Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef

 Noble Pig Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef
So wow, it has been quiet around here! In my defense, I have been insanely busy. As in insanely-crazy busy. That happens when you leave everything until the last minute and then it piles up on you. Yeah, that's me, and it's a habit I want to break. How do you break a procrastination habit anyway? 

But, I did not waste any time in sharing this recipe with you. I have been working on it for a while, trying different options to try get that "Chile Colorado" taste, but in a quick and easy way. 

My fixation with Chile Colorado stems from my husband's obsession with the dish. I've heard for like...I don't know...15 years now about this epic Chile Colorado he used to eat at the doctor's dining room at the hospital. I kept telling him maybe he was just hungry and that's why it tasted so good. He says no, it was the best. Okay then. Sounds like a challenge.

However, while I love the authentic way it's made, with cubed meat dredged in flour and real chili peppers ground up to make the sauce, I often don't have the time to make it happen. I wanted the taste, but not the work. Who's with me on that?

So I have been playing with this recipe in the slow cooker and have FINALLY gotten it as close as I think I'm going to get it to "Chile Colorado"...and my husband loved it. Perfect right? He said it is as good, if not better than what he used to eat. I'll take it. And I guarantee mine is a 1000 times easier to make.

Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef crockpot
It couldn't have been easier to throw it all together. I mean seriously, a few things and boom, your dinner is served. So perfect for a cold evening.

Chile Colorado Slow Cooked Beef
Now, this sauce is my trick. After trying a few other things, even enchilada sauce, it just wasn't the same. This sauce, which is pretty much just dried chile peppers ground up with some liquid, is perfect...because that is what Chile Colorado is. But this is what makes it so easy to create. 

This sauce is available at my grocery store in the Hispanic section. I'm pretty sure you can find it just about everywhere. If not, they do sell it on their website but you do have to pay shipping. Womp, womp. Or check your local Hispanic market. Outside of the United States, I have no idea what the availability will be. Sorry.

Now, because this is slow cooked and the sauce mixes with the juices from the meat, the finished sauce is not a thick, pouring sauce. It is very thin. But as you pull apart the tender meat, the sauce will get in to every crevice and flavor it perfectly. I prefer it runny to drizzle over burritos, but my hubby prefers it thicker, I will tell you how to achieve both. 

Noble Pig Chile Colorado Slow Cooked Beef burrito style
So, these burritos are what we were eating today. We were thoroughly enjoying this little food fantasy lunch when...the phone was the kids telling us that snowmageddon had arrived, school was closing and to come get them, like now...oh well, lunch over.

I promise you will love this recipe, it has an exceptional flavor.

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 8


  • 1 (28 oz) can Las Palmas Red Chile Sauce
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 (5 lb) beef chuck roast, trimmed of most visible fat


  • In a 7-quart slow cooker, add chile sauce, bouillon, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Add chuck roast. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
  • When finished the sauce will be very thin. It is okay to keep it like this or you can easily thicken it. Either way, remove the meat and pull it apart with two forks, it will be very tender. If you want to leave the sauce thin, place the pulled apart meat back in the slow cooker with the sauce to flavor it.
  • To make the sauce thick and rich, remove meat from the slow cooker and pull apart with two forks. Leave slow cooker on low. Add 1/4 cup more chili powder (the regular kind, NOT chipotle or ancho etc) and 1/4 cup masa harina (in the Hispanic section). Stir to combine and place pulled apart meat back in the slow cooker. Cover and cook for one more hour. Your sauce will be perfectly thick.

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Post a Comment

34 Comments and 28 Replies

  1. Nanci 1

    Oh this sounds yummy and soooo easy. Do you think I could use stew meat for this?
    Thank you

    • Cathy 2

      You can but it will have less flavor. Chuck roast is a more flavorful meat. I guess after a long slow cook it would be tender too as stew meat can be pretty tough.

    • Nanci 3

      I am pretty sure the stew meat if from the chuck roast would that make a difference?

      • Cathy 4

        It depends. It can but it can also come from other parts like the ribs. If it says chuck stew meat then obviously it is, but often you could get a mixture of leftover pieces from different parts.

  2. Procrastination in my sin.
    It brings me endless sorrow.
    I really must stop doing it.
    In fact, I’ll start tomorrow!

  3. Cassie 7

    I’m so glad you didn’t wait to share this one, Cathy. I am drooling!!

  4. Pam 8

    Oh Cathy – that looks comforting and delicious. Bookmarked.

  5. Rachel (S[d]OC) 9

    I have never heard of chili Colorado. Now I resent all these years I didn’t know about it! That looks wonderful. I have been craving a good slow-cooked beef dish!

  6. Kathy Davis 10

    Would a pork roast work – the kind of roast used for ‘pulled pork’? Technically I know it would work, but just wondering about the taste.

  7. Good lord, that looks fantastic! My stomach just started growling – NOT kidding!!

  8. Karen Terry 13

    Would you brown the meat before going into the slow cooker to add a little more flavor?

  9. linda 15

    when i procrastinate long enough, i can scratch several items off. then just doing the items left on the list is doable.

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  11. Jeannie 17

    Made it tonight for my husbands birthday dinner. Can’t wait to try it.

  12. Melyssa 18

    Saw this posted on Thursday and immediately sent the S.O. to the store on the way home from work to get the sauce and meat. YAY for finding the roast on sale!! Made this just after we put breakfast away and have been smelling it all day! Forgot to get masa harina, so I pulverized some tortilla chips and mixed them with a little corn flour, and it worked great. This was absolutely amazing, and on the “do again” list! Thanks!!!

  13. Rae-Ann 19

    My favorite Mexican restaurant is my favorite because they broil cheese on top of the
    Chili Colorado and add sour cream. I haven’t tried this Las Palmas sauce, but their green chili sauce is the only one I will use when making chicken enchiladas. I’m excited to see this recipe. Thank you!

  14. LT 20

    I just wanted to thank you for you hard work in getting these recipes up here. Made this today and not only was it delicious to me, the whole finicky family loved it. Had to search a little for the chile sauce. Keep ’em coming… From Eugene, OR

    • Nanci 21

      So in the picture is that a salad with the meat. What wonderful thing did you do with the leftovers Cathy

    • Susan 26

      Those of us in Eugene must love good food! Have been looking for a recipe similar to hubby’s favorite Mexican restaurant in Los Angles, and this was recommended to us. Am looking forward to trying it.

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  16. Jennifer Ortiz 28

    Could this be cooked on high for a shorter amount of time?

    • Cathy 29

      I am all about low and slow for tenderness. You can certainly try it and see how it turns out when cooked that way, I haven’t tried it. Meat should be falling apart.

    • Melody 30

      I make this, as written, in my electric pressure cooker. It only takes 75 minutes, and is perfectly tender and falling apart. I shred it and use for sandwiches and tacos. Much thanks to the person who posted this recipe! It’s a keeper!!

  17. laura lewis 31

    This is in the crockpot now…cant wait..I did add a can of tomato paste for thickening, a little corriander and minced garlic and slivered red onions.,, it smells amazing. ..thankyou

    • Cathy 32

      I hope you have the masa harina for thickening, it works the best:).

      • laura lewis 33

        i bet it does but i eat grain free and no corn or grains of any kind..ive made this recipe now quite a few times and the can of tomato paste at the beginning does the trick…it is a great recipe and the family loves it ..thankyou so much

  18. Terri A. Gray 34

    I had to reduce to 2.36lb for the beef chuck roast — can you please recommend how to adjust the spices for that amount? Thanks! (I’m trying this for a friend who loves Chile Colorado at the restaurant — hope it works for him).

  19. Jim McCunn 36

    Can’t wait to try this, but I’m wondering about the instructions for the thicker sauce. An additional 1/4 cup of chili powder seems too much – but maybe you need that to keep it spicy with the masa harina?

  20. So I was wondering if u could cook it in the oven?
    I have a small crock pot and don’t think everything willfit and I’m thinking of making this when I have company over. It’s sounds so yummy! ! What are some ideas on have to serve the meat and what about sides? I know u did it Mexican style as tacos and in a tortilla but wondering how else u would serve it up. Thanks and I just saw ur 2 ingredient cake recipe on Facebook and now I’ve been on your website sharing tons of things. This is my new go to site for food ideas, thanks for sharing with us.

  21. George S. Harris 40

    What is the difference in this and Carne Adovada? Looks about the same and if you add hominy, I think you would have a Posole Stew. I think this is a great recipe and the result can be used many way.

  22. Morticia 41

    Try adding some ground cloves to this recipe. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Unless you hate cloves… My favorite authentic Mexican restaurant adds it to their recipe. So good! Also, any ideas for beef buillon substitution? Sorry, but that stuff is poison!

    • D 42

      Try vegetarian beef buillon cubes, no msg, etc. I got mine at Sprouts in CA, worked like a charm, excellent flavor, all natural.

      • D 43

        Edward & Sons Natural Bouillon Cubes “Not Beef”, just tried the recipe again tonight, worked like a charm.

  23. ron peck 44

    I’ve used this recipe a couple of times and it’s great.

    The only change I make is to use chicken bouillon instead of beef. I agree with the post above that beef bullion is BAD. I’ll add that I’ve read in other posts that many chefs ALWAYS use chicken bullion instead of beef i.e. It isn’t my idea.

  24. Cami 45

    Should I brown the beef before putting in crock

  25. Jacquie 47

    I have a 2lb chuck roast. Should I cook on low for half the time or keep at 7 hours. Thank you. I’m dying to try this!!!

  26. Charlotte 48

    This turned out great! I used a 3 lb. roast but still loved the sauce on it. Mitch wasn’t too much at all.

  27. Nanci 49

    Excellent!!!!! What else could you use the meat for? I cooked a 6 lb roast

  28. Cathy,
    Is this SPICY HOT? My husband does not like hot things. I do but he does not. This looks so good.

  29. Nanci 54

    It is not spicy hot. Just an excellent flavor

  30. Willsie 55

    Halved the recipe (there are only two of us) and it was AMAZING! I cooked 2 1/2 pounds for 5.5 hours, shredded the beef, then cooked for another hour. We elected not to thicken the sauce or add the additional chili powder, and it came out great. First night we made tacos (using a slotted spoon to pull the meat from the sauce), second night we made rice bowls, with the beef over Spanish rice, topped with cheese. Glad we didn’t thicken the sauce, as the beef soaked it in between the first and second night. Even better the second night. Delish! Thank you so much!

  31. Dave Small 56

    Made this today with a 3.5 lb pork shoulder roast. The results were outstanding but there was a major hiccup along the way.

    Though I’ve made Chile Colorado multiple times using traditional dried peppers, I don’t think this recipe could be any better with beef. It was great with pork.

    The hiccup was the chile powder. I made the mistake of using Chipotle powder which created a sauce that was much too hot. At about the 3 hour mark, I tasted the sauce and decided that we were headed for disaster. At that point, I trashed the sauce and replaced it with new sauce. This time I used much milder 100% Ancho chile powder. This was a great decision and the results were superb.

    Served it with rice and corn kernels. Everyone loved it.

  32. Bonni 57

    Is it spicy?

  33. Kim F 59

    This is a delicious recipe! My boyfriend loves Chili Colorado and said it was better than the one he gets at the local Mexican restaurant. I made no changes (used your method for thickening the sauce) and we loved it. Thanks for sharing. Leftovers today!!

  34. Alma Collins 60

    I wonder how it would be with the Green Chile Enchilada sauce? This looks yummy but the red sauce kills me. :(

  35. Brian 61

    Quarter cup more chili powder? To make sauce thicker?
    Are you sure?
    That would be too hot wouldn’t it?

  36. Jenuinearticle 63

    OMG…I’m sorta sad to find out you’re a girl. For some reason I assumed anyone calling themselves (or their blog) NoblePig would be some burly dude sporting a beard who hides behind his computer screen but desperately wants to share his love of food with the world.

    Anyway…bubble burst.

    I discovered your Habanero Cauliflower recipe a while back and LOVED IT. As in, LOVED IT so much that Boyfriend and I polished off the whole thing in a single sitting…and then made it again two days later. I apparently dreamed up the persona I imagined for you while I was scarfing down that spicy, creamy casserole dish of amazing-ness. But now I’ve stumbled across this recipe and will be trying it with some pork that I need to use up.

    So apart from being a little disappointed that you aren’t some middle 30s white guy living in a place like say Portland…I love your other recipe and thank you for it. And I hope I enjoy this one too!! :)

    • Cathy 64

      Wow I’m not sure what to say…other than yes I’m a girl and I do live about 50 miles south of Portland. I’m also a winemaker…does that also burst your bubble? Sorry I did not live up to your expectations.


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