Swamp Chili (Poblano-and-Spinach Posole)


Spinach and pureed poblano chiles (sautéed with garlic and cumin) give this chili a swamp-like look that's fun on Halloween. Before serving, Grace Parisi stirs in hominy and little chicken-and-pork meatballs. More Great Halloween Recipes

Swamp Chili (Poblano-and-Spinach Posole). Photo © David Malosh
Photo: © David Malosh
Active Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 1/2 pounds poblano chiles

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 5 large garlic cloves, minced

  • One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 slice of white sandwich bread

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/2 pound ground chicken

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 1 teaspoon pure ancho chile powder

  • One 15-ounce can white hominy, drained

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler until charred all over. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, stem and seed the chiles. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

  2. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the onion, cumin, coriander and 4 of the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the pureed poblanos and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and broth and season with salt. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced and the spinach begins to break down, 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mash the bread to a paste with the milk. Add the chicken, pork, chile powder, the remaining garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt and gently knead to combine. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into meatballs and add to the chili with the hominy. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Make Ahead

The chili can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Serve With

Steamed rice and tortilla chips.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, spicy Grenache.

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