Weekly Recipes

Chubby’s Green Chili (Copycat) Version 2

Copycat of Original Chubby's Green Chili

Chubby’s Green Chili Copycat – is a reproduction of the classic, ever popular top-secret recipe from the Original Chubby’s in Denver on 38th St. Much loved, this is a very hot, thick, flavorful chili used to smother eggs, burritos, burgers, and more.

I’ve had more requests for this recipe than any other … but it is top-secret and known only to the members of the Cordova family who run the original Chubby’s on 38th St in Denver. So, I’ve tested and experimented and tested some more. You can see my first version at Chubby’s Green Chili (Copycat) published a year & a half ago. I estimated it was more than a 90% match to the original, but I couldn’t quite get color, texture and flavor just like Chubby’s. Note: in photo above, bowl on left is the Original Chubby’s while the one on the right is my copycat version. Pretty close, huh? Look at my previous version and it clearly looks different.

Many readers sent in their suggestions on how to tweak the recipe to make it just like Chubby’s, and I tried all of them. Sure enough, this recipe is over 95% there. Compare the two – the addition of chili powder and hot sauce made a huge difference. I still put more meat in and I usually tone the heat down a tad (as Chubby’s is very hot) – so be sure to tweak heat (chiles & hot sauce) to taste.

Let me know what you think!

Chubby's Green Chili (Copycat) Version 2
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 lb diced pork (1/4 to ½" dice, pork loin or shoulder)
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup hot chili powder (ideally Chimayo)
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (chopped to almost mush in food processor)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 11/2 tbsp ground dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 2 6-oz cans tomato paste
  • 1½ cups green chiles (mild, hot, or a combination - see notes)
  • 1½ cups canned jalapenos (12 oz jar or can, not pickled), diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tbsp Cholula Hot Sauce
Instructions
  1. Puree 1 cup green chiles, and half the jalapenos (either together or separately, doesn't matter) with 1 can chicken broth and 1 cup water in a food processor or blender and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, blend the corn starch and chili powder, then dredge the pork cubes in it.
  3. In a large pot, brown the pork in 1 tbsp butter.
  4. Add the onions and cook another 3-4 minutes until onions are soft.
  5. Add the pressed garlic and spices and cook another minute.
  6. Add the pureed green chiles and jalapenos. Cook over low heat (or in a crock pot on low) for an hour, then stir in the tomato paste.
  7. While the chili continues to simmer, in a medium saucepan, make the roux: melt the remaining butter over medium low heat. Dump in the flour and 3 tbsp chicken bouillon and stir to blend. Keep stirring as it thickens and keep adding small amounts of the remaining 2 cans chicken broth and water. You should end up with a roux about the consistency of thick pancake batter.
  8. Stir the roux into the green chili, blending well. Add the remaining diced green chiles and jalapenos and the 2 tbsp Cholula hot sauce. Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Serve over burritos, fries, eggs, nachos, whatever.
  10. You can also leave it in the crock pot on low for several hours. This works well on a buffet where guests can ladle it onto plates or bowls themselves.
Notes
You can use mild, medium, or hot green chiles (or a combination) and then adjust to desired heat with more jalapenos.

The flavor is very close to the original Chubby's, but not exact. Want to tweak it to get it more exact? My suggestion is to try different brands of hot sauce. Cholula's is an excellent choice, but I'm not convinced that's the brand Chubby's uses.

Commentary:
I've had more requests for this recipe than any other ... but it is top-secret and known only to the members of the Cordova family who run the original Chubby's on 38th St in Denver. So, I've tested and experimented and tested some more. You can see my first version at Chubby's Green Chili (Copycat) published a year & a half ago. I estimated it was more than a 90% match to the original, but I couldn't quite get color, texture and flavor just like Chubby's. Note: in photo above, bowl on left is the Original Chubby's while the one on the right is my copycat version. Pretty close, huh? Look at my previous version and it clearly looks different.

Many readers sent in their suggestions on how to tweak the recipe to make it just like Chubby's, and I tried all of them. Sure enough, this recipe is over 95% there. Compare the two - the addition of chili powder and hot sauce made a huge difference. I still put more meat in and I usually tone the heat down a tad (as Chubby's is very hot) - so be sure to tweak heat (chiles & hot sauce) to taste.

 

19 comments to Chubby’s Green Chili (Copycat) Version 2

  • Jim

    Chubby’s uses lard to make the roux.

    • Anita

      Thanks, Jim. How do you know they use lard?

      • Jim

        Sorry for the belated response…worked there in the mid 90s. They have more lard then they know what to do with due to producing other menu items. They use it the best they can..ie, retried beans, etc….went back there in 2017 to visit, nothings changed….great place to work and awesome owners/familia and employees.

      • Jim

        Oh, and there’s an episode on food networks show “Grill Dads” that visit chubby’s..they give some insight to there use of lard!

  • Chef James

    Thank you Anita! This is it! Job well done. Super delicious and tatse just like it! Feels like I’m back home again! 5 stars!

  • Ryan

    I hate to sound dumb, but are these green Chile’s roasted?

  • Janet

    On the smothered burritos and fries I’ve seen them put cheese. one time they gave me my food and when I opened the cheese was just there, looked like cheddar cheese or a mix of cheeses (idk). they just popped it on the microwave so that the cheese would melt.

    The last two times their “recipe has disappointed me, it tastes more like cheese than anything

  • Christine Stoltz

    Someone asked about the cheese on the other recipe version. It should be a good quality medium cheddar like Tillamook – freshly grated. Pre-grated cheese has an additive to keep it from sticking together which greatly affects the texture and flavor

  • Chris

    You did a great job. I may have added a little too much onion. I also think adding the mustard and the cholula would not do much with taste, but…..Again, congrats. Now someone needs to duplicate Monterey House…my fave

  • Peter

    You can buy green chili powder on line to make it more hotter i buy hot green chili powder and add too fried eggs for egg and spam or bacon mc muffins my version i put sausage gravey on the english muffins and a table spoon of green chili sause(or green chili gravey) if you want to call it that. And everybody luvs mine and they dont cost you like mc dummys. ( mc donalds) they make a load of profit on their mc muffins ..why do you think they finally started serving break fast all day. And when i make my sausage gravey wich i make a very large pot and freese containers (\thatvyou can buy at the dollar store 3for a dollar) i also add my green chili powder to the heat level i like… Ya kinda zippy..u will luv it try it. Peace …peter.

  • NRS

    What size are the cans of broth? My grocery store has 14 and 16oz options

    • Anita

      I used Swanson 14.5 oz (from Costco) – but green chili recipes are nearly all very forgiving. You wouldn’t notice the difference if you used 16 oz cans. Soooo, go for it & enjoy!

  • MAUREEN MCKEOUGH

    do the green chili’s and jalapenos have to be fresh?

    • Anita

      Nope… neither should be fresh. Green chiles freeze very well, but fresh they degenerate pretty quickly, even in the fridge. So for all the recipes on this site I’m usually pulling some frozen green chiles out of the freezer. Now this recipe uses canned jalapenos, always easy buy here in Denver. But you can use pickled or fresh jalapenos and get similar results, but keep in mind fresh jalapenos tend to be hotter than canned. You would want to go light on them and taste as you go.

  • Ethan

    What jalapenos do you use? I’m having a hard time finding non pickled canned jalapenos.

    • Anita

      Hi Ethan,
      Your question had me scouring the canned Mexican foods aisle at King Soopers – it’s been a a few years since I published this recipe and the selections at the stores keeps changing (mainly expanding). First, the difference between canned jalapenos and pickled jalapenos is just vinegar. If vinegar is listed as an ingredient on the can, it’s pickled. Now, pickled might be okay – I haven’t tried them. In a very spicy recipe like this, you might not be able to the difference.
      King Soopers has lots and lots of canned jalapenos (and the cans often look awfully similar to their canned green chiles), but most are 4-oz sizes. Whether they are pickled or not seems to depend on the brand. Some of the regular (non-pickled) are Kroger, Ortega, La Victoria. Pickled ones were Embasa, San Marcos, and La Costina. The one big exception is the Hatch Select Nacho Sliced Jalapenos (see Image: Hatch Select Nacho Sliced Jalapenos, 108 oz– it’s a giant 108 oz plastic jug of jalapenos. That would make 9 batches of Chubby’s Copycat Green Chili. Well, actually, if you drain them first, it would only make about 4 1/2 batches. I clearly need to clarify these two points in the recipe (where to buy canned jalapenos and yes, you should drain them first).
      Are you in the Denver area? Let me know where you are. Perhaps you don’t have King Soopers. I’ll be checking out some other stores and updating the recipe thanks to your question.
      BTW, if I were using that giant jug of Hatch Select Nacho Sliced Jalapenos, I would seal unused portions in plastic jars or ziploc bags and freeze them. The juice should be included when freezing. Sometimes I’ll freeze and thaw chiles several times; they tend to get mushy with refreezing and rethawing, but in many recipes it doesn’t matter.
      I’ll be testing this recipe and refining it again within a month or so. Thanks for your question and feel free to call or email with any more. Happy cooking!

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