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23 November 2018

This chili verde recipe is made with tender pork shoulder that has been seasoned and seared, then cooked low and slow in a rich verde sauce made from roasted tomatillos, poblanos and jalapeno peppers.

It’s “Chili Madness” in the Chili Pepper Madness household lately. I’ve been going gangbusters making chili because the weather has turned here and the only thing I like about the cold is warm soups and chili.

A good chili can warm up those chilly bones, and to be honest, not much else can hit the spot like a good bowl of chili.

Right? Chili! I love the stuff!

Most people think of a big bowl of RED when it comes to chili – like my Chili Colorado Recipe – but a really good chili can also be GREEN. Like this one.

We’re talking Chili Verde, my friends! And it’s some pretty dang GREAT stuff!

About Chili Verde

Chili verde is a green chili made with tender pork shoulder that has been seasoned and seared, then cooked low and slow in a rich “verde sauce”, or “green sauce”. The verde sauce is KEY here, made from roasted tomatillos, poblanos and jalapeno peppers, very much like salsa verde, which can definitely be used to make this recipe.

Pork is traditional with chili verde, though you can make it with other meats. Chicken is particularly good.

The Name “Chili Verde” – What does it mean?

The name simply means “green chili”. Some people have come to call chili verde “Colorado Green Chili”, because the cooking method is somewhat similar to Chili Colorado, with the meat simmering away slowly in sauce until it becomes super tender and flavorful.

It’s funny, though, because “Chili Colorado” literally translates to “Chili Colored Red”, so what they’re really saying is “Red Green Chili”. Fun fact for you.

Chili Verde is definitely one of my favorites, and I think it will be one of your favorites as well.

Let’s talk about how we make it! Authentic Chili Verde coming your way.

Chili Verde, in a bowl, ready to eat

Ingredients Needed for Chili Verde

  • FOR THE VERDE SAUCE
  • 2 pounds tomatillos husked and rinsed
  • 2 poblano peppers stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • FOR THE CHILI
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder cubed (do bite sized cubes)
  • 2 tablespoon ancho chili powder optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion chopped (white or yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ – 1 cup chicken stock (chicken broth)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1 large lime
  • FOR SERVING
  • Extra limes sliced jalapeno peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes

How to Make Chili Verde – The Recipe Method

First, make your verde sauce. Preheat your oven to broil.

Slice the peeled and rinsed tomatillos in half through the horizontal center (not up and down) and arrange on a lightly oiled baking dish with the skin sides up.

Like so.

Tomatillos, sliced and ready to roast

Place the poblano chiles and jalapeno peppers on a separate lightly oiled baking sheet skin sides up.

Poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers, sliced and on a baking sheet, ready to roast

Bake the peppers and tomatillos about 12-15 minutes until skin side is blistering on both the tomatillos and peppers.  Rotate the baking sheets if needed. You may need up to 20 minutes, depending on your proximity to the heat element.

Remove from heat and cool slightly. They will look like this.

Roasted tomatillos on a pan

Poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers, sliced and on a baking sheet, roasted

Peel off the pepper skins and discard them. You can peel off the tomatillos skins if you’d like, but I leave them on.

Learn more about How to Roast Tomatillos and How to Roast Chili Peppers.

Add the tomatillos and peppers to a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside for now.

Verde sauce in a blender, ready for cooking

For making the chili verde, heat a large pot to medium-high heat and add a bit of olive oil. I like to use my Dutch oven for this.

Season the pork shoulder with ancho powder, cumin, salt and pepper, then add the pork. Sear the cubes a minute or two on each side, until each side is nicely browned, stirring here and there.

Cubed pork shoulder, browned in the pot

Add the onions and stir. Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften.

Stir in the garlic and Mexican oregano and cook another minute.

Add the reserved verde sauce along with ½ cup chicken stock, or up to a cup if you’d like a thinner chili verde. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 2 hours (you may need longer), until the pork is fork tender. It’s SO good when slow cooked.

Remove the chili verde from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and juice from 1 lime.

Stirring up the chile verde

Serve it up in bowls and top with your fixings – Extra limes, sliced jalapeno peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes. Whatever you like!

BOOM! DONE! This is authentic Mexican cuisine at its finest.

It’s so good, isn’t it? I love this stuff!

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Slow Cooker Chili Verde. I most often use my Dutch oven to make this recipe, but it can be made in a slow cooker or crock pot. If you’d like to make it in a slow cooker, follow the seasoning instructions and still sear the cubed pork in a pan, then add it to the slow cooker. Also, it is best to still make the salsa verde per the recipe, then add that to the slow cooker. Then, cook the whole thing on low for 6-8 hours, or until the pork is extremely tender.
  • Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Chili Verde. You can also make chili verde in a pressure cooker or instant pot very easily. Simply season and brown the cubed pork along with the vegetables in the pot, then cover and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. Naturally release the pressure, then stir up your chili. It is extremely easy and delicious.
  • Freezing Chili Verde. You can easily freeze your leftover chili by transferring it to sealable freezer containers and setting them into the freezer. Frozen chili will last 6 months easily this way.
  • How to Thicken Chili Verde. If your chili is too thin, a great way to thicken it is to stir a tablespoon or two of cornstarch in water and swirl it into the pot. Simmer until it thickens up. If your sauce is too thick, swirl in some chicken broth.

About the Chili Verde Seasonings

A lot of chili verde recipes forego any additional seasonings and let the dish gain its flavor entirely from the pork and the verde sauce, which truly is delicious. However, I like to add in a bit of cumin and particularly ancho powder for additional flavor.

You know me, I LOVE big flavor, and these seasonings bring this dish to the TOP for me. Feel free to incorporate other seasonings to your own preference.

Serving Up Your Chili Verde

You can serve up your chili verde in a bowl on its own and you’ll love it. Or, serve it over a bit of rice to help absorb all that verde sauce.

Try serving it with tortillas so you can enjoy it as tacos. It’s also great served over chips as sort of a chili verde nacho bowl.

Enjoy!

Try Some of My Other Popular Chili Recipes

Chili Verde, in a bowl, ready to eat

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 13 votes
Chili Verde - Recipe
Chili Verde – Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 45 mins
 
This chili verde recipe is made with tender pork shoulder that has been seasoned and seared, then cooked low and slow in a rich verde sauce made from roasted tomatillos, poblanos and jalapeno peppers.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chili, spicy, tomatillos
Servings: 8
Calories: 306 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
FOR THE VERDE SAUCE
  • 2 pounds tomatillos husked and rinsed
  • 2 poblano peppers stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
FOR THE CHILI
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder cubed (do bite sized cubes)
  • 2 tablespoon ancho chili powder optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion chopped (white or yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • ½ - 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1 large lime
FOR SERVING
  • Extra limes sliced jalapeno peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes
Instructions
  1. Make your verde sauce first. Preheat your oven to broil.
  2. Slice the peeled and rinsed tomatillos in half through the horizontal center (not up and down) and arrange on a lightly oiled baking dish with the skin sides up.
  3. Place the peppers on a separate lightly oiled baking sheet skin sides up.
  4. Bake the peppers and tomatillos about 12-15 minutes until skin side is blistering on both the tomatillos and peppers. Rotate the baking sheets if needed. You may need up to 20 minutes, depending on your proximity to the heat element.
  5. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Peel off the pepper skins and discard them. You can peel off the tomatillos skins if you’d like, but I leave them on.
  6. Add the tomatillos and peppers to a food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside for now.
FOR THE CHILI
  1. Heat a large pot to medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Season the pork shoulder with ancho powder, cumin, salt and pepper, then sear the cubes a minute or 2 on each side, until each side is nicely browned, stirring here and there.
  3. Add the onions and stir. Cook them down about 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Stir in the garlic and Mexican oregano and cook another minute.
  5. Add the reserved verde sauce along with ½ cup chicken stock, or up to a cup if you’d like a thinner chili verde. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 2 hours (you may need longer), until the pork is fork tender.
  6. Remove the chili verde from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and juice from 1 lime.
  7. Serve in bowls and top with your fixings - Extra limes, sliced jalapeno peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes
Recipe Notes

Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. You’ll get some spicy heat from the jalapenos, but not a lot. Try adding in a few serrano peppers for some added heat, or bring in spicier chili powders and flakes. Hot sauce is a nice addition as well.

Nutrition Facts
Chili Verde – Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 128mg5%
Potassium 1094mg31%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 965IU19%
Vitamin C 45.2mg55%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

28 comments

  1. Hello. I am looking to make this next week for my work chili cook off. it looks and sounds amazing i cant wait to make it. There anything else you would suggest to put in it to make it more heartily ( like beans or veggies)?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Good luck, Theresa! Let me know how it goes! Yep, you can easily include beans with this. Great northern beans would be great here. You can also include other vegetables. Potato might sound strange for a chili, but it actually works, making it a bit more like a stew.

  2. Jeffrey Silvers

    5 stars
    Love the recipe. I used regular chile powder instead of ancho chile powder and regular oregano instead of Mexican. I am from California and I can taste the difference with those substitutions. It was really delicious but a little too gringo chile verde with those substitutions. Next time I will follow it exactly and I think that it will be totally amazing. Can’t wait to try some other recipes. Next year I will start using my chile peppers sooner and in new ways. Thanks

  3. Gonefission

    5 stars
    Absolutely great. I live more than forty miles from a halfway decent source of chiles so I stock up when I visit there. I was down to my last three poblanos so I used them in this recipe. It turned out perfect. On my next chile buying trip I will make sure to get extra poblanos so I can make this one again (and again). I live in a heavily wooded area and don’t get enough sun to do a good job at raising chiles or tomatoes. I can raise a few on my deck but not enough to make much of a dent in my needs. Is there any way to extend the “shelf life” of purchased fresh chiles?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, thanks. Check out my Preserving Chili Peppers section of the site for ideas to preserve them. Freezing would probably be your best method. You can roast then freeze them, too. You might also purchase dried poblano peppers (ancho peppers), which last a very long time and have HUGE flavor. Good luck!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sharon, I seeded the poblanos, but not the jalapeno peppers. However, you can deseed them if you’d like.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for the quick response, Michael! The chili turned out fantastic! While I was in the other room my husband came home and helped himself to a tortilla and chili right before dinner! Grrrr… but he still had plenty more at dinner time. Ha! I took out the seeds of the jalapeños and it was still a bit spicy so I topped it with sour cream… yummy! I also could not find the ancho chili powder at the store so I used 1 tablespoon of reg. Chili powder. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Loved it, however it was a bit too spicy for me family. I only used 2 jalapeños (no seeds). Is there a way to tone it down?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Yvonne. To tame the heat, you can add a dairy, such as milk or sour cream. Or, make another batch without any jalapeno peppers and combine them to dilute the overall heat. I hope this helps!

  5. 5 stars
    Michael, my mouth is salivating with this recipe, I lovee, lovvvvve Chili Verde and honestly it’s the best with pork and pork shoulder, even better. Excellent recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I love when I learn something and get a great recipe! I had no idea that Colorado meant colored Red! That was fascinating! Anyway, I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      You can make this without the pork as a vegetarian version. You can add in extra sliced roasted poblano peppers to add more substance to it. I think that would be GREAT.

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe looks so delicious! I love the spiciness of the peppers and chili, and the brightness of the lime. Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      It’s easy to adjust the spices, too, which I love. Extra spicy for me, please!

  8. 5 stars
    Hey Mike! One more time, a great recipe, realy tasty, I loved the lime touch. I just used bacon instead of shoulder.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, Jeremie! Sounds pretty awesome with bacon. Glad you enjoyed it.

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