Roasted Poblano-Tomatillo Chili with Pork

Warm and cozy poblano-tomatillo chili with pork that cooks in the slow cooker for an easy hands-off cold-weather dinner!

Photo of a bowl of chili garnished with avocado and cheese

Roasted Poblano-Tomatillo Chili with Pork

For the last few years, about the time December 1st rolls around, I start thinking about chili. I’ve written about it before, but a few years ago (inspired by a tradition we had growing up to have a hot bowl of chili on Christmas Eve night) I started sharing a new chili recipe sometime before the holiday. Normally, it’s one of my own chili recipes but this year I’m sharing a slow cooker roasted poblano-tomatillo chili with pork from a friend’s cookbook that was released earlier this fall called The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook.

I met Mike (who wrote the book) and his wife, Patty (who took all the photos for the book) a couple of years ago at a food photography workshop. Due to a flight delay, I was one of the last people to arrive at the workshop and took a seat at one of the last available tables with Mike and Patty and we immediately hit it off. For the next two days, we practiced food photography, talked blogging, and laughed a lot. Since then we’ve kept in touch and I was thrilled when Mike and Patty published their first two cookbooks, the second of which I am sharing with you all today. Mike’s what you call a “chilihead” and loves all things spicy, but what I love about this book is that he shares recipes at all heat levels. Depending on how spicy you like it in the kitchen, Mike guides you in choosing the best kind of peppers for every dish plus recommendations on turning the heat up or down depending on your preference.

photo of the cover of The Spicy Food Lovers' Cookbook

When I read the recipe for the poblano-tomatillo chili I knew this was the recipe to share for my annual Christmas chili post. Instead of fiery heat, the chili has a warm, earthy flavor from the roasted poblanos and a bright acidic kick from the fresh tomatillos. Plus, it’s a slow cooker chili recipe so you get the added benefit of leaving it all day to simmer without having to babysit it. In other words, it’s a chili for these busy holiday times.

Some Ingredients You’ll Need

  • It starts with poblano peppers that you roast under the broiler until the skins char and blacken. Peel them, chop them, and toss them in the slow cooker.
  • Chop and brown a pork loin roast along with some chopped jalapeno and garlic and from there you pop all of it into the slow cooker, too.
  • At this point, it’s a dump and stir slow cooker operation: into the slow cooker goes some chopped tomatillos, white beans, chili powder and chicken stock. Stir it all together and cook the chili on low for six hours.
  • Top the chili with a squeeze of lime juice, sliced avocado, and crumbly white cheese.

This chili is a winter warmer that’s perfect for the holidays and it’s just one of the 75 recipes in The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook – I hope you check it out!

Happy chili-making!

Overhead photo of a bowl of chili with lime wedges

More Chili Recipes


Roasted Poblano-Tomatillo Chili with Pork

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

You haven’t had chili until you’ve had this version. Tender pork loin, earthy roasted poblano peppers and tomatillos come together to create one of my favorite dishes. The only work here is in roasting the poblano peppers, which roast up quickly in the broiler. Then it’s “set it and forget it”. Just dump it all into the slow cooker and go about your business until it’s done. — from The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook by Michael Hultquist

  • Author: Michael Hultquist
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 large poblano peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 lb (907 g) pork loin roast, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 lbs (907 g) tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
  • 2 (15-oz [425 g]) cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 3 tbsp (27 g) chili powder
  • 3 cups (720 ml) chicken broth
  • Chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, sliced limes, avocado, and sliced jalapenos, for serving


  1. Set the oven to broil. Place the poblano peppers on a baking dish, skin sides up. Broil them for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skins blacken and char. Remove them from the heat and let them cool enough to handle. Peel off the puffy skins and discard them. Roughly chop the poblanos and toss them in the slow cooker.
  2. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Season the pork with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the pork and jalapeno peppers to the pan and cook them for about 5 minutes. You want a dark crust to start to form on the pork.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring. Toss the whole thing in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the tomatillos, cannellini beans, chili powder, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Cook for 6 hours on low. Scoop the chili into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, crumbly white cheese, sliced limes, avocado, and sliced jalapenos.


Mike’s Notes

  • If you’d like a thinner consistency to your chili, add more stock to the mix. As a flavor enhancer, try using beer instead of broth. Mike recommends a strong IPA.
  • Poblano peppers are very low on the heat scale, though you’ll get a huge amount of flavor with them, particularly from the roasting. If you’re looking for more heat, toss in a few hotter peppers, or increase the amount of chili powder.


  • Calories: 785
  • Sugar: 19
  • Fat: 24.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 56.2g
  • Fiber: 18.3g
  • Protein: 84.7g

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