Colorado-style pork green chili: an easy-to-make and flavorful green pork chili recipe that doesn't require husking tomatillos or seeding jalapenos!
This recipe was originally published on February 18, 2021. It was updated with new photos and recipe information on June 6, 2023.
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Table of contents
- Colorado-style pork green chili: an easy-to-make and flavorful green pork chili recipe that doesn't require husking tomatillos or seeding jalapenos!
- Why You’ll Love This Colorado Pork Green Chili Recipe
- Recipe ingredients
- Ingredient substitutions
- How to make Colorado green chili
- Recipe pro-tips
- Recipe Toppings
- Recipe FAQs:
Today I introduce to you the green chili pork recipe that has ruined all restaurant green chilis for me: my favorite Colorado Style Green Chili Recipe.
Not only does this pork loin 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 this pork green chile recipe in a slow cooker.
I mean, really. I remember a few years ago (before I started Mae's Menu), deciding to dive into a pork 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 the results of my labor were worth it, but unfortunately, they were not.
I quickly realized what was next for me: finally developing an easy 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: 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 Crockpot green chili pork and Instant pot green chili stew.
What resulted is the best pork green chili 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.
Why You’ll Love This Colorado Pork Green Chili Recipe
- Green chili flavor without the fuss: I created this to enjoy Pork green chili soup without spending all afternoon roasting, peeling and deseeding chilis.
- Make ahead: chili flavors continue developing over time so make this ahead for a party or holiday or when you need something that quick and easy to reheat and serve.
- Year-round: this recipe uses ingredients easily found any time of the year and doesn’t depend on green chilis being in season or available in your area.
- Instant pot and slower cooker options: this can be made on the stovetop, or make pork chili verde in the crockpot or instant pot, so it works no matter what appliances you own. Additionally, using the slower cooker or instant pot frees up stovetop space if you’re cooking for a crowd.
- Pork loin: This popular cut of pork is lean, tender, and easy to cut. Using cubed pork loin means this recipe has juicy pork in every spoonful.
- Onion: Either yellow or white onions are best.
- Garlic: Paired with onion, garlic is a classic chili combo. Fresh minced garlic is best for this recipe.
- Cumin: Cumin brings warmth and depth without having to bring out your whole spice stash.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: This broth base gives flavor and allows for the cumin to shine and not be overpowered by a salty flavor
- Canned diced green chiles: You can find canned at most grocery stores. Use mild or hot chiles depending on your preference.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Look for low-sodium or no-salt added varieties.
- Salsa verde: adds the tang of tomatillos and a bit of jalapeno heat without any fuss, roasting, or de-seeding
- Cornstarch: an easy thickener to make chili perfect for a stand-alone bowl or smothering your favorite foods
- Pork chops: If you can't find pork loin, pork chops can be cubed for this Denver Green chili recipe. Substitute regular or thick-cut chops, not thin pork chops.
- Ground pork: Ground pork can be swapped for cubed pork if it’s what you have on hand or like your chili with ground meat instead of larger cubes. Ground pork will change the overall texture of this chili.
- Petite diced tomatoes: If you prefer smaller tomatoes or might be serving to some picky eaters or kids, petite diced tomatoes are a great swap.
- 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 broth. Reduce the remaining salt in the recipe to ¾ teaspoons, however.
- Frozen green chiles: Defrosted frozen diced green chiles can substitute for canned green chiles.
How to make Colorado green chili
With three cooking options, you can use your stovetop or make Green chili pork in the slow cooker, or Instant pot green chili.
Step 1: Saute the onions and pork in hot olive oil until the pork is no longer pink.
Step 2: Add the garlic, cumin, and salt, and sauté until fragrant.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: In a small cup, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until combined. Pour into the chili and cook, stirring frequently, until the chili has thickened up.
Step 5: Season the chili with additional salt to taste and serve hot!
Only a few adaptations are needed to make instant pot pork green chili. Here's how to do it:
- Using the medium heat sauté setting of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, 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, 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.
- In a small cup, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until combined.
- 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 enjoy this pork chili verde in the instant pot hot!
If using the crockpot is more your preference, it's easy to make slow cooker green chili, too. The steps:
- Saute the onions and pork in hot olive oil on the stove until the pork is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic, cumin, and salt, and sauté until fragrant.
- 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!
- Prepare the green chili stew with pork ingredients ahead of time. The first few steps move along quickly so you'll appreciate having everything all ready to go from the start.
- Look for a pork cut with 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 Colorado green chili recipe so there will be dimension to the heat outside of the green chiles, too.
There are so many different ways to serve this authentic pork green chili. Top a large bowl of crock pot green chili stew with your favorite chili or soup toppings:
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Diced onion
- Black olives
- Additional green chilis
Colorado green chili is perfect as a stand alone meal or used to smother foods for any meal. Many Colorado restaurants serve pork green chili sauce as a topping on almost anything!
Serve this Authentic green chili recipe "smothered" over:
- Air fryer Sweet potato fries
- Baked home fries or instant pot baby potatoes
- Grilled chicken
- Grilled cheese
- Burgers, and more!
- Refrigeration: Leftover pork green chili stew keeps covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- Freezing: It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Freeze chili in smaller portions for easy reheating or if you like to have green chili sauce with pork on hand for smothering burritos.
- Reheating: reheat the chili on medium-high power in the microwave in 1-2.5 minute intervals, depending on the amount you are reheating, stirring between intervals.
Note: If you are reheating from frozen, thaw the chili in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating as directed above. You can also put reheated Pork green chili in the crock pot for easy serving.
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 Green chili soup with pork recipes require peeling and simmering tomatillos, seeding and cutting jalapenos, and more, but this easy green chili 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.
Tools needed to make this recipe
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Dutch oven or stockpot
- Heat safe spatula
- Can opener (optional)
More chili & soup recipes
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Creamy White Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Vegan Jackfruit Chili
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Bean Soup
- Minestra Soup
- Pumpkin Sausage Soup
More pork recipes:
- Pork Chop Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa
- Citrus Dijon Pork Tenderloin
- Pork Chop Marinade
- Beef & Pork Ragu
- Asian Pork Meatballs
- Maple Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!