Hatch Chile Party Bites

Hatch Chile Party Bites are great for summertime entertaining.

Hatch Chile Party Bites | She Paused 4 Thought

Spicy, creamy, a little smoky, and a bunch of fun — Hatch Chile Party Bites are the perfect party appetizer.

Hatch Chiles are everywhere in the grocery stores this month. Many locations will even roast them for you. I couldn’t help making these tasty green guys into cheesy party bites – which sparked a story from my past. I’ll share it with you as I show you how the recipe comes together.

Hatch Chile & Cheese Party Bites & A Cheesy Miracle

My first job after college graduation started with an internship at a TV station where employees used computers. I know I am dating myself, but that was a very big deal then, when college didn’t include computer classes and, in fact, nobody personally owned one.

hatch chiles on grill | She Paused 4 Thought

Mild Hatch Chiles on the grill.

Shortly after I started the internship I walked past a woman working on a computer, and I stopped in my tracks because I was so fascinated. I had to know how to run it and asked her all kinds of questions. She was very gracious and welcomed my keen interest. Little did I know that she also spoke to her boss about my enthusiasm and the next thing I knew, I was hired to work on this Chyron computer doing graphics for the local news.

hatch chiles on grill | She Paused 4 Thought

Cook until the Hatch Chiles are charred.

It was a dream job for me, however there was one caveat. One of my producers I worked under hated me from day one. In less than two weeks, she took the wind out of my sails and the joy out of my job.

hatch chiles | She Paused 4 Thought

The charred skin comes right off.

I remember calling my parents and crying. I lamented that I couldn’t do my job, and I wanted to quit. My father told me I could do anything that I put my mind to and to “hang in there”. With my parents’ encouragement, I continued.

hatch chiles | She Paused 4 Thought

Chop two of the Hatch Chiles – set other 4 aside.

Six months later it was Christmas, and I was busy making presents for my fellow employees – because that is what good girls from the Midwest do. When it came to the “mean” producer the best I could do for her was to buy a two dollar cheese ball from Hickory Farms. I couldn’t bear to give it to her in person so I left it on her desk and prayed that she wouldn’t throw it at me the next day.

Hatch Chile Party Bites | She Paused 4 Thought

Mash the feta with a fork.

Much to my surprise, the next day she approached me in tears. She said she had been working at the same company for years and no one had ever given her a Christmas present! I was flabbergasted. She apologized for her poor behavior and vowed to change.

Hatch Chile Party Bites | She Paused 4 Thought

Mix all the ingredients together.

And change she did. We later became friends and we both learned a valuable lesson that Christmas.

Hatch Chile Party Bites | She Paused 4 Thought

Form into small balls.

Who knew the power of a simple cheese ball?

Melissa's Produce Pine Nuts

Chop pine nuts.

It made me think of a Proverb that reads: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, And the Lord will reward you.”

Hatch Chile Party Bites | She Paused 4 Thought

Add Hatch Chile Powder to nuts.

My colleague was clearly hungry (not for a cheese ball), but for a friend. She was also thirsty for others to acknowledge her. I think the good Lord gave her a headache of conviction, and the reward turned out to be for both of us. Work became a pleasure and we were rewarded with a new friendship and good working relationship.

hatch chiles | She Paused 4 Thought

Cut remaining Hatch Chiles into thin strips.

So who knows, maybe you need to make these cheese balls for someone.

hatch chiles | She Paused 4 Thought

Thread the strips on a toothpick.

You might need to make them for yourself.

No matter the whys and the who-fors, these tasty appetizers will bring joy to anyone who indulges in them.

Today’s Recipe: Hatch Chile Party Bites

This recipe is a spicy, upscale version of that long-ago, magic cheese ball.

Melissas Produce Hatch Chile Powder

Sprinkle Hatch Chile powder on each ball.

It is loosely based on a recipe from Hatch Chile Cookbook from Melissa’s Produce.

hatch chile cookbook - Melissas's Produce

Great cookbook for other Hatch Chile recipes.

I used mild hatch chiles in my recipe, but feel free to use hot chiles if you like.

Hatch Chile & Cheese Party Bites
Recipe type: appetizer
Spicy, creamy, a little smoky, and a bunch of fun — Hatch Chile Party Bites are perfect as a party appetizer.
  • 6 large hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed (2 chopped, 4 sliced)
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon Melisa's Hatch Chile Powder (plus additional for garnish)
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) pine nuts, lightly toasted and finely chopped
  1. In medium bowl, mash the feta cheese with the cream cheese using a fork. Stir in the hatch chiles, garlic, shallots, salt & hatch chile powder using a wooden spoon, and mix until thoroughly.
  2. Cover; refrigerate 60 minutes or until the mixture is firm enough to shape into balls.
  3. Lightly moisten your hands, and shape the cheese mixture into 1-inch balls. Set them on a baking sheet or in a pan, and freeze them until they are firm, about 15 minutes. (If you’re not going to serve these immediately, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month.)
  4. While the balls are firming up, cut the remaining hatch chiles into thin strips. Thread the strips on a toothpick and set aside. (see photo above)
  5. To serve, place the chopped pine nuts in a small bowl. Roll each ball in the nuts until it is covered. Stick a threaded chile into each ball and place on an attractive serving plate or platter. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.
Makes approx. 20 mini cheese balls for about 6 people

Melissa’s Produce has three different Hatch Chile Powders to spice up your life with. Look for them in your grocery store or online.

Melissas Produce Hatch Chile Powder

Mild, hot, red or green Hatch Chile Powders are available.

Suffice it to say, that first savory ball of cheese and nuts I bought turned a bad situation into good. So, every time I see a cheese ball in any form, I think “healing yumminess”.

Kindness never gets stale, even if it comes in the form of a cheese ball.
…and then, she paused for thought.


Disclaimer: I was given fresh Hatch Chiles and Hatch Chile Powder to experiment with. All opinions are my own. 

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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14 Responses to Hatch Chile Party Bites

  1. sippitysup August 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Cheese heals all. Add hatch chilies and you’ve really got a miracle! GREG

  2. Shannon Lemon August 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

    oh my gosh! Wholefoods has a ton of fresh roated hatch chilis right now so I have brainstorming what to make with them…..hatch chilis and cheese? SOLD

    • Cathy Arkle August 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

      Enjoy Shannon! I think you will really like them.

  3. Sue @ It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake August 24, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    What an amazing story, and I love the recipe too!

    • Cathy Arkle August 25, 2017 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks Sue. It is one I will never forget.

  4. Mary Platis August 25, 2017 at 10:42 am #

    Food can mend all!
    Loved the story as you intermingled your process with pictures!

    • Cathy Arkle August 28, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

      Thanks Mary, I was hoping people would understand the intermingling. 🙂

  5. Pattie Marie August 27, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    Cathy ~ This is a great yummy recipe and a wonderful story that made this so much fun to read and was such a blessing as well as inspiring!
    Thank you for both, Cathy
    Love, Pattie Marie

    • Cathy Arkle August 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      Thanks Pattie Marie for stopping by with encouragement. 🙂

  6. Linda Valen August 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

    Wow, Cathy! This is ONE incredible story of reaching out in love to someone who was making your life miserable (because her own life was!!!). How beautiful!!

    And how creative and yummy your recipe sounds too!!!

    • Cathy Arkle August 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      I am so happy you enjoyed it Linda. I always appreciate your comments.

  7. Cheri Newell August 29, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    I love your inspiring story… and you never know what will touch someone’s heart!!! I’m a sucker for cheese… so I would have loved you too!!!

  8. Nanette La Salle September 6, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Such a sweet and heartfelt story! Love that! Also love to try one of those hatch chile bites! Does Melissa’s deliver nation wide? What a wonderful resource!

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