Chile Colorado

chile colorado.

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5 from 3 reviews

Chile colorado is a simple chili dish made with pork, dried chile and a few other simple ingredients that simmer together until the pork is tender. You can make it mild or hot depending on the type of chiles you use and it’s delicious served over rice or with tortillas. 


  • 8 dried mild red chiles (see note)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground  black pepper
  • Juice of one lime
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Remove stems and seeds from the chiles. I like to do this in a bowl to catch all of the seeds. Place the chile pepper pieces in a bowl or baking dish and cover them with water. Soak the chiles for 30 minutes.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, prepare the pork. First, cut it into 1 to 2-inch pieces, trimming the excess fat as you go. Season the pieces with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pork pieces in a few batches, turning them once. Once the last batch is browned, place all of the browned pork back into the pan. Adjust the heat to low while you make the sauce.
  4. Place the softened chile peppers plus 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor. Add the onion, garlic, half a teaspoon of salt, oregano, and cumin. Puree the peppers until smooth.
  5. Strain the pepper puree through a fine mesh sieve into the pan with the pork. Press on the puree to extract as much of the sauce as possible. This will ensure there are no little bits of peppers or seeds in the chile.
  6. Stir to coat the pork in the chile sauce. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer and simmer the chile for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. It’s ready once the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  7. Just before serving, add the black pepper and lime juice and stir. Garnish the chile with the cilantro.


Depending on your heat tolerance, you can switch up the dried chiles and use spicier ones if you prefer. Or, use a combination of different dried chiles (like guajillo chiles and ancho chiles) to give it your own personal spin.

Make ahead: You can make this whole dish ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for several days. You can also make the chile sauce ahead and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook it with the pork.

Freezer Tip: You can also freeze it! Store it in freezer-safe containers, and it should keep well for several months.

I love this chile in a bowl with toppings like sour cream, avocado, cheese, and crushed chips. It’s great served over rice or with tortillas, especially if you add a fried runny yolk egg on top.

Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless