Hatch Chile Rice Casserole

It’s Friday! It’s Friday!

Let’s talk current obsessions!

First I’ll tell you mine! Then you tell me yours! And at some point I’ll stop using exclamation marks!


Current Obsession #1:  Headbands.

When you have a mess of curly, curly hair like me, headbands are hella helpful. But I don’t like headbands that fall off or cling tighter than Kim Kardashian to Kanye, so these no-slip bands from Goody are my bands of choice.

They really do stay put, even while you’re working out, but they don’t cause headaches or anything. Plus they’re colorful and cute – you can coordinate them to your outfit! Bang!

Current Obsession #2:  TV shows about gypsies.

Whether it’s their weddings or their American lives, I’m buying what gypsies are selling on TV these days. It’s just good, clean (not always) gypsy fun. And I can’t stop watching.

Current Obsession #3:  Hatch chiles.

Hatch season is gearing up and I’m busy writing bonkers recipes involving these little gems. You can find them mild or hot and  when they’re plump, fresh, firm and waxy like the ones shown above, they’re just about bursting with spicy flavor. Wait until you see what they’re going to do to this rice casserole!

I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but

Current Obsession #4:  Weck Jars.

Y’all know how much I love making my own condiments, and it’s so much more economical and time-smart to make them in big batches, so I need to have something to store my dips, sauces, salsas and marinades in. Enter the glass jar!

I prefer to store my homemade condiments in glass instead of plastic, and Weck canning jars are just about the prettiest around. I can’t wait for the holiday season when I plan on churning out silly amounts of condiments in Weck jars that will just be adorably giftable.

So I’ve told you about my current obsessions and now I’m going to tell you about some rice. Specifically some rice that grew up to be a ridiculously delicious spicy, cheesy casserole.

I’m pretty sure this casserole is going to get added to the list of current obsessions as lucky #5.

In addition to being flavorful and tummy-filling, said casserole is also very easy to throw together.

Which is a good thing because you have some headbands to buy, gypsy shows to DVR, and Weck canning jars to put stuff in.

And you need to tell me what you’re currently obsessing over! Using lots of exclamation marks!

Hatch Chile Rice Casserole

5 c. extra-long grain or long grain rice, cooked
2 c. Oaxaca cheese (mozzarella is a perfect substitution here), shredded
1 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 c. crema (sour cream may be substituted here)
2 c. Hatch chiles, stemmed, diced (This is about 5 fresh chiles. If you have the choice, I recommend going for mild Hatches here and simply including the seeds in with the chopped chile flesh. If you don’t have access to fresh mild Hatch chiles, Anaheim chiles will make the best substitute.)
1 c. red onion, diced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium flame. Add the chile pieces and sauté for approximately 2 minutes. Add the red onion and sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for just 2 minutes more. Season with salt, black pepper and cumin, remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once the cooked mixture has cooled, place it in the bowl of a food processer fitted with a steel blade and process it to a smooth purée. Remove to a large bowl. Add the rice, Oaxaca/mozzarella cheese and crema and toss until well-mixed. Carefully pour the rice into a 2 quart baking dish and top with the Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. You may choose to finish the casserole by placing it under a low broiler for 3-5 additional minutes to get the top extra-golden brown. Serve immediately.

YIELD:  approximately 6 servings


  1. 18

    Rosa says

    Made it! It was delicious. I skipped the cumin and used roasted Hatch chiles. Everyone loved it! Very easy recipe and feeds a crowd. Going to be making this until I run out of chiles.

  2. 17


    I can’t wait to try this. I ordered Hatch chilies from TX and they shipped me 5 lbs and had a chili roast in the yard. I have so many frozen. Thank you!

  3. 15

    Cooknotchef says

    I can’t wait to make this for my pig roast this w/end. Got a 75 pound oinker ready to throw in the la caja china. In other news, if those young gypsy ladies in the photo would like to swing by, let them know about the party. I’m sure my wife will understand. Thnx, LOVE your blog!

    • Meagan says

      Sakes alive, sir! You had me at a caja china pig roast and locked me down with your love of gypsy lasses. Can I score an invite if I promise to wear my gypsiest finery??

  4. 13


    Oooh this looks so good!! And I’m so late the party on the Weck obsession, I’m trying to hold myself back more than anything though. :)

  5. 12

    debvil says

    do you think It could be frozen before baking? I’m currently on a make-ahead tear and these would go great w/enchiladas…

    • Meagan says

      I definitely think it could be prepared in advance of baking and serving, but I would actually refrigerate it as opposed to freezing it. Cover tightly to seal in the moisture, give it ample time to come to room temp before baking, and you should be good to go!

  6. 10


    Love that you are obsessed with gypsies. That’s hilarious. I am, embarassingly, obsessed with all the Real Housewives. This dish looks fabulous!

  7. 3

    Mary says

    Meagan – have you ever put meat in this rice casserole? Maybe chicken or pork or something? It looks good but am wondering if it would be made into a meal.

    • Meagan says

      Yes! Chicken (you could even go with a shredded rotisserie chicken from the market) would be fantastic in this dish. You could also go with some crumbled breakfast sausage, although I would drain it first since this dish is already pretty cheesy and you wouldn’t want it to be dripping in grease.

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