Tomatillo & Pork Chili

September/October 2013

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In this healthy Mexican-inspired tomatillo and pork chili recipe, poblano peppers, chipotle chiles and oregano add spice without adding too much heat. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground pork and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Tomatillo & Pork Chili

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 pound lean ground pork (see Tips)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound tomatillos (see Tips), husks removed, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (see Tips)
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can hominy (see Tips), rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground pork, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomatillos and poblanos and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add bulgur, chipotles, oregano, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, hominy and beans.
  5. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the bulgur is tender, about 50 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Depending on your supermarket, it might be hard to find a lean option for ground pork, but it’s easy to make your own in a food processor. Choose a lean cut, such as loin or tenderloin, and trim any excess fat. Cut into pieces and then pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground (being careful not to overprocess, turning the meat into mush). Or ask your butcher to grind it for you. Using lean pork instead of regular ground pork saves up to 164 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat per 3 ounces of cooked meat.
  • Tomatillos are tart, plum-size fruits that look like small, husk-covered green tomatoes. Find them in the produce section near the tomatoes. Remove outer husks and rinse well before using.
  • Chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful, spicy sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
  • Hominy is made from white or yellow corn kernels that have been dried, degermed and hulled. You can find canned hominy in the Latin section of many supermarkets, Latin markets and specialty stores.


Per serving: 350 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 5 g mono); 44 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 10 g fiber; 718 mg sodium; 952 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (83% daily value), Potassium (27% dv), Iron (24% dv), Magnesium (22% dv), Zinc (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 1/2 vegetables, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Super Bowl
Type of Dish
Main dish, Other
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
More than 1 hour
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