Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef

 Noble Pig Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef
I have finely perfected this Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef to make easily at home. Serve it in a warm tortilla and enjoy it's deliciousness. The leftovers, if there are any, are also amazing. See this recipe MADE ON VIDEO HERE.

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.

Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef

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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69 Comments and 56 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.

      • Elaine 3

        Why have the extra expense of stew meat, just throw in a whole chuck roast.

      • JimTx 4

        I use extra lean stew meat in all my stews and chili … it gets very tender and strings just like roast, because that is actually what cut of meat it is.

    • Nanci 5

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

      • Cathy 6

        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 9

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

  4. Pam 10

    Oh Cathy – that looks comforting and delicious. Bookmarked.

  5. Rachel (S[d]OC) 11

    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 12

    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.

    • Cathy 13

      Anything works, it just changes the flavor. It will not be as flavorful as the beef though.

    • With a pork roast you might try the green chile enchilada sauce. Las Palmas makes a great one as does Hatch’s. This is what I used to make my Chile Verde

    • Dara Parker 17

      I used pork shoulder and it was fabulous!! I just added some crushed garlic cloves and the beginning and then followed the recipe exactly. It was a big hit!

    • Odilia 18

      If you like pork meat it will be just as good. Like it was said before, maybe different taste but it will cook the same.

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

  8. Karen Terry 20

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

  9. linda 22

    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 24

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

  12. Melyssa 25

    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 26

    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 27

    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 28

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

    • Susan 33

      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 35

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

    • Cathy 36

      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 37

      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 38

    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 39

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

      • laura lewis 40

        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 41

    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 43

    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 47

    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 48

    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 49

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

      • D 50

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

  23. ron peck 51

    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 52

    Should I brown the beef before putting in crock

  25. Jacquie 54

    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 55

    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 56

    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 61

    It is not spicy hot. Just an excellent flavor

  30. Willsie 62

    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 63

    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 64

    Is it spicy?

  33. Kim F 66

    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!!

    • Susan Aguirre 67

      With the extra 1/4 cup chili powder, did you think it was spicy?

  34. Alma Collins 68

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

  35. Brian 69

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

  36. Jenuinearticle 71

    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 72

      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.

  37. Christine D. 73

    Could you tell me if this is spicy? If so, how spicy? My husband can’t take real spicy food. This sound sooo good and flavorful! Thanks for your help!

    • Christy Jayne 74

      I love spicy food, and while this is no problem for me, it definitely has a kick. If I ever made it for my mom, I would have to tone it down some…

  38. Christy Jayne 75

    This is fanfreakingtastic. I LOVE this dish so much, I get it every time I have Mexican out. I wondered if anyone had tried a beefy onion soup mix in this recipe in place of the bouillon cubes and onion powder. I haven’t tried that yet bc I already use a chili pack, only bc I can’t find the Chile sauce and always have to use the enchilada sauce. A chili packet AND an onion soup packet would probably still be less sodium than the bouillon though, so maybe I’ll give it a shot. Also, no one has mentioned that this is a wonderful low carb option, if not thickening at the end. Best copycat recipe EVER. Flavor is exact and slow cooker makes it so easy! Thank you so much!

  39. Sandy 76

    This it so easy and a hit with everyone . I have made this twice , the only thing I did differently was I browned the roastbefore posting it in the crock pot. This will be on my go to list for sure.

    • Monaliza 77

      I was wondering about this, do you prefer the browned meat version or just put the meat straight into the crock pot version?

  40. Gary Bierend 78

    Hi Cathy,

    I made this recipe the other day (saw it on FB) and it was fantastic! Thanks!

    • Cathy 79

      Glad to hear it.

      • Gary Bierend 80

        By the way, I saw in an earlier comment that you like spicy, a fellow I work with makes this seasoning called “Habenarlic”. As the name implies it is a combination of habanero and garlic (and other stuff), and it is the heroin of seasonings, totally addictive.

  41. Monaliza 81

    What about using cornstarch or flour to thicken the liquid?

  42. Lucy 83

    Hello I need to make about 2.5 pounds how long will it cook for and ok the ingredients how much more do I add

    • Greg 84

      I just made 2 1/2 pounds tonight, I just halved the recipe and cooked it for 7 hours and it was may have been done a bit sooner but….. The recipe is amazing!

  43. Ronald Griffis 85

    When you say “chili powder”, do you mean commercial chili powder (such as Williams) or actual ground-up dried chili peppers? (Sorry, spousal disagreement!)

  44. Sylvia Cuevas 88

    No salt??

  45. Cindy Sherritt 89

    What would you substitute for the bouillon? It has too much sodium for a family member on a restricted diet.
    Thank you!

  46. I can’t find the red sauce. Can I substitute enchalida sauce?

  47. Susan English 92

    Just made this last night and it was fantastic! Spicy with out being over-the-top hot, incredibly tender, delicious! I wanted a thicker sauce so added the masa but didn’t add additional chili powder…thought it was spicy enough. Next time I make it ( and I will!), I think I’ll cut the chuck roast into cubes rather than shred it. I plan on using the leftovers for tamales…should be great…thanks for this swell recipe!

  48. Bev Wilker 93

    Thank you for recipe. I’m having hard
    time finding that brand of red chili
    aside. I can find enchilada sauce, but
    you said not to use that. I’ll just
    keep looking! Really looking forward
    to making this. Do you have a good
    Pasole recipe? My friend in New Mexico made hers by chopping up 8-10 ref chili peppers in her blender as part of the liquid. She removed all the seeds before blending. Of course, in
    New Mexico it’s very easy to find red chili pods strung on string. Thank you.

  49. Crystal 94

    I was curious to know if this dish could be cooked on high instead of low, to hopefully cut down on the 7 hours on low heat. I started the meat to late and now it won’t be ready until almost bedtime :-/

  50. Catherine 95

    This was so good. My husband makes traditional Chili Colorado and he loved this!! So easy and delish. Thanks so much for the recipe – it’s a keeper!!

  51. Garth 97

    If you’re looking for flavor, why do you trim off all the fat? Real Mexicans wouldn’t. And, please, feel free to substitute coriander and cilantro for those all-pervasive spices cumin and oregano. Use salt instead of expensive bouillon, because that’s mostly what bouillon is.

  52. Brandi Hendricks 98

    Loved it!!!! Thank you for sharing!!

  53. Joe Nyberg 99

    I love chili Colorado in the local restaurant. So I looked for a recipe and your photo sold me instantly. I went to the local coop and found the spices, went to the Hispanic grocer for the sauce, and then picked up a 4 lb chuck roast. Got it going about 7:30 in the evening and started tasting about 2:45am. I couldn’t believe how good it was. Sandwiches, tacos, burritos, salads, you name it. Then I entered it in a chili cooking event with Costco rolls alongside. Well, I didn’t win, but the crock pot was devoid of any morsels or sauce when I picked it up to take it home. I think they were confused because there weren’t any beans. I’m making another right now and can’ wait till 9 tonite. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  54. Kem G. 101

    I followed this to a tee with the exception of the sauce. I could not find the red chile sauce anywhere in the local stores in Oklahoma. I didn’t venture to a local hispanic store either. I used HERDEZ Roasted Pasilla Chile Mexican Cooking Sauce (2 jars). Holy smokes was it tasty! The pasilla chile gave it a little more of a smokey flavor, but just as good if not better in my opinion. Thank you for sharing the recipe!!!

  55. Louisa 102

    Can I use just canned tomato sauce with all the spices instead if the enchilada sauce in the can don’t like the flavor.

  56. Cindy Conn 104

    I made this for my Hispanic boyfriend. He loved it! But….I made it in my pressure cooker. It’s faster and he doesn’t like the slow cooker taste. I also put four whole peeled potatoes in it as this how his mother made it. Making it for him again for Father’s Day.

  57. Ruthie 105

    I make this all the time but I use bay leaves and lots of garlic we also make wet burritos with sauce and jack cheese on top melted. When not making a burrito we make beans and rice for side dishes and add a side of sour cream and fresh flour tortillas delicious but don’t forget to take the bay leaves out after

  58. roxane 106

    hi Kathy I made this yesterday omg!!!! it was wonderful but I buy cubed stew meat and put in a bag with flour shake then fry in a cast iron skillet on all sides then add to the slow cooker 7 hours later I was watering at the mouth I made a lot and it was gone in seconds every one wanted more but apparently I shouldd of made more I’m making it again now thanks

  59. Steve Murtha 107

    Glad to run across this recipe. This seems to be a beef-version of Carne Adovada that we love here in NM. I’ll try it out but do have one question: although I’m pretty sure I can find the red sauce in the 28oz can either in our local supermarket or one of the Mexican supermarkets here in Albuquerque…..just wondering what you think of me using the actual NM red chile powder we buy in bulk from locally-sourced suppliers. Will it be too intense? Regardless of heat rating, will the superior local powder overwhelm the intended effect taste-wise? I may defrost the chuck roast half-way through which will make it easy to cube up and cook it that way. Thanks for the recipe and Bon Apetit!

  60. Beb 108

    To: Steve Murtha
    I don’t have a can of that red chili sauce in my pantry to see what ingredients it has.
    Maybe someone on this site can help you with your question. Good Luck!!

  61. nick 109

    Is this a spicy dish?

  62. Jan 111

    This sounds wonderful. But I have 2 questions:
    1- I’m a little worried about three beef bouillon cubes. That’s a lot of salt. My hubby frowns whenever I salt stuff too much.
    2 – can’t we just use flour/butter (flurry) to thicken?

    • Heather 112

      I make mine with two chicken bouillon cubes instead of three beef ones, and it comes out delicious. I don’t even thicken the sauce. I just mix in a bit of the sauce with the beef before I tear the beef apart with a fork.

  63. Trish Docherty 113

    Can you use this recipe for beef enchiladas ? I would dip the corn tortillas in sauce, fill with shredded beef and a little cheese then roll. Top with sauce. Does that sound like it would work?

  64. Ron 115

    My wife and i really like this recipe. I will sometime use boneless skinless chicken breast and it also comes out delicious!

  65. dawn 116

    i just made this today…this is going in my rotation of ‘make again’ dishes. i have a few from you. i had it with really soft flour tortillas, sour cream and oaxaca cheese. it tastes sooo amazing.

  66. Valerie Sanriago 117

    Can this be done quicken just using a regular pot???

  67. marti 119

    Made this and have to say it was delicious. My Hispanic friend raved about it. I couldn’t find the masa harina so used harina de maiz. Came out so good. Using the extra chili powder and Harina is a must in my book. Finally a recipe that was as easy as it said it was.

  68. Sherry from Arizona 120

    This goes in my keeper folder! Easy to put together, seasoning blend is excellent. For those of us without the patience or need to be “authentic”, the use of Las Palmas is genius. I am allergic to tomatoes and corn so finding recipes that allow me to enjoy Mexican food is a joy. Thanks for sharing your creation.

  69. Michelle 122

    You must have been reading my mind! The hubs and I have been travelling around the Southwest this winter and have fallen in love with Chile Colorado. Since I’m not sure we’ll be able to find the red chile sauce in Pennsylvania, I’ll have to hit the store while we’re in Moab and take a few cans home with me. Can’t wait to try this – THANKS!!

    • Trish 123

      Michelle, you can actually buy the sauce on Amazon! I had a hard time finding it in CT. Amazon really does have everything from soup to nuts!

  70. Nadine 124

    Could I make this with pork instead?

  71. Evilisa 126

    I will be making this this weekend. However, I plan to use my Grandmother’s “Chili Gravy”. It’s homemade enchilada sauce. When your 97yo Cuban/Mexican grandmother teaches you how to make it from scratch/dried peppers, you realize real quick that canned is just not for you. I make huge batches at a time and freeze it two cup portions. I’m very excited about this recipe. Thank you for sharing.


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