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.
Ingredients in This Pozole Verde de Pollo
Use raw, unsalted, unroasted pepitas (also called pumpkin seeds).
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.
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.
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.
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.
if you can, try to use Mexican oregano. If not, marjoram or regular oregano can be used.
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.
fresh cilantro is blended into the broth base and used to top each serving.
Look for a big can of white hominy for this soup. You’ll need a total of 25 to 28 ounces of canned hominy.
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.
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.
How to Make This Pozole Verde Recipe
- Toast the pepitas in a large pot.
- Brown the chicken thighs in a large pot.
- Add the vegetables and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through.
- 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.
- Serve the pozole with desired toppings.
More Mexican Soup Recipes to Love
- Albondigas Soup (Sopa de Albondigas) is the perfect meal when you want something wholesome, delicious and satisfying. It’s loaded with veggies and tender meatballs. How could it get better?
- This Sopa de Pollo con Fideo (Chicken Noodle Soup) is an absolute 10/10 recipe. It’s so easy to make and is one of those soups you just can’t get enough of. Cotija cheese is a must for this one.
- Our Quick & Easy Mexican Chicken Soup uses the same cooking technique for cooking the chicken. We think it’s genius and this soup proves how delicious it is.
- Carne en su Jugo is a brothy bean and beef Mexican stew that will surely surprise you. It’s humble yet cozy and flavorful.
- We love this Caldo de Pollo from Isabel Eats. Healthy and veggie packed!
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer solids to a blender, add toasted pepitas and ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems; blend until smooth.
- Remove and discard skin from chicken; shred chicken. Discard bones.
- 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.
- Divide between bowls and top with cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes.