“We’ve made this delicious Hatch chili every year since you first posted it ~ it’s a family tradition! Roasting the chiles makes all the difference!” ~Judith
I think chilis are one of the best types of recipes for crock pot cooking, they just get richer as they cook down, and, while some dishes suffer in the looks department after a day in the crock pot, chili seems to thrive. The keep warm feature is ideal for serving chile on a buffet to a crowd, but it’s also helpful for busy family meals when people are coming and going at different times. Tailgating, Game Days, potlucks, Halloween gatherings…this Hatch pepper chile is going to be your bff this fall!
favorite pairings for Hatch pepper chili
- Cornbread: I’ve got so many to choose from! How about Hatch Chile Cornbread? I also love Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with this meal.
- Rice: White or brown rice can be served as a neutral base for the chili. It helps balance the flavors and adds a comforting element to the meal.
- Tortilla Chips: Tortilla chips are great for scooping up chili and adding crunch. Serve them on the side for dipping and munching. I love to make Homemade Corn Tortillas.
- Avocado Salad: A refreshing avocado salad adds a bright contrast to the rich chili.
- Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw provides a cool and crisp texture that balances the spiciness of the chili. How about Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw or Favorite Vinegar Coleslaw.
- Sweet Corn: My Mexican Street Corn Salad or Creamy Sweet Corn Salad for instance.
- Black Bean Salad: A black bean salad like my Cowboy Caviar Recipe is a healthy side for chili.
- Fruit Salad: my Melon Salad with Chile and Lime or Cantaloupe and Mango Salad would be prefect!
what are Hatch chiles?
Hatch chiles are New Mexican chiles with a super short season, from mid August through September. They range from mild to medium hot, and they have a cult following among chiliheads everywhere because of their meaty flesh and great flavor. Fire roasting, or in this case, broiler roasting, brings out that flavor and adds a special character to this meal.
what are good substitutes for Hatch chiles?
- Anaheim Peppers are a popular substitute for Hatch chiles. They have a similar mild heat level and a slightly sweet and earthy flavor.
- Poblano Peppers have a mild to medium heat level and a rich, slightly smoky flavor.
- New Mexico Peppers ~ other types of New Mexico chili peppers also work as substitutes.
- Cubanelle Peppers are mild and sweet with a thin skin. They are not very spicy, so they can be used as a mild substitute in recipes that call for Hatch chiles.
- Canned Hatch Chiles can be used as a convenient substitute. These are often available in mild, medium, or hot varieties.
how to roast hatch pepper chiles
- I lay mine out on a lined cookie sheet and put them under the broiler at the at the closest setting to the flame. It took just a few minutes per side to get nice and charred.
- You could also do this on an outdoor grill, with a kitchen torch, or just by holding them with a pair of tongs over the gas flame on your stove top. The aim to get the skin scorched. You can either chop them up and use as is, or put them in a plastic baggie to steam for a few minutes. That loosens the skin and you can peel it right off. Scrape out the seeds with a small knife and chop them up.
hatch pepper chili is meaty
Even though Hatch peppers got top billing, this is a meaty chili, with both ground beef and chunks of stew meat in the recipe.
I do like to brown the meats before adding them to the crock pot, it only takes a few minutes and is so worth it. After that it’s a chop and drop affair, and, of course, the long leisurely hands-off cooking time that crock pots are famous for.
You don’t need to add much liquid to the pot because the slow cooking retains all the moisture. I use beer and tomato sauce as my base. Drain and rinse your pinto beans well before adding them to get rid of the canned flavor.
fresh garnishes are key
Hatch pepper chili is one of those meals that can really benefit from fresh colorful garnishes…
- Chopped fresh cilantro adds a burst of freshness and a hint of citrus to balance the heat and richness of the chili.
- Serve lime wedges on the side to allow diners to squeeze fresh lime juice over their chili. The acidity brightens up the flavors.
- A dollop of sour cream adds creaminess and helps cool down the heat for those who prefer milder spice levels.
- Shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend cheese can be sprinkled over the chili ~ it starts to melt right away for an irresistible gooey topping.
- Slices or cubes of ripe avocado add a luxurious texture and a touch of coolness.
- Sprinkle chopped green onions on top for a mild onion flavor.
- Crispy tortilla strips or tortilla chips can be used to scoop up the chili while adding a satisfying crunch.
- Pickled jalapeños can be used to add a tangy and spicy kick.
- Diced fresh tomatoes can add juiciness and a burst of vibrant color.
- Chopped red onion lends a mild onion flavor and a touch of color contrast.
- More chiles add color and emphasize the chile flavors.
Add garnishes just before serving for best effect!
are you a Hatch chile fan?
Then you need to try my other Hatch chile recipes ~ I’ve got a fabulous SWEET CORN, HATCH CHILE, AND BACON SALSA, a to-die-for HATCH GREEN CHILE CORNBREAD, and the recipe that got me started on these amazing peppers, my CHEESY HATCH GREEN CHILE DIP.
Slow Cooker Hatch Pepper Chili
- crock pot
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1 lb lean ground beef, 15%fat
- vegetable oil, for browning
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 lb Hatch chiles, about 6-8
- 8 oz beer
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 Tbsp cornmeal, for thickening
- thinly sliced green onions
- fresh cilantro
- grated cheese
- Coat the bottom of a large heavy skillet or pot with oil and heat until hot. Brown the stew beef on all sides. Do this in two batches. Put the browned beef in the crock pot.
- Add another bit of oil to the pan and brown the ground beef. Add it to the crock pot.
- Add the beer and the tomato sauce, along with the onions. Stir in the spices, salt and pepper.
- Put the lid on a turn to low.
- In the meantime, set your broiler on high and put the rack in the highest position. Arrange the chiles on a lined baking pan. Broil until the chilies are blackened, then flip them and char the other side.
- Remove from the oven and immediately put them on a platter or plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. You can also put them in a zip lock baggie. Leave them to steam for 15 minutes, then remove them. Slice off the stem ends, and slip off the outer skins, which will come off easily. Slice the peppers open lengthwise and scrape our the seeds. Chop the flesh.
- Add the peppers and the pinto beans to the crock pot and let the chili cook for 6 hours on low.
- If you like your chili thicker, stir in the cornmeal towards the end of the cooking time.
- Taste the chili to adjust any of the spices, and then serve topped with cheese, green onions, and cilantro.