Colorado Pork Green Chili: an easy-to-make and flavorful green chili recipe that doesn't require husking tomatillos or seeding jalapenos!
This recipe was originally published on February 18, 2021. It was updated on September 3, 2021.
In this blog post we will be making Colorado Green Chili. This is an easy green chili pork recipe that doesn't require the fuss of husking tomatillos or de-seeing jalapenos. Read on to learn how to make this chili, recipe FAQs, and more!
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Table of contents
- This green chili pork recipe is...
- Recipe ingredients:
- Ingredient substitutions & adaptations:
- How to make this Colorado green chili...
- Pro-tips to make this recipe perfect every time:
- Recipe FAQs:
- How to make Instant Pot pork green chili: recipe in an Instant Pot?
- How to make slow cooker pork green chili:
- Serving suggestions:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More chili & soup recipes::
- More pork recipes:
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Today I introduce to you the pork green chili that has ruined all restaurant green chilis for me: my favorite Colorado Green Chili Recipe.
Not only does this chili have a perfectly seasoned, tangy sauce that has just enough kick to make you smile in anticipation for your next bite without making you sweat. But, it's also so dang easy to make.
I mean, really. I remember a few years ago (before I started Mae's Menu), deciding to dive into a green chili recipe on a Sunday afternoon. It required work: hulling tomatillos, slicing jalapenos, and deconstructing other various fresh produce from scratch.
I wish I could say that results of my labor were worth it, but unfortunately, they were not. The chili sauce was flavorless, the kick of chili was way too much for my taste, and why did I put in all that hard work again?
Thinking that all green chilis, by definition, required a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, I didn't dig for any other recipes. Instead, I stuck to ordering it when out (which, thankfully, is a super easy thing to do here in Colorado).
Fast forward to December of last year, however, when I ordered a cup of chili with my lunch while Chris and I were out celebrating a (very cold) outdoor anniversary lunch.
The experience was disappointing: the sauce was slimy, the flavor rather one-dimensional (all heat, no spices or acid), and the pork was non-existent. I quickly realized what was next for me: finally developing a pork green chili recipe that is totally tasty while being accessible and made with only easy-to-find and use ingredients.
The following few weeks were busy ones: I tested out different combinations of pork, cumin, coriander, diced green chiles, green enchilada sauce, salsa verde, and more. Once I got my flavor profile down, I tested out how to make this recipe in the Instant Pot and Crockpot.
What resulted is a recipe, though I've eaten approximately 5 different batches over a span of a few weeks, I still get beyond excited to dig into it whenever it finds its way onto our menu again. I hope you get that excited about this recipe, too.
This green chili pork recipe is...
- Mildly spicy
Thanks to this recipe you can enjoy your favorite green chili flavors without ever leaving the house!
- Pork loin - if you can't find pork loin, just cube pork chops. Either works just fine.
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Canned diced green chiles - you can find canned at most grocery stores. Use mild or hot chiles depending on your preference.
- Canned diced tomatoes - preferably low sodium
- Salsa verde - adds the tang of tomatillos and a bit of jalapeno heat without any fuss
- Cornstarch - thickens up the chili sauce
Ingredient substitutions & adaptations:
- Pork - ground pork will work in place of cubed pork, but the texture and nutritional profile of the recipe will be different
- Thickener - flour and water can work in place of the cornstarch and water, though this will make the recipe no longer gluten-free
- Chicken broth - traditional, or not low sodium, chicken broth can be used in place of low sodium. Reduce the remaining salt in the recipe to ¾ teaspoons, however.
- Green chiles - defrosted frozen diced green chiles can substitute for canned green chiles.
How to make this Colorado green chili...
- Saute the onions and pork in hot olive oil until the pork is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic, cumin, and salt, and sauté until fragrant.
- Stir in the chicken broth, diced green chiles, diced tomatoes, and salsa verde until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are dark red and the sauce has thickened a bit.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until combined. Pour into the chili and cook, stirring frequently, until the chili has thickened up.
- Season the chili with additional salt to taste and serve hot!
- Prepare the chili ingredients ahead of time. The first few steps move along quickly so you'll appreciate having everything all ready to go from the start.
- Use pork that has a fair amount of marbling. You don't want a crazy amount of marbling, but at least a few ribbons of fat to give it flavor.
- Use fresh garlic. I know mincing garlic can be a pain, but trust me: using freshly minced garlic gives so much better flavor than the bottled garlic. If you want to save time but still have that fresh garlic flavor, look for peeled garlic at your supermarket (I can usually find it at Trader Joe's).
- Adjust the heat to your preferences. If you prefer a mild chili, use mild green chiles. If you prefer a spicy green chili, choose hot green chiles. Other than the chiles, the salsa verde also provides some kick to the dish so there will be dimension to the kick outside of the green chiles, too.
Colorado pork green chili is a thick stew made of pork, green chiles, chicken broth, seasonings, and tomatillos and jalapenos. The chili is lightly spicy and features more herbal and acidic notes than it does heat.
Some recipes require peeling and simmering down tomatillos, seeding and cutting jalapenos, and more, but this recipe takes care of that work for you by using salsa verde instead.
Though mild canned green chiles have a light kick, most would describe them as not overwhelmingly spicy. Hot green chiles, on the other hand, are definitely spicy.
No, green chiles and jalapeno are not the same thing. Green chiles are made from anaheim, poblano, or pasilla peppers, not jalapeno. These chiles are usually more mild than jalapeno peppers, so they have less heat or spice.
Though green chili is definitely a Colorado thing, it isn't only a Colorado thing. You can usually find Green chili in New Mexico and some parts of Northeastern Arizona, too.
How to make Instant Pot pork green chili:
- Complete the first two sautéing steps on the medium heat sauté setting of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- Stir in the chicken broth, green chiles, tomatoes, and salsa verde. Stir well.
- Turn off the sauté feature and lock on the lid. Pressure cook the chili on high for 13 minutes and quick-release the pressure.
- Whisk up the cornstarch slurry as directed and turn the Instant pot back to medium heat on the sauté feature. Stir in the cornstarch and cook, stirring as you go, for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Season with any additional salt to taste and serve hot!
How to make slow cooker pork green chili:
- Complete the first two sautéing steps as directed in a Dutch oven or stockpot.
- Pour the pork and spice mixture into a slow cooker and add the chicken broth, green chiles, diced tomatoes, and salsa verde. Stir well.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 7 hours.
- Before serving, turn the temperature to high for 15 minutes. Mix the cornstarch slurry up as directed and mix into the chili for 5-10 minutes, or until the chili has thickened up.
- Season with any additional salt to taste and serve hot!
There are so many different ways to serve green chili. You can enjoy a large bowl with sour cream or Greek yogurt, cilantro, cheese, diced onion, and black olives, or you can serve it "smothered" over any of the following:
- Roasted potatoes or breakfast skillets
- Grilled chicken
- Grilled cheese
- ... and the list goes on
Basically, you can serve this chili wherever you want a spicy, tangy, and saucy topping, so have fun experimenting and let me know your favorite combos in the comments below!
Leftover chili keeps covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
Reheating: reheat the chili on medium-high power in the microwave on 1-2.5 minute intervals, depending on the amount you are reheating, stirring between intervals.
If you are reheating from frozen, thaw the chili in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating as directed above.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Dutch oven or stockpot
- Heat safe spatula
- Small mixing bowl (optional)
- Can opener (optional)
More chili & soup recipes::
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Vegan Jackfruit Chili
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Bean Soup
- Minestra Soup
- Pumpkin Sausage Soup
More pork recipes:
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With tender chunks of pork, slightly spicy tomato and chile-studded sauce, this Colorado Pork Green Chili Recipe is a classic, yet simple to make chili recipe that's perfect on it own, poured over burritos, eggs, grilled cheese, roasted potatoes, and more!
See the notes below the recipe for directions on how to make Instant pot green chili and slow cooker green chili.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cup chopped white or yellow onions
- 1 ¼ lb. pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 oz. can diced green chiles, undrained
- 1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 ½ cups (12 oz.) salsa verde
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- Optional chili toppings: green onions, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, black olives, minced onions, etc.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven until it sizzles when flicked with water. Add the onions and pork and saute, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, or until the pork is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic, cumin, and salt to the pot and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the garlic is fragrant and the spices are mixed throughout.
- Stir in the chicken broth, green chiles, diced tomatoes, and salsa verde. Stir well. Increase the heat to high and bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium and simmer for 27-30 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened a bit and the tomatoes are a dark red color.
- In a small mixing bowl or cup, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until a slurry forms. Pour the slurry into the chili and stir, cooking the chili for another 1 ½-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up.
- Remove the pot from the heat, season with any additional salt to taste, and serve hot with your favorite chili toppings!
1. Leftover chili keeps covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.
2. To make this recipe in the Instant Pot: complete steps 1 & 2 on the saute setting of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, cooking on medium heat. Stir in the chicken broth, green chiles, tomatoes, and salsa verde. Stir well. Turn off the saute feature and lock on the lid. Pressure cook the chili on high for 13 minutes and quick-release the pressure. Whisk up the cornstarch slurry as directed and turn the Instant pot back to medium heat on the saute feature. Stir in the cornstarch and cook, stirring as you go, for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with any additional salt to taste and serve hot!
2. To make this recipe in the slow cooker: complete steps 1 & 2 as directed in a dutch oven or stockpot. Pour the pork and spice mixture into a slow cooker and add the chicken broth, green chiles, diced tomatoes, and salsa verde. Stir well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 7 hours. Before serving, turn the temperature back up to high for 15 minutes. Mix the cornstarch slurry up as directed and mix into the chili for 5-10 minutes, or until the chili has thickened up. Season with any additional salt to taste and serve hot!
Serving Size⅛ of the recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 233Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 57mgSodium 337mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 22g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.