Hatch chiles have a very short season every year in late summer. Instead of paying more to buy roasted hatch chile from your local grocery store, use this super easy guide to roast hatch chile in the oven and then store them in the fridge or freezer to enjoy in the months to come!
Spicy is my jam. And hot and spicy is my PB and J. I grew up eating chile peppers of all kind – serrano, jalapeno, banana pepper, anaheim pepper, poblano peppers, and even some without distinct names, red and green ones that simply grew in our backyard or someone else’s. I love ’em all. There’s a long list of different varieties of chile peppers but they all have that one thing in common – capsaicin; the active ingredient that produces the heat.
But for a very brief period every August and September, another type of chile pepper makes an appearance in grocery stores across North America – Hatch chile! Also called New Mexico chile, hatch chiles are simply one of several varieties of chile peppers grown in New Mexico. Originating from the Hatch valley region of New Mexico, these chile peppers are grown in a fairly unique habitat that contributes to their somewhat distinct flavor.
So when hatch chile season rolled around this year, I made sure to stock up on them while they were still around and on sale. Hatch chiles are planted around April and then harvested in late summer, and then they are gone for another year. So the best way to make sure you can enjoy them throughout the year is to roast hatch chile and peel them and then store in the fridge/freezer. Hatch chiles were on sale at our local grocery store a couple of weeks ago at 98c per pound which was a pretty good deal that I didn’t want to pass up on. But when I saw that roasted hatch chiles were being sold for a whole dollar more per pound, I knew that wasn’t right.
So I decided to roast hatch chile on my own at home and then store in the freezer for whenever and whatever I wanted them for. It’s super easy, works really well, and the flavors are amazing! You can roast hatch chile over an open flame for that nice charred flavor too.
A few tips for roasting hatch chile –
Pat dry the chile peppers before roasting.
If you’re using an open flame to roast, do NOT coat the chile peppers with oil. You can ditch the oil even if you’re roasting them in the oven, but I prefer to lightly coat them with some oil when I roast them in the oven.
The roasted hatch chiles should be covered (with foil, plastic wrap or a plate) while hot, this is to let them steam which makes peeling a lot easier.
If you’re using the roasted hatch chile right away, then peel them. If you want to store them for later however, it’s better to pack them away WITH the skin. This protects the chile pepper and they last longer that way too.
You can also can them, or vacuum pack them to make them last even longer. I usually store 4-5 roasted hatch chiles in one pack and then freeze them. This way, I can thaw out a pack at a time when needed. If you stored them in the freezer, simply thaw in the fridge overnight. The pepper skin will be easy to peel once defrosted.
If you don’t have access to hatch chiles – use Anaheim peppers instead for similar roasting and storage purposes. However, there will be a difference in flavor if chile pepper is the main ingredient in your dish.
Hatch chile can be very spicy, medium spicy or not spicy at all. This depends largely on the growers. The ones I have access to aren’t very spicy, so I like to add some jalapeno peppers when I cook with them.
Tune in for a couple of fantastic recipes that I made with hatch chiles,
which I’ll be sharing on the blog very soon like this delicious spiced pork stuffed hatch chile! 🙂
How to Roast Hatch Chile in the Oven
- Washed and dried Hatch chile peppers
- Olive oil
- Preheat broiler to 425°F. Line a baking tray with foil.
- Lightly coat Hatch chile peppers with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and place them on the baking tray in a single layer.
- Place the baking tray in the upper third of your oven, and roast for about 10 minutes, until the chile peppers start to blister and blacken.
- Using tongs, turn the chile peppers over to roast on the other side for another 10 - 15 minutes.
- When the chile pepper skins have blistered and blackened, remove from the oven.
- Place the roasted Hatch chile peppers in a bowl (while hot), and cover with foil or plastic wrap and let the chile steam.
- If you're using the chile right away, go ahead and peel them (when they're cool enough to handle) and use right away.
- If storing away, place the cooled chile in vacuum bags and vacuum seal them. I store about 3 - 4 chile peppers in one bag to batch freeze them. Store in the freezer until needed. Thaw them out in the fridge overnight.
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Recipes that use Hatch Chile
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I’ll be sharing my recipe over at –