Slow Cooker Beef Green Chili

Slow Cooker Beef Green Chili

Slow Cooker Beef Green Chili is a classic green chili but with beef rather than pork, spicy but not overly hot, easy to modify to suit different tastes.

Slow Cooker Beef Green Chili is a simple, fail-proof classic green chile made with beef or steak rather than pork; it’s spicy but not overly hot and easy to adapt to your family’s particular tastes. Using beef rather than pork does change the character and texture a bit, but it’s quite good in its own right. The green chile aspect of this is primarily the shortcut of using a good green enchilada sauce and diced green chiles. It’s very forgiving and the amounts of the spices and sauce can be changed to suit your tastes.

I used about 3 lbs of Beef Top Round London Broil for this – it turned out to be rather tough; I cooked up a bite before I made the recipe to see how tender or tough it was. This actually is an ideal recipe for lower quality beef that tends to be too chewy; after several hours in a slow cooker, the fibers break down nicely and it’s not tough at all. In this case, it’s also important to cut the beef against the grain and into fairly thin slices. I cut this beef into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick pieces that were maybe an inch or two long.

The seasoning mix is a good balance of flavors. If you want it spicier or more garlicky, it’s a safe bet to tweak it in moderation.  You might want to adjust the amount of green enchilada sauce and/or tomatillo. For instance, if you are serving it in a bowl as a soup/chili, you might want it soupier. You could use this as a beef filling for burritos where you put the chunks of beef inside the burrito and use the sauce more as a topping. It’s quite versatile. Also note that this freezes well. I always keep plastic tubs of homemade green chili in my freezer so that I can throw together a dinner that’s satisfying but really quick.

This one’s a keeper that I’ll be making many times in the future, including variations. Now I still see pork green chili as the true classic green chili, but this is a really good alternative. Hope you like it!

Slow Cooker Beef Green Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Green Chili
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 8 servings
  • 2.5 to 3 pound boneless lean beef roast or steak (chuck cross rib, bottom round rump roast, skirt steak or top round steak)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion, about 1 large
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp dark chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 24-32 oz can mild to medium green enchilada sauce (I like Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce)
  • ¼ to 1 cup medium hot diced green chiles (to taste)
  • 1-2 cups salsa verde or crushed tomatillos (optional)
  • Shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and chips (optional)
  1. Slice the beef across the grain into 1-2 inch strips about ¼ to ½ inch wid and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In a cup, combine the smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, garlic, cayenne pepper, and black pepper; sprinkle over the beef while using your hands or a wooden spoon to mix the spices in with the beef chunks. Set aside (or in fridge) for 15-30 minutes or more to let spices permeate. This step can be done day before.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef until starting to sear on all sides).
  4. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker, pour the enchilada sauce and diced green chiles in and stir to mix. If desired, pour salsa verde in (or it can be added in the last half hour).
  5. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  6. Serve in bowls with shredded cheese, avocado slices and chips on the side, if desired. Enjoy!


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