paleo colorado green chili

Colorado. Land of history, heritage, amazing mountain views, world-class skiing and much, much more. And, evidently, really good pork chili. Who knew? Well, lots of people – except me. Recently, I was watching a PBS cooking show that featured Colorado Green Chili and while I didn’t catch the exact recipe featured on the show, I got the basic idea. And after playing around with the main ingredients, I managed to achieve something really sublime.

Colorado Green Chili (Chili Verde)

Now, remember, I’m a native Texan and chili is sacred in Texas. It’s the state dish after all. (And in case you didn’t know, there’s a bit of a rivalry between Texans and Coloradans.) But major kudos to Colorado for their pork chili verde! If you are familiar with Texas chili you will know it does not (traditionally) contain beans and neither does Colorado Green Chili. Southern Colorado is green chili country and it is the roasted green chilis that make this pork chili special. I used Anaheim peppers because that was what was available in my local store. But you can use Pueblos, Poblanos, hatch chilis and others.

Colorado Green Chili (Chili Verde)

As you can see, the finished product chili verde is actually red in color – thanks to tomatoes and chili powder.  But it’s those roasted green chilis that impart the intense chili-infused flavor and heat that permeates every molecule of the dish. The chili is a cross between what I would think of as a thick chili and a soupy stew. It’s perfect for these frigid winter days we are having right now. And your home will have the most amazing aroma while it cooks.

Colorado Green Chili (Chili Verde)

I used a Dutch Oven because it is great for braising meats in a relatively short period of time compared to a slow-cooker. But you can easily convert this recipe – just check out this article for tips: Five Tips for Converting Dutch Oven Recipes to a Slow-Cooker

If you are from Colorado or familiar with Colorado Green Chili I’d especially love to hear from you in the comments. What do you think? Did I get it right? What type of green chilis do you like to use? Do Coloradans really hate Texans?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Colorado Pork Green Chili (Chili Verde)

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American


  • 12 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 large Anaheim peppers
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons bacon drippings (or other fat of choice), divided
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound organic pork shoulder or roast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cover a large sheet pan with foil.
  3. Wash and dry the peppers, coat them evenly with a layer of olive oil and place them on the pan.
  4. Roast the peppers in the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and the skin is somewhat blistered. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
  5. Remove and discard the stems, peels and seeds. Mince the jalapeño pepper and roughly chop the Anaheims and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected.
  6. Reduce the heat of the oven to 275 degrees F.
  7. Cut the pork roast into 1 inch cubes and coat evenly with the 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and the 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  8. Heat a medium/large Dutch oven on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
  9. Melt 1 teaspoon bacon drippings in the pan and sear the cubed, seasoned pork in the pan in batches. Remove to a separate dish.
  10. Add a second teaspoon of bacon drippings to the pan (if needed) and saute’ the diced onions on medium-high until softened – about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the minced garlic to the pan and continue to cook for another minute.
  12. To the pan, add the seared pork cubes, stock, diced tomatoes, cumin, ancho chili, chili powder and roasted peppers.
  13. Slowly bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
  14. Cover and place into the pre-heated oven and cook for 3 hours.
  15. Remove from the oven, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
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