This Pozole Verde recipe is bursting with so much flavor! It’s a vibrant green Mexican stew made with tomatillos, chicken, poblano peppers and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado, and red onions. Watch the video!

A delicious recipe for Pozole Verde- a flavorful Mexican stew made with tomatillos, green chilies, chicken and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado and red onions. #pozole

Pozole Verde is the perfect summer-to-fall transitional soup, because of its use of seasonal, late-summer produce like tomatillos and chilies. The soup’s green base is made of poblano chilies, tomatillos, chicken and hominy.  (For a red pozole, see our Pozole Rojo!) It was always a big hit in our catering business, and many guests asked for the recipe. Well, here it is!

The green pozole is topped fresh crunchy ingredients- cilantro, red onion, radish, avocado, pepitas, diced tomatoes, or shredded cabbage. You can add or subtract any of these herbs and vegetables, among others, to make it as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Pozole Verde is a flavorful, satisfying meal that is surprisingly easy to make. It also can be made ahead and reheats beautifully.  My good friend Jill first introduced this soup to me many years ago now, and I’ve loved it ever since.

ingredients in Pozole

But First, What is Pozole?

Pozole is a traditional Mexican Stew, made with hominy, chilies, and a protein, most commonly pork shoulder, in a flavorful, rich broth made with chilies.

Pozole is considered a celebratory dish in Mexico, often made for parties and large groups for Christmas or New Year’s because it can be prepared easily and in large amounts. It makes for a great feast!

hominy

If you can find dry hominy, I recommend using it. Canned will work here too- but cooking it from scratch will result in hominy that is more toothsome.

Key Ingredients In Pozole Verde

  • Tomatillos instead of tomatoes give it its vibrant green color.
  • Green Chilies – hatch, poblano peppers, serrano peppers, jalapeno or most mild green chilies work great here )
  • Chicken – we are using chicken in the recipe, but pork is often used as well. Chicken breast makes for a lighter soup, while boneless skinless chicken thighs create a richer soup.
  • Cooked Hominy– canned, or pre-cooked. Hominy is basically corn kernels that have been processed so they lose their outer layer, and the corn kernels puff up when they are boiled. Corn was a sacred plant to Aztecs and the other indigenous people of Mesoamerica and found its way through history into this stew. If you can find dry hominy, I recommend using it. Canned will work here too- but cooking it from scratch will result in hominy that is more toothsome.
  • Fresh Cilantro and Lime!

How to make Pozole Verde

chicken breast poaching in. chicken broth seasoned with cumin, coriander, and mexican oregano

Step one

Poach chicken breast in chicken broth ( or chicken stock) over medium-high heat, in a large Dutch oven, seasoned with cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano and salt.

Step two

Blend raw tomatillos, poblano peppers, jalapeno, tomatillos, onion and garlic with a cup of water, into a smooth sauce to create a flavorful bright green base.

tomatillos in a blender

Step three

Pour the blended Verde sauce, into an oiled pan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring for about 10-15 minutes.

cooking the green sauce in a saute pan.

Step four

By this time the chicken should be cook through- time to shred!

shredding the chicken

Step five

Place the shredded chicken back into the broth.

shredded chicken breast in the broth

Step six

Pour the cooked Verde sauce into the pot with the chicken and broth and give a stir.

pouring the green sauce into the broth with the chicken

Step seven

Add the cooked hominy.

pouring the hominy into the soup

Chef’s Tips

  • Start with dry Hominy for the best texture! See recipe notes.
  • Thicken the broth! Use a cup of the hominy and blend it up with a little of the soup base.
  • Keep it vibrant green! Blend in the cilantro just before serving to boost the color. Ladle a little broth into the blender with the cilantro.
  • Boost the Flavor: If your broth or soup lacks flavor or depth, it may be due to the chicken stock you are using. Add 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes or even a small splash of soy sauce. You need enough depth to balance the heat here. 🙂
A bowl of Pozole Verde ( Green Pozole) with a spoon.

Our Favorite Pozole Toppings

toppings for pozole verde in various bowls

Make crispy tortilla strips as one of the toppings for added texture. Just cut corn tortillas into thin strips, spray with spray oil and bake in a 300 F oven till crisp.

making crispy tortilla chips in the oven

How to Host a Pozole Party!

A fun way to serve Pozole is to create an interactive dining experience for your guests, where they help prepare all of the all toppings for the Pozole Verde,  themselves.

As each guest arrives, hand them a beer or margarita, and give them a prepping station in the kitchen. Have cutting boards, bowls and knives ready to go.

Set up an area for them to mingle while they prep. A kitchen island is perfect.   Have one person slice onions, another slice cabbage, and have someone else chop cilantro. Getting everyone involved in the kitchen is a great way to break the ice, especially if guests are meeting for the very first time.

I have found that people actually prefer to do something with their hands in social situations, and giving them a project tends to stave off some of the social anxieties we all experience from time to time.

A delicious recipe for Pozole Verde- a flavorful Mexican stew made with tomatillos, green chilies, chicken and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado and red onions. #pozole

Storage

Pozole will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge or can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Rehat heat pozole (thaw it first) in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Pozole Faqs

What is the difference between Pozole and Posole?

You may be wondering why we often see it spelled two different ways. Pozole is the “proper” spelling;  and “posole” is slang- both mean the same.

What is the difference between Red and Green Pozole?

There are many versions of pozole, depending on the region- but most commonly you’ll see Pozole Rojo (Red Pozole) made with red guajillo chiles, ancho chilies, or other dried chilies- or Pozole Verde, made with green ingredients like tomatillos, poblano peppers, serrano peppers, and cilantro. Regional spices and ingredients influence other variations as well. One of Pozole’s main components, no matter what the color, is hominy!

More Mexican Recipes to Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this Pozole Verde, and be sure to read the instructions all the way through before starting so you understand the way to keep the soup vibrant green!

If you are looking for a tasty pork pozole, try this Pork Pozole from Hola Jalapeno!

Watch thE Video: Pozole Verde

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A delicious recipe for Pozole Verde- a flavorful Mexican stew made with tomatillos, green chilies, chicken and hominy, topped with cilantro, avocado and red onions. #pozole

Mexican Pozole Verde (Green Pozole )

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 39 reviews

Description

A flavorful Mexican Stew called Pozole Verde! This version is lightened up with chicken (instead of pork) and is the loveliest vibrant green! Loaded up with veggies, this makes for a healthy, delicious dinner with lots of texture and flavor. Perfect for entertaining!

Ingredients

Units Scale
 
  • 8 cups flavorful chicken stock (see notes)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander ( see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried Epazote (optional) or sub 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use thighs)
  • ——–
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husked and halved (about 12 golf ball sized tomatillos)
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and halved (add 1 more for extra spicy)
  • 6-8 large garlic cloves
  • ——-
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked hominy- or three 15 oz cans rinsed and drained.
  • 1 whole bunch cilantro, tender stems OK

OPTIONAL Toppings: Sliced avocado, Mexican sour cream, lime wedges, crumbled queso fresco, chopped scallions, toasted pepitas, sliced radishes, thinly sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, crispy tortilla chips, fresh corn kernels, black beans, hot sauce.


Instructions

Cook the chicken: In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, bring the chicken stock, salt, coriander, cumin, oregano, epazote, cumin and pepper to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer gently over low heat until they’re tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and shred the meat, skim the stock, and return the chicken back to the stock.

Make the Verde Sauce: In a blender, add one cup of water. Add tomatillos, onion, garlic, poblanos and jalapeno garlic. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides if necessary.

In a skillet,  heat the oil and add tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce turns a deep green, about  10 minutes.  To the blender ( it’s ok if its not rinsed) ladle in 1 cup of broth from the chicken soup pot, set aside.

Pour the cooked Verde sauce into the chicken soup pot. Add the 3 cups of the hominy (reserving 1 cup) and bring to a gentle simmer over moderate heat.

Add the cilantro and their tender stems  into the blender with the chicken stock, cover tightly with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth. Add the reserved 1 cup of hominy. Blend again until smooth. If you need more liquid to get the blender going, just ladle from the pot.  Add this to the soup.

Taste the soup.  Season with salt, pepper and cook on warm just until heated through -do not boil, or you will lose the lovely color. If soup lacks depth, add more salt and or a couple of chicken bouillon cubes ( or a couple teaspoons of chicken boullion paste or even a splash of soy sauce). The goal here is to get enough depth in the soup to balance out the tartness from the tomatillos and heat from the chilies.

Serve the Posole in bowls, along with sour cream and any or all of the sides, letting people add whatever toppings they want.


Notes

To make this VEGAN: Sub flavorful veggie broth for the chicken broth. Sub 3 cans black beans or pinto beans for the chicken. You could add other veggies here- sauteed bell pepper or zucchini. The challenge will be getting the broth flavorful enough to hold up to the heat.

If your soup lacks depth, add a couple of extra boullion cubes or teaspoons of this chicken or veggie broth boullion paste. It will help a lot!

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 5.6 g
  • Sodium: 837.3 mg
  • Fat: 7.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.3 g
  • Protein: 28 g
  • Cholesterol: 73.7 mg

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Comments

  1. This was very easy to follow! Love the flavors! Next time I will add two jalapeños for spice! Thank you family love it!

  2. Great recipe. Used rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken. Next time, will use 2 jalapenos, since I like more heat!






    1. Hi Charlie- You are welcome to give it a try- it would probably mellow the acidity.

  3. Love this soup! I have been making it for about 2 or 3 years and nothing else says “yummy, fresh, comfort” for fall, winter and spring like pozole Verde! Mexican oregano can be hard to find where I live, so I order from Penzy’s. Gave my brother some since he and his wife have discovered Pozole….they love Mexican oregano over other varieties!






  4. Love this soup
    I had to make many adjustments. Didn’t buy enough tomatillos. The one I got were not the freshest I am sure. Also didn’t have Mexican oregano . Oh yeah short on the poblano chilies.
    Overall thought love it
    I might use canned tomatillos next time. I live in the interior Thompson Valley in BC Canada.needed ingredients aren’t always available.
    A must try for sure and I liked it. No love it!

    1. I’m surprised that you can even get fresh tomatillos in B.C.! I’m from Texas, so they are plentiful, but I see no reason why canned ones wouldn’t work. You can get Mexican oregano on Amazon but i’ve got both and there isn’t a huge difference. Bon Appetit!

  5. Perfect dish to kick off the fall season. So delicious and comforting. I made a half recipe as written. I wouldn’t change a thing!






  6. I just discovered your site through this recipe on Spillt. I’m browsing all the other recipes but the bar has been set high with this one! The pozole was so, so great!! Full of fresh, bright flavors, super filling, and totally customizable with the ingredient options. I enjoyed with radish and cabbage, hubby had avocado. We both put a big chunk of queso fresco on top. We’re already looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow!

  7. This recipe looks fabulous!
    Are the poblanos to be blistered first, or simply chopped in their original state? Thank you.

    1. Hi Michele, you are welcome to add that step if you prefer- but here I’ve simplified the recipe and just diced them raw, saving a step. Up to you!

  8. I forgot to mention using Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde in lieu of the tomatillo sauce–certainly made for a fast recipe!

  9. I totally cheated making this recipe–used Costco rotisserie chicken, Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock, and frozen posole (I live in NM). I did grind coriander and cumin seeds!
    Family loved it even with shortcuts.






  10. Deliciousness in a bowl! Every time I make this, it is wonderful. I have introduced many friends/family to this and they all want the recipe! I freeze it as well, to have it ready to go when I have a craving!






  11. This is a really great recipe. I’m just giving it 3 starts because it was a bit too “sour” for me. I love tomatillo salsa so I thought I would like it in Pozole, but this was a little too much for me. Maybe I’m just a red pozole kind of gal. If you know that you love tomatillos, you will love this recipe!






  12. Delightful, delicious, easy, and fun to make. I am using this recipe to make my family a Christmas Eve dinner. Thank you for sharing this, Sylvia! 💖






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