Green chilies are one of my culinary secret weapons. They can add heat, freshness, crunch and color to a dish. They are particularly seductive once roasted, as they take on a mildly smoky scent and some added herbal character. They also store very well this way, either covered with a layer of oil in the refrigerator or layered in a freezer bag.
Roasted green chilies are an amazing match for creamy and melting cheeses like cream cheese and Monterey Jack, which also happen to be ideal for a satisfying dip. Depending on how hot your chilies are, the dip can range from mild to quite spicy and still be balanced by the cooling cheeses.
To take the green chili cheese dip recipe below to the next level, try one of these variations:
- Crumble four strips of fried bacon into the cheese mixture before broiling for a frequent burst of saltiness.
- Add brightness and acidity with 1/2 cup of RO*TEL.
- To amp up the smokiness, replace half of the green chilies with 1/4 cup chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Green chili cheese dip
This creamy, spicy dip pairs beautifully with corn tortilla chips or whole-wheat crackers. Because green chilies can vary so widely in heat level, err on the side of caution and wear plastic gloves while handling them.
- 4 large green chili peppers (Hatch or poblano)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated (divided use)
- Preheat the broiler. Wash and dry the chili peppers and place them on a baking sheet under the broiler. Blacken the skins, turning them with tongs to cook all sides of the chilies. Once the chilies are fully blackened, move them to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. After five minutes, remove the plastic wrap and let the chilies cool enough to handle.
- Use a paring knife to cut the chilies in half. Gently remove the seeds, stems and blackened skins, rinsing in water if needed to get extra seeds and blackened pieces off of the roasted chilies. Chop the chilies into 1/2-inch pieces.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups of the Monterey Jack cheese and the green chilies. Press the mixture into a 9-inch skillet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cook under the broiler until the dip is heated through and the cheese just begins to brown, for about five minutes. Serve warm.
More green chili recipes
Green chili chicken enchiladas
Green chili burgers with chili-lime mayo
Cheesy green chili grits recipe