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Roasting Hatch Green Chiles from New Mexico

Updated on August 14, 2013

Green Smothered Chicken Burrito

From El Pinto in Albuquerque New Mexico, green chile smothered chicken enchilada.
From El Pinto in Albuquerque New Mexico, green chile smothered chicken enchilada. | Source

Mouth Watering Green Chile Roasting Served Up TODAY!!

Nothing says autumn in New Mexico like the wafting smells of roasting green chilés. August is New Mexico green chile harvest time. The best green chiles are grown in New Mexico and the best are from Hatch New Mexico.

This season has been a bit dry in New Mexico. There were concerns earlier in the season that there was not enough ground water to serve the needs of the Hatch Chile fields. Help did come in the form of some rain.

However, many New Mexicans are touting this season’s freshly harvested Green Chiles as one of the best tasting crops they have had in years.

Do keep in mind that green chiles can come from mild heat to very hot heat. It is perfectly acceptable to ask how hot the chiles and the subsequent chile sauce is before you order. Also, keep in mind that fresh chiles tend to be hotter than frozen or canned chiles.

Here is a bit on how to roast these very special green chiles.

Hatch Green Chiles

Hatch Chiles
Hatch Chiles | Source

Purchasing Green Chiles

Your local grocer may not have green chiles but I bet the local Mexican Grocer DOES have a huge bin of green chiles.

I would start out with about two dozen nice fresh looking green chiles. Make sure there are no spots of any unsavory color like brown, black, or yellow. The Hatch Chiles should be about 6" to 9" long. See the picture above as a reference. These are Hatch Chiles from New Mexico and are being sold at a mainstream grocery store in New Mexico. You buy them by the burlap bag here!

Commercial Roasting at the Grocery Store

Every grocery is roasting these wonderful chiles in New Mexico!
Every grocery is roasting these wonderful chiles in New Mexico! | Source

Grocery Store

Many Mexican grocery stores will have big roasters outside their stores this time of year. They will be roasting 20 pound bags of Hatch Chiles as being purchased by people at their grocery store. The burlap bags will sweat them for the purchaser. Once you get home you may peel and freeze.

But you can roast your own and here is how to roast them at home:


Wash and pat dry the chiles. Here is the oh-so simple method to roasting chiles.

Roasting Hatch Chiles #1

Lay the chiles right on the gas burner. The gas burner should be on medium. As the chiles blister, turn them with tongs. Once they are blistered all over and charred black in many places, place them in a paper bag. Let them stay in the closed and sealed bag for 15-20 minutes. This is called sweating the Hatch Green Chiles. Removed them from the bag and skin them. Wear plastic gloves. You may then use them or freeze them for later use.

Roasting Hatch Chiles #2

Turn the oven on medium broil. Lay the chiles on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet (aluminum foil is for easy clean-up), and broil. Watch them blister and char. Then remove them and sweat them in the paper bag for 15 minutes. Again, peel, use and freeze. Be sure to wear plastic gloves for the peeling step.

Roasting Chile Notes: Some people freeze with the peels on and then peel them after they thaw.

Green Chile in New Mexico

Healthy Green Chile plant.
Healthy Green Chile plant. | Source

Frozen Green Chiles

I order from Biad Chile in Hatch New Mexico.  If you order from them DO let them know that I sent you!
I order from Biad Chile in Hatch New Mexico. If you order from them DO let them know that I sent you! | Source

Red or Green?

This is the state question and it refers to what your waitress or waiter will ask you when ordering New Mexico style Mexican food. Do you want your food smothered in green chiles or red chiles? It is perfectly acceptable to ask for Christmas which means half and half!

It is also acceptable to ask how hot the chiles and the subsequent sauces are that day. You will find that many authentic restaurants make their own sauces and salsas daily and therefore, the heat will vary with the chiles used that day.

Here are some other mouth watering recipes for the New Mexico Hatch Chile Connoisseur:

Canned Hatch Chiles are Yummy too!


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      What a delicious and original recipe.

      Great hub.


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