Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili

4.47 from 43 votes
5 hours
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Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili is a Southwestern favorite.  Low and slow cooking is the perfect way to bring out the intense flavor!

Photo of one serving of Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili in black bowl on black background garnished with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Colorado green chili is an obsession of mine.  And yes, it can turn out red or brown because of the roasted chiles!  Roasting the chiles will intensify their color and make them “brown” or even black in places.  Canned diced tomatoes are added which also gives the chili a reddish color.

Just under two months ago, my husband and I made a trip to Colorado to visit family and friends.  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.

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.  The Splendid Table has taught me so much about cooking over the years!  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.

When we returned, I simply HAD to make Colorado Green Chili!

Photo of one serving of Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili in black bowl on gray napkin garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

How to make Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili:

  • First, you’ll need to roast some green chiles.
    • Preheat a broiler to high.
    • Place the chiles on a rimmed baking sheet about 6-8 inches from the heating element.
    • Broil until they’re beginning to blister and blacken.  Watch them carefully as this takes only about seven to eight minutes.
    • Turn and broil another four to five minutes on the other side.
    • Take them out of the oven and immediately cover with aluminum foil or invert another rimmed baking sheet over them so they steam.  The process of steaming will make the skins much easier to remove.
    • Once cool, they’re ready to peel.  I highly recommend wearing disposable gloves, as some of these chiles can be quite hot.  (Voice of experience here!)
    • Scrape the seeds, chop and freeze unused chiles in small portions to use in a variety of recipes where diced green chiles are called for.

Photo of stainless steel colander full of Hatch green chiles.

Photo of roasted Hatch green chiles on baking sheet.

  • Gather up the rest of the ingredients:
    • 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 which is similar to a chuck roast where the connective tissue melts away for a melt-in-your-mouth result.
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Jalapeno peppers
    • Canned diced tomatoes
    • Ground cumin
    • Chicken broth
    • Cornstarch
  • ATF 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.
  • Cook the onion and garlic until softened and place it in your slow cooker.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch.
  • Cover and let it cook away in your slow cooker!

Photo of chili in slow cooker on gray background.

  • Take a small amount of the liquid out and combine it with the cornstarch.
  • Let it simmer on High uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens.
  • The big chunks of pork in the America’s Test Kitchen version 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!

Close-up photo of chili looking into slow cooker.

Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and tortillas.  Delicious!!

Photo of one serving of Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili in black bowl on black background with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs and corn tortillas.

Uses for Colorado Green Chili:

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!

  • Smother burritos with it
  • 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!

Seriously, make this!

For more great slow cooker soups and stews, be sure to try:

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Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili in black bowl garnished with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili

4.47 from 43 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Colorado Green Chili is a Southwestern favorite.  Low and slow cooking is the perfect way to bring out the intense flavor!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Southwestern
Servings 8
Calories 491 kcal


  • 2 pounds Hatch green chiles or Anaheim chiles - (12 to 16)
  • 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 peppers - coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (15-ounce) diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Tortillas


  • 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.


MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Cool thoroughly and refrigerate.  Reheat in a slow cooker or on the stovetop in a Dutch oven.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Place in containers in the amount desired.  Freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator of in the microwave.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 895mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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    1. Hi, Tammy, Thanks so much for your question. Pork is more traditional but I don’t see why beef chuck wouldn’t work. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  1. We just got a slow cooker, or rather one of those 10-in-1 gizmos, and it’s like revelation. I tried some of our family favorites. OMG what a time-saver! But we haven’t done chili yet and methinks we’ll be making yours. Looks sooo good.

  2. Loving chili recipes right now! They’re so perfect for this time of year. Especially love that this one is made in the slow cooker! YUM!

  3. I have never tried Colorado green chili before but I love all things spicy and flavorful. Definitely going to try this out! I love that it’s made in the slow cooker, too.

  4. Mmmm, this is real comfort food. And it seems simple too! Do you use homemade chicken broth, or can you recommend a good brand?

    1. Definitely, make it at home if you can. You can easily make chicken stock/broth in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. If I don’t have any made I rely on Swanson Natural Goodness.

  5. Our local Wegmans market had a huge metal drum setup outside for roasting hatch chilies and the smell was incredible. They were selling tacos for hurricane relief and there is nothing quite like the taste of a roasted hatch chili. Thanks for sharing a great recipe and story!