Colorado Pork Green Chili is one of the best forms of comfort food! This flavorful dish features tender chunks of pork simmered with spicy peppers to create a delicious and hearty stew. It is the perfect recipe to enjoy on a chilly winter evening or any time you crave a comforting bowl of stew!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Flavorful: The combination of diced green chilis, jalapenos, and spices gives the dish a bold and flavorful taste. It has a similar flavor profile as tortilla soup but with even more complexity and flavor.
Versatile: This Pork Green Chili recipe is a satisfying meal on its own. We love it with cornbread or tortilla chips. But you can also use it as a topping for burritos, nachos, and burgers, or use the meat as a filling for enchiladas.
Freezes Well: Most chili recipes are even better the next day and this one is no exception! The flavors meld as they sit together. That means that you can freeze smaller portions so that you have them on hand for a quick and delicious meal later!
What is Colorado Pork Green Chili?
Colorado Green Chili is a traditional Chile Verde that is popular throughout the state of Colorado! It is made with chunks of pork shoulder simmered in broth, along with lots of diced green chiles, diced tomatoes, and spices.
The funny thing about green chili is that it isn't always green. It's called green chile because it uses green chiles, but the tomatoes and spices give a red appearance.
Some recipes call for tomatillos and some do not. (Those that do have more of a green appearance.) Many say that authentic Colorado chili does not have tomatillos so I left them out of this recipe. But if you happen to have a fondness for tomatillos then you can add a few.
You'll find Pork Green Chili on the menu in restaurants all across the state. Order it as a big bowl, or order your favorite dishes "smothered." That's where a big ladle of green chile is poured over the top of dishes like burritos or nachos.
Colorado also has a popular dish called "The Slopper" which is a cheeseburger on a toasted bun, served in a bowl, with green chile poured over the top. You definitely need a fork for that one!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Pork Shoulder Roast - Pork shoulder is a flavorful cut that tenderizes well when it is cooked slowly. Select a small boneless pork butt roast that is trimmed of excess fat. You can also use pork loin or pork chops.
Green Chiles - Use canned green chiles if you want to keep this recipe to be easy. The flavor of the chili is still delicious! But for even more flavor, you can roast 1 ½ pounds of chiles following the chile roasting steps in this guide.
Jalapeño Pepper - Jalapenos add some heat and flavor. Look for peppers that are firm with a bright green color. Serrano peppers can also be used.
Diced Tomatoes - This adds sweetness and a little acidity to balance the dish. I like the size of petite-diced tomatoes, but regular diced tomatoes will also work fine. Sometimes we use fire-roasted tomatoes for a little smokier flavor.
Chicken Broth - Use low-sodium broth if it is available. If you cannot find low-sodium broth then leave out the salt at the beginning of this recipe, and just add it to taste before serving. Vegetable broth or water can also be used.
What's the Difference Between Hatch Green Chiles and Pueblo Chiles?
Hatch Green Chiles and Pueblo Green Chiles are both chile peppers that are grown in the Southwest region of the United States. Hatch Chiles are grown in the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico, and Pueblo Chiles are grown in Southern Colorado, near Pueblo.
The two peppers can be used interchangeably in recipes that call for Anaheim peppers or Poblano peppers. Each contributes a unique flavor profile with slightly different heat levels. The Hatch pepper has a smoky flavor and usually has medium heat. Pueblo chiles are more earthy in flavor and are just a little spicier than a jalapeno.
How to Make Pork Green Chili
1) Brown Pork Cubes
- Place the diced pork in a stock pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Stir frequently and cook until the pork pieces are browned on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the browned pork to a plate.
2) Cook Onions and Jalapenos
- You'll need about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Discard any excess fat. (If your pork was lean and did not render enough fat, use olive oil to bring the total amount to 2 tablespoons.)
- Saute the onions and jalapeño peppers over medium heat, stirring frequently.
3) Add Flour
- Add the garlic and cilantro, along with the flour, to build a roux.
- Stir continuously until the flour starts to brown and there is no excess moisture remaining.
- Add the pork back to the pan, along with the green chile peppers, diced tomatoes, spices, and chicken broth.
- As the broth begins to simmer, scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all of the flavorful bits.
- Place a lid on the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.
- Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, to burn off some of the liquid.
- If you would like a thicker stew, make a slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of masa harina with ¼ cup of chili broth. Stir into the chili and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
How To Serve
- Enjoy this pork green chili recipe as a main dish with warm tortillas or cornbread and a little butter.
- Some are purists and enjoy a hearty bowl of chili on its own. Others top with sour cream, cheese, crushed tortilla chips, lime wedges, and a little fresh cilantro. I'm in the toppings camp and love to load it up!
- While it's tasty as a bowl of chili, many Coloradoans' favorite way to enjoy Chile Verde is as a sauce for their burritos, eggs, enchiladas, and burgers.
- This recipe makes a great enchilada filling! If you are making it specifically for enchiladas, use just 1 ½ cups of chicken broth instead of 4. Check it periodically as it simmers, adding an additional ½ cup of broth if needed.
Allow the chile to cool slightly, then transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cool the chile completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. I recommend portioning in individual servings for convenience. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.
Yes! After searing the pork, put all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and cover it with a lid. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours, or until the pork is tender.
Use the SAUTE function of your pressure cooker to brown the cubed pork. Then add the remaining ingredients and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 20 minutes (it will take about 15 minutes for the cooker to come to full pressure). Once it is cooked, release the steam fully and remove the lid. Turn the pot back to SAUTE and simmer for 10 minutes.
More Green Chile Recipes
We enjoyed this chili for our Colorado state dinner! Be sure to check out all of our dinners exploring iconic recipes from across the United States!
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind-the-scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Colorado Pork Green ChiliRecipe by:
- 2 pound pork shoulder Cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (1 medium onion)
- ¼ cup seeded and chopped jalapenos (about 2 jalapenos)
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cans diced green chiles (4.5 ounces each)
- 15 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Sprinkle the diced pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Then add the pork to a large stock pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.2 pound pork shoulder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Once the pork is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the pan and set it aside on a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the pork fat that is in the pan. Reduce the stove to medium heat. Then add the diced onions and jalapenos to the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.1 cup diced yellow onion, ¼ cup seeded and chopped jalapenos
- Add the cilantro and garlic cloves, and flour. Stirring frequently and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the excess moisture is absorbed and the flour begins to brown.½ cup cilantro, 4 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Add the pork back into the pan along with all of the remaining ingredients. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce to low heat. Cover and cook for about an hour, or until the pork is tender.6 cans diced green chiles, 15 ounces petite diced tomatoes, 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Remove the lid and allow the chili to continue simmering for about 15 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency.