Hatch Green Chile & Queso Fresco Breakfast Bake

I’m from Texas, born, raised and still living here today. Admittedly, we Texans get a little proud of our state, especially when it comes to the food. We have the best barbeque, chicken-fried steak and pecan pie around, plus anything Tex-Mex or made with Hatch green chiles will make you kick up your boot heels and shout “yee-haw”! Yeah, yeah, Hatch green chiles may hail from Hatch, New Mexico, but we’ve adopted them with cult-like worship into our food culture.

I am not immune from the fanaticism of this long, slender green pepper. I once hoarded 75 pounds of fire roasted peppers in my freezer and have outright won or placed in several Hatch Green Chile Cook-Offs! Today, I’m sharing my recipe for Hatch Green Chile & Queso Frecso Breakfast Bake, it’s an easy recipe that is also gladly gobbled up for lunch, dinner or a bedtime snack. Leftover slices can be frozen and later reheated for crazy days when you need to be fueled with a tasty meal in minutes.   

While the overwhelming majority of Hatch green chiles sold in the markets during the eagerly anticipated August to September season are mild, some varieties can be knock-your-socks off hot. For reference, the “1904” variety is mild, the “Big Jim” is medium and the “Sandia” is hot. The “Lumbre” are extra hot, so proceed with caution! Any pepper that has begun to ripen into red, will have an even noticeably hotter afterburn. In the event you want to make this Hatch recipe and don’t have access to the peppers in your area (or the season is over), fresh Poblano make a mild-mannered substitution.

Unless you have a grocery store willing to roast the chiles for you (and many will), you’ll need to take on this simple task that deepens their distinctive taste.  To do this, just toss peppers on a baking sheet and into a 400 F oven or straight on the grill and let roast, turning once or twice with tongs, for about 20 minutes. Peppers will be ready to remove from heat when softening and presenting with blistered and black skin in places. Transfer to a plastic zip-top bag and let steam in the bag for 20 more minutes, this will help the skin easily slip off. When cool to the touch, pull off the skin, remove the stem and slice open to rinse out the seeds. From here, the Hatch green chiles are recipe ready or can be stored in the freezer for enjoyment later!

To help the eggs set up while baking, I mix in crushed tortilla chips and pre-cooked brown rice - better yet, leftover Spanish rice! Crumbled up queso fresco (a salty, springy and budget-friendly Mexican cheese), cilantro, and the roasted green chiles create a mild but muy buneo flavor profile. Top with a dollop of salsa and drizzle with OPA by Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch Greek Yogurt Dressing, pourable right out of the bottle!   

Not only is this an economical meal, with each nice-sized slice costing about $1.50, it’s also filling and a great nutritional deal with 18 grams of protein and 320 calories. 

Hatch Green Chile & Queso Frecso Breakfast Bake

Serves 8 | Finish in 70 minutes
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During Hatch green chile season, it’s not hard to pick the perfect pepper and use it to kick up the flavor of a simple, southwestern-inspired egg and cheese bake. 

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh Hatch or Poblano Peppers (or about 2/3 lbs. if buy store roasted)

10 large eggs

1 ½ cup milk

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

8 ounces queso fresco, finely crumbled (divided)

1 ½ cup leftover rice (or frozen prepared rice)

1 cup crushed corn tortilla chips

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

4 ounces OPA Jalapeno Ranch Greek Yogurt Dressing

4 ounces prepared salsa 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes, flipping once, or until skin blistering and starting to blacken in places.
Remove peppers from oven and place in zip-top bag on counter for 20 minutes to cool and help skin slip off.
Remove peppers from bag and skin should slip away. Cut in half and rinse out seeds, dispose of stem.
Slice each pepper lengthwise into a total of 4 long strips (for total of 12 strips). Keep 8 strips “as-is” and then dice up the 4 remaining strips. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Wisk in pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Next, stir in 4 ounces of cheese, leftover or frozen prepared rice, crushed tortilla chip, chopped cilantro and remaining diced chiles.
Lay roasted pepper strips in a spoke pattern on top of egg mixture. Sprinkle with most of the remaining cheese (save a little extra for garnish at serving).
Bake for 20 minutes in center rack of oven or until puffed, top turning golden and eggs are set in center. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 8 wedges and serving.


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