This one-pan easy-bake casserole recipe is loaded with the savory flavors of roasted Hatch chile peppers, tomatoes, pork loin, pasta noodles and cheddar cheese. It's a perfect weeknight meal.
It's Hatch chile season, my friends, so I hope you are fortunate enough to be cooking with some Hatch peppers. I do not live in New Mexico where the Hatch region resides, but I don't let that stop me. I order them online and have roasted Hatch peppers delivered to my door.
Don't get me wrong. I still grow various peppers that are traditionally grown in the Hatch region - I'm partial to Big Jim's - but there is something special about Hatch peppers that are actually grown and harvested in that region. Like the location of grapes grown for making wine, the areas where chili peppers are grown have a profound effect on the peppers produced, which in turn is noticed in the dishes you make.
Most people will make sauces or stuffed peppers with their Hatch peppers, but I like to add them to practically anything, like this cheesy pork casserole. Talk about #YUM.
It is filled with pork loin (I used leftover pork loin, but any cooked pork loin will work here), tomatoes, Hatch peppers, jalapeno and serrano peppers for a bit of extra heat and substance, loads of seasonings, pasta noodles and cheese to top the whole thing off.
You'll get plenty of roasted pepper flavor in every bit. Casseroles are super easy and convenient for when you need a quick meal. There isn't a whole lot of cooking here, especially if you're using leftover pork like I am, though this recipe will work easily with chicken. Cook down your vegetables and seasonings, boil some pasta, cover it with cheese and bake.
It will also work for a make-ahead meal. You can prep it early then cover it and bake it later that evening. Bring it to a party. Everyone will love you!
I hope you enjoy the casserole!
Spicy Pork-Hatch Chili Casserole – Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces cooked pork loin, cubed
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces roasted Hatch chili peppers, chopped
- 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups uncooked pasta
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar
- Chopped basil for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pan to medium heat. Add the pork, onion, peppers and celery and cook, stirring often, 6-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Add garlic and cook another minute, until you can smell that awesome garlic.
- Add the Hatch peppers and tomatoes. Break the tomatoes apart with a spoon.
- Add seasonings and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- While you’re cooking, bring a small pot of salted water to boil and add the uncooked pasta. Boil for 10 minutes or so, until al dente, according to your package instructions. Drain and add the noodles to the pan.
- Transfer the ingredients to a baking dish and top with shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve.