Hatch Chile Mexican Casserole

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Have you ever stared at someone in the car next to you while they were picking their nose? I have. And it makes me wonder how many people have noticed me picking my own nose. I mean, I don’t ever do that. But if I did, how many people would see me? We think of our car is this safe zone, no one can see us. But unless you are Kim Kardashian and get tickets daily for how dark your windows are, people see. And they see you do your weird things. Like smoke weed while driving. Or put on make up. Or read a magazine. Or pick your nose. Except for me, because I don’t do that. Moving on.

So, for a while now, I’ve been thinking about a few things I regret in my life. I’ve never felt that way in my 25 years of life and now I have a few. I’ve always been able to see the positive in things. Understand why a certain something happened. And then move on. But now I’m thinking more about some of the decisions I made and am frustrated I can’t change those poor decisions. One of them includes my tattoo. I want to remove it. I have two, actually. But one of them I will absolutely love forever. While the other one is large. Mucho large. At the time, I loved it. Nowadays, I hate it. It’s on my side, on my ribs. Which was stupid painful. I don’t get how people get crazy big tattoos. I even remember having a dream about hating my tattoo the night before I got it. And I still went through with it. Always go with your gut, it never is wrong. Never. Figuring that out the tough way.

Anywho, I about cried my face off while getting it. Painful sh*t. And now I don’t even want it. Shame. But I heard getting a tattoo removed is way more painful than even getting the tattoo. Fudge. This tattoo is not small, it will take multiple sessions, and I’m sure it will be expensive. I can’t decide what to do. I didn’t think long enough about getting the tattoo so maybe I should think longer about getting it removed. I’m pretty much scared sh*tless to go through that pain. I’m ticklish on my ribs so imagine a laser burning off my tattoo on my ribs. Kill me. What to do, what to effing do.

Wanna know something creepy? This human on Twitter who has a twitter handle that has to do with loving foreheads recently wrote me a comment. And it included a compliment about my forehead. Yes, my forehead. But that wasn’t the creepy part. When I clicked on the humans profile, their avatar was a picture of me in Mexico. I’m not really sure how to feel about this person. Flattered, no. Creeped out, yes. At least this person is creepily complimenting my forehead. I’ve always thought it was quite large.


Hatch Chile Mexican Casserole

  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 16 large hatch chiles. roasted and peeled* (check notes section on how to roast hatch chiles before moving on with the rest of the recipe)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • kerrygold grass fed cheese, to garnish (optional)
  • coconut oil, to grease pans
  • 2 avocados
  • handful of cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, to taste


  1. Roast and peel hatch chiles*
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add ground beef to a large pan over medium heat. Once meat is halfway cooked through, add onion, jalapeño, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.
  4. Once meat is cooked through, add hot sauce and diced tomatoes and let cook on low for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once meat is cooked through, grab out individual baking dishes to create the casseroles with. If you don’t have individual baking dishes, you can use a bread pan to create the casserole.
  6. Grease each individual baking dish (I used four) then begin the layers. Lie 2 hatch chiles flat, then top with ground beef mixture, cheese (if you are eating dairy), 2 more hatch chiles, ground beef and more cheese. Repeat with other individual baking dishes.
  7. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
  8. While casseroles bake, add avocados, cilantro, lime, lemon, olive oil, cumin and salt to a food processor and puree until smooth.
  9. Top casseroles with avocado puree.


*I found my hatch chiles already roasted at Whole Foods. All I had to do was peel them. If you can’t find already roasted chiles, this is what you will need to do: 1. Prick holes in peppers with knife or fork. 2. Roast them by placing them in oven broiler for about 5-10 minutes or until the chile begin to blister. Turn the chiles over and roast again until it blisters on the other side. 3. Remove and put in ice water. 4. Once cool, peel then go forth with the rest of the recipe.

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PaleOMG Hatch Chile Mexican Casserole


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


71 thoughts on “Hatch Chile Mexican Casserole”

  1. Julie, have you ever used 505 southwestern green chili? It’s in a jar, only 3 ingredients, green chilies, lime juice, and garlic salt. Just curious what you think about it?

  2. My hubs has been in the process of removing two tattoos for almost a year. One on his calf and one on his ankle (same leg). He says it is painful but he makes the machine go as high as it can, so it will remove the tattoo faster (so he thought). So, there are levels that the machine will use…that might be helpful. He can only go once a month and has skipped several months. They both have faded a lot, he thinks 3 more sessions and they should be gone or not noticeable. I hope that was helpful 🙂

  3. Great recipe!

    *** If you decide to peel the Hatch Chiles yourself, wear some type of gloves. If you peel enough of them they can start to burn you hands, kinda like pepper spray. Didn’t feel good.

    1. Oh my god, this happened to me with a boatload of jalapenos that I halved and de-seeded a couple weeks ago…two sleepless nights later, the burning finally subsided (massaging coconut oil into my hands and rinsing with dish soap repeatedly seemed to help a little). Next time, gloves for sure!

      1. Ok I’m a huge pepper person. (I have a shelf dedicated to hot sauce in my fridge) if you ever handle peppers without gloves and your hands start burning here is the solution…

        Wash with dish soap then wash again with bleach (yeah laundry bleach). Then you just have to deal with”bleach hands” which is much better than “burning hands”

        You can also use a 1:10 mix of bleach to clean cutting boards, knives, and other pepper contaminated surfaces.

        The bleach destroys the capsaicin (which is the hot in the pepper)

  4. 1. Recipe looks amazing!
    2. I have gotten a very small (a peace sign about 1″x1″), black-ink tattoo lasered and after 4 sessions it is still somehwhat visible (looks like faded Sharpie.) The laser feels and sounds like someone is taking the world’s largest rubberband and popping it against your skin repeatedly. Your skin is burning, so between the burn and the impact of the laser your skin blisters, swells, and mine even bruised (this tattoo was located on the inside of my bicep, up toward my armpit). You also typically wait 4-6 weeks in between treatments, too.
    3. Do not get your large sidepiece removed. I had a large sidepiece I didn’t like, and got a cover-up tattoo that I now love. If that’s not an option, just embrace it and learn from it.
    4. Based on everything I just said, I should really stop getting tattoos.


    1. Also, give it some time before you do anything drastic. I went through a period of hating my first tattoo, and now I love it. Or, as Amber says, you can always edit it.

      Tattoos are a bit like lines on your face – they are a reminder of where you’ve been: don’t regret your life, learn from it.

  5. Not to scare you, but I had laser treatment to remove a 2inx2in tattoo from my ankle. About 22 sessions, 3 different lasers, and over $2500 and I still have a very light tattoo. But I have had friends with entire back tattoos get them removed in just 4 sessions. So, it is a gamble, and you never know. And you are correct, it hurts so much more than getting the tattoo. Just letting you know the worst case scenario. When I was researching all I heard were stories of people who had great success, which got me really bummed when I did not! Good luck.

  6. I can’t wait to make this!!! To bad I have a ton food that is already cooked in the fridge lol I agree with the above comment, think about what you really want, and get a cover up…

  7. Can anything be substituted for the hatch chiles? This recipe sounds delicious but there is nowhere to get hatch chiles around here.

  8. I have a very large tattoo with multiple colors across my pelvis and started the removal process 1 1/2 years ago. I have 2 treatments to go and it is so faint only I can see the few remains. It is not that painful and so worth the effort and investment if you don’t like your tat. How many treatments depends on the colors. I would go through the removal process again in a heartbeat- so happy it is gone!

  9. I love your posts and your recipes. Over here in the UK, there’s not much paleo inspiration to be found. I’m doing paleo for autoimmune illness but I’m in the middle of converting my husband and 3 young children. I’ll be definitely making some of your treats to keep the kids on the paleo straight and narrow. Some ingredients are hard to get here though and we just cannot get spaghetti squash at all – why? I do not know.
    Keep up your good work and watch out for that weirdo guy who likes your forehead!?! Talking about gut instincts – mine says that ‘forehead stalkers’ are a definite no no!!

    1. I hear that! The farm delivery service I use in London had some spaghetti squash once – I was so excited, but when I ordered it, they had run out. So still stuck with courgette pasta….

  10. “Little things in life” indeed. One of my simple pleasures is catching people picking their nose on the road. And I mean really digging for gold. It’s fabulous.

  11. Ooo, the chili guys are on the street corners roasting their crops. I cannot wait to try this recipe!
    And the twitter guy with your pic as his avatar–yea that’s creepy.
    Just discovered your blog this morning: LOVE IT!

  12. Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted. I made many questionable decisions in my life-especially when I was young. You know what? I wouldn’t change any of them because they all made me into the strong woman that I am today 🙂

  13. I need to make this. I need this for lunch now.

    And on the tattoo note, I don’t have one, but I did have a major scar from my nose ring that I got lasered. It was maybe 3 zaps of a laser and it was so damn painful. I can’t imagine how people do this for large areas. AWFUL!

    And the Twitter creep? Totally weird. I find as a blogger, I am flattered when people use my images, but that is just straight up creepy.

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  14. I’ve had a tattoo removed. I thought it was really painful, but just like getting a tattoo – it’s different for every person. People I spoke with before getting it removed said it didn’t hurt, but I thought it hurt a lot, and I had to go for about 20 sessions (eventually stopped going because I couldn’t stand it anymore). You can still see some of it, but only if you’re looking for it. Speak with a dermatologist to see if they have recommendations, and speak with a few different people who have the laser. Technology is getting better and better, so waiting might be to your benefit. The end product will also depend on a few things, including your skin tone and the color of the actual tattoo. It’s not a decision to rush into, after all the tattoo isn’t going anywhere 😉 best of luck!

  15. This looks fantastic! Any thoughts on whether or not this would work with roasted poblanos? I was planning on getting some from my local farmers market this weekend, but didn’t have any plans beyond that yet. It looks like I just found some, though!

  16. I had a 3″ black and white tattoo on my wrist lasered off. Each time they injected a numbing agent right underneath that made it very tolerable, except the last session where the nurse went too deep with the needle and I got to feel all of it. I went to a very reputable place in DC so I’m assuming it was legit, though I’ve been surprised to hear friends who have lasered with no numbing agents. Previous comments are spot on — 6 weeks between treatments, lots of scabbing, mine were $225 a session and I think I had 10. My tattoo is almost completely gone (faint scar in one small spot) and the laser center provided me with a bleaching cream to use for a year, which I did, though I’m not sure it did anything. If you do decide to get it done, temper your expectations — the first session will be dramatic and the rest are just meh but eventually it will all go away (unless it’s green (?) ink, heard that was the toughest to laser). However, areas like your wrist and ribs should be a bit easier to erase since the tattoo artist couldn’t go that deep.

  17. I’ve heard that there is new technology coming soon (don’t know how soon) that will be a much better solution for tattoo removal. Maybe find the best cosmetic dermatologist you can in your city for a consult.

  18. Think on the tattoo removal for a while. I have lots of tattoos, and the only one I’ve ever considered removing is my first one. It’s kind of a stupid tattoo and I got it done with an ex that later ruined my life, but I love that little tattoo now. It reminds me of how much better my life is now and how fortunate I am. Plus it IS kind of cute (a little bumble bee). Maybe you’ll grow to love yours too 🙂

  19. I had a tattoo removed about 10 years ago. WAY more painful than getting the actual tattoo in the first place. And SO expensive! $3,000 and ten treatments later, and you can still see it faintly- it was blue (hardest color to remove- lucky me!) and on my boob- seemed like a genius idea when I was 16. So people now think it’s a bruise. Sigh. All around fail!

  20. OK that looks INCREDIBLE!

    Question, do those little sealer jars your guac’s in keep it from going brown longer?

    And the forehead dude is a creeper for sure. I’m a guy and I’m creeped out!

  21. Ah, tattoo removal. I’ve been going through removal for about 10 years for a smallish (2″), black-only souvenir I picked up in Bangkok 20 years ago (makes me sound more hard-corps than I really am). Treatments have been around $200 each and I’ve probably had about 8 so far and it’s almost gone. I haven’t had them done with the recommended frequency due to the expense. Now when my friends kids talk about how much they want a tattoo I have actual personal credibility when I advise against it. When they say ‘no, I swear I’ll love it forever’ I ask them what they were most into 5 years ago; clothes, music etc. Then suggest that in 5 years they check to see if what they’re so into today is still their thing. If so get the tattoo. What Amber described as the removal experience pretty much matches mine.

  22. I’m having my 2nd tattoo removed, a large multi-colored piece on my lower back. It has cost me approx. $3,000 and will require about 11 total treatments, with 6 weeks in between each. I paid up front and received a discount on the package price. I know…$3,000 is the discounted price!!!! It is definitely an investment, both monetarily and in the total time involved. It is also EXTREMELY PAINFUL, and it can blister and bruise quite badly afterwards. How easily your tattoo can be removed depends on its age, the type of ink used, and the colors. Green is the hardest color to remove. I would definitely think about it for a while before deciding to do it. It’s not like you want to decide half way through that you just can’t take the pain anymore. Then it would just look weird. Just my 2 cents. Let me know if you have any questions. Oh…and I make your mayo recipe almost weekly. Love it, and use it on everything.

  23. I love your blog and have been obsessed with it lately making lots of your recipes. I’m going paleo full blown now and thanks to you everything tastes great! By the way I have the same tattoo problem as you. I have a big one on my lower back and really want it removed bad!

  24. Gotta love Green Chile season heare in NM! Roasting can also be done on a grill, or the grates of your gas stove if you want to be really low brow about it. Always good to find a paleo recipe that is also a New Mexican comfort food!

  25. If you get the laser treatments, use LMX lidocaine cream and you will feel almost nothing! I would not have survived my laser treatments without it!

  26. So I agree with almost everything you included in this blog! Ahh! I to have a HUGE side tat and after growing up and “changing” into a mature woman I know HATE it! I would love to get it removed also but it is dark black and would cost me over $5000 to get it removed! 🙁 I guess its lessons learned right?!!? PS Cant wait to try this recipe this weekend!

  27. I made this for dinner last night. My husband is always scared when I try a new recipe…. He said this one was a keeper!!!

  28. Juli, this comment has nothing to do with today’s Blog or recipe. Just something I need to tell you…So when I decided to go “paleo” and accidentally fell upon your site, I instantly fell in love…Not in a creepy kind of way. Anyway fast forward to 2 months later, I feel so much better about myself, have more energy, work out harder than before and just all around feel great!! But then vacation time comes, and I kind of let paleo go to the way side. Let me tell you…I suffered!! A Lot!! My old stomach pains came back and I was keeled over for 2 days!!! I’m now back on track, and things are slowly going back into place…Thank God because it wasn’t pleasant. All this to say that I am now a believer first hand of the benefits of your recipes and the ways of Paleo!!! I am not going back to that person who is in pain all the time…
    Thank you Juli for coming into my life!!
    That’s all…xo

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Trisha!! So glad my website has helped in your paleo path!! And I totally know how vacations go when it comes to hurting after the food decisions I’ve made

  29. hi.. I am very new to paleo, am just beginning the information and looking at the recipes. this does look amazing.. but can you answer something for me?.. I know that the grass fed cheese/raw cheese is optional, but I noticed that many of the recipes here have black beans or rice or such in them, which is fine, but it this for a rare occasion or is it ok to eat these things…

  30. Juli, I love your blog. I am 48 yr old and you remind me of me when I was 25. Having said that, don’t kick your self too hard over poor decisions. Some of the posts you’ve gotten on here are really spot on about “how we make decisions that make sense for us at that time in our lives”. By the time you are my age, you will have made even more mistakes! At the time, they seemed right.

    I think the thing that really makes us or breaks us as we age is how we handle our mistakes. You don’t get to skip making them. But you can either look at them learn from them, and have compassion for your fellow man who makes them too or you can deny them and refuse to consider them, concede that you might have been wrong and get scared to even look at your past.

    Be kind to your self. We are all learning and growing all the time. Your diet and exercize are things you will always be proud of even if this is just for a certain period of your life.
    And keep your sense of humor. Since you apparently can’t seem to NOT keep your sense of humor, I predict excellent things for you!
    Keep blogging girl.

  31. umm. you are a genius. i use your recipes practically every week for my meal preps!! thanks for your ideas and your inspirations!

  32. I’m new to all this paleo world, but bought your book and cook and read you religiously!
    about this blog and recipe i have one thing to say COME TO NM!!! Because…
    1) We get our Hatch chile from… well.. Hatch, NM! Fresh and happy!
    2) We have the best Tattoo guy here… seriously, he could cover up that tat so good it will make you glad you got it
    in the first place!! And…
    3) We could use a good laugh here! You are one funny girl!
    Thanks for all the good stuff!

  33. Damn Juli this casserole is awesome! I made it once already with poblano peppers in place of the hatch green chiles, and again last night with half poblano and half green chile. Roasted poblanos give it such a great flavor.

  34. I had a bad head cold all weekend, and I was driving home from the grocery store on Saturday and was “Casually Scratching” at the inside of my nose just as some of the ladies I coach pulled up in the lane next to me and were waving like crazy…BUSTED.

  35. Hey! I just looked up hatch chiles and they appear to be very similar to jalapenos – is there any difference? I was just wondering because I’m trying to look for the Spanish translation – I live in Mexico City. Thanks! Love your blog and your book!!

  36. Made this tonight and it was really good. My husband had three servings because he couldn’t help himself! It was a lot of work though, especially peeling the chilies. Just took me a long time, even with a good char on them. Also it was pretty spicy, a bit more than I like, but hubby thought it was perfect. The guacamole came out great with a good citrus flavor.

  37. Holy balls this looks good! I am going to make this tonight! Any recommendations on where to get kerrygold grassfed cheese? (I didn’t know this existed, where have I been!)

  38. Made this for dinner tonight. I had never heard of Hatch Chiles before (mid to northern Michigan), so I used ripe red Hungarian wax peppers. It was delicious, but my tiny kids were crying a bit (sorry, guys!). Oh, well… My boss is from India, he says spicy food makes quiet children ! 🙂

  39. I had never heard of hatch before I moved to Colorado. I lived there for about 2 years, and this recipe makes me miss it. Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  40. I told my kids when they were in their early teens that if they ever got tats they would be removed from my will. They are both now in their twentys and still tat free.

    The recipe looks and sounds awesome!

  41. This was delicious! I didn’t feel like all the layering, so I chopped up my chilis into the meat mixture and covered in cheese. I thought it might be too spicy as it has, jalapeños, chilis, hot sauce AND cayenne, but it was just right. SO GOOD!

  42. Making this tonight! I got some hatch chilies in my bountiful basket, and this came to mind. Also, you could try wrecking balm- you can get it at any store. I think it’s pretty safe, works well, and doesn’t cause quite so much pain!… I don’t know personally, never used it. I have one tattoo that I either need to remove or cover up so I might try it out!

  43. I made this the other day and all I can say is, that it is amazing and tasty. Its something I can make regularly and am also very proud that I could make it, but I think credit belongs to you in the easy and clear instructions.

  44. The forehead guy is super creepy, but you do have a most excellent forehead. If I were you, I would get some fabulous bangs, which is something I can’t get with my low, Neanderthal-like forehead (can you tell this is something my Mom made me feel insecure about as a child?) Haha rock on Juli.

  45. I love this dish, one of my favorites!! Just roasted 10lbs of hatch chiles last night. My only question is do you know the recommended serving size and caloric intake. Any help would be great. Thanks!!

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