Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Adding all the ingredients to the pressure cooker, with no extra liquid, makes for an intensely flavored stew that cooks in its own juices.
  • Puréeing the cooked vegetables and adding fish sauce adds thickness and umami depth to the dish.

Most of the time when the phrase "Believe me" is used, it's shorthand for "I don't really have any evidence to back this up, but I want it to happen anyway, so I'm gonna pretend to be an authority."

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (1)

But there are those rare occasions when the thing you're trying to describe is so unbelievable that it requires at least a bit of faith if the person you're talking to is going to give it a shot in the first place. What if I told you that you can make a rich, hearty, complex bowl ofchile verdewith only about 15 minutes of hands-on work? Believe me, you can.

Why Using a Pressure Cooker Works

There's a reason that easy pressure cooker green chili with chicken is one of our most popular pressure cooker recipes. It's because the flavor-to-work ratio is simply off the charts. Here's the gist: Dump some ingredients into a pressure cooker. Turn it on and cook. Blend, season, and enjoy. No pre-searing meat, no charring vegetables, and barely any advance prep at all. This pork chile verde uses a similar technique.

The reason it works so well is twofold. First, most pressure cooker recipes call for adding some liquid to the cooker before turning it on. That's because without liquid in there, there's nothing to convert to steam, so pressure can't build. Without liquid, your food ends up scorching instead of cooking. But there's a way around this—as long as you have enough vegetables in there, the liquid that evaporates as they heat up is more than enough to bring the pot to pressure.

The second reason it works is flavor. A stew simmered on the stovetop can be bland if you don't start off with some browning or charring. A bit of the old Maillard reaction, if you know what I mean. The boiling temperature of water at standard pressure is simply not hot enough for any browning to take place. A pressure cooker, on the other hand, reaches temperatures that are high enough to trigger some of that reaction. Yes, you'll only reach around 250°F (121°C) at full pressure, but with a little time, even that temperature is able to produce browning. Comparing identical stews side by side, one made on the stovetop and one made in a pressure cooker, confirms this for you.

It's a trick I first borrowed from my mother-in-law'sColombian chicken stewrecipe. Since then, I've adapted it for numerous other dishes. Today, I'm bringing the technique to a classic pork-based chile verde, and it couldn't be simpler.

Essential Ingredients

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (2)

To begin, combine a few pounds of nicely marbled pork shoulder, cut into large chunks, with some quartered tomatillos, a roughly chopped onion, garlic, and green chiles. After everything is cooked, you purée the sauce, so leaving the meat in big, two-inch chunks makes it easy to grab. Don't worry, the pieces get tender enough that you can shred them with a fork as you eat.

What chiles you use depends on your taste and availability. For my money, there's nothing better than green Hatch chiles in a stew like this. But if you can't get them, a combination of poblano, Anaheim, Cubanelle, jalapeño, and serrano peppers is fine.

I typically use fresh chiles for this, but if you have frozen or jarred roasted Hatch chiles, they'll also work. The tomatillos provide the bulk of the liquid in this recipe, so don't worry about that.

Next, I season everything with a big pinch of salt and toasted, ground cumin.

Playing With Pressure

I dump the ingredients intoa pressure cooker, heat it until things start sizzling and steaming, then close the lid. At this stage, you may be thinking,Wait a minute, aren't I breakingtwoof the basic rules of pressure cooking by overfilling the container and not adding any liquid?Believe me, everything is gonna be all right. Inside that sealed cooker, those tomatillos break down rapidly, releasing their juices to the bottom of the pot and lowering the level of the food at the same time. Once it reaches high pressure, it'll take just half an hour for the pork shoulder to break down to a spoonably tender, juicy texture.

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (4)

Final Steps

To finish the chile, I remove the pork with tongs, add a handful of cilantro and a dash of fish sauce (to enhance the meatiness of the dish—it won't make anything taste fishy), then blend it all together with a hand blender before stirring the meat back in.

Next...there is no next. It's done. Wasn't that easy?

It really is one of the most mind-blowing weeknight dinner tricks I know. Every time I make this kind of dish, I can't believe how much flavor I get with so little work.

March 2017

Recipe Details

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe

Cook40 mins

Active15 mins

Total40 mins

Serves6to 8 servings


  • 4 pounds (1.9kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 3/4 pound tomatillos (about 4 large tomatillos; 350g), quartered, husks discarded

  • 2/3 pound poblano peppers (about 2 peppers; 300g), roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded (see note)

  • 6 ounces Anaheim or Cubanelle peppers (about 2 peppers; 170g), roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded (see note)

  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, roughly chopped, stems discarded (see note)

  • 8 ounces white onion (about 1 medium; 225g), roughly chopped

  • 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground (see note)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems (about 1/2 ounce; 15g), plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Asian fish sauce, such as Red Boat

  • Fresh corn tortillas and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a pressure cooker, combine pork, tomatillos, poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers, serrano peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, and a big pinch of salt. Heat over high heat until gently sizzling, then seal pressure cooker, bring to high pressure, and cook for 30 minutes. Release pressure.

    Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (5)

  2. Using tongs, transfer pork pieces to a bowl and set aside. Add cilantro and fish sauce to remaining contents in pressure cooker. Blend with an immersion blender or in a countertop blender, then season to taste with salt. Return pork to sauce and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately with tortillas and lime wedges.

    Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (6)

Special Equipment

Electric or stovetop pressure cooker , countertop blender or immersion blender, mortar and pestle or spice grinder


You can use other fresh green chiles in place of Anaheims, poblanos, and serranos. Using 100% Hatch chiles is a good way to go. You can also replace the fresh chiles with frozen or jarred roasted green chiles, using the same amount by weight.

Toast cumin in a dry skillet and grind with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle for the most flavor. If there's one thing you can do to improve the flavor of any dish that includes dry spices, it's to use whole spices and grind them with a mortar and pestle. The difference it makes in side-by-side tests is astonishing, and cleaning a mortar and pestle is easier than cleaning an electric spice grinder.

  • Chili
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Pressure Cooked Stews
  • Pork Shoulder
Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe (2024)


Is pork better in slow cooker or pressure cooker? ›

It's usually a better candidate for a slow cooking method over a pressure cooking method because the meat can run dry. Zimmerman cautions against using pork loin for this reason. Quick tip: Even beyond the cut, not all pork is created equal.

Can you overcook pork in a pressure cooker? ›

While it is possible to overcook pulled pork in the Instant Pot, it's very unlikely if you are using pork shoulder or butt. The pork should get more tender the longer it cooks. If using pork loin, which is leaner, you can overcook it.

What is the difference between chili verde and green chili? ›

In Spanish, chili verde means “green chili” and refers to the fruit people often use to give heat to dishes they are cooking. So, on the one hand, chili verde is an ingredient. On the other hand, green chili is a complete dish with which many people are familiar.

How long does it take for meat to cook in pressure cooker? ›

Download our Pressure Cooking timetable here.
MeatCooking Time (in Minutes)
Beef, oxtail40 – 50
Chicken, breasts bone in6 – 8
Chicken, whole 2-2.5Kg8 / 450g
Chicken, portions with bones10 – 15
26 more rows

Why is my pork still tough after pressure cooker? ›

If you find that your instapot pulled pork is tough after cooking, it's likely because you did a quick pressure release instead of a natural pressure release.

Does pressure cooked pork make tender? ›

You want to use the tough cuts of beef or pork. When you cook via a pressure cooker, moisture is required. Combine that with a sealed lid, the steam can't escape. This is a moist cooking method and will breakdown a lot of the connective tissue, tenderizing the tough cuts.

Should I sear pork before pressure cooking? ›

And while many other recipes call to sear the meat before adding to the pressure cooker, I'm here to tell you that this step is unnecessary! No need to waste your time since the meat is shredded and enjoyed in that thick, rich liquid after cooking. Therefore, you won't even notice a sear, so don't waste your time.

Do you have to brown meat before putting in pressure cooker? ›

Brown it

Pressure cooked food doesn't brown so it's worth doing this at the start of cooking before adding liquid and putting the lid on. Meat looks and tastes more appetising with a little browning. Onions, garlic and spices also benefit in the flavour stakes from pre-cooking.

Do you sear pork before pressure cooking? ›

Use the Right Ingredients: Tough cuts of meat, such as beef chuck or pork shoulder, benefit the most from searing before pressure cooking. However, you can also sear vegetables and seafood to enhance their flavor.

How do you thicken chile verde? ›

To thicken the chili, in a bowl mix together the masa harina with 2 table spoons of the chili liquid. Stir this back into the pot, along with the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and the lime juice. Cook until the chili has thickened, 10 more minutes.

What can I add to chili verde to make it less spicy? ›

Serve the Chile Dish With Cream, Cheese, or Lime Juice

Acidic ingredients also neutralize capsaicin's burn somewhat, so squeezing some fresh lime juice on a spicy food can help a bit.

What do you eat with chile verde? ›

The best side dishes to serve with Chile Verde are red beans and rice, baked potatoes, tostadas, guacamole, radish chips, corn salsa, refried beans, Spanish rice, tortilla chips, Mexican street corn, quinoa salad, black bean salad, Mexican coleslaw, cheesy chile cornbread, roasted cauliflower, and Mexican rice pilaf.

Can you overcook meat in a pressure cooker? ›

If you prepare meat in a pressure cooker and it turns out dry, this is usually because the meat has cooked too long & the natural juices have been squeezed out. The result is a tasty gravy but dry meat. To keep your meat moist, ensure there is enough liquid in the cooker and stick to cooking times.

Do you add water to meat in pressure cooker? ›

It can seem like a catch-22 — you need liquid to get your pressure cooker to work, but too much will make your meat taste blah. Luckily, there's an easy rule of thumb to keep in mind to make sure you don't overwhelm your roasts. For a pressure cooker to come to pressure, it needs 1 cup of liquid, no more, no less.

Is it better to pressure cook or slow cook meat? ›

This completely depends on the type of meat you are planning on cooking. Because slow cookers take longer to cook, they are better suited to breaking down fat in meat while adding moisture. So if you are planning on cooking a whole rump beef, then a slow cooker is a better choice.

Should I slow cook or pressure cook meat? ›

Slow cookers are much better for cooking root vegetables and tough cuts of meat because the long, low-temperature cooking process is great for adding moisture and breaking down fat. Pressure cookers can get hot enough for meats and vegetables to brown in them when cooking, but slow cookers can't.

Which makes meat more tender slow cooker or pressure cooker? ›

Traditionally cheaper cuts of meat always slow cook better. Slow cooking breaks down the connective collagen in meat, which turns into unctuous gelatine. This creates that soft and tender mouth feel we all crave.

Is it better to slow cook or pressure cook pork ribs? ›

Nothing that a little sauce can't fix, and it does mean you get more of the pork flavor, but they're not as nuanced. And the winner is: The slow cooker, but just by a hair (by a rib?). If you're pressed for time, pressure cooker is the way to go.

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