This southwestern twist on a classic chicken alfredo is made with Colorado green chiles for extra spicy goodness! Colorado green chiles usually find their way into most Colorado style recipes and always makes things extra delicious! This chicken alfredo is easy to make and would be the perfect meal to warm you up after a day of skiing!
What are Colorado Green Chiles? The Great Green Chile Debate
New Mexico green chiles vs. Colorado green chiles – which are better? The debate of who has the best green chiles has gone on for years!
Everyone has heard of Hatch green chiles, which are grown in Hatch, New Mexico. These are the chiles that you will likely see in a can at the grocery store. New Mexico is kind of known for these!
But, then there are Pueblo green chiles which are grown in the southern part of Colorado in, yep you guessed it – Pueblo. The conditions there are perfect for growing green chiles. The hot, dry summer days combined with the cool nights and rich soil yield flavorful and spicy chiles. Think of these as spicy as a jalapeno pepper!
In my opinion, Pueblo green chiles are the winner when it comes to flavor and spice, but that is just me. You will just have to try them for yourself! From August to September, you can find chile roasting and chile cook offs around the state. In late September, you can attend the Chile & Frijoles Festival in Pueblo, CO where you can get a fresh batch of roasted chiles. Yum! One of our governors even dedicated the last Saturday of the Colorado State Fair as Pueblo Chile Day.
See? It’s kind of a big deal!
How to Make Colorado Green Chile Chicken Alfredo
First off, I want to say that you do not need specific Colorado green chiles for this recipe (although they do make it taste that much better!). Canned are totally fine. But, like I said above, if you’re ever in the Southern Colorado area in the fall, you need to try the real deal in Pueblo!
Alright, now for the rest of the recipe. You will need to make your chicken ahead of time, and I have two easy methods using either the Instant Pot or slow cooker! It’s really whatever you prefer. Here are the instructions for each:
Cooking Chicken in the Instant Pot
- 1 lb. of chicken breasts (frozen or thawed are fine)
- 1 cup of water or chicken stock
- Add your frozen or thawed chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. Cover with 1 cup of water or chicken stock.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the venting valve.
- Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to the “Poultry” setting. Set the timer for 15 minutes if using frozen chicken or 10 minutes if using thawed chicken.
- Once the chicken is done, let the pressure from the Instant Pot release naturally for 5 minutes. If there is any remaining pressure, release using the quick release method on the valve (just be sure not to burn yourself!).
Cooking Chicken in the Slow Cooker
- 1 lb. of chicken breasts, thawed
- Enough water to cover the chicken
- Add your thawed chicken breasts to the slow cooker. Cover with water until the chicken is fully submerged.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours
Pretty simple! I like the slow cooker method for when I have been able to plan ahead and want to just let the chicken cook all day and forget about it until dinner. The Instant Pot method is great though if you forgot to thaw out your chicken and are need to make it quickly!
I don’t recommend cooking frozen chicken in the slow cooker because it does not cook quickly enough, and this increases the risk of bacteria forming on the meat.
How to Prepare Green Chiles (if you are using roasted ones)
Colorado green chiles are sometimes unpredictable in their heat level – some are mild and some are SPICY. When handling/cutting green chiles, I’d recommend wearing gloves so that you don’t get that lingering, burning sensation on your skin.
To dice the green chiles, simply slice down the middle, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then chop away!
This article has some great tips for how to dice green chiles as well as instructions on how to roast your own. If you aren’t loving the idea of using canned green chiles, pick up some fresh ones from your grocery store and roast them in your oven. It’s super simple!
I hope you enjoy this Colorado inspired dish! Do you have any other favorite green chile dishes? I’d love to hear!
Colorado Green Chile Chicken Alfredo
- 1 lb cooked chicken breasts (see instructions for Instant Pot or Slow Cooker method)
- 1 cup chopped, roasted Colorado green chiles (or substitute with canned)
- 8-12 oz. bow tie pasta (or any pasta you like)
- 2 tsp corn starch or arrow root starch
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted and lightly salted
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
- 1 cup heavy cream, half and half or chicken stock
- 1 tsp kosher sea salt
- 1-2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- black pepper to taste
- Cook the chicken – you can broil or grill for 10-12 minutes, or use my instructions in my post for cooking in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. Slice or cube the chicken and set aside to keep warm.
- Slice the Colorado green chiles and remove the seeds using a spoon. Dice and set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large pot according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the cornstarch and milk in a bowl and set aside.
- Toast the walnuts with salt in a small pan over medium heat. Stir frequently to ensure they do not burn. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic for about 3 minutes, watching closely so that it does not burn. Slowly stir in the cream or half and half and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Add the cornstarch/milk mixture to the sauce in the pan and stir to thicken. Add the diced green chiles, chicken and salt. Heat through. Stir in the cooked pasta, walnuts and cheese.
- Season with black pepper and serve!