When you’re looking for something comforting yet light and flavorful, this Pozole Verde (chicken posole) is it. The silky broth gets its body and tangy flavors from lime, tomatillos, cilantro and toasted pepitas. The vibrant green broth snuggles into the nooks and crannies of the shredded chicken and creates a dish that’s a true delight. 

Why We Love This Chicken Pozole Verde

First and foremost, we love that most of this soup comes together in one large pot. Aside from a quick stint in the blender, everything is done in a Dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) on the stove top. 

Additionally, we can’t get enough of Mexican-Inspired Soups. And this one is no exception. It’s light and tangy with a little spice and a whole lot of savoriness. The broth of this soup is truly luxurious—we guarantee it will surprise you. 

And finally, we love to top each bowl with a load of toppings including shredded cabbage, cilantro and crunchy radishes. 

raw chicken thighs, tomatillos, cilantro, broth, chiles, hominy in a can, a white onion, a lime, garlic cloves, dried oregano and pumpkin seeds arranged on a counter

Ingredients in This Pozole Verde de Pollo

Pumpkin Seeds

Use raw, unsalted, unroasted pepitas (also called pumpkin seeds).

Chicken thighs

Use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for this pozole verde. You’ll first brown the skin then cook the thighs with the rest of the soup ingredients to do two things: create a delicious chicken-infused broth and cooking the chicken at the same time. 

Tomatillos

Look for tomatillos next to the chiles in the refrigerated section of the produce area. You’ll need to remove the husks and give them a good rinse.

Onion

A large white onion is ideal, but a yellow will also work. No need to perfectly dice this, just give it a rough chop and throw it in the pot. 

Hot Green Chiles

We like a mix of chiles for this pozole verde. Our go-to combo is a jalapeño, an anaheim and a poblano. You can use all of one kind or a mix if you prefer. If you like things on the spicier side, keep the seeds intact, for something more mild make sure to remove the seeds and ribs. 

Garlic

fresh is always best, and here you don’t even have to worry about prepping it. Just peel two cloves, smash them with the side of your chefs knife, and throw them in the pot. 

Dried Oregano

if you can, try to use Mexican oregano. If not, marjoram or regular oregano can be used. 

Chicken Broth

green chicken soup in a shallow white bowl topped with shredded cabbage, radishes and cubed avocado

here at ZK we always opt for low-sodium, not because we watch our salt, but because we want to be able to control level of seasoning at each stage of the cooking process. 

Cilantro

fresh cilantro is blended into the broth base and used to top each serving. 

Hominy

Look for a big can of white hominy for this soup. You’ll need a total of 25 to 28 ounces of canned hominy.

Lime

A squeeze of fresh lime juice brightens up this whole dish. Be sure to use fresh and serve additional lime wedges with each bowl of pozole. 

Toppings

Use whatever your heart desires! We prefer shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radish, diced avocado and of course more cilantro. Tortilla chips, corn tortillas, charred corn kernels, sour cream or greek yogurt are all great topping options as well.

green chicken soup in a shallow white bowl topped with shredded cabbage, radishes and cubed avocado

How to Make This Pozole Verde Recipe

  1. Toast the pepitas in a large pot. 
  2. Brown the chicken thighs in a large pot. 
  3. Add the vegetables and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Shred the chicken. Strain the sauce and blend the solids with the toasted pepitas. Add the shredded chicken, blended sauce, and reserved broth to the pot with the hominy and lime juice. Simmer the soup until the hominy is puffed and tender. 
  5. Serve the pozole with desired toppings. 

More Mexican Soup Recipes to Love

FAQs

Can I use chicken breasts?

We don’t recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts as the skin of the thighs infuse the broth with a lot of flavor. If you do use breasts, opt for skin-on and bone-in.

How can I make this weeknight-friendly?

You can skip the browning and cooking of the chicken and use shredded rotisserie chicken instead. Cook the veggies in butter or ghee and use a homemade or high-quality chicken stock. Drop the cooking time of the veggies down to about 20. Altogether, this will save you about 20 minutes.

Chicken Pozole Verde

Print Recipe
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Yield 9 cups (5 servings)
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican

Description

A rich and creamy pozole verde recipe loaded with light and tangy flavors, shredded chicken and tender hominy.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 4 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (1 ½–2 pounds total)
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh hot green chiles, such as jalapeño, anaheim and/or poblano, seeded and stemmed and cut into large chunks (I like one of each)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano, marjoram or regular dried oregano
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch cilantro, divided
  • 1 (25- to 28-ounce) can white hominy, drained
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Avocado, green cabbage, and radish for serving

Instructions

  • Add pumpkin seeds to a large Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until toasty, fragrant and popping noises begin, about 4 minutes. Transfer seeds to a bowl.
    toasted pumpkin seeds in a large Dutch oven
  • Pat chicken thighs dry; season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat Dutch oven over medium-high. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, 6–8 minutes, flip and continue to cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes.
  • Add tomatillos, onion, chiles, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and broth to Dutch oven with chicken.
    chopped chiles, raw tomatillos, chopped white onion, dried oregano,salt and pepper in a large dutch oven
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables start to break down, 35–40 minutes.
    stewed onions, tomatillos and chiles in a Dutch oven
  • Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate; set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour borth and liquids into strainer. Press on solids to extract excess liquid. Skim grease off broth.
    cooked onions, tomatillos and chiles in a strainer set over a bowl
  • Transfer solids to a blender, add toasted pepitas and ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems; blend until smooth.
    thick green sauce in a blender
  • Remove and discard skin from chicken; shred chicken. Discard bones.
    shredded chicken on a white plate
  • Add puréed mixture, reserved broth, and shredded chicken back to pot. Stir in hominy and 3 tablespoons lime juice; bring to a simmer and cook until hominy has slightly plumped and become tender; about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    green soup with hominy and shredded chicken in a Dutch oven
  • Divide between bowls and top with cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove top until simmering, adding additional water to thin as needed.
We don’t recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts as the skin of the thighs infuse the broth with a lot of flavor. If you do use breasts, opt for skin-on and bone-in.
We prefer Mexican oregano for this recipe, if you can’t find it or don’t have it, marjoram is the next closest thing. Regular dried oregano will also work.

Nutrition

Keywords chicken Pozole verde, Pozole verde, Pozole verde de pollo
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
green chicken soup in a shallow white bowl topped with shredded cabbage, radishes and cubed avocado

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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