The Washington Post

Everybody’s Chili Verde

Everybody’s Chili Verde 12.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Aug 21, 2016

This is a rich, satisfying, brightly flavored green chili that happens to be both vegan and gluten-free.

When selecting chili peppers, look for plump, heavy ones. Their heat or spice can be unpredictable, so when you are making the tomatillo base, add the peppers one at a time, sampling along the way, until you reach your desired degree of heat and spice.

Peeling a batch of peppers is fast and only slightly messy. To blacken and loosen the skins, broiling works well.

Serve with the classic toppings of cilantro, sliced scallions, sour cream or crema, pickled or sliced jalapeños, and hot sauce.

For a meaty side, add Ancho-Leek Turkey Meatballs (see related recipe).

Make Ahead: The chilies, corn, tomatillos and onions can be prepped and refrigerated a day in advance. This chili verde tastes even better the next day; make it ahead if possible. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The tomatillo-pepper base (without the squash and final chopped onion) can be frozen for up to 3 months; add those two ingredients as you reheat the chili verde.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes 16 cups

  • 8 poblano chile peppers (about 2 pounds)
  • 8 Anaheim chile peppers (about 1 pound)
  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 16 tomatillos, husked and rinsed (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 large white onions, quartered (about 2 pounds), plus 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 to 3 jalapeño peppers, halved with stem, then seeded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups water
  • Three 15-ounce cans no-salt-added white beans, navy beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 4 cups total)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds firm summer squash, such as pattypan, coarsely chopped (see headnote)

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Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange the poblano and Anaheim chilies on the baking sheet; broil for about 4 minutes or until their skins blacken and blister; use tongs to turn them over, and repeat. Leave the broiler on.

Immediately transfer the chilies to a large heatproof bowl; cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap so they will steam.

Place the shucked corn on the cob on the same baking sheet, drizzle with the oil to coat all over; broil for 3 minutes, then use tongs to rotate the corn and broil for 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Transfer the corn to a cutting board. Leave the broiler on.

Arrange the tomatillos, the 3 white onions and garlic cloves on the same baking sheet. Broil for 3 minutes, then use tongs to turn the pieces over and broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until they all have a bit of char on the edges. Let cool.

Wear gloves to peel and discard the chilies’ loosened skins, stems, seeds and ribs. Cut off the corn kernels, reserving the spent cobs for another use, if desired. Coarsely chop the tomatillos, onions and garlic; together is okay.

Transfer the tomatillos, onions and garlic to a high-powered blender or a large food processor; puree until fairly smooth. Add the peeled Anaheim and poblano peppers, then add the jalapeños, one half-pepper at a time, pureeing and tasting for heat after each addition (to taste). Adjust for heat, adding more jalapeño until the chili is spicy enough. Add the chopped cilantro; puree until smooth.

Pour the green mixture into a 5-quart heavy Dutch oven. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the beans, smashing about half of them with the back of a fork to add texture. Add the Mexican oregano, salt and cumin, stirring to incorporate. Once the mixture returns to bubbling at the edges, cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching.

(At this point, if you plan to freeze the chili verde, do not add the squash, the corn or the remaining onion.)

Stir in the squash and the remaining chopped onion; cook (medium heat, uncovered) for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender.

Stir in the corn kernels. Cook (uncovered), stirring occasionally; once the chili verde begins to bubble again, turn off the heat. Taste, and add salt as needed.

Once the chili verde is fully heated through, it’s ready to serve.

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Recipe Source

From columnist and cookbook author Cathy Barrow.

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using grapeseed oil): 290

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 4g 6%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 220mg 9%

Total Carbohydrates: 58g 19%

Dietary Fiber: 12g 48%

Sugar: 18g

Protein: 14g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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