Pork Chile Verde is an authentic Mexican stew that can be made on the stove top, in the oven, the slow cooker or in the Instant Pot. This hearty recipe is made of tender pieces of pork shoulder simmered in a mixture of tomatillos, chiles and spices that creates a richly flavored sauce that is a bit spicy, slightly smoky and absolutely delicious!
Pork Chile Verde
There is nothing quite like a satisfying bowl of stewed meat cooked in a rich savory sauce, especially on a cold day. Just like a bowl of hearty chili or my favorite Chile Colorado, this easy Green chili pork stew never disappoints.
Why This Recipe Works
- This recipe can be cooked low and slow in the oven, on the stove top or in the crock pot. If you are short on time, the pressure cooker/Instant Pot can do the job much quicker with amazing results.
- This authentic Mexican stew is made with well marbled pork shoulder aka pork butt which is an affordable cut of meat. It is known for its ability to cook until fork-tender without drying while keeping the richness of its flavor.
- Pork butt is a cut of meat that is easy to cook and hard to overcook even when braised for long periods of time.
- This simple recipe delivers an intensely flavorful sauce without charring or roasting the chiles. Less time! Less effort! Lots of flavor!
- This is a great recipe to feed a crowd. This easy stew can be made ahead of time and reheats well.
- You can easily swap the fresh chiles and use what is available in your area.
Chile Verde Ingredients
- Pork: Traditionally, Mexican chile verde is made with pork shoulder also sold as pork butt. Boneless pork country ribs are also a good option. Pork loin (not pork tenderloin) can be used, but cooking times may need to be adjusted. The much leaner pork loin dries up when overcooked.
- Oil: Olive oil or any mild oil like vegetable or canola oil can be used.
- Chiles: To make the savory and flavorful homemade chile verde sauce, I use Hatch chiles (sub with Anaheim chiles, if needed). For a slight spicy kick, I add jalapeños (use serrano peppers for extra heat) and lastly, I add poblano peppers.
- Tomatillos: These are also known as Mexican husk tomatoes. If you cannot find fresh tomatillos, sub them with 11-12 ounces of canned tomatillos. Another option is to use a pound of fresh green tomatoes and add about 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice to get similar flavor.
- Aromatics: I use yellow or brown onions and fresh garlic.
- Seasonings and Spices: Ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper.
- Fresh Cilantro: If you don’t like cilantro, you can use fresh flat leaf parsley.
- Broth: I like using chicken broth. Water can be used, but I prefer broth as it adds flavor.
- Lime Juice: There is nothing quite like the flavor of fresh lime juice. The juice from the bottle cannot compare to the real fruit.
How To Make Chile Verde
Here are the highlights of the recipe when made on the stove top. I always like to know the step by step process on how to make a recipe without all the little details before I start cooking. It makes me feel prepared and ready. Detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card.
- Season: Season the pork with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Sear: Brown the pork until golden brown to lock in the flavor. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Transfer to a plate.
- Make the Chile Verde Sauce: In the same pot, sauté the onions and all the chile peppers until they start to become soft. Add the tomatillos and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Season: Stir in the spices and garlic.
- Finish the Green Chile Sauce: Stir in the broth, cilantro and lime juice and bring to a light boil. Remove from the heat.
- Blend: You can use an immersion blender, regular blender or a food processor. Blend the green salsa mixture until smooth.
- Simmer: Return the pork to the pot (with the sauce) and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the pork is tender.
- Garnish and Serve: Season to taste and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve!
Chili verde sauce made with green tomatillos is usually thickened by the natural pectin of the tomatillos; however, if you want a thicker chili verde sauce, you can make a slurry by mixing cornstarch and water. Add the mixture to the sauce and simmer until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
This question was a bit confusing to me as “colorado” can have different meanings. Colorado is – one name used for the color red in Spanish (rojo), the name of a US state and a popular Mexican stew similar to Pork Chile Verde but made with dried red chiles and most commonly made with beef.
Then, I learned about the argument between two states, New Mexico and Colorado both claiming to have the best green chiles!
Add to that, Pork Green Chile is also one of the most popular dishes in New Mexico although it originated in Northern Mexico!! Are you confused yet?
Is It Chile Verde or Chili Verde?
When it comes to colorado or verde, nothing confuses people like the word chili and chile! It is actually quite easy!
- Chile is a pepper. Red or green (or any other color for that matter).
- Chili is a stew.
- Pork Chile Verde is a Mexican stew made with green chiles. In this particular case, the name of the dish is in reference to the green chiles used to make the stew! Similar case is Chile Colorado Beef, which is a Mexican beef stew made with dried red chile peppers. I say we call it “Pork Chile Verde Chili” to make everyone happy!
How To Serve Chile Verde
Chile verde is delicious served over rice with a few tortillas for scooping and dipping.
What To Eat With Pork Chile Verde?
Chile Verde is a very hearty stew and a dinner meal by itself! If you want to serve it at a party or gathering, this tasty pork stew can be served alongside Charro Beans, Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad, Homemade Tortilla Chips and Guacamole.
Can Chile Verde Be Made Ahead?
Yes, this recipe can be made ahead. After the stew is completely cool, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you freeze it, it will last for 2 months.
How Long Does Chile Verde Keep?
Stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, it will keep for 5 days. Pork chile verde freezes well and can be kept frozen for up to 2 months.
Can You Freeze Pork Chile Verde?
Yes, this recipe freezes well. Cool the stew completely and store it in an airtight container or in a resealable freezer bag. You can freeze individual portions in resealable sandwich or quart freezer bags also. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stove top or the microwave right before dinner time!
How To Pick The Best Tomatillos
Although one may think of tomatillos as a small tomato, they are not. Although part of the tomato family, they are closely related to the cape gooseberry family.
- Pick tomatillos that are smaller than the size of a golf ball and slightly larger than a walnut. Bigger ones aren’t as flavorful and can sometimes be bitter.
- Tomatillos are ripe when they fill their husks completely. The husk should be relatively tight and the fruit inside should feel firm (not hard).
- Canned Tomatillos: For this recipe, you will need 11 to 12 ounces of canned tomatillos. Canned tomatillos are already cooked and puréed.
- Green Tomatoes: You will need a pound of green tomatoes and about 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice. The addition of lime juice helps when trying to reach the flavor of tomatillos.
- Unripe Tomatoes: This is a last resort type of substitution.
Instant Pot Recipe Instructions
Follow the recipe instructions as written searing the pork and sautéing the onions, tomatillos and chiles in the pressure cooker using the “Sauté” function. After blending the sauce and returning the pork to the pot, seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 28 minutes. Do a 10 minutes natural pressure release.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Follow the recipe instructions as written searing the pork and sautéing the onions, tomatillos and chiles in a large sauté pan or skillet. After blending the sauce, transfer the pork and the green chile sauce to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the instructions as written. After returning the pork and sauce to the pot, bring to a simmer. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Chile Verde Recipe Tips
- Choose a cut of pork that is well marbled like boneless pork butt (pork shoulder) or boneless country ribs. The melted pork fat keeps the meat from drying while adding rich flavor to the braised green chili stew.
- Browning the pork chunks adds an extra layer of flavor to this stew. Pat the meat dry to get a good sear.
- Pureeing the cooked tomatillos, chiles and veggies thickens the green sauce while also melding the flavors. You can use an immersion blender, a regular blender or a food processor.
- If you can’t get fresh Hatch chile peppers, Anaheim or cubanelle peppers are a good substitution.
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Pork Chile Verde Recipe
- 3 pounds boneless pork butt, pork shoulder roast or Boston butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stems removed, seeded and chopped
- 2 Hatch peppers or Anaheim peppers, stems removed and chopped
- 2 poblano peppers, stems removed and chopped
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and cut in half
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth or water, (plus more depending on how thin or thick you want the sauce).
- 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (about a cup of firm packed cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Chopped cilantro to garnish
- Corn tortillas, julienne radishes, tortilla chips, lime wedges (optional)
- Season the pork with salt and black pepper to taste.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Brown the pork on all sides until golden brown. Do this in batches if needed so you don't overcrowd the pot. Transfer the the seared pork to a plate and set aside. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of rendered fat.
- In the same pot, brown the onions , jalapeños, Hatch and poblano peppers for about 4 minutes or until they start to become soft. Add the tomatillos and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the ground cumin, dried oregano and ground coriander and mix to combine. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute or until fragrant.
- Stir in the broth, cilantro and lime juice and bring to a light boil. Remove from the heat.
- With an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth or transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Be careful when blending hot liquids. Make sure you hold the lid down with the help of a kitchen towel.
- Return the prepared chile verde sauce and the pork to the pot and mix to combine scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any brown bits. Bring to a boil over medium-high, cover, lower the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2.5 to 3 hours or until the pork is tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve.
Pork Chile Verde in the Instant Pot
- Follow the recipe instructions as written searing the pork and sautéing the onions, tomatillos and chiles in the pressure cooker using the "Sauté" function. After blending the sauce and returning the pork to the pot, seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 28 minutes. Do a 10 minutes natural pressure release.
Pork Chile Verde in the Slow Cooker
- Follow the recipe instructions as written searing the pork and sautéing the onions, tomatillos and chiles in a large sauté pan or skillet. After blending the sauce, transfer the pork and the green chile sauce to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Pork Chile Verde in the Oven
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the instructions as written. After returning the pork and sauce to the pot, bring to a simmer. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.