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Last winter in Mexico, I found myself hesitating to try an authentic version of this pork chile verde recipe (sometimes mispelled as chili verde), uncertain about deviating from my usual preference for beef or chicken in soups and stews. However, with limited options on the menu, I decided to take the leap, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was so good, I just had to recreate it at home!
This flavorful dish shares cooking techniques with traditional carnitas and uses similar seasoning as dishes like salsa verde, while still offering a unique and distinct taste that sets it apart from a classic red chili. The balance of flavors truly embodies the essence of Mexican cuisine (and we all know how much I love Mexican food). Don’t be intimidated by the cook time for this chile verde recipe — it’s mostly hands-off!
Why You’ll Love This Chile Verde Recipe
- Flavorful with a spicy kick
- Tender pieces of pork
- Fresh, natural ingredients
- 15 minute prep time
- Cook time is mostly hands-off
- Perfect for meal prep or feeding a crowd
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best chile verde ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – Used for searing and sauteing. You could also use avocado oil, or your favorite neutral cooking oil.
- Pork – I recommend using boneless pork shoulder for its tender and juicy texture, but other options like pork loin or pork butt will also work. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Yellow Onion – Feel free to use other types of onions, such as white onion, red onion, or even shallots for subtle variations in taste. Dice the onion no matter what kind you use.
- Garlic – I use fresh minced garlic, but you could also use 2 teaspoons jarred garlic.
- Tomatillos – These are the key flavor in chile verde! Also known as “tomato verde” or “husk tomatoes”, these are actually not the same as green tomatoes and there isn’t really a good substitute for them. Look for firm, bright green ones with intact husks and a slightly sticky texture. Cut them into quarters.
- Green Chili Peppers – Using both poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers adds layers of smoky, mild heat and a punchy kick. You can substitute other green chiles here, such as serrano peppers or anaheim peppers, but the flavor and heat may vary. Remove the seeds (or leave them in for extra spice — they are the spiciest part!) and dice the peppers.
- Spices – A simple combination of ground cumin, dried oregano, and sea salt (or kosher salt also works). I found that I didn’t need black pepper because the chiles already provide plenty of spice, but you can add it if you like.
- Chicken Broth – I use reduced-sodium chicken broth, so you may need to adjust the salt if you use a regular-sodium variety. Chicken stock is also fine to use.
- Lime Juice – Adds a refreshing citrusy tang. Fresh lime juice tastes the best, but bottled is fine for convenience.
- Fresh Cilantro – Complements the flavors of the chile verde, but you can also garnish with sliced jalapeños or diced avocado.
How To Make Chile Verde
This section shows how to make pork chili verde, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Sear the pork. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced pork in a single layer and sear on both sides. Remove and set aside.
TIP: Cook in batches if needed.
If using a smaller pot, you may need to sear the pork in two batches, so it can brown evenly. Avoid crowding the pan too much.
- Saute the onions. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and saute until softened and starting to brown.
- Cook the tomatillos and green chiles. Add the minced garlic, tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeños. Cook until the tomatillos start to soften.
- Simmer. Stir in the cumin, oregano, salt, and broth. Bring the chile verde to a simmer, cover, and cook until the tomatillos are fork tender.
- Blend. Use an immersion blender to pulse the sauce mixture several times, until mostly smooth.
- Simmer again. Return the pork to the pot. Add more broth, as well as the lime juice. Stir well, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pork easily shreds with a fork.
TIP: Add more broth if needed.
If the chile verde is too thick, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth. This is usually not needed, but can help if the heat was too high and too much liquid evaporated during the simmering process.
- Garnish. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.
VARIATION: Make it in the slow cooker!
Follow the steps above through step 5, then transfer the mixture from the Dutch oven to a Crock Pot, add the pork, and cook on Low for about 8 hours, until the pork is fall-apart tender.
- Store: Let the pork chile verde cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Because the flavors meld and intensify over time, this dish is perfect for meal prepping quick and easy lunches.
- Reheat: Transfer to a saucepan or microwave-safe dish and warm gently, stirring occasionally, until heated.
- Freeze: Cool and transfer to a freezer-safe dish or zip lock bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or with the bag submerged in cold water on the counter, before reheating.
What To Serve With Pork Chile Verde
This chile verde recipe is a one-pot meal all on its own, but you can also serve it with other Mexican dishes! Try these ideas:
- Toppings – Top with shredded cheese, diced avocado (or guacamole), fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, crumbled queso fresco, or sour cream. I kept it simple with just cilantro and lime wedges.
- Cornbread – Make your favorite kind, or try almond flour cornbread.
- Rice – Make your meal more filling with a side of white rice, cilantro lime cauliflower rice, or Mexican rice.
- Salad – Try it with a refreshing cucumber tomato avocado salad or some cilantro lime taco slaw.
More Mexican Soup Recipes
If you’re a fan of hearty, spicy, and comforting meals like this pork chile verde recipe, try some of my other Mexican-inspired soups and stews:
Chile Verde (Pork)
Make this pork chile verde recipe with tender pork, tomatillos, chili peppers & spices for a satisfying, flavorful Mexican meal. Easy to make!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the pork in a single layer and sear on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. (You may need to cook in batches if using a smaller pot.) Remove the pork and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
Add the garlic, tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeños. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos start to soften.
Stir in the cumin, oregano, and salt. Pour in 1 cup of the broth. Stir well. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos are fork tender.
Return the pork to the pot. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and lime juice. Stir well, cover, and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the pork easily shreds with a fork.
If the chili verde is too thick, add an additional 1/2 cup of broth. (This is usually not needed, but can help if the heat was too high and too much liquid evaporated during the simmering process.)
Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.
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Serving size: 1 cup
This serving size makes a good starter. Double it for a full meal.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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