Green, spicy, and full-bodied, soon you’ll be smothering everything in colorado green chili! Psst — this is our family’s favorite chili recipe.
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Mean, Green, and Addictive
I lived in Colorado for years. And man, I loved it. I spent my days hiking, biking, snowboarding, and camping. And my evenings cooking and eating the meatiest, heartiest dishes I could think of. One dish that became a staple was colorado green chili — all the restaurants in my small ski town served it as a sauce, side, and main course. Because it works. On everything. With everything. And on its own.
It’s truly *the best dang chili* I’ve ever had.
Now, if you know anything about Colorado chili, you know it’s not from Colorado. But let’s not tell them that. Because they’ve mastered it. And you can too by following the tried and true recipe below!
Not sure what to expect? Lovely. Green. Flavor.
You know. That specific type of flavor that comes from the melding of all things flavorful: poblanos, jalapeños, tomatillos, onions, and garlic. It’s pungent and spicy and a little bit sharp. It clears the palate and demands your attention.
Plus a whole lotta toasted spices, which give this chili depth and personality. They’re not taking center stage, they’re working together to make each bite a whole experience.
Last but not least, we’ve got trusty, tender, braised pork. Which provides the body to carry all of these flavors, and trust me, it does its job well!
Altogether, this chili is a well-rounded and addictive dish, and I truly can’t wait to hear what you think. Enjoy 🌶️💚 – Linds x
The BEST Colorado Green Chili, Video Tutorial
On your phone? Check out my web story here.
From veggies to herbs to spices, this pork green chili is full of all the best flavors. Here’s what you’ll need to get cooking:
- Pork shoulder or butt – Fun fact, pork butt is not from the butt, rather the shoulder — it’s the cut just above the pork shoulder. I prefer pork butt, as it has more fat throughout, and is often more tender and juicy. That said, the shoulder is typically easier to find. Either will work and be delicious.
- Kosher salt
- Poblano chiles – the best substitute here is Anaheim peppers — they have a little less heat but are generally similar in size and flavor.
- Jalapeño – This colorado green chili recipe is currently very mild. To add some heat, consider leaving some of the jalapeno seeds in the dish. You can also add some hot sauce at the end, that way it’s easier to adjust to your liking.
- Tomatillos – Be sure to remove the sticky residue on the tomatoes before roasting them. I do this by rubbing them with a kitchen towel under running water.
- Avocado or vegetable oil – any mild tasting oil with a high smoke point will do.
- Spices: cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, pepper
- Sweetener: sugar or Lakanto/Swerve if low carb.
How to Make Colorado Green Chili:
- Place cubes pork in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of salt and toss to coat.
- Place tomatillos, poblanos, onion slices, garlic, jalapeno, and poblano on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and toss to coat.
- Turn broiler off, and adjust the oven heat to 325 F. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the poblanos and discard.
- Place all roasted veggies into a food processor and pulse using 1 second intervals until the veggies are coarsely pureed. Make sure to clean off the sides occasionally to fully incorporate.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the pureed veggies, bay leaves, sugar/Lakanto or Swerve, pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of remaining salt.
- Add the pork and toss to coat. Bring chili to an aggressive simmer. Then remove from heat, place the lid on top, and toss in the preheated oven. Cook until the pork is tender.
- Try shredding the pork with 2 forks–it should literally fall apart!
- Once pork is tender, remove the bay leaves. Stir in cilantro.
- Ladel into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream, cotija, lime wedges, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!
All About the Toppings 🥣
Serving this as a main? We always do. It’s too good not to be the star of the show. Here’s how we like to dress up our bowls:
- More cilantro
- Avocado slices
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips – I use my keto tortilla chips.
How to Use Chili Verde as a Sauce…
As mentioned, many people use this as a sauce rather than a main. It goes wonderfully with:
- Eggs + toast – think eggs benedict with this colorado green chili sauce recipe instead of Hollandaise
- Tacos, burritos, and bowls – who needs salsa?
- Proteins – bring some flavor and excitement to meat-heavy dishes like sliced ham, chicken, etc.
🤔 What is the Difference Between Chile Colorado and Chile Verde?
There are a billion green chili recipes. But this one is our family’s favorite version. If you’re looking for something a little different, here are some variations you may consider trying:
- Use a different kind of meat, such as chicken. I suggest using chicken thighs, for colorado green chili chicken, and braising the meat in the sauce recipe below (similar to my keto chicken soup!).
- Or go vegetarian by skipping the meat altogether. Colorado green chili vegetarian makes for a great sauce!
- Add MORE heat by adding hot sauce at the end, or a few additional jalapenos to your green chili pork.
More Pork Recipes
Colorado Green Chili (Chili Verde)Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 pound pork shoulder or butt cut into 1" cubes (note 1)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 5 poblano chiles cut in half, stems and seeds removed
- 1 jalapeño cut in half, stems and seeds removed (note 2)
- 1 1/4 pounds tomatillos husks and stems removed. Rinsed well (note 3)
- 1 onion quartered
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons avocado or vegetable oil (note 4)
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Sugar, Lakanto or Swerve (note 5)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup minced fresh cilantro plus extra for serving
- Sour Cream
- Lime Wedges
- Tortilla Chips
- Prep. Place cubes pork (4 pounds) in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of salt and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour. Adjust your oven racks, so that one rack is 6" from the broiler, and the second is in the lower portion of your oven--with enough room in between to fit your dutch oven with the lid on. Preheat oven to broil and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Broil veggies. Place tomatillos (1 1/4 pounds), poblanos (5), onion slices (1), garlic (5 cloves), jalapeno (1), and poblano on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and toss to coat. Make sure the jalapeno and poblanos are both skin side up, then toss in the preheated oven and broil for 3-7 minutes. The tops of your veggies should start to brown-- flip the onions, garlic, and tomatillos, then return your pan to the oven and continue to roast for 3-6 more minutes. (Important! All broilers are different. One oven I cooked for 3 min on each side, the other it was longer. Keep a careful eye on your food here).
- Puree veggies. Turn broiler off, and adjust the oven heat to 325 F. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the poblanos and discard. Place all roasted veggies into a food processor and pulse using 1 second intervals until the veggies are coarsely pureed. Make sure to clean off the sides occasionally to fully incorporate.
- Simmer, then braising. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the cumin (2 teaspoons), oregano (1 teaspoon), chili powder (1 teaspoon), cinnamon (1/8 teaspoon), and cloves (pinch). Toast until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed veggies, bay leaves (2), sugar/Lakanto or Swerve (2 teaspoons), pepper (1 teaspoon), and 1 1/2 teaspoons of remaining salt. Add the pork and toss to coat. Bring chili to an aggressive simmer. Then remove from heat, place the lid on top, and toss in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 1/2, until the pork is tender. To test, remove the dutch oven from the oven and try shredding the pork with 2 forks--it should literally fall apart! If not, toss it back in the oven until it does. As you can see from the video, my pork was larger than 1" cubes (closer to 2" cubes) and took an additional 40 minutes to cook until tender.
- Finishing touches. Once pork is tender, remove the bay leaves. Stir in cilantro (1/2 cup). Ladel into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream, cotija, lime wedges, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Pork butt vs. shoulder - Pork butt has more fat throughout and tends to be more tender when braised. That said, pork shoulder is easier to find, and is delicious as well. They're very similar cuts (right next to each other in fact), so don't worry if you grab one or the other.
- Want to make this chili spicy? (Currently, it's mild!) Keep the jalapeno seeds or half of them. If you aren't sure, try making this recipe as is, then adjusting the spice level once the ingredients have simmered together, and you've taste-tested it. You can add hot sauce or cayenne pepper to up the heat.
- Cleaning tomatillos - after peeling back the husk, you'll notice a sticky residue on the tomatillos. You'll want to rinse this off before roasting.
- Oil - Opt for a mild-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like avocado, safflower, sunflower, vegetable oil, or
- Lakanto/Swerve or sugar - Lakanto and Swerve are both keto sweeteners I use to replace sugar. They can be used as a 1:1 swap with traditional sugar, so if using a different substitute, adjust accordingly.