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Behind the Seasoning: Hatch Green Chile Powder

Jar of Hatch Green Chile Powder with chiles and tacos

 

Picture this: You’re at the farmers market on a fall morning, minding your own business. Then you smell it—the savory aroma of roasting peppers wafting through the air, rich and toasty with just a hint of spicy heat. You've just caught the scent of Hatch Green Chiles. But why is this humble chile pepper so coveted? What's the big deal? We're taking you Behind the Seasoning to answer all of your burning questions about Hatch New Mexico green chile.

What are Hatch Green Chiles?

The Hatch Valley in New Mexico is the growing region of this well-loved variety of chile. Much like wine varietals, the location of origin makes all the difference for Hatch chiles. Though Anaheim chiles are similar and more widely available, Hatch Green Chiles have a cult following thanks to their unique flavor. Chances are, if you’ve spent time in the American Southwest—from Colorado to Southern California—you’re already a fan!

But, Hatch green chile season is short and these beloved chiles are only available in certain regions. So how can you get this crave-able flavor all year round? We have a solution: Hatch Green Chile Powder. It packs a ton of awesome New Mexican flavor into a spice jar. 

Close up spoon of green chile powder

What Does Hatch Green Chile Powder Taste Like?

When we say this powder “packs” in the flavor, it’s no joke! It takes about 18 pounds of chilies to make one pound of Hatch Green Chile Powder. That means there are about a dozen dried and ground Hatch chilies per spice bottle! The resulting flavor is distinctly earthy with a piquant flavor. The heat level is medium-hot, about a 6-7 out of 10.

What to Substitute for Hatch Green Chile Powder

Hatch Green Chile Powder is actually a great substitute for fresh chiles. You might not notice the same charred, roasted notes as you get with fresh Hatch green chiles, but we think the benefit of enjoying this flavor all year long is worth the trade-off. On the flip side, fresh chiles are always a fine substitute for ground Hatch chiles. Just be aware that there's a textural difference between chopped fresh chiles and ground chile powder.

If you want another chile powder that's a good substitute for Hatch Green Chile Powder, try a smaller amount of Jalapeño Chile Powder. They have a similar heat level and both share that grassy freshness that green chiles have, particularly in comparison to ripened red chiles.

Are There Health Benefits of Hatch Chiles?

Like most other varieties of chiles, the capsaicin can increase endorphins and have pain-relief effects. Chiles are also reported to potentially boost metabolism and are high in vitamins.

Where & How to Buy Hatch Green Chiles

The peak season for Hatch green chiles is traditionally mid-late July through the middle of October. During late summer, you can find fresh hatch chiles roasting in empty lots, farmer's markets, and parking lots throughout the American southwest. Our advice, follow your nose! The distinctive smell of chiles roasting is a giveaway that you're getting close to freshly roasted chile bliss.

If it's not the right season or you're not in the right part of the country, Hatch Green Chile Powder is your best bet. You can buy it on our website or in Savory Spice stores nationwide.

Hatch Green Chile Uses

Hatch Green Chile Powder is great for conventional uses. When cooking, add 1 Tbsp. into your favorite chili or stew recipe. This culinary fave can be used in all kinds of dishes. Try Hatch green chile enchilada sauce, Hatch green chile salsa, or Hatch green chile queso.

While it's obviously a great ingredient for traditional green chile and other southwestern cuisine, don't stop there. Think about fusion dishes like Hatch green chile mac and cheese. For Hatch burgers, mix a teaspoon or two into 1 lb. ground meat before shaping into patties and grilling.

Colorado Green Chili with tortillas, cheese, and red peppers

Hatch Green Chile Recipes

Recipes with hatch green chiles are limitless. There are plenty of classic(ish) uses, like these.

  • Green Chile Sauce recipe - Hatch green chile sauce is probably the most traditional Hatch green chile recipe. This recipe can easily be made as a vegetarian condiment but is a topping for smothering everything from pork and chicken to tacos or for easy Hatch green chile enchiladas.
  • Colorado Green Chile recipe - Another name for this might be Hatch green chile pork stew. This chile could be considered a sauce or a stew and is distinctly different from thick, red chili.
  • Green Chile Mole Posole recipe - Another Hatch green chile stew, this version uses chicken and combines the earthy flavor of Mexican Mole with the bright freshness of green chile.
  • Creamy Vegan Tortilla Soup recipe - This hearty and creamy soup is actually dairy-free and gluten-free too, so everyone can enjoy it!

There are plenty of fun fusion uses for green chile too.

  • Hatch Chile Cheeseburger Pizza - Turn a spiced cheeseburger into a flavorful (but not too spicy) family-friendly pizza.
  • Fall Harvest Lasagna Rolls - Adding cheese to your Hatch Chile recipes helps cut the medium-hot spice level to a more medium-low level. Mixed with butter and cream, it adds a subtle warmth to the filling for southwestern-inspired lasagna. 
  • Cheddar Green Chile Polenta - We call it polenta but you can also think of this as a version of green chile grits. Top it with a fried egg for breakfast or serve it as a side for steak, shrimp, or blackened chicken.
  • Pumpkin Turkey Chili - This is not a classic chili recipe but it just might become your new favorite. It's not really a red chili or a green chili but a fusion of the best qualities of both.

 

For even more spice, shop Chiles, Chile Powder, & Chile Flakes. Get creative! Add to any dish that could use a little spicing up and we're sure you'll see why this flavor-packed chile has a dedicated following. Tag us  in your spice-filled creations.

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