Chile Verde Pork stars tender chunks of pork slowly simmered in a green chile sauce with classic Mexican herbs and spices. This is an easy version, made for showering liberally with your fave Tex-Mex toppings, serving over rice, or (if you live in our household) dunking with tortilla chips.
At its most essential, authentic chile verde pork is a stew made with roasted tomatillos, roasted green chiles, cilantro, and herbs.
It’s more smoky and nuanced than it is spicy.
Chile verde pork can be thick or thin depending upon how you want to serve it.
Making Chile Verde Pork At Home (The Easy Way)
The base for truly authentic chile verde pork calls for roasting tomatillos and an array of green chiles, such as jalapenos, poblanos, and/or Anaheim peppers (or, if you are lucky you can make hatch chile verde).
Once roasted, the vegetables are blended into a sauce, then simmered with chunks of juicy pork, until the meat is fall-apart tender.
The traditional roasting/blending is the slow, robust route (like the one I use for this incredible Green Chili recipe), and it is unquestionably delicious.
It’s also not a route I have time to take most nights of the week.
Enter this shortcut, easy chile verde pork!
- This recipe uses store-bought shortcuts like canned green enchilada sauce (if you prefer to make your own, I have a stellar recipe in my cookbook), green salsa, and canned diced green chiles to mimic the flavor of slow-roasted green chiles.
- It doesn’t sacrifice where it counts. A few small but meaningful extras, like browning the pork prior to adding it to the slow cooker, helps up the complexity of the chile verde pork, giving you from-scratch flavor.
5 Star Review
“I made it and it turned out great! I’m so glad you talked about the fact that short cuts can taste just as good as food that takes longer to prepare. I don’t want to be a snob when it comes to cooking. I just want to serve food that tastes great!”
— Tina —
Pork chile verde can be thick or thin, depending upon how you’d like to serve it (over rice vs. inside tortillas, for example).
- Since my husband Ben is skeptical of anything that’s called a “soup,” (I told him Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup was named tortilla stew), or that looks brothy or thin, I made ours on the thicker side.
- It’s still brothy enough to serve over rice (my fave), but if you prefer, you could certainly turn it into a taco or burrito filling.
How to Make Chile Verde Pork
Since green enchilada sauce (like the one in my book) and green salsa share many of the same ingredients as the verde sauce in chile verde pork, you can lean on store-bought versions of these two, landing dinner on the table in a fraction of the time.
To keep the cooking as easy and hands-free as possible, I made this chile verde pork in the slow cooker.
If you prefer, you can simmer it on the stove over low heat instead.
- Pork. While pork shoulder or pork butt are traditional for chile verde, here I opt for pork loin, which is leaner. Be sure to watch the pork carefully towards the end of the cook time to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
- Chicken Stock or Light Beer. You can use a light beer or chicken stock here. Choose your own adventure.
- Carrots. Carrots are a delicious and nutritious addition to the pork. They’re rich in vitamins and fiber.
- Spices. A combination of chili powder, cumin, and oregano adds robust, earthy notes.
- Salsa Verde. Smoky, herbaceous, and a little tart (in a good way). You can use your favorite brand and opt for a spicy version if you prefer. I made this a Herdez chile verde recipe; it’s a brand that is widely available with good flavor. I used it for both the salsa and the enchilada sauce.
- Green Enchilada Sauce. Bursting with green chile flavor, green enchilada sauce is a major part of what makes this chile verde pork so scrumptious.
I used a store-bought enchilada sauce, but if you decide to make your own green enchilada sauce (good for you!) be sure to roast your tomatillos until they are well-browned and collapsing.
Tomatillos are acidic, so if they are not properly cooked, they can make your pork chile verde taste sour.
For a fantastic homemade green enchilada sauce, check out my cookbook.
- Green Chiles. It’s not chile verde pork without ’em! I use canned to keep the prep quick and easy.
- Trim and cut the pork. Sprinkle with salt.
- Brown the pork in two batches, then transfer it all to a slow cooker.
- Stir in the broth, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the carrots and onions.
- Stir in the garlic and spices. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add the salsa, enchilada sauce, and chiles to the slow cooker. Stir.
- Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Then stir and ENJOY!
Ways to Serve Pork Chile Verde
- Tacos. This chile verde pork is delicious piled into corn or flour tortillas for easy tacos. (I also love making tacos with Instant Pot Carnitas and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.)
- With Chips. One the most fun ways to enjoy this dish! Use the chips to dip, or pile the pork onto the chips with cheese for a twist on nachos.
- Over Rice. A bed of rice is ideal for soaking up all the flavorful juices. I enjoy piling on all my favorite toppings too for a spin on my healthy Chipotle Bowl.
- With Beans. A simple side of Crock Pot Pinto Beans is always a crowd-pleaser!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm pork in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Trim and cut the pork up to 1 day in advance. Chop the carrots, onion, and garlic up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate each in separate airtight storage containers.
Tuck leftovers into a flour tortilla for a tasty quesadilla, or pile them onto a bed of lettuce for a flavorful salad (this would be delicious with diced avocado and feta).
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
The Best Slow Cooker
An appliance you can use all year long! Since this slow cooker is programmable, it will help deter overcooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
This chile verde recipe is on the thicker side compared to many, but if you’d like it even thicker, you can make a cornstarch slurry with some of the cooking liquid. Remove about 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker, and whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Pour the slurry into the slow cooker, stir, and let it thicken.
In a word, no. While their names are similar, pork tenderloin is even leaner than pork loin, so it cannot stand up to long, slow cooking times (make Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin instead). You CAN swap pork shoulder or pork butt, which are fattier and do well with slow cooking.
You’ll need a very, VERY large slow cooker (this recipe will fill up a 6-quart). If you have an 8-quart or larger, I would start by making 1.5 times the recipe.
FOR THE CHILE VERDE PORK:
- 1 boneless pork loin NOT pork tenderloin, about 3 ½ to 4 pounds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water or light beer
- 4 carrots scrubbed, halved lengthwise if large, and cut into thin coins
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ground chile powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 16 ounces prepared salsa verde I used Herdez
- 1 10-ounce can green enchilada sauce I used Herdez
- 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
FOR SERVING (optional):
- Flour or corn tortillas warmed
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Pickled Onions
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Crumbed queso fresco or feta
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Lime wedges
Trim the excess fat from the pork and cut the pork into 1-inch chunks. Season all over with kosher salt.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add half of the pork and cook until the pork is browned on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes (it does not need to cook all the way through). Transfer to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Repeat with the second half of the pork.
Pour in the chicken broth and with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, scrape any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Let most of the liquid cook off, then add the carrots and onions. Saute until the vegetables begin to brown, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook just until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add to the slow cooker with the pork.
To the slow cooker, add the salsa verde, enchilada sauce, and green chiles. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the pork is tender and cooked through (pork loin is leaner than pork shoulder, so it cooks much more quickly than other slow cooker pork recipes).
Stir the ingredients together to recombine, then taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with warm tortillas and toppings of choice.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm pork in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serving: 1(of 10) without toppingsCalories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 50gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 138mgPotassium: 1047mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 4574IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
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