Slow Cooker Red Pork Chili

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Slow Cooker New Mexican red pork chili recipe is packed with rich spices, extremely tender pork, corn, and beans. A simple and easy to prepare hearty meal for a crowd!

Slow Cooker New Mexican Red Pork Chili

If the cold weather has gotten you bogged down, then get ready to turn up the heat with this red pork chili recipe. A good, rustic, classic chili was on my to-do list since I saw this recipe in America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. The best part is that it looks and tastes as delicious and wholesome as you hoped.

I picked up some hearty well-marbled boneless country-style pork ribs from the market. Thankfully it was also very friendly on my wallet. Interestingly enough, this cut of meat doesn’t come from the “ribs” section.

White bowl of dark red chili on a table

They are either from chops near the shoulder (aka pork loin country-style ribs) or thick strips from the pork shoulder steaks (aka pork shoulder country-style ribs). Both styles are very flavorful, with the shoulder steaks containing more marbling.

The fat adds a TON of flavor and tenderness to the pork. At the end of cooking, you’ll likely see a thin layer of oil on the surface of the chili. I use a large spoon to skim off as much of that excess fat so that the flavor is still there, but not the high calories.

Pork chili in a bowl garnished with onions and cilantro

The cooking liquid that simmers for hours in the crock-pot is infused with vibrant seasonings coming from dried red chili powder, tomato paste, and freshly chopped garlic. There is also a secret ingredient, coffee!

The coffee adds an earthy flavor and enhances the dried chili spices in the chili. You can use decaffeinated coffee if you are concerned about the caffeine. Also, a hint of brown sugar adds some molasses notes and balances the bitterness from the coffee and chilies.

Dunking a piece of cornbread into a bowl of pork chili

Dunk, crumble or top this delicious red pork chili with some cornbread – it’s highly recommended! You can go with a classic no-frills honey cornbread muffin, or try my whole grain jalapeno cheddar cornbread for the health-conscious. Either way, you can’t lose!

Each piece of slow-cooked pork just melts in your mouth and falls apart if you just stare at it. It’s a beautiful thing.

Spoon lifting pork chili from a bowl

At the very end of cooking the corn kernels, pinto beans and freshly squeezed lime juice pulls all of the flavors together and makes for one hearty meal. So satisfying, everyone’s a winner with this slow cooker New Mexican red pork chili!

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Why are boneless country-style pork ribs suitable for slow cooking?

Slow cooking essentially allows you to cook a tougher piece of protein for an extended period, over consistent heating. A low heat, slow, moist cooking method like braising is perfect for marbled cuts of meat like country-style pork ribs. Braising cooks tougher cuts of meat that are rich in fat and collagen, by transforming it into the most tender pieces of protein. This happens by submerging the meat in a flavorful liquid and cooking it at low temperature for a long time to well done. As the collagen melts into gelatin, you get a delicious, rich and juicy meat that can be cut with a spoon. Boneless pork ribs are also good for stews, grilling or stir-frying.

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Slow Cooker Red Pork Chili

Slow Cooker New Mexican red pork chili recipe is packed with rich spices, extremely tender pork, corn, and beans. A simple and easy to prepare hearty meal for a crowd!
4.74 from 64 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican


  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 pounds country-style pork ribs, boneless, fat trimmed
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • black pepper, as needed
  • 15 ounces pinto beans, drained, (1 can)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or canned
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced fresh, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest, grated
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice


  • Lightly oil inside of slow cooker with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  • Combine tomato paste, chili powder, oil, and garlic in a bowl and microwave, occasionally stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared slow cooker.
  • Whisk in broth, coffee, cornstarch, and sugar. Add bell peppers.
  • Generously season ribs with salt and pepper and nestle into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until ribs are tender and the meat falls apart with little resistance, 5 to 6 hours on Low or 3 to 4 hours on High. Turn the ribs over halfway through cooking to ensure even braising.
  • Using a large spoon, skim excess fat from the surface of chili and discard.
  • Remove pork and transfer to a plate.
  • Break ribs into 1-inch pieces, removing any excess fat.
  • Adjust chili consistency with extra hot broth as needed.
  • Add back meat, beans, and corn to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro, lime zest, and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnishes if desired.



  • Substitute decaffeinated coffee if you are concerned about the caffeine.
  • You can substitute 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso in ½ cup boiling water for coffee.
  • Add more beans if you like an even heartier chili. Pinto, black, kidney and white beans can all be substituted or added.
  • Additional Toppings: Cilantro, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeno, serrano peppers, sour cream, red onion, limes, or avocado.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 524kcal (26%)Carbohydrates 39g (13%)Protein 27g (54%)Fat 30g (46%)Saturated Fat 9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat 4gMonounsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 78mg (26%)Sodium 433mg (18%)Potassium 1272mg (36%)Fiber 7g (28%)Sugar 8g (9%)Vitamin A 3650IU (73%)Vitamin C 54.5mg (66%)Calcium 100mg (10%)Iron 4.3mg (24%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

54 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Katie says

    This is what my sis saidabout your recipe and she and her husband are gourmet cooks!

    Katie. Jessica’s chili was really good. It mellowed a bit in the frig over night. I served with plain Greek yogurt (replacement for sour cream) and avocado. It was not to hot for me – and yesterday I thought it would be too hot. Really good. Ben liked it too. I would serve it to company.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for the feedback Katie! I’m honored that they tried the recipe and enjoyed it, great substitutions 🙂

  2. Shanna says

    I used bone-in ribs and leftover beans from the previous night. I like it a little spicier so I added a couple of pickled jalapenos to my bowl. Next time I’ll throw in a can of green chilies or rotel. Awesome recipe!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Bone0in ribs sounds extra tasty Shanna! I’m sure the pickled jalapenos added even more flavor. Love all the spicy additions!

  3. Lisa says

    Quick question: Do you mean 1/2 c. prepared coffee (liquid), or 1/2 c. instant coffee granules? Just thought I’d check, because those would have two very different outcomes! 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question Lisa! 1/2 cup prepared coffee, it cold be instant or something you already have brewed. Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Rebecca! Great question 🙂 I looked at the nutritional and looked at the calculations. It’s now around 500 calories, and there is a lot of protein coming from the meat and beans, so it’s more nutrient dense in a good way. Thanks!

  4. Katie Kruse says

    Made this today and it was delicious!!! I had my butcher cut off the fat but your advice to skim off the fat after cooking the meat was invaluable. This is a great dish and easy to put together. Thanks for your awesome recipes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hey hey Katie! So happy to hear that you guys like the chili, it’s one of my families favorite 🙂 More to come!

  5. Kevin says

    Hello and greetings from New Mexico. I love NM red chili however I’ve never made it slow cooker style until today. I followed your recipe, still in the cooker and smells wonderful!! Hour and a half to go can’t wait. Thank you Jessica for the recipe looking forward!

  6. Tabitha Darko says


    I used your chili recipe (with a few variations) for a chili competition at work; and received first place over 16 other recipes! Its a testament to how delicious, vibrant, and unique it is. It was my first time making chili but i loved it and; will definitely be cooking it again.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Congratulations Tabitha! Wow, you really hit it out of the park for your first time. Now your co-workers are going to request your famous chili for all of the office potlucks 🙂

    • Shar from California says

      Hi Tabitha,
      I’d like to try a cook off as well I have my base chili recipe that I’ve used for a few years. Very similar to the “extras” in this recipe, such as coffee and brown sugar. I even use a bit of honey and other ingredients. Can I ask what changes you made? Just want to see if I need to add or subtract ingredients from my recipe? If you can kindly share, it’ll be grest 🙂


    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Erika! I was looking online and it said you can substitute chili purée about 4:1 for chili powder (use four tablespoons of purée for every tablespoon of powder called for in a recipe). Since there is 4 tablespoons chili powder, I would say start there, taste and increase to your desired level of flavor and spiciness. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. Shar from California's says

    In traditional chili, I’ve often seen cumin in recipe. Since this is NM style, is cumin not added? Just wondering if flavor changed with cumin? Just askin…

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Shar! Yes I agree, chili’s typically contains cumin. For this version the chili powder and coffee gives a nice roasted earthy flavor. You could certainly add cumin and it would just give more layers of flavor.

  8. Shar from California says

    Hi Jessica and all,
    How much does this recipe make? How many cups? Or was a 6.5 quart slow cooker used? If so was it half full, 3/4 full or to the rim full? Just trying to get an idea as I need to make 2 gallons (8 qts worth) for a BBQ?

  9. Shar from California says

    Oops just saw the serving calculated. Can you tell me what a serving consist of? 1 cup, 2 cup etc….?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Shar! The recipe makes about 7 cups of chili, but the serving is a more generous 1 1/2 cup serving. So if it’s it not the main meal you could serve 6 to 8 people. I hope that helps!

  10. Avery says

    I doubled the recipe and served this at a family get together and got rave reviews! I was a little worried about the spice level but adding sour cream and cilantro mellowed the flavor enough for the more spice sensitive members of my family. It was super yummy and so easy to make!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Whoo hoo! Yes, there are so many layers of flavors in this chili, I’m so glad that everyone was able to enjoy the recipe 🙂

  11. Jon says

    Perfect dish to have ready to eat from the slow cooker when returning from the stadium after watching Penn State hammer Pitt: a quintessential Fall football weekend killer chili. Added a little more corn than called for to get some extra sweetness. Garnished with limes, avocados, sour cream, chopped bacon, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds. Paired with 2014 Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva Rufina, which had the restrained fruit and relatively high acid level to stand up to the chili without fighting it. Loved it.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I could only imagine how a big bowl of chili would be perfect after a game! Great suggestions for the toppings, especially the bacon and pumpkin seeds. Great wine pairing suggestion as usual!

  12. Paul says

    While very good, this is not New Mexico style chile – carne adovada – by any stretch of the imagination. This is more of a fancy cal-mex style pork chili (with an i).

    Traditional NM carne adovada is nothing more than a pork roast simmered all day in garlic, salt, cumin, and NM-cultivar red chile (I use about 8oz of chile puree per lb of meat).

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question Nadine! I would NOT substitute pork tenderloin for pork ribs because that cut is very lean and would taste dry and not flake apart as well.

  13. Ella C. says


    Saw this recipe and I am absolutely resolved to try it. I am already salivating thinking about it. But I am curious, would there me much of a difference if I use bone in ribs as opposed to boneless? Or is it more of a convenience thing? Thanks.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Ella- I think you could add the bones for more flavor, but the meat yield will be less. Make sure to trim the excess fat!

  14. Robin says

    Hi Jessica,
    this recipe sounds great, although my husband does not like coffee. I was wondering if the coffee flavor is noticeable in the recipe? Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Robin- Great question! No, the coffee flavor is not pronounced, it just as a deeper roasted flavor to complement the chilies.

  15. Charlie says

    Just won first place in a chili cook-off with this! Not only my first time with this recipe, but my first time making chili from a recipe. One of my first times following a recipe, come to think of it. Only, I don’t have a slow cooker. I just used a big pot on low heat for about 4 hours. That lime & cilantro is really noticeable: you don’t expect to taste citrus in a chili!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank is amazing Charlie! I love that you adopted the stovetop method and it worked out so well. Congrats!

  16. Craig M. says

    Any suggested adjustments if made in an electric pressure cooker? Less liquid? Also, how many cups are in the finished batch? My Breville tops out at six cups. Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Craig- I would approximate about 8 cups, so it wouldn’t fit in your slow cooker. I used a 6-quart slow cooker to make the recipe. For the pressure cooker, I would try pressure cooking on HIGH for 15 minutes, with natural pressure release with everything up to the black pepper. See if the meat is tender, if not do more time. Then use the saute function to cook the beans and corn until warm.

  17. Sherri says

    I had a 9lb pork butt roast that I wanted to use in few different ways, I am all about optimizing time and ingredients in meal prep. I used 3 lbs of the pork butt cut into thick slabs instead of the pork rib and added a dried ancho while cooking. Turned out great!!!!! I used the rest of the pork for crock pot carnitas and a pork green chili stew.

  18. Mary Tognazzini says


  19. Jo says

    This looks awesome! Question though, do you think I could sub full-fat ground pork?
    Also, I was hoping to leave this on low and head to work, leaving it cooking for about 8 hours. Too much? I don’t use my slow cooker often so have no idea.

  20. Rob says

    With more standard chilli I’ve made, I blend up a can of fire roasted tomatoes in a food processor and mix that with the meat to cook in the slow cooker (rather than having just tomato chunks in the chili). Do you think that would be too much for this recipe? Would it overwhelm the other flavors?

  21. Terri Fetner says

    This is sooooo good! My husband and I both really enjoyed a different take on regular chili, which we both love. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us. I bought your cookbook first, then found my way to your blog. Now, I’m sharing your recipes with my daughter, who also loves to cook. 🙂

  22. Perry Picoriello says

    This was delicious! I used a pork loin in cubes, and it was tender and flavorful. Definitely will make this again and again….super recipe.

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