Naan bread with cheese and chiles took a good thing and made it incredible. Warm, chewy, and easy to make, you don’t need more than flour, baking powder, and yogurt for the dough. Fill it with green chiles, cheddar and mozzarella. A sprinkle of sea salt and you’re ready to tuck in.
Adapted from Chetna Makan | Chetna’s 30-Minute Indian | Mitchell Beazley, 2021
Naan is such a versatile bread, gorgeous plain but you can also add so many different flavors and textures to it. You really don’t need anything else with this naan, but you can always pair it with a curry of your choice.–Chetna Makan
Naan Bread with Cheese and Chiles
For the dough
- 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz) store-bought or homemade plain yogurt
- 4 to 5 tablespoons water
- A few drops mild vegetable oil
For the filling
- Scant cup (3 1/2 oz) Cheddar cheese grated
- Scant 1/2 cup (1 3/4 oz) mozzarella cheese grated
- 1 green chile* such as jalapeño or serrano, finely chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro finely chopped
- Salted butter to serve
Make the dough
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and yogurt. Gradually add just enough of the measured water, or a little more if needed, to bring the mixture together into a dough.
- Knead the dough on a work surface for a few seconds. Put a few drops of oil in the palms of your hands and knead the dough for a final time, then return to the bowl, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Make the filling
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the Cheddar and mozzarella cheese, chile, and cilantro together.
- Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out each portion to form a 3-to-4-inch (7.5 to 10 cm) circle. Place one-quarter of the filling (about 1/3 cup) in the center of each circle, then gather up the edges and pinch together to seal in the filling.
- Roll each naan in a little flour and gently press flat with your fingertips, then roll out into 9-to-10-inch (23 to 25 cm) circles, or any shape you like of equivalent size. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cook on the grill or under the broiler until golden, 1 to 4 minutes, then turn the naan over and cook until golden on the other side, 1 to 4 minutes more. Spread some salted butter on top and serve warm.
*Can I used dried chile powder?Actually, you can. One of our testers tried it and the recipe came out just fine. You might find that you miss the pop of heat that a diced, fresh pepper gives you, but in a pinch or just for preference, it will work. This is especially good to know if you have a particular kind of chile that you’d like to try—come on, we all have our favorites.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Originally published July 13, 2021
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
My family loves naan, it is a versatile bread to serve at mealtime and I was excited to give this recipe for naan bread with cheese and chiles a go. As a first-time naan baker, I was pleasantly surprised by the success of this recipe. For a brief moment, I thought it would be wise to attempt a plain naan before this version. I’m so glad I tried this recipe first—adding in cheese, chiles, and herbs opened up my mind to the possibilities with this bread and I will definitely make naan at home again.
The naan bread with cheese and chiles is super tasty. There’s a nice cheese pull from the mozzarella, brightness from the cilantro, and the salted butter adds the perfect finish. I gave some to my neighbors and we couldn’t get enough. This recipe was quick and easy. It also lends itself to whatever filling substitutions you would like to use. This is a keeper.
This naan bread with cheese and chiles is such a fun recipe. (If you have young children in the house, make this with them!) I wasn’t certain how the stuffing and rolling out would work when I previewed the recipe, but it all made sense once I had the dough portions in hand, and each step is perfectly described. The cheese filling may seem like too much to stuff inside the 3 or 4-inch disc, but the dough is just stretchy and sticky enough to easily pull up and over the cheese and to pinch seamlessly.
The stuffed balls roll out almost magically with all that cheese and chili smashed inside, and as long as you have a little flour on hand, the process is indeed child’s play. Grilling was swift and also amusing to watch, as little bubbles popped and puffed all over the bread in mere seconds and everything was done so quickly.
I love that there are myriad possibilities for the filling of these naan. I might try some feta cheese and a red jalapeno next time, or for a completely different twist, some gorgonzola and crushed red pepper flakes. Other fresh herbs might also be fun to try since the filling shows through the thin naan as if behind a windowpane and a few frilly leaves of parsley or (unchopped) cilantro would be attractive.
We served this with the cilantro peanut chutney and I highly recommend the pairing!
As much as I love naan bread, I’ve never made it myself and I have no justification why. It’s so quick and easy, and this recipe for naan bread really encouraged me to start making my own. This cheese and chili naan was quite good, the bread especially.
The dough came together so easily and the absence of yeast means that it’s nearly foolproof. I found the dough was a little wet after the 10-minute rest period but after kneading in a little more flour, it was smooth and elastic. I used my hands to make a smallish circle, added the cheese, and then gathered the edges up. I found this worked well—as long as the dough in the center wasn’t too thin. At that point, they were easy to roll into oval shapes.
I used a cast iron grill pan, set on high heat, and brushed with a little oil. I found they took slightly longer than a minute per side, but not by much. The finished naan had lovely grill marks and were really quite delicious. My preference is for buttery, garlicky naan and I found I missed the garlic here. If you’re not planning to serve them with salted butter, I’d strongly suggest adding a pinch of salt to the cheese mixture. I used Kashmiri mirch chili powder and it added a nice level of warmth. The only drawback I found was these aren’t great cold—they either need to be eaten immediately or reheated.
I love the chewiness of this naan bread with cheese and chiles. It’s so satisfying and head and shoulders above any store-bought naan and it’s so quick and easy to make. At first, I was a little skeptical about the cheese as it seemed to be a lot of filling, but it turned to be the right proportion and tasted great. The only issue was that for some of them, the cheese seeped through a bit and started to burn on the grill. For others, it turned out fine however and it was nice to see the dough puff up after hitting the hot grill. I’ll definitely make this again and try to see how to prevent any filling leakage.
This naan bread with cheese and chiles is a very easy recipe to follow. This is my first-time making naan bread and the final result was tasty, and flavorful.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Fresh hot naan made right in your kitchen in just about 30 minutes. This recipe for naan bread with cheese and chiles is what I call a “refrigerator door recipe”—it wouldn’t have a chance to be filed away! Biting into the supple, slightly chewy flatbread filled with gooey cheddar and mozzarella (I used whole milk low-moisture, not fresh) is so addictive it is tempting to stamp this recipe “serves one.” The naan is delicious with or without salted butter, but it’s exceptional with ghee made from cultured butter. (I highly recommend making it yourself. It’s very easy and very special.)
A few pointers to note:
First, to speed things up, grate the cheeses and chop the green chile and cilantro while the dough rests for 10 minutes—no need to do this prep work in advance.
Second, have a small dish of oil nearby when kneading and rolling out the dough. If it’s too sticky, see if you can remedy it by using more oil on the palm of your hands instead of using flour. If you must flour your work surface, be very conservative. This is not a lot of dough, so it doesn’t take very much added flour to end up with drier naan. (Trust me on this. I made multiple batches because, as I said, the recipe serves one in my house…)
Third, as you pinch the filled dough, try to squeeze out as much air as possible, or you’ll risk bursting large air pockets when you roll out the dough the second time. To keep from disturbing the filled dough too much, I rolled it out mostly just in one direction to four ovals that were about 4 inches x 8 inches. (You may have some filling leftover. It’s lovely folded around an omelet.)
Lastly—and the best discovery for me personally—don’t fret if it’s too cold outside to grill or you don’t have a special indoor grill. The broiler in your oven is basically an upside-down indoor grill and it works very well here. I set the baking sheet on the highest rack, about 4 inches from the element. About 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds per side under the broiler (i.e., do NOT walk away) the naan cooked to perfection with beautiful slightly charred spots.