Colorado Green Chile vs New Mexico

Last Updated on November 27, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’re from the southwestern United States, then you understand the rivalry between Colorado green chile and New Mexico. It’s a debate that has been going on since the 1970s, and both states proudly stand behind their respective recipes.

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between Colorado green chile and New Mexico, so you can decide which one you prefer.

What’s the Difference Between Colorado Green Chili and New Mexico Green Chile?

The difference between Colorado green chile and New Mexico is in the ingredients. Colorado green chile uses a combination of fresh or canned Hatch green chiles, cilantro, garlic, onion, chicken stock, tomatoes, oregano and cumin to create a thick and flavorful sauce. Meanwhile, New Mexico chile is made with roasted dried red chile pods and spices.

The color of the two chiles also varies, with Colorado green chile usually being a vibrant green color, while New Mexico has a more earthy red color. The texture also differs, with Colorado offering a slightly thicker consistency than New Mexico’s thinner sauce.

When it comes to heat levels, Colorado green chile tends to be a bit milder than New Mexico’s, which typically has more of a kick.

Ultimately, the decision between Colorado green chile and New Mexico boils down to personal preference. Both offer unique flavors and color, so it’s up to you to decide which one is your favorite.

History of Colorado Green Chile

Colorado green chile has been around since the 1970s, when it became popular in Colorado’s mountain towns. It was originally created as a way to make use of Hatch chiles, which are native to southern New Mexico and parts of Texas.

History of New Mexico Chile

New Mexico chile also has a long history, dating back to the 1500s when it was brought to the region by Spanish settlers. Over the years, it has evolved into a true New Mexican dish, with its own unique blend of spices and flavors.

What Is a Good Substitute for New Mexico Chiles?

If you can’t find New Mexico chiles, then there are a few good substitutes. Hatch green chiles or Anaheim peppers are both good alternatives, and they can provide similar flavors and color to New Mexico chiles.

What Kind of Pepper Is New Mexico Green Chile?

New Mexico green chiles are a type of Hatch pepper, which is native to New Mexico and parts of Texas. These peppers can range in color from light green to deep red, depending on the variety.

What Is the Hottest Pepper in New Mexico?

The hottest pepper in New Mexico is the Sandia chile, which measures at around 10,000-30,000 Scoville heat units. Other varieties such as Big Jim and Espanola are also quite hot, measuring between 5,000-10,000 SHU.

What Pepper Is Colorado Known For?

Colorado is most well-known for its Hatch chiles, which are a type of mild to medium chili pepper. These peppers can range in color from light green to deep red, depending on the variety. They are an essential ingredient when it comes to making Colorado green chiles.

Why Is It Called Chile Colorado?

homemade cooked colorado green chile

The name “Chile Colorado” is derived from its color, as the sauce is usually a vibrant green color. It’s also sometimes referred to as “Green Chile Sauce,” which further emphasizes its color and main ingredient.

Which Is Hotter Chile Colorado or Chile Verde?

Chile Colorado is usually milder than Chile Verde, as it uses fresh or canned Hatch green chiles. Meanwhile, Chile Verde is made with dried red chile pods, so it tends to be spicier.

Are Green Chillies Hotter Than Jalapeños?

Green chillies are usually milder than jalapeños, as they typically measure between 1,000-2,500 SHU on the Scoville scale. Meanwhile, jalapeños can range anywhere from 2,500-10,000 SHU.

What Is the Hottest Green Chili?

The hottest green chili is the Habanero chili [1], which can measure between 200,000-350,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. This makes it significantly hotter than other green chili varieties such as Hatch chiles and Anaheim peppers.


Overall, there are many differences between Colorado green chile and New Mexico chile. While both offer unique color, textures, and flavors, it ultimately comes down to personal preference which one you prefer. Additionally, if you can’t find traditional New Mexico chiles, then Hatch green chiles or Anaheim peppers make good substitutes. Lastly, if you like spicy food, then the Sandia chile is the hottest option for green chili. Ultimately, it’s up to you decide which colorado green chile or New Mexico chile best suits your taste buds. Enjoy!


Lauren Beck
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