Slow cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)

Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)

Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)

It’s Super Bowl week! The Super Bowl is the fifth most important American food holiday. Time for recipes for your party!
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, Forth of July, Memorial Day, Super Bowl. Actually, I think the Super Bowl has passed the Forth of July and Memorial Day, and moved up to #3, right behind Christmas…

I had this post all planned out. My Super Bowl chili would be Chili Verde, green chili, to tie in with the Green Bay Packers. Then the Packers lost in their first playoff game. Oh well, the chili is still worth talking about.
*I live and die with the Cleveland Browns. Die, mostly. But my Dad grew up in Wisconsin and is a huge Packers fan, so I like seeing the Packers do well.

Chili Verde breaks the mold. Pork? Green sauce? Is this really chili? It is the only chili, other than Texas Red, that the International Chili Society recognizes. But, green chili? It sounds like it should be in a Doctor Seuss story.
*I would not eat it in a boat, I would not eat it with a goat. I will not eat it here or there, I will not eat it anywhere! I will not eat green chili, Sam I am…darn, lost the rhyme at the end.
Chili Verde is more involved than most slow cooker recipes. Broiling peppers and tomatillos, then blending them into a green sauce is a little extra work.* If you time it right, though, the peppers are under the broiler while you brown the pork, and everything comes together at the same time. It’s worth the extra work. The results are full of green chili flavor and big hunks of pork. Chili Verde is different from red chili, but every bit as delicious.
*And if you want to cheat, and dump things out of jars and cans, check out the variations at the end of the recipe…

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)

Adapted From: Elise Bauer, Chile Verde,


  • 6 quart or larger slow cooker (Crock Pot brand is fine, but I like my fancy one from All-Clad)

Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 11 hours
  • Yield: 8-12 1x


Slow Cooker Chile Verde from the American Southwest. Green chiles and pork – what’s not to like?



Green Sauce

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 pound Anaheim chiles, halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 green bell peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, halved and stemmed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt


  • 5 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • A couple dashes green hot sauce (optional, see notes)


  1. Make the green sauce: Spread the tomatillos, anaheim chiles, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the baking sheet 6 inches below a broiler set to high, and broil until the tomatillos and peppers are blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip the tomatillos and broil until the tomatillos are browned on the other side and the skins of the peppers are blackened all over, about another five minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the peppers cool for a few minutes, then peel the blackened skin from the peppers and discard. (A little leftover blackened skin is fine.) Pour the contents of the baking sheet into a blender or food processor, including as much of the liquid as possible. Add the cilantro and the teaspoon of Kosher salt, then blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Brown the pork: Sprinkle the pork evenly with the 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown the pork in two to three batches. Cook each batch for six minutes total, turning the pork halfway through the cooking time to brown it on two sides. Transfer the pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  3. Saute the aromatics and toast the spices: There should be 2 tablespoons of fat left in the pan; add more oil or pour out fat to get to 2 tablespoons. Add the onions to the fry pan and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Saute the onions until softened and starting to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes, scraping occasionally to release the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pot. Make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and brown sugar. Cook until you smell the garlic and spices, about one minute, then stir into the onions. Add the chicken broth and green sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
  4. Slow cook the chili: Transfer the contents of the fry pan to the slow cooker. Stir the pork, pork juices, and crushed tortilla chips into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 5 hours.
  5. Serve the chili: Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce. Taste add more salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and more green hot sauce.

  • Category: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
L to R: Tomatillo, Anaheim pepper, Jalapeno pepper, Green Bell Pepper

L to R: Tomatillo, Anaheim pepper, Jalapeno pepper, Green Bell Pepper

Blackening the peppers and tomatillos: most of the way there, but could still use a little more

Blackening the peppers and tomatillos: most of the way there, but could still use a little more

Sauteing the onions, toasting the spices

Sauteing the onions, toasting the spices

Green sauce into the pot

Green sauce into the pot



*Cheater version: Instead of making the green sauce, buy it in jars or cans. Use 28 ounces of tomatillo salsa, and 28 ounces of green enchilada sauce. Watch the heat level on the tomatillo salsa – you want mild to medium salsa; if it is a really hot salsa, it can overwhelm the rest of the chili.

*Beans: If you want beans in your chili, stir in 28 ounces of canned navy or cannelini beans with the pork and tortilla chips. Just don’t tell the ICS – see rule #1.


*I save the dregs from tortilla chip bags for my chili recipes. The crushed chips dissolve and thicken the sauce, and add a little masa flour taste to the chili. Slow cooker recipes tend to be watery, so the extra thickening is a big help.

*Hot sauces: Depending on the heat level you’re looking for:
Tabasco Jalapeño Sauce – medium heat
Dave’s Hurtin’ Jalapeno Sauce – hot
El Yucateco Green Chile Habanero Sauce – hot!
El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce – oh, my

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Texas Red Chili
Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili
Click here for my other slow cooker recipes.

Adapted from:

Elise Bauer, Chile Verde,

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Filed under: Slow cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Carolyn Caster says

    Thanks for this recipe. I used jars of the tomatillo salsa and ench sauce and added navy beans. The pork shoulder I bought had a bone, which got thrown into the crockpot as well. The chili verde turned out very well and I’ll definitely make this again.

  2. Aaron Friedman says

    How much masa would you use instead of tortilla chip crumbs, about 1/4 cup?

    Also, what’s with the bell peppers? Why not poblanos or more anaheims? 

  3. Yes, use a quarter cup of masa. I’d whisk it in with a cup of the liquid from the pot, then stir it in at the end of cooking.

    I use bell peppers to keep the heat level down while adding more pepper flavor to the recipe. I was aiming for a medium heat level, so I didn’t scare my kids. If you’re ok with more heat, use poblanos or anaheims instead of the bell peppers. I add the extra heat at the table with a few shakes of habanero pepper sauce.

  4. I noticed the instructions indicate all the browning/frying is to be done in a fry pan and transferred to the slow cooker, but the pictures you put up make it look like you’re doing it all inside the slow cooker insert on the cooktop. Is that a perk the All-Clad cooker provides you? (FWIW, I’m shopping for a slow cooker but the collection of iffy reviews on Amazon gave me some pause for the All-Clad model)

  5. It’s a feature of the All Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker at Williams-Sonoma. It has an aluminum insert, instead of ceramic, so it is stovetop safe. I used the frypan instruction since most people don’t have stovetop safe inserts.

  6. Ah, so that explains it! The embedded link in your slow cooker recipes links the standard ceramic model on Amazon. We’ll be sure to put the WS model on the wedding registry next year!

  7. Charlie Lawton says

    As a longtime resident of New Mexico and southern Colorado, I feel compelled to get all food snobby and say that Green Chile really shouldn’t include tomatillos. Around here, it’s pork, potatoes, onions, garlic, and lots of roasted, chopped green chiles – I use green chile powder to add body to the broth and a mix of mild and hot autumn roast chiles, chopped roughly and added near the end. The consistency is more of a chunky stew than a thick, gooey chili. Tomatillos are really more of a Mexican ingredient, and green chile begins and ends in New Mexico. Obviously, Ohio isn’t gonna have the variety of green chiles we have around here, but Anaheims do quite well.

    Anyway, don’t mind me – we’re particular about green chile around here. I don’t mean to take anything away from your version, which I’m sure was great, but if you’d like to give it a shot with a more New Mexican recipe, I’m happy to provide.

  8. Melissa Bryson says

    Mike – I found this while looking for some new ideas. I cannot wait until the weather in Atlanta gets cold enough for me to make it. It looks delicious. Melissa (

  9. Carolyn says

    Think this adapts well to the pressure cooker? I just don’t have 5 hours today… Thanks!

  10. Denise Myerson Kazen says

    My husband and I used to get a chili verde from Costco 10+ years ago and loved it! Of course they stopped selling it. Everything we found since then has been mostly fat and very little meat. 10+ years later I finally decided to try and find a recipe on the internet. I had read your recipe and was nervous about making the peppers correctly, etc. I made it the cheater way the first time, then I decided I needed to go completely home made. I am so glad I did! The only changes I made were using a pork loin with fat completely trimmed. I only browned the onions in a little oil, but the rest of the ingredients all got thrown into the crockpot. (I also used a little more cilantro.) Came out fantastic! I was very surprised to read the previous person’s critique about not using tomatillos since in Texas that’s the only way I’ve ever seen it. I looked it up and apparently it’s regional to either use tomatillos or to use potatoes. I’m curious to try the other way as well and have a second dish. This is definitely a keeper. Yum!

  11. Sandra says

    Glad I found this. This is authentic Mexican recipe. I’m from California and this is similar to my moms recipe. I looked everywhere for something this similar. Thanks!

  12. Janalina says

    The ingredients list does not list cloves yet it is mentioned in the instructions text. Does the recipe include cloves or was that a typo.

  13. Janalina says

    So I’ve now done your recipe twice…my husband is nuts over it. The first go was for his office Chili cook off. My pot was licked clean and the other contenders’ were still half full. I made it again on the weekend since there were no leftovers from the office do. Both times I reduced the added salt and threw in a hammock to slow cook with everything else. Thanks for the great recipe. Making the sauce from scratch is the way to go and it’s not hard or terriblly time consuming.

  14. Carla says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I am making it today at work ( I’m a cook) and I like the addition of the green bell pepper for those sensitive to spice, which some of my clients are definitely spice-challenged. Great job posting it too! Much appreciated!

          • So, I made this recipe and I doubled it in all areas but only had about 8-9 lbs. of meat. This filled only a 6 quart crock pot. I will triple it next time so that I can fill two crock pots! It is SOOO good.

  15. Richard says

    I tried this recipe for the first time and it proved to be a mini-lesson in pepper heat. I went to the market for ingredients and they did not have Anaheim peppers. I spoke to the grocer who suggested another “mild” pepper that he had actually seen several “old ladies” buy. They were long, thin and light green (Anchos?) and I bought about 2/3 of a pound of them. Followed the recipe and added them per directions. Sampled the chili after awhile and after 3 glasses of water realized that:

    1. Some old ladies like the heat.
    2. When substituting peppers, check a reliable source first.
    3. Taste peppers before using and add gradually versus all at once.

    I was able to rescue my chili by cooking and adding another pound of tomatillos (sorry New Mexico guy!). But boy, it was still hot!

  16. Ron Edwards says

    there is no print friendly button at the bottom of my page – I would love to print only the text, not the pictures!! Sounds excellent, cant’ wait to try it for my family tomorrow.

    • I added the “print recipe” card to this recipe, but it doesn’t remove all the pictures. I don’t have print friendly any more – I switched blog platforms, and it’s not available.

  17. Charlene says

    My husband made this over the weekend and it was excellent! We like a little more heat so next time we will add one or two more jalapeños- but your version has excellent flavor & has a mild heat factor so would be good if you have kids or adults that can’t take too much spice/heat. We will be making this again soon. Thanks for sharing!

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