Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 4

Serve with Grapefruit, Walnut, and Feta Salad.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Step 3

While pasta cooks, cut chiles in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place chile halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 6 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Step 4

Combine breadcrumbs, oil, rind, and red pepper in a bowl. Place 3/4 cup milk, stock, flour, and garlic in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chiles, 1/4 cup milk, cheese, and next 4 ingredients until smooth. Stir in pasta. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with breadcrumb mixture. Broil 1 minute or until browned.

Ratings & Reviews

drmeghan's Review

June 21, 2014 was just ok. And that was AFTER adding a bunch of heat and seasonings to jazz it up. Was pretty bland made as is. Probably won't make again.

jwinkelman's Review

November 12, 2013
My hubby is a macaroni & cheese addict and loved this recipe. We doubled the recipe, but didn't have enough poblano chiles so we added 2 chipotles (in sauce) to make up for it. It added a little heat without being too spicy. Also didn't quite have enough queso cheese so added a little sharp cheddar to make up for the difference. We didn't find it bland at all, but maybe the addition of the chipotles and some sharp cheddar added some additional flavor. We also decided to bake it at 350 for 30 minutes rather than broiling it, so it could have giving it time for the flavors to meld together. Keeper for us.

sandycheek's Review

September 15, 2013

Ltlkitkat's Review

August 25, 2013

mlr8575's Review

July 02, 2013
I was really pumped about this recipe but found it to be very bland. The queso and roasted poblanos had so little favor that it was very underwhelming. I felt like it needed far more salt than the recipe called for just to get any flavor out of it. It was o.k. but there are far better mac & cheese recipes on this website.

CarrieLMB's Review

May 07, 2013
Turned out ok. Definitely creamier than I expected which was nice, but looking for a little more kick. Might try hotter peppers next time.

StephanieLark's Review

April 16, 2013
Great recipe. I must have picked some spicy poblanos because this wasn't a bland recipe at all. Used seashell pasta, as that was what I had on hand & added some vegetarian chipotle sausage to up the protein count. Hubby loved how rich & creamy it was! Great for lunches.

Carolrod's Review

April 16, 2013
My family really liked this. I used whole wheat penne, added extra garlic and red pepper based on some of the reviews that said it was bland. I also added southwest seasoned chicken and for the adults, diced jalapeno peppers at serving. It tasted kind of like a southwest version of chicken alfredo. With these modifications, it was delicious! Rating is generous considering modifications, but it was really good. I will make this again since queso cheese is a nice twist on the standard, but only on weekends when more time is available (it took about 45 minutes) plus clean up.

jmeleeS's Review

April 15, 2013
Just tried this recipe out last night - in the end I liked the recipe, but I had to make significant tweaks to make it taste like much of anything (and I had two gorgeous poblanos from the store!), so as written it gets a 1-star due to misrepresentation of total time to make and for taste (or lack thereof). If you insist on making this one to try it, make sure you allocate 40-50 minutes total to the dish because every stove / oven is different and both the broil time on the poblano as well as the "thickening" time for the sauce far exceeded (by 5 minutes at least on each step) the recipe stated times. Also, be sure to taste as you go - you will find it needs lots more seasoning; I grated extra garlic into the sauce, added cumin, corriander, smoked paprika, salt, and lots of red pepper to get any taste into this one. I would be surprised to hear that C.L. actually tested the mac out for flavor because it lacks any. Skip this one - a lot of effort to make and to clean-up.

sukeedog's Review

April 06, 2013
Very underwhelming, given the roasted poblanos and the queso quesadilla cheese (I even got the kind studded with jalapenos!). We just found it to be way too bland for us. I tried adding green chile chicken sausage to the leftovers - still meh.