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Chile Colorado Beef Stew served in a white bowl.
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5 from 28 votes

Chile Colorado Beef Stew

Chile Colorado is a flavorful and hearty stew recipe made with stew meat simmered in a Mexican style red chile sauce until fall-apart tender. This Chile Colorado recipe can be made in the oven, stove top, Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Chile Colorado, Mexican Beef Stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 24 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 39 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 474kcal


For The Chile Paste

  • 3 dried Guajillo chiles *see notes about chiles
  • 4 dried New Mexico Chiles
  • 2 dried Chile de Arbol chiles
  • 4 cups chicken broth or beef stock, divided
  • 1 tomato roasted *see notes

For the Chile Colorado Beef Stew

  • 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks *see notes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


To Make the Red Chile Sauce

  • Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles.
  • Place the chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30 seconds total - in 2 intervals of 15 seconds each.
  • Heat 2 cups of chicken broth until warm - you can do this in the microwave. Submerge the chiles into the broth, cover and microwave for about 2 minutes.
  • Place the chiles, the roasted tomato and the liquid into a blender and process until smooth. About 2 minutes. Set aside.
    When blending hot liquids, you must hold the blender lid down with a kitchen towel to prevent the lid from popping up violently.

To Make the Chile Colorado Beef Stew

  • Season the beef with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pot in a single layer and sear on all sides until the beef turns golden brown. You may need to do this in batches to prevent over crowding the pot. Remove the seared beef to a plate and set aside.
  • When you are done searing all the beef, add the onions to the pot (add more oil if needed), and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  • Return the beef and any collected juices back to the pot. Add the red chile sauce and the remaining broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. (If cooking in the oven or in the slow cooker, you can follow the instructions below).
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook stirring occasionally for about 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender. 

If Cooking In the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the covered pot in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender.

If Cooking In the Slow Cooker:

  • Place the seared beef, saute onions, garlic and spices into the slow cooker. Add the chile paste and broth. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the beef is tender. 

If Cooking In A Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

  • Use the saute function to brown the beef Do it in batches not to overcrowd the pot. Remove from the Instant Pot.
  • When you are done searing all the beef, (see NOTE 1) add the onions to the pot (add more oil if needed), and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and the spices and cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly. Turn the Instant Pot Off.
  • Pour the remaining broth into the Instant Pot and with a wooden spoon scrape any browned bits stuck at the bottom. Return the beef and any collected juices back to the pot. Add the red chile sauce and stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid on and check that the valve is set to seal. Cook on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes.
  • When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure and carefully open the lid. Continue with the rest of the recipe below. You will use the saute function to simmer the sauce (with the cornstarch slurry) for 5-6 minutes.

After The Beef Is Tender (for all methods)

  • Make a Masa Harina Slurry: In a small bowl, mix the masa harina with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (beef juices) until the mixture is smooth. You can also use broth or water, if preferred.
  • Stir the masa harina slurry mixture and the vinegar into the beef stew and simmer on the stove top for 5 minutes. (If using a slow cooker, set the crockpot to high and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes).
  • Check for seasoning and add the chicken bouillon (optional) or salt and pepper, if needed. Serve.



  • Note 1: If the IP is getting too hot after browning the beef (you will notice the bottom of the pot looks burnt - simply turn the pressure cooker off for about 3-4 minutes, after turn the IP to saute again.
  • You can use a combination of dried chiles or just one or two types. If using only one type of chile, I suggest using New Mexico chiles or dried ancho chiles (not in the recipe but it makes a great sauce!)
  • You can use stew meat.
  • You can use about a cup of canned roasted tomatoes instead. Seriously don't stress over the exact amount, I usually use 3/4 of a 15-ounce can. If I'm feeling particularly lazy I skip the measurements and dump the whole can! 
  • How To Roast a Tomato: Heat a small cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the tomato and cook, turning often until lightly charred. You can also char the tomato in the oven under the broil, turning it often. 


Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 12.3mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 6mg