This Green Chile (a.k.a. Chile Verde, or Pork Green Chili, is SO easy and delicious, with clever shortcuts making it simple to whip up. You’ll love the succulent, fork-tender pork in a tangy green stew.
What is Green Chile?
Green Chile, or Chile Verde, is a type of green chili sauce or stew that’s popular in Mexican cuisine. It’s typically made with chunks of pork or other meats simmered in a sauce made from green chilies (like hatch chile peppers, anaheim peppers, poblano chiles, jalapeno peppers, etc.), tomatillos, onions, and various spices.
The green color comes from the green chilies and tomatillos used in the recipe.
Chile Verde is known for its savory and mildly spicy flavor, and it can be served with rice, tortillas, or as a filling for burritos or tacos.
Why You’re going to LOVE This Easy Pork Green Chili Recipe
Using jarred salsa verde and canned diced green chilies is my fantastic secret shortcut when making Chile Verde:
- Salsa Verde: Jarred salsa verde is typically a blend of tomatillos, green chilies, onions, and spices. It provides the base flavors for Chile Verde, saving you the time of preparing the sauce from scratch. Look for a good-quality salsa verde with the level of spiciness you prefer.
- Canned Diced Green Chilies: These are pre-roasted and diced green chilies that add flavor and heat to your dish. They are convenient and can be used to enhance the spiciness and chili flavor in your Chile Verde.
These ingredients eliminate the need to deal with fresh tomatillos and their papery husks, which can be time-consuming to peel, wash, and prepare.
This time-saving approach allows you to enjoy the flavors of tomatillos and green chilies without the extra prep work, making the cooking process more efficient and convenient.
Here’s What You Need to Make Chili Verde
Before we get cooking, let’s go over the ingredients and tools you’ll need for this easy Pork Chile Verde recipe. I’ve also included some variations and substitutions if you want to get creative.
Green Chile Ingredients
- Pork shoulder, Pork Butt or Pork Loin: The main protein that’ll be tender and juicy.
- Kosher salt: For seasoning and enhancing all the flavors.
- Avocado oil: Used for high-heat searing and sautéing. Swap in your fav cooking oil.
- Onion: Adds sweetness and depth when sautéed.
- Garlic: Infuses the dish with aromatic undertones.
- Green salsa (salsa verde): Brings tang and heat to the sauce.
- Chicken broth: Acts as the liquid base and adds another layer of flavor.
- Diced green chiles: Offers extra heat and richness.
- Ground cumin: Provides a warm, earthy spice.
- Ground coriander: Optional, but adds a hint of citrusy warmth.
- Garnishes: Items like sour cream, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro add extra zing and freshness.
If you can’t find canned diced green chilies or want to use a substitute, you have a few options:
- Fresh Green Chilies: You can dice fresh green chilies like Anaheim, Poblano, or Hatch chilies. Roast them first to remove the skin, then dice them. This is the closest substitute in terms of flavor.
- Jalapeño Peppers: These are hotter than green chilies but can provide a similar texture and color. You can remove the seeds and membrane to reduce the heat level.
- Serrano Peppers: These are another spicy alternative. Again, removing the seeds and membrane will lower the heat.
- Bell Peppers: These offer a much milder flavor but can work if you’re looking for the texture and color without the heat.
- Pickled Jalapeños: These are commonly available and can be used if you don’t mind a slightly tangy, vinegary flavor in your dish.
- Red Chili Flakes or Cayenne: If you’re desperate and don’t have any of the above, a small amount of red chili flakes or cayenne powder can provide some heat, though you’ll miss out on the texture and flavor that green chilies provide.
Choose your substitute based on the level of heat you desire and the ingredients you have at hand.
Grab These Tools
To get started, make sure you have the following items at hand:
- Large pot or Dutch oven: The main cooking vessel for this one-pot dish.
- Cutting board: For chopping all your ingredients.
- Knife: Needed for all the dicing and chopping.
- Measuring cups and spoons: To ensure you’re using the right amounts.
- Wooden spoon: Useful for stirring the pot and breaking up the meat.
With your ingredients and tools ready, you’re all set to make a killer Pork Chile Verde.
What Cut of Pork is Best for Pork Green Chile?
Choosing the right cut of pork can make or break your Pork Green Chili. Here are your best options:
- Pork Shoulder: A well-marbled cut that becomes tender and flavorful after slow-cooking. This is my go-to choice for Green Chili.
- Pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is actually a cut from the upper part of the shoulder. It’s a great option for Chile Verde because it’s well-marbled. The fat marbling in pork butt keeps the meat moist during cooking and adds a lot of flavor to the final dish.
- Pork Loin: This cut is leaner than pork shoulder but can still work in a Chile Verde. The meat won’t be as tender or flavorful as when you use shoulder, but it’s a suitable option if you’re looking to cut down on fat. When I tried it myself, the texture was still easy to pull apart with a fork, but the mouthfeel was quite a bit drier.
The terms “pork shoulder” and “pork butt” are often used interchangeably, but they do come from adjacent parts of the animal and have slightly different characteristics. I consider them equal and either option is excellent for braising and delivers a flavorful result.
How to Make Green Chile: An Easy Guide
Making Chile Verde is simpler than you might think. You’ll work through six main steps: preparing the pork, searing it, sautéing aromatics, adding liquids and spices, cooking the pork, and finally, adding the finishing touches.
Prepare the Pork:
- Get things started by cutting your 2 lbs of pork shoulder, pork butt or pork loin into 1″ chunks. Then season away with 1 tsp of kosher salt. Easy, right?
- That’s it for this step. You’re ready to move on.
Sear the Pork:
- Heat 2 tbsp of your chosen oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the pork and brown all sides. Once that’s done, take the pork out of the pot and set it aside for now.
Make Chile Verde Sauce
- In the same pot, toss in another tbsp of oil, the diced onion, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
- Sauté until the onions look translucent. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and optional coriander, cooking for another minute.
- Now it’s time for your liquids. Add the jar of green salsa and the chicken broth to the pot.
- Don’t forget to toss in the can of diced green chiles. Give everything a good stir.
Assemble the Chili:
- Add the browned pork back into the pot.
- Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the pork is tender and easy to pull apart.
Add Final Touches:
- Taste the Chile Verde. Need more salt? Add it now.
- If you like, you can also shred the tender pieces of pork into smaller pieces. Either way, it’s time to dig in.
A Few Notes:
- If you’re using unsalted chicken broth, add an extra teaspoon of kosher salt when you add the broth.
- Feel free to garnish with sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and fresh cilantro if you like.
With these steps, you’re all set to enjoy some delicious homemade Chile Verde.
How to Serve this Chile Verde Recipe
Serving Pork Green Chili is pretty straightforward, but you can add some flair.
- Traditional: Serve over steamed white rice with warm flour tortillas on the side. Corn tortillas work too!
- Bowls: Create Chile Verde bowls with rice, black beans, and your favorite toppings like sour cream and avocado.
- Burritos: Use it as a hearty filling for burritos, adding in some cheese and rice before rolling them up.
- With Cornbread: For a different twist, pair it with a slice of cornbread.
- Garnish: Top with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and pickled jalapeños for extra flavor and texture.
That’s it! Choose your favorite way to serve and enjoy your homemade Chile Verde.
Green Chile Make Ahead and Storage
You can easily make this Chile Verde ahead of time or store leftovers. Here’s how:
Make Ahead: Prepare the Green Chile up to two days in advance. Store it in the fridge, and reheat it on the stovetop before serving.
Freezing: If you want to make a big batch, no worries. This recipe freezes well for up to three months. Just be sure to cool it to room temperature before transferring it to airtight containers for freezing.
Refrigerating: Leftovers? Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.
Reheating: You can reheat Chile Verde on the stovetop over low heat, or use the microwave. If it’s been frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
5 Common Mistakes When Making Green Chile
Here are the most frequent mix-ups to avoid when making Chile Verde:
- Overcrowding the Pan: When searing the pork, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. This will ensure that your pork gets browned properly, not steamed.
- Skipping the Searing: Don’t be tempted to skip the pork searing step. It adds depth and richness to your Chile Verde.
- Rushing the Cook Time: This is a dish that benefits from slow cooking. If you rush it, the pork won’t be as tender.
- Not Tasting for Salt: Especially if you’re using unsalted chicken broth, make sure to taste and adjust the salt before you finish cooking.
- Ignoring Aromatics: Don’t skimp on the garlic, onions, and spices. They’re key to a flavorful Chile Verde.
FAQs About Chile Verde
Just skimming through? Here are some quick answers to the commonly asked questions.
Yes, you can substitute chicken for pork. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time, as chicken usually cooks faster.
Green salsa is a key component of this recipe, offering a distinct tanginess. However, you can make your own mixture of tomatillos, green chilies, and spices if you prefer.
Chile Verde is versatile. You can serve it over rice, in a burrito, or even with a side of cornbread.
Absolutely, this recipe freezes well. Just make sure to cool it to room temperature before transferring it to airtight containers for freezing.
A large pot or Dutch oven works best for this recipe, as it offers ample space for all the ingredients and allows for consistent heating.
Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Sear the pork and sauté the aromatics on the stovetop before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Green chile mainly consists of green chili peppers. Other ingredients like tomatillos, onions, and garlic may also be included.
Other Chili Recipes You’ll Love
- Cream Cheese Chicken Chili – The star of this chili is the cream cheese, giving it a creamy, tangy twist that sets it apart.
- Green Chicken Chili – A stovetop, one-pot recipe perfect for busy days. It’s full of flavor and has a secret shortcut ingredient, making it a quick, satisfying meal.
- White Chicken Chili – Taking a turn from the usual, this chili uses chicken and white beans for a milder, lighter taste.
- Chili Con Carne – A traditional favorite, this chili brings boldness with ground beef, chili powder, and a mix of spices for a deeply savory flavor.
- Instant Pot Chicken Chili – Perfect for when you’re short on time, this recipe brings together chicken, beans, and spices in a pressure cooker for a quick, comforting meal.
Looking to up your chili game? Try making your own spice mix with my Chili Seasoning Recipe – it’s easy and budget-friendly!
Green Chile (Award-Winning Pork Green Chili Recipe)
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork loin
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divided use
- 3 tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 16-ounce jar green salsa (salsa verde)
- 2 cups regular chicken broth see notes
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander optional
- Sour cream, pickled jalapenos and/or fresh cilantro for garnish
Prepare the Pork
- Season the 2 lbs of pork shoulder or pork loin with 1 tsp of kosher salt.
Sear the Pork
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the pork and sear until all sides are browned. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, add another 1 tbsp oil, plus onion and remaining ½ tsp salt. Sauté, stirring to scrape up browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until it turns translucent.
- Stir in garlic, cumin and coriander (if using) and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add Liquids and Spices
- Pour in one 16-ounce jar of green salsa (salsa verde) and 2 cups of chicken broth.
- Add the 4-ounce can of diced green chiles.
Cook the Pork
- Return the seared pork to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the pork is tender and can be easily pulled apart.
Add Final Touches
- Taste and add additional salt if needed.
- If you like, you can also shred the pork into smaller pieces at this point.
Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD