Chili Verde is an intensely flavored Mexican dish of tender pork with tomatillo and roasted pepper sauce. This easy chili verde recipe can be made on the stovetop with jalapeno, Anaheim, and poblano peppers. All of these peppers combine to give your chili so much flavor.
This homemade authentic Chili Verde is low-carb and keto-friendly. Your stew stew will taste better than many Mexican restaurants, so try this recipe at home.
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What is Chile Verde?
Ask a group about their favorite chili, and you’ll get many answers. Some folks prefer a bowl of beanless Texas-style chili, while others yearn for a plate of Cincinnati-style chili served over spaghetti. There are many chili styles; one of the most obscure is Chili Verde.
If you have never tried Pork Chile Verde, you can’t imagine the delicious flavor this chili offers. This stew contains fresh ingredients and tender pieces of pork shoulder that quickly fall apart. The only thing about this recipe is that you will wonder why you haven’t tried it before.
What makes Chili Verde so unique is not just its color, green, or ‘Verde’ in Spanish, but the fact that it contains pork. If you have never had pork Chili Verde before, you are in for a special treat. While the recipe for this chili contains spicy peppers and acidic tomatillos, the long-simmering cooking time tames the heat and blunts the sharpness, leaving behind a rich, savory flavor that is hard to match.
This pork green chili recipe may not be the simplest, but the result is well worth the effort and makes an ideal cold-weather Sunday supper or a praise-worthy take-along for a potluck dinner.
Depending on which region of the US you live in, you may recognize this chili by a different name. In some places, it is called Chile Verde; in others, it is merely Green Chili. Even in Northern Mexico, where the dish originates, it isn’t easy to know what to call it.
This chili is listed as Cerdo en Salsa Verde, Cerdo con Verdologas, or Carne De Puerco En Salsa Verde in restaurants and Spanish-language cookbooks. Whatever the name, they are referring to the same thing: pork in green sauce.
Handling the Peppers Safely
While poblano, Anaheim, and Hatch peppers all may fall on the milder side of the heat meter, jalapeno peppers can have quite the kick. Wear food-safe rubber gloves and avoid touching your face or eyes when you remove the peppers’ seeds and ribs.
Always remove your gloves and wash your hands and the cutting board with warm, soapy water immediately after preparing the peppers to avoid painful surprises.
Although the long cooking time significantly reduces the peppers’ spiciness in the finished chili, there is a method for further cutting back on the heat factor while retaining the flavor of the peppers. Start by cutting the pepper into strips and then lay them down on the cutting board with the skin side down.
Look closely at the flesh of the pepper. You will notice it’s lightly textured. Hold a sharp knife horizontally and cut away just this textured layer, leaving the pepper’s smooth flesh behind.
What is Chile Verde Made of?
Here’s a list of what you need to make this Chili Verde recipe:
- Fresh tomatillos – these are wonderfully tart and taste perfect in this recipe. If you have never purchased these before they are green tomatoes with papery husks.
- Garlic cloves – freshly peeled ones are the best
- Jalapeño peppers
- Anaheim or Hatch Chile peppers from New Mexico – either type of green chile will work
- Poblano chiles
- Fresh cilantro
- Pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- White onions – you can use yellow onions, but white onions are more traditional in this recipe.
- Fresh or dried oregano – if you have access to Mexican oregano is preferable, but you can use whatever oregano you have on hand
- Chicken stock or chicken broth – To reduce the salt, you may want to use unsalted chicken stock or unsalted chicken broth
Best Cut of Pork to Use
You might wonder what are the best cuts of pork to use for this recipe. I typically use pork roasts, I like a tender pork shoulder roast for this recipe. You may find this sold as a pork butt. This cut of meat has good marbling and, therefore, good flavor. Other cuts of pork I recommend for this pork chili verde recipe are fresh pork ham or a pork leg.
How to Make Chili Verde
Here are the steps for making this chile verde recipe:
- Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Slice the tomatillos in half, and place them on a baking sheet with six cloves of garlic.
- Place sliced and seeded jalapenos, Anaheim peppers, and poblano peppers on the baking sheet.
- Broil until the skins begin to turn brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place a piece of parchment paper over it.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the whole cloves of garlic and peppers.
- Place tomatillos, peppers, garlic, and cilantro into a blender, and blend well.
- While the peppers are cooling, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces. Salt the pork.
- Sear the pork on all sides in a cast-iron Dutch oven or large pot. Do this in small batches so the pork browns evenly. The browned pork will give this recipe a lot of flavor.
- Remove pork as it browns and set aside.
- Sauté chopped garlic and chopped onions in the same Dutch oven until they become translucent.
- Add chicken stock and scrape up all of the browned bits you can when you pour in the stock.
- Add tomatillo mixture, pork, and seasonings back into the pot. Stir to combine everything.
- Simmer on the stovetop on low heat for about 2 hours or until the pork fall-apart tender.
Tips For Preparing, Serving, and Storing the Best Chili Verde Recipe
- Keep the cubed pork on the large. Unlike other chilis, you don’t pop the entire chunk of meat into your mouth. Well-prepared pork in a Chili Verde needs to be tender enough to pull apart with a spoon.
- Pork green chili is so versatile that you may want to make a double batch. Besides serving the chili with corn tortillas and fresh limes or over rice, there are many other ways to enjoy it. Try adding chicken stock to turn it into a hearty soup, or spooning Chili Verde over eggs for a fantastic breakfast!
- Easy to freeze. This green chili recipe freezes amazingly well. Let the chili return to room temperature before storing it in freezer bags.
What to Serve with Pork Chile Verde
You will want to serve this with fresh, warm tortillas (corn or flour.) I love to heat my tortillas on a grill or hot skillet. The tortillas become brown and crisp on the outside when you heat them up this way.
You may want to add some of your favorite toppings like chopped cilantro, slices of avocado, crunchy tortilla chips, lime wedges, or maybe even a dollop of sour cream. I know you will love whatever you top this classic Mexican cuisine.
How to Store this Chile Verde
This chili is like many other types of chilis; it tastes better the next day, so this is the perfect recipe to make ahead.
- Refrigerator – Store for 3 to 4 days in airtight containers.
- Freezer – Store for up to 3 months when stored in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags.
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Love Mexican Food? Try these recipes
- Wendy’s Taco Salad
- Taco Bell Tacos
- Taco Wrap
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Chicken Cheese Enchiladas Recipe
- Taco Casserole Recipe with Tortillas
- Mexican Cornbread Recipe
- Mexican Style Refried Beans
- Chili Salsa
Popular Pork Dishes
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
- 1 poblano pepper
- 6 large garlic cloves not peeled
- 2 jalapenos seeds and ribs removed, chopped
- 3 Anahiem peppers you can use Hatch peppers
- 1 cup cilantro washed, cleaned, and chopped
- 4 pounds pork butt roast also called pork butt, remove excess fat, and cut into 2 x 1 1/2 inch chuncks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Slice the tomatillos in half, and place on a baking sheet with the six cloves of garlic.
- To the baking sheet add the sliced and seeded jalapenos, anaheim peppers, and the poblano peppers. Roast until the skins begin to turn brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven.
- Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper, and allow the skins to loosen on the tomatillos.
- Remove the skins of peppers and the paper from the garlic.
- Place in a blender the tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. Puree until the mixture is smooth.
- While the peppers are cooling, cut the pork into bite-sized pieces. Salt the pork.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large Dutch oven over,medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides in a cast iron dutch oven, or in a large pot. Do this in small batches so the pork browns evenly. Remove pork as it browns and set aside.
- Add the chopped garlic and chopped onions in the same dutch oven until they become translucent. Remove the cooked garlic and onions from the pot at place in a blender.
- Add the cooked peppers to a blender.
- Pour the chicken stock into the pan and be sure to scrape up the browned bits.
- Place a couple of cups of the stock into the blender, and puree the mixture until it is fairly smooth.
Combine the sauce and the pork
- Add the green sauce from the blender to the pot.
- Simmer on low for about 2 hours or until the pork is tender.