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Green Chile Canapés – these 6-ingredient pretty little bites are the perfect, delicious start to any meal!


(Photo by Rick Souders)

My childhood best friend’s mother, Dorothy Hartwell, grew up in Michigan and moved to Colorado in the early ‘60’s. Here, she quickly grew to love Mexican food, especially dishes with green chiles. I’ve always referred to Dorothy as my “second” mother because I spent almost as much time at the Hartwells as I did in my own home! Like my mom, Dorothy was an excellent cook and I have many fond memories of dinners in their home. When Mrs. Hartwell passed away a few years ago, Katey, her sister Anne and brother David kindly shared their mom’s recipes with me. This appetizer is one of my favorites. While the recipe makes around six dozen canapés, it can easily be cut in half. But as delicious as they are, you may not want to — since they always all seem to disappear!


Green Chile Canapés

  • Author:
  • Yield: about 6 dozen


  • 3 to 4 (1 pound) loaves pumpernickel or whole wheat cocktail bread, sliced*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (see tip below)
  • 8 ounces mild green chiles, seeded, roasted and chopped**
  • Chopped garlic or shallots, to taste
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cut 1 1/2- to 2-inch rounds out of each slice of bread (not using crusts). Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the butter, chiles and garlic or shallots. Spread a small amount evenly on one side of bread slices.
  4. In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the cheese and mayonnaise. Spread a thick layer on top of the chile mixture.
  5. Place canapés on baking sheets. Broil until puffy and lightly browned. Cool slightly, then serve immediately.


*Usually found in the deli or bakery section of major grocery stores; can substitute 2 long baguettes, sliced.

** Can substitute 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained.

Gluten free: Use gluten-free French bread.

Make ahead: Butter mixture and cheese mixture can be prepared, covered and refrigerated separately up to 3 days in advance. Bring to room temperature before assembling the canapés.

Tip: Forgot to bring your butter to room temperature? No problem. Just put it in the microwave on 30 percent power for 30 seconds. If it still isn’t soft, continue heating at 30 percent power in 15 second increments just until it is soft to the touch.


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