Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili is a Southwestern favorite. Low and slow cooking is the perfect way to bring out the intense flavor!
Colorado green chili is an obsession of mine. And yes, it can turn out red or brown because of the roasted chiles!
Just under two months ago, my husband and I made a trip to Colorado to visit family and friends. However, not long before we left, I was in my car listening to The Splendid Table on NPR. Frances Lamm and Christie Morrison from America’s Test Kitchen were discussing Colorado Chili.
I’ve been a fan of The Splendid Table for many years. If I miss the radio broadcast, I catch up by listening to the podcast. The Splendid Table has taught me so much about cooking over the years! I miss Lynne Rossetto Kasper but am getting used to the new host, Frances Lamm. Nothing lasts forever and I wish her a happy retirement!
I was so involved in their discussion of how to make the perfect Colorado Green Chili, I hardly remember driving that stretch of road! Bad. I know.
While in Colorado, I ordered the dish in several restaurants so I could get a better understanding of this classic regional dish. Each time, I wasn’t sure it was correct because the dish wasn’t “green.” Rather, it was reddish brown.
What I found was roasting the chiles will intensify their color and make them “brown” or even black in places. Canned diced tomatoes are generally added which also gives the chili a red color.
To learn more about roasting Hatch green or Anaheim chiles, check out my post for Tomato-Topped Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese.
America’s Test Kitchen used a boneless pork butt roast, which my butcher referred to as a Boston butt. It’s a fatty cut of pork. It’s similar to a chuck roast where the connective tissue melts away for a melt-in-your-mouth result. America’s Test Kitchen cooked the pork first in a small amount of water and salt. The liquid was supposed to evaporate and the pork would subsequently brown it its own fat. That didn’t happen.
I ended up with a crazy amount of liquid and pork that wasn’t a very pretty color. Instead, I recommend simply browning the pork in a skillet to render off much of the fat and then transfer it to the slow cooker.
The big chunks of pork bothered me when the chili was finished. To fix that, I transferred it to a bowl and shredded the meat with two forks. The pork was “fall-apart” tender so it wasn’t a difficult task!
You can do so many things with this Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili besides eating it out of the bowl with lime wedges and tortillas! You can smother burritos with it or spread it on tortillas and top with black beans and over-easy eggs for a delicious breakfast! Coloradans seemed to work it into almost every Southwestern-inspired dish!
Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili! Seriously, make this!
For more great slow cooker soups and stews, be sure to try:
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Split Pea Soup with Ham
- Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup with Andouille, Ham and Bacon
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with Ham
Click to purchase these helpful tools and equipment to make Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili (Affiliate Links):
- 2 pounds (12 to 16) Hatch green chiles or Anaheim chiles
- 3 pounds boneless pork butt roast (such as a Boston butt), trimmed cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil, as needed
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 jalapeno chiles, coarsely chopped
- 1 can (15-ounce) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Lime wedges
- Cilantro sprigs
- Preheat broiler. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place chiles on the prepared baking sheet. Set 6 to 8 inches under the broiler. Broil until the chiles begin to blacken, approximately 15 to 18 minutes. Turn and broil another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover securely with aluminum foil or another rimmed sheet pan.
- Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season the pork with salt and black pepper. Brown the pork cubes in the nonstick skillet, adding oil if needed then transfer to a slow-cooker.
- Add approximately 2 tablespoons oil to the nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant (15 seconds). Transfer to the slow-cooker.
- After the chiles have cooled, remove the stems, seeds and as much skin as possible. Coarsely chop and add to the slow-cooker.
- Add the jalapenos, canned tomatoes, cumin and chicken broth to the slow-cooker. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.
- Transfer 1/2 cup of the liquid from the chili to a small bowl. Add the corn starch and stir well. Transfer the combination back to the slow-cooker and let it simmer uncovered on HIGH for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Scoop the pork cubes out with a slotted spoon into a bowl and let cool to the touch for approximately 10 minutes. Using forks, shred the pork and place back in the slow-cooker to heat through.
- Serve with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs and tortillas.
Amount Per Serving Calories 590 Total Fat 35g Saturated Fat 12g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 20g Cholesterol 150mg Sodium 914mg Carbohydrates 24g Fiber 3g Sugar 9g Protein 45g