Savor the taste of authentic Pozole Verde, a Mexican delicacy with shredded chicken, slow-cooked hominy, and a rich green sauce of green tomatoes, poblano, and jalapeño peppers. Indulge in this comforting, spicy, and flavorsome stew that’s sure to impress.
Green Chicken Pozole Recipe
I love Mexican cuisine. It’s full of bright flavors and colors that tap into your sense of smell and taste in a uniquely beautiful way. Pozole is one of my favorite Mexican dishes so, of course, I wanted to bring my recipe to you here. I hope you enjoy.
The main attraction of this green pozole is the broth that brings it all together. It is made with a puree of chilis, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and more that has been strained and simmered into a flavorful sauce. The sauce is turned into a broth for the soup with the addition of chicken stock.
Hominy is cooked to tender in the broth before the whole concoction is ladled over succulent shredded chicken and topped with shredded green cabbage and sliced avocado. If that doesn’t excite your taste buds, I don’t know what will! Hop in the kitchen and get cooking!
What Is Pozole?
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup. It is made with hominy and meat (often chicken or pork) stewed in a flavorful sauce made from chiles, green tomatoes, garlic, and more. To add freshness, the soup is often garnished with sliced radishes, shredded lettuce, shredded cabbage, avocado, slices of lime, and/or fresh cilantro.
What’s The Difference Between Pozole Verde and Pozole Rojo?
Pozole Verde and pozole rojo are two common variations of this classic Mexican dish. Both feature hominy, meat, and a flavorful sauce, but they are not without their differences. The sauce for pozole verde features green chilis, green tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro, all of which contribute to its green hue. On the other hand, the sauce for pozole rojo derives its color from red chilis such as guajillo, ancho, or piquin.
Here is a list of ingredients needed to make green chicken pozole. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for detailed measurements.
For the sauce:
- Chiles/Peppers: Poblanos, Serrano, and Jalapeño – all seeds and ribs should be removed unless you want a spicy stew.
- Vegetable oil
- Tomate verde: These are large fresh green tomatoes. Don’t get the small ones with dry skin – those are tomatillos.
- White Onion or Yellow Onion: Do not use red onion.
- Dried Oregano and Dried Thyme
- Spinach: Optional.
- Bone-in skin-on chicken breasts: I used breasts here, but you could easily use thighs, leg-quarters, or drumsticks instead.
- Maíz pozolero aka Hominy: This is a kind of corn specifically for pozole. You can find it in most supermarkets.
- Shredded cabbage: Green cabbage is preferred.
- Sliced avocado
I topped this chicken pozole soup with shredded cabbage and avocado but there are many other options out there that help add brightness, texture, and flavor to this delicious soup. Here are some ideas for you.
- Sliced radishes
- Fresh cilantro
- Chicharrones: These are fried pork belly or fried pork rinds. They add an unbeatable richness to the dish.
- Diced white onion
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips
- Salsa: Pick your favorite Mexican salsa!
How to Make Chicken Pozole Verde
It takes some time to make this delicious, full-flavored green pozole, but the recipe is quite simple and worth every minute. Here’s a quick rundown of how to do it. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Soak the white corn (Hominy) overnight. Or according to the directions on the package.
- Toast the poblanos directly over a medium-low flame for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer them to a plastic bag, seal the bag, and let the peppers rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Peel the poblanos. Rinse the poblanos under warm water and gently peel off the skin.
- Char the veggies. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and cook the tomates verdes, jalapeño, serrano, white onion, and garlic until charred. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Blend the poblanos and charred veggies in a blender until smooth. Then, add in the oregano, thyme, cilantro, and spinach and process until combined and smooth. Strain the sauce into a large pot.
- Simmer the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste. Simmer while you rinse the hominy (maiz).
- Soak and rinse the maíz repeatedly until the water is almost clear.
- Cook the maiz. Add the strained hominy to the sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until softened.
- Boil the chicken. While the hominy is cooking, combine the water and the chicken in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook at a low boil for 1 hour. Allow the chicken to cool a bit before removing the skin and shredding it.
- Serve. Fill bowls with shredded chicken and ladle the hominy sauce over the top. Garnish with green cabbage and sliced avocado.
Tips for Success
Ready to make the best pozole verde you’ve ever tasted? Here come some simple tips and tricks that will help you get there.
- Low and slow. Don’t try to speed up the cooking process here. Not only will the maiz not soften enough but the flavors in the sauce will not have a chance to develop properly. Be patient and enjoy the rich smells of the pozole as they waft through the house.
- Add extra water. As the stew simmers, the liquid will evaporate. In order to ensure that the stew does not become too dry, add water as you see fit.
- Season at the end. Before ladling the pozole over the shredded chicken, give it a taste and season it with salt as you see fit. This is particularly important if you add any water as the maiz cooks.
- Use leftover rotisserie chicken. Looking to cut a corner or two? Feel free to use leftover rotisserie chicken instead of boiling your own. Just remove the skin and shred the meat.
What to Serve with Green Pozole
This hearty soup is delicious on its own but it’s fun to dress it up with fun toppings and/or side dishes. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it.
- Fun toppings. Take this delicious stew to the next level by garnishing it with some flavorful toppings. Check out the section above labeled “Topping Ideas” for inspiration.
- Tortillas. Corn or flour tortillas will do. Warm them up and use them to scoop up some of the saucy chicken and hominy.
- Tortilla chips. I love dipping tortilla chips in my pozole and scooping out some of the delicious goodies in the sauce. It’s like salsa but better. You can also crumble tortilla chips and mix them into the chicken pozole verde.
- Cornbread. Dip it in the stew or crumble it on top for a hint of sweetness. Try my Light Skillet Cornbread.
- More Mexican fare. Serve this hearty soup with my Fiesta Rice Recipe, this Elote (Mexican Street Corn), or my Horchata.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Cool the pozole and the chicken to room temperature. Seal the chicken and the pozole in separate airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Wrap the chicken in aluminum foil and bake at 325˚F for 10 minutes. In the meantime, transfer the pozole to a pot and cook over medium heat until heated through. Transfer the chicken into bowls, spoon the sauce over it, and top with shredded cabbage and avocado.
Can I Freeze Chicken Pozole Soup?
- Cool the pozole and the chicken completely before sealing them in separate airtight containers. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, do so as if you were reheating from refrigerated (see the instructions above). Just heat the stew for a bit longer (until thawed and heated through) and bake the chicken for 15 minutes instead of 10.
More Mexican Recipes:
In a fiesta kind of mood? Here are some of my other favorite Mexican recipes.
- Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
- Camarones al Ajillo | Garlic Shrimp
- Beef Enchiladas
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa | Chipotle Copycat!
- Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Chicken
- Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Fudge
- Overnight Breakfast Enchiladas
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ pound fresh green tomatoes, not tomatillos
- ½ jalapeño, seeded and diced
- ½ serrano pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- ½ cup roughly chopped baby spinach, optional
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups chicken broth, (you can also use the broth from the boiled chicken breasts)
- 4 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, you can also use thighs, leg-quarters, or drumsticks.
- 1 gallon water, for boiling
- 15 ounces dry hominy (maíz pozolero), soaked overnight per instructions on the packaging
- shredded cabbage, for topping
- sliced avocado, for topping
- Place the poblanos directly over a medium-low flame and let them toast for 5 minutes on each side or until blackened. Use kitchen tongs to flip them over carefully. This is the most authentic way to toast them, but you can also do it in a pan or grill.
- Remove the poblanos from the heat and immediately place them in a plastic bag. Seal it closed and let them rest for at least 15 minutes. This will soften their skin and help make the peeling process much easier.
- Remove the poblanos from the plastic bag and rinse them under warm water. Gently rub your fingers against the blackened skin to remove as much of it as possible. Don't worry if the poblanos break a little. Set them aside.
- Add the vegetable oil to a large pot set over medium heat. Stir in the green tomatoes, jalapeño, serrano, white onion, and garlic. Let them cook for about 8 minutes or until charred all over. Watch the garlic cloves because you'll need to flip them over and remove them from the heat sooner so they don't burn. Remove them from the heat and set them aside.
- Add the peeled poblanos and the charred veggies to a blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Add the oregano, thyme, cilantro, and spinach. Blend again until smooth. Strain the sauce into a large cooking pot.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let it cook for 25 to 35 minutes. The sauce should have gone from bright to dark green.
- Add the chicken broth to the sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste. Let it simmer while you rinse the hominy.
- Place the hominy (maíz) in a large container and fill it with water. Stir it around to remove excess starch. Strain and repeat the process until the water is almost clear. Drain.
- Add the hominy to the green broth and cook it according to the package instructions. It should be between 2 to 3 hours. Add more water as needed if the water evaporates. Season with more salt to taste. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- While the hominy is cooking, add the chicken to a separate large pot. Pour in the water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let the chicken boil for 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool.
- Remove the skin from the chicken. Discard it. Use meat shredder claws or two forks to shred the chicken.
- Fill each serving bowl with shredded chicken. Ladle hot pozole over the chicken.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings, like green cabbage and avocado slices, and serve.
- Hominy or maíz pozolero looks like big puffy corn kernels and can usually be found in the Hispanic foods section of your local grocery store.
- Chicken: I used bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, but you can use chicken thighs, too, or leg quarters.
- Green Tomatoes: I use fresh green tomatoes for this recipe, not tomatillos.
- Peppers/Chiles: This recipe includes a combination of peppers, including a jalapeno, a couple of poblanos, and serrano pepper. All seeds and ribs should be removed unless you want an incredibly spicy stew.
- Cook it low and slow, and don’t try to speed up the cooking process. If you need to make it quicker, use shredded rotisserie chicken and canned hominy.
- Add extra water. As the stew simmers, the liquid will evaporate. Thus, make sure to add water as you see fit.
- Season to taste: Before serving the pozole over the shredded chicken, taste it for salt and pepper, and adjust to your taste.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.