Chili Verde {Mexican Stewed Pork}

This is one of those meals I wish that each of you could literally taste through the screen. It is unbelievable. And after eating it, I went into mourning realizing how many years I’ve lived my life without it.

Dramatic? Possibly. True? Absolutely.

The depth of flavor in this pork is helped along by a simple browning step before everything is thrown into the slow cooker (or roasted in the oven). After the pork has finished cooking, the sauce is reduced on the stovetop which allows for an even deeper, flavorful sauce as the ingredients reduce and meld together.

What To ServeSmothered in the smoky, delicious sauce, the fall-apart-tender pork soaks up all the heartiness of the liquid and is an undeniably perfect meal folded into soft tortillas and smothered with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce and avocados. This pork would be absolutely perfect in everything from enchiladas to burritos to quesadillas. You could even get all crazy and use it to top a delicious, crisp romaine salad. I have a feeling it is spectacular in any venue!

P.S. I’ve finally put My Favorite Things section together. A compilation of just some of my can’t-live-without-kitchen-items, just in case you need some ideas for your own wish list!

Chili Verde {Mexican Stewed Pork}

One Year Ago: Thanksgiving Dinner: The Stuffing
Two Years Ago: My Favorite Bread Bowls

Chili Verde {Mexican Stewed Pork}

Yield: Serves 8-10

Chili Verde {Mexican Stewed Pork}

Note: don’t even think about skipping the step of reducing the sauce. It is absolutely essential to the flavor of the sauce! Just make sure to plan ahead – the roast takes 8-9 hours on low in the crockpot (or 3-4 hours in the oven) and an additional 30 minutes to reduce the sauce.

Second Note: I forgot to mention that the leftovers freeze excellently. After the pork has cooled, I put it in a ziploc bag, freeze it, then take it out and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat on low on the stovetop or in the oven.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 pounds boneless pork roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning roast
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chiles
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cut the roast into 3-4 large chunks. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper on all sides. In a large heavy pot, the oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering and hot. Add the pork, being careful not to crowd the pot (brown the pork in shifts, if needed). Brown the pork on all sides until golden and well-browned, about 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Leave the roast in the pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Place the pork and garlic and onions in the slow cooker (read below for oven-roasting method). Stir in the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. After the roast has cooked for the allotted time, remove the roast. Shred it into bite-size pieces and set aside, covered with foil to keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid and ingredients from the slow cooker into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove, and simmer vigoriously over medium-low or medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking or burning, until the mixture considerably reduced and thickened. Add the pork roast and sauce back to the slow cooker. Stir to coat the pork with the sauce. Turn the crockpot to low or high and allow the pork to heat through again. Serve with warm tortillas and desired toppings, such as sour cream, cheese, avocados, lettuce, tomatoes.
  2. Oven-roasting Instructions: When beginning the recipe, make sure to use an oven-safe pot for the browning (such as a large enameled cast-iron pot). Follow the recipe up until the point of adding the pork to the slow cooker. Instead, keep the pork in the oven-safe pot. Add in all the other recipe ingredients plus 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours. When finished cooking, remove the roast as directed in the above instructions. Follow the recipe to reduce the sauce.

Recipe Source: adapted from Erin at The Sister’s Cafe

96 Responses to Chili Verde {Mexican Stewed Pork}

  1. KS says:

    Do you think this could be made in the Instant Pot?

  2. Julie says:

    I have made this delicious pork at least three times in the last year and we love it. I am wondering though how far in advance I can prepare. I am serving at a party in two days but will be out of town all day tomorrow so want to cook today and reheat for the party? Do you think that is too far ahead for taste and texture to still be good? I would love your input thank you!

    • Mel says:

      That should be just fine, Julie! The flavor will actually get better with time. If it was longer than three days, I’d suggest freezing and defrosting but two days ahead, I’d definitely just refrigerate and reheat.

      • Julie says:

        Thanks so much for responding! I did make two nights early and it was as delicious as always. Big hit with our guests,

  3. Maria says:

    This looks amazing. How would you adapt it for the Instapot? I’m thinking this would be perfect to include in next week’s menu. We had your Chili Lime chicken tacos last night which were delish!

    • Mel says:

      It kind of depends on how big the meat pieces are but for large chunks of meat, I’d start with 20-25 min in the pressure cooker (longer if it’s a whole roast).

  4. London says:

    Hi Mel, would the flavor change too much if I didn’t brown the pork first? Just trying to use a few less dishes haha, thanks!

  5. Bob says:

    Mel – I really like your site. I especially appreciate the suggestion of side dishes and occasionally the suggestions on ways to spice up the basic recipe. Throughout my career i found communication to be the toughest part. Any particular word, when presented to a group of people, will generate many different thoughts in those folks heads. For instance, pork roast. I think of a lean cut of meat that tends to get dry under long cooking conditions…cuts like sirloin roast, loin roast (not tenderloin). I don’t think of a pork butt. Probably because certain cuts are marketed as pork roasts and pork butts are generally just called pork butts. Certainly a pork butt works extremely well under long slow braising whereas a lean sirloin roast typically does not do as well. I personally would appreciate your telling us what cuts you chose to use in a recipe and why (just so we can learn).

    Secondly if you could tell us the temperature you cooked your meat to it would be easier to replicate since ovens, slow cookers and end stove tops all cook at different rates. I have found that slow cooking a pork butt until it reaches 200 – 205 degrees produces a melt in your mouth piece of meat because it has remained at high temperature long enough to render much of the fat and convert other things to collagen which deeps the meat juicy and tasty.

    Just my thoughts on a couple of ways you might help the rest of us learn to cook as well as you. Please keep up the good work.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for the thoughts, Bob – I really appreciate them and will definitely take them into consideration. It’s important to me that others have the best chance of success with my recipes. So thank you!

  6. Bev says:

    Hi Mel,

    Do you think I could try this recipe with beef brisket instead (we don’t eat pork)


    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure about the brisket – but I think beef would work (I was thinking more of a chuck or sirloin roast).

  7. Bev says:

    Hi Mel,

    It seems that every week I make at least 1 of your fabulous recipes! Question- we don’t eat pork- would this recipe work with beef brisket you think??

    Thanks so much!

  8. Andee says:

    Can you use pork loin instead? (I don’t really know the difference?) Thanks! – Love your site!

  9. Karen says:

    I’ve made this recipe a few times. I like to freeze it in portions for a quick taco salad topping for my small family. I went looking for this recipe in the slow cooker section this morning without any luck. Just thought I should let you know. Thanks for the great recipe.

  10. Wendy says:

    What brand name of green enchilada sauce do u use?? Is this really spicy?? If so how do I keep the flavor and lessen the heat??

  11. Amy Pedersen says:


  12. Melissa says:

    This was amazing! Entire family loved it!

  13. Lachelle says:

    Could I use pork chops with this recipe and reduce the cooking time?

    • Mel says:

      Lachelle – I haven’t tried that but it’s definitely worth experimenting. Sometimes pork chops dry out in the slow cooker (in my experience) so I’d just keep a good eye on cooking time.

      • Lachelle says:

        I made it with the pork chops except did it in my electric pressure cooker and they turned out great! Thanks!

  14. Melanie says:

    Hi Mel!
    I made your Chili Verde tonight and it was fantastic! I had a plan to make pulled pork tacos this morning so I got online to search for a good recipe. There are so many recipes out there but I went straight to your site, which I adore and found this one. At first, I was a little concerned about putting the sauce back on the meat because I didn’t want it to run out of the tacos. But I did anyway and it was fabulous! Thank you!

  15. TrishInFL says:

    I’m making this again tomorrow (prepping it tonight), and couldn’t help myself but to comment again! We have this often, and just LOVE it!

    Thanks for all of your great recipes, especially this one 🙂

  16. Sheila says:

    Made this for my hubby, son and in laws and they all loved this! Thanks for a great recipe.

  17. Stephanie says:

    All I have to say is…WOW! This is one of my favorite things I have ever cooked. I used my immersion blender to puree the sauce as it was reducing (I don’t like chunks of tomato) and used a glob of concentrated beef stock instead of bouillon (I’m allergic to MSG and couldn’t find MSG-free bouillon) but other than that made it exactly as directed. Very, very yummy!!!

  18. Jessica says:

    Heidi, did you slice the tenderloin to serve or shred? The sirloin roast i had was definitely a slice to serve-but regardless it was too overcooked. If I had only cooked it 55 mins maybe it wouldve worked? I made something else for dinner that night, but kept all the sauciness, bought a more appropriate roast for long cooking in the crockpot, made it the next night and it was great!

    • Heidi says:

      Jessica, I shredded the pork. It was very tender and fell apart easily. I followed the cooking instructions that came with the pressure cooker to determine the correct cooking time (pork scares me sometimes). Beef is probably a little different than pork, but I haven’t personally tried this recipe with beef.

  19. Heidi says:

    I made this with a pork tenderloin from Costco in my pressure cooker. Cooking time is only 55 minutes, and It turned out awesome! So tender! Definitely a new staple recipe. Thanks Mel!

  20. Jessica says:

    Hi, Its cooking in the crock pot right now, my husband picked the meat and it was a boneless pork sirloin roast….its been in the crockpot for less than 3 hrs, half of that time it was on high, because I didn’t have 8-9 hrs. But it seems to be over cooked at this point? Did we get the wrong kind of roast? I cut it into 4 pieces, browned it and added it to the crockpot with everything else. I hope its still ok because we have guests tonight. I made this several times and i dont remember having this problem before. Wrong cut of meat? It was two long pieces tied together.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jessica, this recipe is pretty adaptable so I hope it wasn’t overcooked. I think the cut of meat you bought is leaner than other types but hopefully it still worked out.

  21. Sara44 says:

    O café verde possui três vezes mais concentração de polifenois livres, que ajudam na luta contra os radicais livres, que são os responsáveis pelo envelhecimento das células.

  22. Nicole H. says:

    My husband asked for this for his first Fathers Day dinner and we loved it! Fried corn tortilla tacos are his favorite and this stewed pork was so amazing with them! We love your recipes! Thanks!

  23. Jen says:

    I add a pinch of cinnamon & a squeeze of fresh lime juice. I made softshell tacos with this filling. The leftovers make excellent nachos with cheese, jalepenos, black olives on top of warm nacho chips. I usually put some on a plate load them up & microwave to get warm & for the cheese to melt. Awesome!

  24. […] Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  25. Kathy says:

    This pork was fabulous. I was worried that it would be too spicy for my kids but it was not! I used this as a base to make a Chipotle Style Burrito Bowl.

  26. Courtney says:

    That was really good! Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Mel says:

    Courtney – you may need to cut the cooking time down by an hour if halving the recipe but definitely don’t halve the cooking time, in fact, it may be fine at the normal cooking time, especially if your crockpot seals well (with the lid) and isn’t more or less than half full.

  28. Courtney says:

    I just pinned this. How yummy does this look. I have a question, though. Possibly a stupid question. There is only two of us around here so I want to half the recipe. Does this mean I should half my cooking time in the slow cooker. I do have a slow cooker but I never use it. Thanks!

  29. Mel says:

    Lisa – the boneless pork shoulder should work fine for this recipe! Sorry for not checking in earlier – I hope you were able to have it finished in time!

  30. Lisa Taylor says:

    Hi I just came across your site and am excited!! I have a 5+ lb Boneless Pork Shoulder in my fridge right now. Can I use that for your Chili Verde recipe? Also I want to make it and have it ready for brunch tomorrow, so when should I start it? I am a newbie to the crock pot, but am learning to love it! Thanks for the help!

  31. Melissa says:

    This recipe looks fantastic, but I’m not sure it fits my budget. Can you give me an estimate on how much it costs you to make this? Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – I can’t give you a hard fast answer because it completely depends on when and where I buy my pork and if it is on sale. If I can find the pork roast on sale for less than $2 a pound, I’d say the meal can be made for about $12-15 or less, depending on the cost of the other ingredients. It feeds a lot, so I usually have enough for 2-3 meals.

  32. Logan says:

    Mel, this looks awesome! I prepare a meal for a luncheon of 10 people each week at work. After finding your website I have made a few of your recipes and they are always a big hit:) I want to make this the day before and reheat it the next day. Would you recommend reducing the sauce the night before when the roast is done cooking… adding it back to the roast and storing it in the fridge? Does the meat dry out at all being reheated?

  33. Katie says:

    First I want to say I love your website. I’ve tried several recipes and loved them all, but I haven’t commented until now. (I’m kind of shy :-))….This recipe made me break from my shyness. We had it last night; simply AMAZING! LOVED it! My husband kept commenting how much he loved this recipe – both helping make it and especially eating it. (I’m lucky – cooking in our house is a team sport!) Kudos and thanks again!

  34. Kristina says:

    I’ve been looking for an easy Chili Verde recipe and this is it! Not only that, but it’s soooo yummy!! Thanks so much for sharing, will be making this one time and time again! 🙂

  35. natalie says:

    I made this a few days ago using a pork leg roast. (it was all I could find) It had a small bone in it, but I just cut it out when I chunked it up before browning. I loved this recipe. We had burritos the first night with the pork, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, avacado, and sour cream. SO good. Yesterday we made quesadillas with it. Yum! Both were a hit with my family and some friends we had over. You’ll find a lot of comments from me today…I’ve used a lot of your recipes lately. All SO good!

  36. Danielle says:

    Sounds really yummy! Can you tell us what kind of roast you use for this? Is it the shoulder roast (“port butt”), or can I use a leaner cut such as the boneless loin roast?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Danielle – I usually use a boneless pork shoulder/butt roast or a boneless pork loin. Either way, I trim most of the fat off before using it. The recipe has enough liquid that it doesn’t dry out (at least in my experience!).

  37. Reyna says:

    Loved it Mel! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to try this. It’s my favorite pork-in-the-crockpot recipe ever. I’m so glad I have all these leftovers!

  38. Jolene says:

    This was sooooooo good. I’ve tried many different verde recipes and this is by far my favorite.

  39. Cathy says:

    Cooked it last night and it will be a “keeper”. I love leftovers and have lots to freeze, since it’s me and my hubby…It was a little bit juicy so i didn’t add all of the sauce..but the extra sauce would be great on rice!!! I got my daughter hooked on your blog and she’s pregnant and loves your recipes!!! but has to watch the weight now!!!

  40. Heidi says:

    I am not very smart when it comes to buying meat, and sometimes, I think I buy the wrong kind. I am so glad you said not to use pork tenderloin, for I almost bought that to make this chili verde. I did buy pork shoulder boston roast, boneless. Is that the right kind of pork roast for this recipe? Or, will it work for this? As I was trimming off the fat, I realized I might have bought the wrong one because there was A LOT of fat! Anyways, let me know. Thanks so much.

  41. Daresa Sneddon says:

    I love to cook and my great friend shared your web-site with me. Loved your favorite things and am excited for more new ideas for my cooking menu!

  42. Aimee from AL says:

    Melanie– I just found your blog and just finished cooking this recipe!!! It was AMAZING!!!! Thanks so much and I look forward to trying more!!!

  43. Brittany says:

    We had this last night and it was delicious! I made your baked brown rice recipe as well and even my 5 year old ate his whole burrito. I was so good I can’t wait for left over night. And it makes so much that we were able to freeze half for another time. I will definitely be making this again!

  44. TrishInFL says:

    I made this two weeks ago and it was amazing! I served it over rice with beans and a veggie on the side – I have two youngsters so it was easier that way – everyone LOVED it!

    I tried to make it again two days ago and came out with a different result, still yummy, but not the same recipe at all! – I had asked my husband to stop by the store to pick up the green enchilada sauce on his way home from work, and he bought the RED sauce by mistake. I was putting the slow cooker on the next morning and we didn’t have enough time to run back out to the store so I went ahead with the red sauce. It actually turned out very good too, though not as good as the original recipe and a little spicer.

    Either way, thank you for the recipe it was delicious as usual 🙂

  45. idahomichele says:

    I love this recipe! It took 10 hours to cook and about 10 minutes for my family to gobble it up. I took 1/2 of it to freeze for another meal. Great recipe! you have done it again.

  46. Laura says:

    I tried this out and it was a hit! The meat just fell apart and I didn’t have to tear it because it was so moist ! I even found myself going back for seconds or taking another and another bite when I was cleaning up. I highly recommend it.

    • Mel says:

      Laura – you are my kindred spirit. I couldn’t stop eating this meal either and actually begged to be the one to clean up dinner so I could keep picking at it!

  47. Cammee says:

    Best Chili Verde ever!! We served it up as burritos, with black beans, rice and topped with green enchilada sauce and sour cream. This was a hit with my entire family. My picky teenage son even told me this morning, “that dinner last night was good, I had 4.”

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Cammee – I was wondering if you had tried this yet and now I can breathe a sigh of relief that you loved it (and glad your teenage son loved it enough to eat 4!).

  48. Laura says:

    Does this taste anything like the cafe rio pork? Or what can you compare it to in terms of taste? Thanks! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Laura – actually, it has a similar but not exact taste. It’s not quite as sweet as the Cafe Rio but it has similar flavor qualities. To be honest, I’d take this chili verde any day over the sweet pork at Cafe Rio – it’s that good!

  49. melanie warnes says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was sooooo good! I served it with your soft bread wrap and some fresh salsa. My husband said this was the best dinner he’s ever had! Thank you! Tonight I’m making your creamy chicken soup. I’m so excited!

  50. Jennifer says:

    I made this and it was very good! I only made a half batch as I only have 2 mouths to feed but it still turned out amazing!

  51. brandy anderson says:

    I made this the other night and it was a HIT! Thanks so much!

  52. ingrid says:

    What Teresa just said!! 🙂 My list of Melanie’s dishes is getting out of control. Can you start posting some raisin loaded chocolatey posts? 🙂

  53. teresa says:

    ooooh, that sounds crazy delicious!

  54. Rich says:

    Well, if it helps, I wish I could taste it through the screen. I tried to crawl through and get it, but our IT guy came in and scolded me. This does look absolutely fantastic …

  55. I’m on a search for the best carnita recipe, so I’ll have to try this one! It sounds fantastic!

  56. I need a good pulled meat for burritos, tacos so will be making!

  57. Cammee says:

    Chili verde is one of my most favorite things to eat. I judge all Mexican restaurants on how good their chili verde is! I can’t wait to try this out. I’ve been trying to perfect my own chili verde recipe, but just can’t quite get it right.

  58. Lisa says:

    This sounds fantastic! I’m a little nervous about trying it out though; both times I’ve used the slow cooker, my food has burned and dried out despite following all the instructions to a tee.

  59. Tracey says:

    Looks absolutely delicious!! I LOVE mexican inspired dishes, even though my body doesn’t really agree with them lately (due to lovely acid reflux/heartburn due to pregnancy:)
    I have a question for you though. I have noticed that you cook a lot with pork tenderloins. Everywhere I seem to look, they are quite expensice. I am wondering if you have a special place that you buy them, that perhaps you get a good deal. Well, to be honest, I guess I don’t really know what a good deal is for them, and what isn’t. Any pork-tenderloin-buying advice you could give woud be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all the delectable recipes, I LOVE your blog:)

    • Mel says:

      Tracey – I usually buy pork tenderloin at Sam’s Club because I can get two very large pork tenderloins for about $14. That’s enough to feed my family for 2-3 meals. Keep in mind that this chili verde recipe doesn’t use pork tenderloin – you’ll want to look for a boneless pork roast.

  60. StephenC says:

    I’m hungry for this dish. Will start looking for a good deal on a pork roast.

  61. Sounds wonderful! I have a pork roast in the freezer that I need to do something with.

  62. Sarah Jane Jennings says:

    Could this be made with either chicken breast or a pork sirloin tip roast?The sirloin tip roast that I have is a very lean cut of meat…tender (very tender), but lean. What do you think? This recipe looks delicious! I LOVE Chili Verde! We had it every year for Christmas Eve dinner growing up! One of my favorite meals.

    • Mel says:

      Sarah Jane Jennings – I’m not sure about using chicken in this recipe. If you try it, I’d keep an eye on the chicken to make sure it doesn’t dry out. I think a lean pork sirloin roast would work fine because in this recipe, I trimmed my pork roast of most of the fat. I’d say it’s worth a try with a sirloin roast. I hope you like it if you try it!

  63. Jane says:

    This is on my menu for next week! Thanks.

  64. briarrose says:

    Looks wonderful and I bet the kitchen smells amazing while it’s cooking.

  65. Leigh Anne says:

    I second DeAnna’s comment about the prego weight gain…..I’m right there with ya’! And this one looks amazing……maybe if I put it on a salad that would be better. um……but those tortillas would be calling my name for sure 🙂

  66. CaSaundra says:

    Anything Mexican is a thumbs up in my book. This looks like it would be as well 🙂

  67. Kim in MD says:

    Taste through the computer screen? Is it bad that I may have tried that after I saw your photo? 😉 Oh my gosh, this recipe looks amazing! I slow- cooked a beef chuck roast with some of the same ingredients for my Mexican theme party in September. I used it for baked beef taquitos. You could use some of the leftovers for baked pork taquitos! YUM!

  68. it looks unbelievable! While I don’t eat pork, I’m sure I could use the recipe with chicken. Yumm…

  69. DeAnna says:

    This looks delicious, just like pretty much everything else!! I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with you that you don’t know about. Everything is so tempting! I find that I’ve had to make just about every goody you’ve posted and it’s seriously adding to my pregnancy weight gain!!

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