5 from 11 votes
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Slow Cooker Pork In Salsa Verde (Hatch Chile)

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Salsa Verde Pork is made with chunks of tender browned pork, slow-cooked in a spicy hatch chile sauce. Tangy and flavorful, this Slow Cooker Hatch Chile Pork is delicious on its own or served with tortillas and sour cream.

Pork with hatch chile salsa verde with tortilla wrap on the side and wooden utensils.

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Do you want to make a delicious meal with little effort? Um, who doesn’t? lol, This slow cooker hatch chile (salsa verde) pork is perfect for any day of the week. The recipe is made with salsa verde from scratch and features fresh tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, onion, and hatch chilis. It’s cooked all day and gets fork tender while soaking up the amazing flavor of the salsa.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Slow-Cooker Hatch Chile Pork recipe is super simple, quick, and easy. You won’t have to worry about any tedious prep work or mounds of dishes, and the whole family will love it!
  • The pork recipe is extremely versatile. Do you eat a lot of rice? Top it up with a hunk of hatch chile pork. Are you a lover of tacos or flour tortillas? You can make burritos, tostadas, or nachos with it or eat it on its own. This recipe is extremely flexible — it also lends itself to breakfast. Throw on some eggs and a corn tortilla, and you’ve got a winner.
  • If you are a foodie who likes spicy foods, you will undoubtedly enjoy this recipe. It’s quite hot and spicy! Not only that, but hatch chiles thrive over the colder months of the year, making them ideal for the chilly season!

What Is A Hatch Chile?

A hatch chili is a mild chile pepper that is native to Hatch, New Mexico. They are known for their unique smoky taste and slightly fruity flavor.

If you have never made salsa verde, this is a perfect place to start! Salsa verde can be used for anything from topping tacos to as a sauce for a Mexican-themed pasta dish. The possibilities are endless!

If you cannot find hatch chilis at your local grocery store, you can substitute them with an Anaheim chile or poblano pepper.

I hope you enjoy this slow cooker hatch chile (salsa verde) pork recipe! If you make it, be sure to come back and leave me a comment and share it with your friends!

Ingredients For Pork In Salsa Verde

Cilantro, tomatillos, salt and pepper, hatch chile, onion, garlic, pork stew meat sitting on a countertop.
  • Tomatillos: These tiny green fruits, resembling unripe tomatoes, are the backbone of salsa verde. Their tart flavor and fleshy texture break down beautifully when cooked, infusing the pork with a zesty taste.
  • Onion: A staple in many dishes, the onion offers a foundational aromatic that brings both sweetness and depth to the salsa, complementing the tanginess of the tomatillos.
  • Cloves of Garlic: Robust and pungent, garlic adds a rich, earthy flavor that becomes mellower and sweeter as it stews with the other ingredients.
  • Roasted Hatch Chiles: These chiles provide a distinctive smoky heat that’s not overpowering—essential for giving the dish its subtly spicy character.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro imparts a refreshing and slightly citrusy note to the dish, balancing the robust flavors of the roasted chiles and garlic.
  • Pork Stew Meat: Chosen for its ability to become fork-tender under slow cooking, this meat absorbs the salsa verde’s rich flavors while contributing a satisfying texture to this flavorful dish.
  • Salt & Pepper: Simple yet essential, salt and pepper enhance and round out the flavors of the salsa and pork, harmoniously bridging all the ingredients.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Anaheim or Poblano Peppers: These can be used as a milder substitute for hatch chiles, still delivering a subtle heat and flavor.
  • Green Bell Peppers: For those who prefer their dishes less spicy, green bell peppers are a great alternative with a sweeter taste.
  • Chicken or Beef: Not a fan of pork? Chicken thighs or beef can be used in place of pork stew meat, adjusting the cooking time as needed for optimal tenderness.
  • Vegetarian Option: For a meat-free variant, chunks of potato or whole mushrooms can be a hearty substitute, absorbing the salsa verde beautifully.
  • Cumin and Coriander: Add a teaspoon of ground cumin and coriander to the salsa mix for an even deeper, earthier flavor profile.
  • Citrus Zest: A bit of lime or lemon zest can brighten up the sauce for those who prefer a more pronounced citrus note alongside the cilantro.

How To Make Pork In Salsa Verde

Collage of creating hatch chile salsa verde.
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Place tomatillos and onions on the sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. (Photo 1)
  3. Let cool briefly, then transfer to a food processor with chiles. Include cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper to the mix. (Photo 2, 3 & 4)
Collage of cooking pork with hatch chile salsa verde in a slow cooker.
  1. Add stew meat to the slow cooker. Top the meat with the blended sauce. (Photo 5 & 6)
  2. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Serve with warmed tortillas.
Pork with hatch chile salsa verde on a white plate topped with cilantro.

Recipe Tips 

  • Brown the Meat: For an added depth of flavor, consider browning the pork pieces in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. This step caramelizes the sugars in the meat, lending a richer taste to the final dish.
  • Layer Flavors: For those who enjoy complexity, add a splash of chicken stock or beer to the salsa verde before pouring it over the pork. The liquid will deglaze the pan and add another layer of taste.
  • Herb Variations: While cilantro is traditional, experiment with other fresh herbs, such as oregano or thyme, for a different twist on the flavor profile.
  • Adjust the Heat: If you’re catering to different spice levels, serve additional chopped hatch chiles or spicy salsa on the side, allowing guests to personalize the heat of their meal.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix in a tablespoon of cornstarch and water to create a slurry, then stir into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Garnish Galore: Enhance the dish with garnishes like chopped avocado, radishes, or a squeeze of lime for added freshness and vibrancy.

Alternative Cooking Methods

This versatile recipe can be adapted for other cooking methods, such as the Instant Pot, which is great for those who are short on time.

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Use the ‘Sauté’ function to brown the pork pieces, if desired, then remove and set aside. 
  2. Place roasted tomatillos, onions, chiles, cilantro, garlic, salt, and black pepper into the Instant Pot and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the pork back into the pot along with the salsa verde mixture.
  4. Secure the lid, ensure the valve is set to sealing, and cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ high setting for 45 minutes.
  5. Allow for a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure before opening the lid.
  6. Serve as desired with garnishes of your choice.

Storing Tips 

To properly store leftovers of the Pork in Salsa Verde, allow the dish to cool at room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. 

Freezing is also an option for extending the shelf life; pour the cooled pork into freezer-safe bags or containers, label with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.

When reheating, thaw the frozen pork in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. For best results, reheat on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot all the way through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave, reheating in intervals and stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. 

What To Serve With Pork In Salsa Verde

As mentioned above, this recipe is flexible and goes well with almost anything. When I make it, I like to serve it with cilantro lime rice, Mexican street corn salad, and homemade tortilla chips and salsa! I like something light and fruity for dessert while I enjoy a mango margarita!

Recipe FAQs

Are hatch chiles spicy?

Hatch chiles tend to be milder than jalapeno peppers. Keep in mind that every pepper will be different regarding its heat level. In general, they are pretty mild, but you can get some that will have you sweating!

Can I make Pork in Salsa Verde ahead of time?

Absolutely! This dish tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. Just prepare everything as instructed, and once it’s cooled down, refrigerate it in an airtight container. Reheat it gently before serving.

How can I make this dish spicier?

If you want to turn up the heat, consider adding a few diced jalapeños or serrano peppers to the salsa verde. You can also incorporate a pinch or two of red pepper flakes or a dab of your favorite hot sauce into the mix.

Can Pork in Salsa Verde be made in a conventional oven?

Yes, it can. If you prefer a conventional oven, braise the pork in a covered Dutch oven at 325°F for about 2-3 hours or until tender.

What are the best cuts of pork for this recipe?

Pork shoulder or pork butt are ideal for this recipe, as they are fattier cuts that become beautifully tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.

Is salsa verde the same as green taco sauce?

No, they are not the same. Salsa verde is a Mexican green sauce made with tomatillos, green chiles, cilantro, and various spices. It’s chunkier and has a more complex flavor profile. Green taco sauce is typically smoother, less chunky, and may have a vinegary taste.

Pork salsa verde topped with cilantro.

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Bowl of Pork with Hatch Chile Salsa Verde with wooden utensils.
5 from 11 votes

Slow Cooker Pork in Salsa Verde (Hatch Chile)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Main Dishes, Slow Cooker & Crockpot
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Salsa Verde Pork is made with chunks of tender browned pork, slow-cooked in a spicy hatch chile sauce. Tangy and flavorful, this Slow Cooker Hatch Chile Pork is delicious on its own or served with tortillas and sour cream.

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs (907 ⅕ g) tomatillos – husked rinsed, halved
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-4 roasted hatch chiles
  • cup (5 ⅓ g) cilantro
  • 2 lbs (907 ⅕ g) pork stew meat
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 450°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Place tomatillos and onions on the sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.
    2 lbs tomatillos – husked,1 onion
  • Let cool briefly, then transfer to a food processor with chiles. Include cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper to the mix.
    2-4 roasted hatch chiles,⅓ cup cilantro,Salt & pepper to taste,4 cloves garlic
  • Add stew meat to the slow cooker. Top the meat with the blended sauce.
    2 lbs pork stew meat
  • Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Serve with warmed tortillas.

Notes

  • Brown the Meat: For an added depth of flavor, consider browning the pork pieces in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. This step caramelizes the sugars in the meat, lending a richer taste to the final dish.
  • Layer Flavors: For those who enjoy complexity, try adding a splash of chicken stock or beer to the salsa verde before pouring it over the pork. The liquid will deglaze the pan and add another layer of taste.
  • Herb Variations: While cilantro is traditional, experiment with other fresh herbs, such as oregano or thyme, for a different twist on the flavor profile.
  • Adjust the Heat: If you’re catering to different spice levels, serve additional chopped hatch chiles or spicy salsa on the side, allowing guests to personalize the heat of their meal.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix in a tablespoon of cornstarch and water to create a slurry, then stir into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Garnish Galore: Enhance the dish with garnishes like chopped avocado, radishes, or a squeeze of lime for added freshness and vibrancy.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2lb Calories: 1370kcal (69%) Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) Protein: 82g (164%) Fat: 101g (155%) Saturated Fat: 36g (225%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Monounsaturated Fat: 44g Cholesterol: 327mg (109%) Sodium: 263mg (11%) Potassium: 2636mg (75%) Fiber: 10g (42%) Sugar: 20g (22%) Vitamin A: 730IU (15%) Vitamin C: 63mg (76%) Calcium: 121mg (12%) Iron: 7mg (39%)

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner and it was delicious – then I saw your comment about topping it with an egg for breakfast, so that’s what I did with the leftovers and WOW! Loved it. Thank you

    1. Of course your can, Feel free to use the same amount for chicken, but I’d recommend bumping up the beef to a 3 pound chuck roast!

  2. 5 stars
    I love the tangy flavor of salsa verde and cooking pork with it made it absolutely delicious and tender.

  3. 5 stars
    I am a big fan of slow cooker recipes like this flavor packed hatch Chile salsa Verde pork. It’s an amazing meal that my family are going to love.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this pork for dinner last night and it was amazing! So flavorful and easy to make- letting the slow cooker do all the work!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh wow! This pork sounds absolutely amazing, especially with the Hatch Chile. I love how easily it comes together too.

  6. 5 stars
    I love slow cooker meals but was getting bored of my usuals, so I was pleased to come across this recipe. It’s SO delicious! Adding to my rotation!

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