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What is Chile Verde? An In Depth Guide + Recipe Ideas

This post has kindly been supported by The Hatch Chile Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking down onto a wooden tabletop featuring a white bowl filled with chile verde topped with a few sliced red onions, lime wedges and fresh cilantro. A bag of frozen Hatch green chile sits nearby.

Chile Verde Explained

I’m taking a wild guess that a large percentage of readers for this article are either standing in line at a taco truck or sitting at your local Mexican restaurant trying to decide what to order….

….and you googled “what is chile verde” because you’re not sure what that is exactly. Am I right?…..😉

Chile verde consists of pork pieces slow cooked over several hours in salsa verdea sauce blended from roasted tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, seasonings, and a variety of spicy green chile peppers. Even though the name chile verde literally translates to “green chile“, it is NOT green chile sauce, but in fact stewed pork (or other specified meat) .

A closeup of a white decorative bowl containing pork chile verde topped with  red onion slices, a lime wedge and fresh cilantro.

Chile verde is a scrumptious and savory dish that can be served as is (as a stew) or the meat can be served in any number of fabulous ways, more of which I’ll mention below.

If you love the taste of chile verde and are interested in creating this dish at home, I have some important tips to share with you.

If you make a recipe for salsa verde base ahead of time, then cooking up a batch of chile verde is extremely easy. I make a large batch or two of my salsa verde when fresh Hatch chile peppers are in season, and then I simply store it in the freezer to use whenever I need it.

A closeup of a white ceramic ramekin filled with salsa verde. A tortilla chip is held just above- having scooped up a generous helping of salsa verde onto one of it's points.

I always broil ALL the vegetables for my salsa verde, the main sauce of chile verde, because it brings a nice smoky depth of flavor to my chile verde stew.

Looking down onto a rimmed baking sheet filled with roasted and blackened green chiles, roasted onion, roasted tomatillos and roasted garlic.

If you want to make the best tasting salsa verde, and in turn the best tasting chile verde stew, then you must use authentic Hatch green chile peppers. It’s easier than ever to get fresh Hatch chiles delivered directly to your door with The Hatch Chile Store– they specialize in shipping all Hatch chile products directly to your doorstep so you can enjoy the taste of REAL Hatch chile wherever you live.

Click on the “What is Green Chile Salsa” link below for the salsa verde recipe I use and recommend!

I’m really excited to share my own personal recipe for chile verde with you at the end of this article so you can try it yourself!

Is Chile Verde Spicy?

Even though chile verde is a stew commonly made with jalapeno chiles, Hatch chiles, and poblano chiles, chile verde is MILD because the low-and-slow cooking process mellows out the spiciness of the peppers significantly while tenderizing the meat and removing the bitterness of the tomatillos.

Looking down into a dutch oven filled with pork and salsa verde-ready to be slow cooked in the oven for several hours to make chile verde.

The spicy compound capsaicin, which gives chile peppers their pungent and spicy flavors, is actually considered thermostable, meaning it won’t break down or dissolve from being heated. Stir frying, microwaving, sauteing or cooking chiles for an hour or less does not break down capsaicin.

However, the capsaicin molecule does seem to break down under certain conditions, such as extremely high temperatures (some have complained of their spicy food turning out mellow from the instant pot pressure cooker), if exposed to excessive steam, or long cooking times. Food scientists are still studying and learning about how cooking affects capsaicin. Research is ongoing!

Chile Verde Recipe Ideas

Chile verde stew on its own is certainly delicious, but there are a whole lot of other applications for this delicious pork. Here are some tasty ideas to get your mouth watering for some chile verde!

  • Copycat taco truck tacos- stuff chile verde meat into lightly fried fresh corn tortillas that are still pliable and top with crumbled queso fresco, onion, and a squeeze of fresh lime. The taste is knock your socks off delicious! I made some of these tacos with the batch used for the photoshoot for this blog post. I’ll be making more next week because my family and I LOVED these tacos so much. (I’m sad I didn’t think to snap a photo to include here!)
  • Top chilaquiles with a generous helping of chile verde pork to satisfy your Mexican comfort food cravings.
  • Stuff chile verde into a flour tortilla along with beans and cheese, or scrambled egg and fold to make a stunningly delicious burrito.
  • Use chile verde as a topping for tostadas or Navajo tacos.
  • Chile verde makes a fantastic filling for stuffed sopapillas. Ah-maz-ing!

What are Hatch Chile Peppers?

Hatch Chile peppers are world famous for their delicious flavors, produced by the unique climate and soil composition that exists only in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional-tasting chile peppers with smoky, sweet, and hot flavor notes. More people discover Hatch Chiles each year, and their popularity continues to grow.

Growing up in New Mexico where chile peppers are an integral part of the culture, I know that Hatch chiles have earned a reputation for being the best of the best. I personally only use authentic Hatch in all my cooking because it simply tastes amazing. You should be able to find canned Hatch chile in any supermarket these days, or you can order it directly like I do. Frozen chile is much, much better tasting than canned!

The Hatch Chile Store is the premiere website for ordering your Hatch chile– they are incredibly good at shipping fresh authentic chile right to your door, whatever variety and hotness lever you prefer. It’s where I get all my Hatch Chile, and I must say the flavor really does stand out above any other chile pepper variety.

Wooden baskets at a farmer's market are filled with fresh New Mexico chiles; most of them are green, but a few are turning red.

Head on over now to The Hatch Chile Store to stock up on the most delicious Hatch chile you can buy anywhere- they’ve always got great deals on your favorite products!

Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!

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Hatch Chile Verde


Seasoned pork slow cooked in tomatillo and Hatch chile-based salsa verde.


Units Scale
  • 3 to 4 pound boneless pork roast
  • salt and pepper (or your choice of pork seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • fresh cilantro to garnish


  1. Set your oven to heat to 275 degrees F.
  2. Trim pork roast of fat and cut into chunks approximately 1 inch in size. Season all sides well with salt and pepper, or your favorite pork seasoning of choice. Set aside.
  3. In a large stove-top Dutch oven (or large oven-safe pot) add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil has heated and spread over the bottom of the pot, set half the pork pieces into the pot in a single layer. Let them cook without moving them, for about 2 to 4 minutes so they turn a deep golden brown underneath. Remove to a clean bowl or plate and repeat with the remaining pork pieces.
  4. Add the Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa Verde to the pot (if frozen let it melt before proceeding). Add in the pork pieces and any accumulated juices. Pour in enough chicken broth to just cover the meat. Place the lid onto the pot and bring the stew to a boil. Place the pot into the oven and bake until extremely tender, about 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the pot and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve the Chile Verde by either dishing into soup bowls and garnishing with cilantro, or use as taco or burrito filling.


My family loves this meat stuffed into a lightly fried corn tortilla with a generous amount of queso fresco, a little onions and a fresh squeeze of lime juice. Tastes just like fresh taco truck tacos at home!

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    1. Hi Wendie! This is phenomenal with chicken or beef as well. If you want to use chicken I would recomend dark meat as it won’t dry out as much as white meat from the long cooking process. Good luck!

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