Everybody has a different chili recipe. Same goes for green chile. Here’s mine.

It ain’t easy bein’ green… to the recipe!

I recently took a trip to Colorado with one of my awesomest girlfriends, runningmate, and inspiration for pretty much anything that involves physical activity. Time for bragging: we ran up Pike’s Peak! On purpose, and not because we were being chased by police. Anything that we would be doing that’s illegal isn’t illegal there anyway… :) Okay, now that I’ve finished patting myself on the back, onto the green chili.

ground venison recipes

Green chili is kind of Colorado’s national dish. They have it in some form or fashion at most restaurants, and it usually involves pork and green chiles. Hence the name. Sincerely, Captain Obvious. Well, the green chili that I liked the most was at kind of an unsuspecting place. On our way out of Denver into the mountains we needed a bite to eat. So I consulted one of my BFF’s, Yelp, to help steer us in the right direction. Of course I’ve completely forgotten the name of the restaurant now (see earlier comment about non-illegal activities that may or may not affect memory). However, I was intrigued because this place served Native American food. Unfortunately pemmican wasn’t on the menu. What we did find, however, was this Chipotle-style set up with Native American fry bread taking center stage. You could get it in taco form, stuffed, or with a fresh berry compote of sorts for dessert. We decided to share and ordered a taco with a side of green chili and we were sure glad we shared! That “Indian” taco (their words, not mine) was ginormous! However, that is not exactly the point of my reflection. The green chili was also quite delicious, and most notably I loved the hominy they included. I thought – hey, there is always that fried hominy/”Inca Corn” snack in the bulk bins at Sprouts. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to add a crunch to my green chili?

So there you have it, a very long story for the inspiration behind my green chili recipe. My chili differs quite a bit from theirs, mainly because I used venison instead of pork and omitted the potatoes. And their meat was suspended in the liquid in a way that probably involves a lot of corn starch, which I’m just not gonna do.

Venison Green Chili


  • 3lb ground venison (or a mix of ground venison and ground pork)
  • 3-4 cups mild green chiles (roasted, peeled and roughly sliced longways, or a 28 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo verde salsa (or a 7 oz can)
  • 8 cups chicken or beef broth, or water
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 can hot green chiles (4 oz, pureed)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup fried hominy aka (or corn nuts)
  • chopped cilantro (for garnish)


Step 1
Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and brown the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the meat is nice and tender and all the flavors have married nicely.
Step 2
Serve with more hot green chiles or salsa verde so everyone can adjust the spices to taste and sprinkle with fried hominy. Garnish cilantro if desired.

Non game substitution: Pork is typically the meat of choice, but beef would work okay too.

Vegetarian substitution: Making a veg version is a wonderful excuse to use real tomatillos, instead of just the green sauce. Add in other stout veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and maybe even some beans.

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[…] The possibilities for protein in chili are endless. This rendition features ground venison in a delicious chili verde base. Find the recipe here. […]