Pork Chile Verde

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it’s a great way to warm up on a cold evening!

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This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!Back last winter, Laura emailed me from work with a recipe to try.  Turns out she had told one of her coworkers that I write a food blog, and he in turn shared his award-winning Pork Chile Verde recipe with us.  I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first.  No offense intended to Laura’s coworker, but my experience with chili recipes from her work is rather skewed.

For years, her lab hosted a chili cookoff every Fall.  Folks brought in batches of their favorite chili, and everyone went around sampling chili.  Sounds awesome, right?  It is!  Until you get to the voting.  Somehow the winner was always the hottest chili…even if that just meant you added a jar or six of hot sauce.  Wowzers.  So with that as a backdrop, you can see why I might have been a bit skeptical of a chili recipe coming from one of Laura’s coworkers!

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!It turns out that the chili cookoff rules in his lab were a bit different, and the title could be earned without the addition of copious amounts of hot sauce.  Plus, Laura pointed out that “he used to manage a Mexican restaurant and his wife is Hispanic — that might add some credibility to the recipe.”  I agreed.  That definitely earned some street cred with me!  So I added that Pork Chile Verde to our list of recipes to make.  But then it somehow slipped from last winter to this Fall…oops.

What is the difference between chili and chile?

Technically, chile refers to the plant (i.e. a chile pepper) while chili refers to the recipe (i.e. Maple Bacon Chili).  However, the two words are still used interchangeably.  For instance, Pork Chile Verde is typically spelled with ‘chile’ instead of ‘chili’ even though this recipe is served in a bowl like chili.  Whew.  Have I confused you yet?  In short, call it what you want!  It’s delicious either way.

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!What are the main ingredients in Pork Chile Verde?

Pork Chile Verde is a staple in nearly every taco and burrito restaurant in the U.S.  And there’s a reason why!  Pork Chile Verde is typically made with pork loin or pork shoulder that is slow-cooked with tomatillos, peppers and garlic.  The peppers are often roasted first which adds another layer of flavor to the final dish.  My advice: don’t skip the roasting of the peppers.  There is so much flavor in this Pork Chile Verde!

Is Pork Chile Verde Spicy?

Well, yes and no.  This depends entirely on how you make it.  For instance, this recipe for Pork Chile Verde calls for 2 serrano peppers.  (Serrano peppers are roughly 3 times spicier than jalapenos.)  For a less spicy version, you could use one jalapeno instead of the serranos.  Or you could omit the serranos and jalapenos entirely.  Alternatively, you could go the other direction and use more serranos.  Or if you’re a real glutton for punishment, use Thai Chili Peppers or Habanero Peppers.  In short, it depends on which peppers you use!

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!How many tomatillos are in a pound?

Finally, I had to include this question as I literally walked back and forth between the tomatillos and the scale in the produce section about 4 times.  There are roughly 15 medium-sized tomatillos in a pound.  So this recipe calls for ~30 tomatillos.  That’s a fairly big bag, but those tomatillos provide the backbone of flavor for this Pork Chile Verde!

This Pork Chile Verde recipe involves several steps, so it’s not going to be a meal that you just whip together on a busy weeknight.  Nope, save this one for the weekend.  And then just reheat it on busy weeknights!  I will say that it’s not a particularly difficult recipe, but it does involve roasting poblano peppers as well as broiling the tomatillos and garlic.  But these steps add a ton of flavor, so don’t skip ’em!

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!All in all, this Pork Chile Verde is a new favorite in our house.  Our thanks go out to Andrew from Cincinnati for sharing his award-winning recipe.  I can definitely understand why it took top honors!  Andrew, if you decide to go back to managing a Mexican restaurant, then we’ll be among your first customers…even if means we have to drive 11 hours to get there.

Love chili (or chile) recipes?  Then check out some of our other favorites!

Maple Bacon Chili (so good!)

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Slow Cooker Cincinnati Chili

Classic Chili Cheese Dogs

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!

Pork Chile Verde

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 435kcal


For Chile Verde

  • 3 pounds pork loin cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 5 poblano peppers
  • 2 pounds tomatillos husks removed
  • 6 whole garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 serrano peppers stems removed and sliced lengthwise
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
  • ¾ cup Hatch green chile sauce see note
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves ~1 large bunch, divided
  • 1 large white onion finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

For Serving


  • Using a large bowl, add cubed pork loin and salt; toss until well coated. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, roast the poblano peppers by laying them directly on stove over flame. Use tongs to rotate peppers often until they are charred on all sides. (Note: This step can also be done on a grill or under a broiler in the oven. Whatever the method, don’t skip this step as it produces a ton of flavor!)
  • Transfer charred peppers into a bowl. Cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Hold each pepper under running water and peel. Dry peppers and remove stems and seeds. Place peppers in food processor.
  • Preheat broiler to high.
  • Using medium bowl, add tomatillos, garlic cloves, serrano peppers and 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil; toss until well coated.
  • Transfer tomatillo mixture to a sheet pan lined with foil. Broil for 5 minutes, flip and continue broiling for 5 more minutes, or until tomatillos are charred. Transfer mixture (along with any liquid) into food processor.
  • Add hatch green chile sauce and 1 cup of cilantro leaves to food processor; pulse several times until well chopped, but not entirely pureed.
  • Preheat oven to 225°F.
  • Using a large Dutch oven, add remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and place over high heat. Once hot, add half of the cubed pork loin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is browned on all sides. Add remaining pork loin and onion. Continue cooking for 4-5 more minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
  • Add cumin, chicken stock and chopped chile mixture (from food processor); stir until well combined. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.
  • Cover and transfer Dutch oven into the oven, but leave lid slightly askew to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Cook for 3 hours, or until pork shreds easily with 2 forks. (Note: If chile verde is too thin, simply place on burner over medium-high heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until some of the liquid evaporates.)
  • Stir in remaining cilantro and season with additional salt/pepper as desired.
  • Serve with diced red onions, sour cream, avocado, cilantro and lime wedges.


Hatch green chile sauce can be ordered online if it isn’t readily available in your area. Another option would be to substitute 5 chopped Hungarian wax peppers or cubanelle peppers.
Adapted from Serious Eats with further adaptations by Andrew W.

This Pork Chile Verde is loaded with flavor, and it's a great way to warm up on a cold evening!

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  1. Tomatillos is just something we don’t get around here, unfortunately, but I would totally give ’em a try. And spice? Doesn’t bother me – love it….though, hubby even more so! This sounds like a really yummy recipe and I really wish I had bowl right about now. All that roasty goodness sounds right up my alley. So nice of one of Laura’s co workers to share this recipe. Happy Monday, David 🙂

    1. Sad! There are certainly a lot of things that we don’t get in our area, Dawn. I totally understand. But for whatever reason, we’re lucky enough to be able to find tomatillos at one of our larger grocery stores. This chile verde really is a keeper of a recipe, too! It’s unique, and it’s perfect for these cold nights. (Speaking of cold nights…how is it cold again already!?) Hope your week is off to a great start, my friend!

  2. David, a very warming and nice-looking chili and “green chili” (as we called it when I was a kid) is a fav of ours. Unfortunately, they don’t sell fresh tomatillos here. I can get restaurant size canned online but they’re like $17 US plus freight. What do you think about trying it with green tomatoes?

    1. Yikes! Those are some expensive tomatillos, Ron. I actually did a little googling just now as I’m curious about the green tomatoes vs. tomatillos. There appears to be a split in opinions (imagine that!). But enough people are saying that green tomatoes can indeed work, so I might be encouraged to try it out. I’m seeing that you might need to cook them a little longer (probably not necessary with this recipe as it already simmers for several hours) and add a squeeze of lime as tomatillos are a lot more tart than tomatoes. And my gut tells me you might end up with more liquid, so you may want to simmer that extra liquid back out. Just a thought! But I think there’s enough of a possibility that it’s worth trying. Let me know if you do! Thanks, Ron!

    1. This recipe really is quite tasty, Kathy! If you’re a chile verde fan, then you definitely need to put this on the menu at home. 🙂 Thanks so much, and I hope it’s not too cold in your area yet!

  3. Ugh. The difference between chili and chile is making my copyeditor’s brain hurt. But the rest of me is excited to learn something new! I’m obsessed with salsa verde and this sounds like a giant bowl of that. I’m all for it :). And I’d add extra serranos because I looooove spice (in healthy doses–I’m not sure I’d enjoy Laura’s coworkers’ chili cookoff). Have a great week, David!

    1. Copyeditor, eh? Interesting! And since you’re in the middle of pepper country, I’m guessing you have access to all sorts of awesome ingredients. I’m thinking chile verde needs to be on your menu at home soon! (And I hear ya on the peppers. I like spicy, but I also like to be able to feel my tongue when I’m done eating. Haha!) Hope your week is off to a great start, Kelsie!

  4. Omg. I’ve been to my husband’s workplace chili cook-off, as well as one in our town that is a fundraiser. It’s still happening, years later, but I can’t go back. Once was enough. Yuck. Watery chili with hamburger crumbles. Sometimes frozen mixed vegetables. Tomato soup-like chili Horrible memories of what was served. And yes, chili and pork chile verde are two different animals! This recipe sounds great, although I have to cut back on the tomatillos because my husband doesn’t love them. More room for chile peppers!

    1. Eek. Those stories from the “chili” cookoffs are enough to give me nightmares, Mimi. But this chile verde will definitely not give you nightmares! Ron was asking above about using green tomatoes instead of tomatillos. I wonder if you could substitute some here since your husband isn’t a tomatillo fan. It might be worth a shot? Thanks so much, my friend!

  5. It’s been awhile since I’ve cooked with tomatillos, I’d almost forgotten how delicious they are! I love chile verde and this one looks so spicy and delicious! And award-winning – how could I resist? I love the roasted chiles in the mix, too! So much goodness here! Thanks!

    1. There is so much flavor going on in this recipe, Laura! Like most chilis (or is it chilis? hah!), you can customize the flavors here to match your own tastes. Both Laura and I loved this one, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t change a thing next time we make this chile verde. It’s perfect for the cold nights that are already here. (Also, how is it so cold already!?)

  6. I’m glad this worked out well! It’s funny, Laura sent me a message to say you had made this and the post was going up as I was pulling out of the Kroger parking lot with a bag of tomatillos to make this tonight. That was quite the coincidence!
    I like this as a typical chili in a bowl meal, but more often I like to make a refried bean and cheese burrito and smother it in the chili, and that’s a popular way to serve it out west.
    I’ve been following the blog for a while now, I love all the great recipes, keep up the great work!

    1. Andrew! What an honor for you to stop by. I can’t believe you were actually heading home with a bag of tomatillos when Laura sent this over. What are the chances of that happening!? Also, I got more than a little jealous when I saw Kroger in your comment. I miss Kroger from my Atlanta days!

      Wait. I just saw your note about refried bean and cheese burrito topped with this chili (or chile). Holy cow. That needs to happen here ASAP. Either that or you just need to open that restaurant! Thanks so much for the kind words. And if you’ve got other award-winning favorites, feel free to pass ’em along. Thanks again for sharing this one with us!

      1. Thanks, but no restaurant openings for me, it’s such hard work and hard to balance that with kids! And I like what I do now, I get to work with some great people…
        Kroger is great, and I can typically find fresh tomatillos that aren’t too bad in the produce section, even here in suburban Kentucky. It’s usually a small basket of them or something though, so easily overlooked if you’re not seeking them out and half the time the cashier has to ask what they are. When I was in Mexico last year there was a huge display of really great ones in Walmart there, it was heavenly, so I bought a bunch and made green enchiladas that night.
        Locally, they also carry canned ones, which would probably be ok for this.
        This year’s chili cookoff is Monday, so I’ll need to think up something this weekend. I can’t bring the same thing again, what fun is that?

        1. So I hear ya on the restaurant thing, Andrew. Way back when, I toyed with the idea of opening a bakery as bread is my favorite thing to make. But (1) I realized I might not like it as much as I had to do it all day everyday and (2) Laura pointed out that I’d have to work some crazy hours. Glad I stumbled into the blog thing instead!

          Hey, I think you can totally bring the same thing to this year’s cookoff. Keep bringing it until it doesn’t win! Although if you need a different vibe, check out this Maple Bacon Chili. It’s unexpected, and it’s delicious! Just make sure to cook the bacon low and slow so it candies instead of burns. We just made a batch with Rich D. a couple of weeks ago…you might know Rich?


          1. I’ve had the same thought about a bakery- maybe a “second act” career…..
            Yes, I know Rich well, and we worked closely together on a project for a number of years, but not so much recently. A great guy.
            That maple bacon chili sounds outstanding, I’ll definitely have to make it this winter, and I imagine it goes great with some cornbread- I have a brown butter maple cornbread recipe from somewhere that is good.
            I have two ideas for this year’s chili.
            – Braised short rib chipotle chili. It’s sort of a play off of a braised short rib recipe I made for a burrito filling that uses a mixture of different dried chilies (ancho, chipotle, guajillo)
            – I make mole poblano a couple of times a year (if you’ve never had mole, I’ll need to send you a recipe). I’m thinking I could turn it into a chili with roast turkey that would be almost a play on Cincinnati chili.
            I have until Sunday morning to decide!

        2. I won’t tell Rich you said he’s a great guy. It might go to his head. 🙂

          Both of those chili ideas sound phenomenal! I’d personally vote for the braised short rib…man, that sounds delicious! You’ll have to share that recipe if you make it? Good luck in the content. I’m voting for you! (Even though my vote doesn’t count.)

  7. My favorite enchiladas are made with green sauce, so this chile verde is SO calling my name. I love how you char and broil the main components for that extra depth of flavor. A bowl of this and a slab of cornbread and I’m in food heaven!

    1. Oh man, I’m loving the enchilada with green sauce idea right now, Marissa. Andrew (who shared this recipe with us) commented above that he makes refried bean and cheese burritos and then smothers it with this chile. How good does that sound!? Also, I hear ya on the cornbread. That’s one of my favorite winter side dishes!

  8. Hi David! I love all kinds of chilis/chiles! Walmart here usually has tomatillos which I also use in posole. Many years ago my daughter entered four of my recipes in the nationwide Marlboro chili contest and we won twice, a first and a runner up prize. That’s my only claim to fame 🙂 I like different levels of spice and the depth of flavor they bring; it’s not about burning off your taste buds! I also like either cornbread or flour tortillas along with them.

    1. Yes! I hear ya about finding ingredients in your area, but our Walmart often carries tomatillos. I have to admit that I’m a little surprised at that…but I’m also not complaining! Wow, you won 2 prizes in a national chili contest? That’s pretty darned impressive, Dorothy! I know you’re a good cook, but now I know you’re an award-winning good cook! 🙂 And, yes, I 100% agree with you about cornbread. Yum!

  9. Ha ha, I have a list of recipes to make too. Most of them added by Lynne! There’s just never enough time to make them all. Plus my blog schedule is usually made up months in advance so there’s no space. And of course just to throw another “chili” fact into the mix with your delicious recipe, we spell it “chilli”! 🙂

    1. I hear ya on the list of recipes, Neil. I keep a running tally, and I try to schedule our weekly plan so that we don’t end up with 4 desserts and no meals…or 4 meals and no desserts. It’s all about the balance! And, yes, I also like to work well in advance on the blog. I feel ya! Wait. Chilli. Ok, now you’re just confusing me. And is it chille, too? 🙂

  10. I love chile verde. I make a Puerco con Salsa Verde that has a similar vibe — though in a different form. This recipe sounds so good with that variety of green chiles and spices. A wonderful bowl of delicious comfort. And your photos are beautiful — they lured me right in.

    1. I just had to look up your Puerco con Salsa Verde recipe, Valentina. It looks delicious! I’m all about mixing things up…and salsa is a fun one. That sounds like a great gameday snack for sure! Thank you so much for the kind words about the photos. Soup-type recipes are always a bit hit or miss! 🙂

  11. Well, I don’t have any good excuse … I see tomatillos in the stores all the time, and I like cooking on the weekends. I’d also imagine that this is the kind of dish that you can tweak to your liking, adding what you like and/or have on hand. I just wish you’d cook it for me, that’s all!

    1. Yup, you have no excuse, Jeff. This chile verde just planted itself squarely into the middle of your weekend plans. 🙂 And, yes, you’re totally right that you could adapt and adjust this recipe. I’m thinking it would be fun to bring in an overtly smokey flavor to this one. Not sure how though? Smoke the pork? Smoked paprika? Liquid smoke? Will you go figure that one out for me?

      1. I make a salsa from time to time which is basically just tomatillos, chipotle chilies roasted garlic and salt (maybe a little sugar if I need to bring down the heat a little, chipotles can be a little unpredictable). The chipotles give it a great smokey flavor without giving it a barbecue vibe. I’ve never tried adding one to chili verde but maybe that would work.

    1. I’m jealous about your great Mexican market, Gerlinde! I can find most ingredients at our local grocery stores, but I miss the days of living in Atlanta where I had access to all sorts of produce and ingredients. Fortunately, everything I needed for this Chile Verde was at our local store around the corner. 🙂 I hope you (and your husband) enjoy this one!

  12. I remember the first time I had a dish made with tomatillos. It was a revelation. Love its slightly tangy flavor. And this one sounds like a winner. I’d go for the pork shoulder over the loin myself, stays juicy during that long, slow cooking process.

    1. Yes! Tomatillos really are a unique flavor. The tangy flavor just can’t quite be matched. Definitely give this one a shot, Frank. It’s a fun recipe, and it’s perfect for chilly nights! 🙂

  13. A coworker of mine would always enter the Stone Mtn chili cook off and a whole bunch of us used to go – and dude, you are indeed onto something cos the hottest chili won! Now I love super spicy but the winning chili was sometimes too hot to even enjoy tasting – the kind that hurts so bad you swallow without tasting! GAH!
    Anyhoot – this does sound like one heck of a delicious recipe! Thanks so much for sharing this one!

    1. See! Folks hear chili contest, and they just assume that it has to be melt-your-tongue-off hot in order to win. I disagree! There are so many other awesome flavors that you can play with. The tomatillos in here bring such a great flavor…this recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks, Shashi!

  14. This is a great recipe. I just substitute the Chile Poblanos for Chile Chilaca it gives it a more kick to it. But o highly recommend this recipe to anyone haha

    1. Hey Alejandra! Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a comment. I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe. It’s currently snowing here, and a hot bowl of this sounds awesome. I might have to make another batch soon! 🙂

  15. Hi David, thanks for the recipe. Sorry if I missed it, but could you estimate how many people this recipe feeds?

    1. Hey MTess! That’s a great question. The older recipes on my site didn’t have a way to input the number of servings, so now I’m slowly going back and updating them. My apologies! I would estimate that this recipe would easily serve 6…closer to 8. I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy this pork chile verde. It’s delicious! In fact, now I’m craving another round of this one myself. Cheers, and Happy New Year! 🙂

      1. Thanks for the quick response David. I’m also curious why you salt the pork and let it sit an hour before cooking?

        1. You know, that’s a great question. My wife’s coworker (Andrew) passed this recipe along to us, and I made it as written. While I don’t know 100% about salting the pork ahead of time, my educated guess is that it allows the salt to penetrate the meat fully and make sure that the meat is seasoned throughout. That’s just a guess, though! However, I can say with 100% certainty that this is a mighty good recipe! 🙂

          1. Andrew here- I’m still subscribed to the thread so an email got my attention. And now I really want to make some chili verde again!
            I think salting the meat ahead helps to make it evenly seasoned, but I’ve also heard it helps to tenderize the meat as long as you do it far enough ahead, say an hour or so. That being said, in this sort of recipe with a lot of liquid and a slow cook, it may make little difference. I can’t swear I follow it religiously.
            Since this came out, I made a big change from the corporate world to an academic job and have ended up back in the southwest, in Tucson AZ. Our local farmers market has a guy who roasts a variety of chilis in a tumbling basket roaster while you wait and they smell amazing. Finding ingredients for recipes like this has certainly gotten easier, and the Mexican food scene here is incredible. It’s a great place to explore for a foodie if you get the chance!

        2. Thanks, Andrew, for chiming in and sharing your thoughts here. I didn’t think about the salt tenderizing the meat, but that totally makes sense. (It also makes sense that you could probably skip the waiting since this is a slow cook type of recipe.)

          I didn’t realize you had jumped back to academia. I hope you are enjoying it! Also, can I just say how jealous I am that you get roasted chilis at your farmer’s market!?

  16. Made this the other day and it received rave reviews from my book club. I bought the Hatch Chile medium and felt it would be too hot for the entire group so I served it on the side for those who wanted an extra kick. Learned an interesting lesson about poblanos as I had to make a second trip to the store to buy another batch. Evidently at certain times of the year (this being one) they tend to be hotter than normal. Almost all of the first bunch made me cough when I was cleaning out the seeds and veins after roasting over the burner. A minuscule bite sent me to the store to buy more having had to toss the others due to the heat. One friend asked for the recipe and another asked me to make it again soon. The toppings worked well, added sliced radishes for some crunch. This recipe is a keeper. Will DEFINITELY make again. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Interesting note about the poblanos here, MTess. However, I totally know what you mean. Some batches of peppers are just hotter than others…and it’s pretty much impossible to tell just by looking at them. Glad it worked out in the end, though! So glad this recipe got rave reviews. It really is quite delicious! 🙂 Stay in touch if you have other thoughts/ideas for me!

      1. One more thought. Forgot to mention before that I added a few cans of hominy, which I love, to the stew. It added another dimension of texture. That’s it, others should definitely give your recipe a try. Thanks again.

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