a fun twist on a classic.

Enjoy!

Oh, are you sitting there wondering why you’ve heard of Saratoga Springs before? Well, think back. Way back.

Carly Simon referenced Sarotoga in her famous early 1970’s song, “You’re So Vain.” She refers to the Saratoga Race Course with the line, “I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won.” Now if only I could tell you who that song was about!

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Roasted Poblano Mac & Cheese Recipe

    6 Servings

Ingredients

For the Pasta:
  • 3 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 link Chorizo Sausage
  • 8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Aged Asiago Cheese, Grated
For the Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 1/4 cup Aged Asiago Cheese, Grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Rub the poblano peppers with the olive oil and place on a foil-lined sheet pan.
  3. Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes, or until skins have blistered. Remove peppers from oven and let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the chorizo sausage into 1/4" slices and then cut each slice in half. Cook in a medium fry pan for 8-10 minutes, or until browned. Set cooked sausage aside.
  5. At the same time, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  6. Once peppers have cooled, remove skins, seeds and stems. Dice the peppers and set aside.
  7. Heat milk in microwave until hot.
  8. Place a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter and heat until melted. Slowly whisk in the flour and mustard powder until smooth; continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  9. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened.
  10. Increase heat to medium and add the diced onion; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the salt, pepper and half of the grated cheddar cheese. Stir together until cheese has melted and mixture is smooth. Add cooked pasta and stir until well coated.
  12. Stir in the remaining cheddar cheese along with the Asiago cheese, diced Poblano peppers and cooked sausage.

To Make the Topping:

  1. Stir together the melted butter, bread crumbs, cheddar cheese and Asiago cheese. Spread the Topping evenly over the macaroni in the skillet.
  2. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly.

Recommended

Published:
Modified:
Author:
Cooking Method:
Baked
Cuisine:
Cast Iron Cooking
Category:
Dinners
Tags:
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Related Recipes:
Cast Iron Cooking Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Macaroni and Cheese Recipes, Cheese Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Baked Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Published:
Author: David Dial
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes
Total Time: 85 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 512
Calories 968

% Daily Value*
98%
Total Fat 64g
194%
  Saturated Fat 39g
62%
Sodium 1485mg
15%
Total Carbohydrate 44g
3%
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 6g
98%
Protein 49g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
David Dial

About David

David is bringing up the guy quotient here on Food Fanatic, representing all things Grilling in a big way. On his own site, Spiced, David covers every kind of culinary adventure.