Green Pozole, or Pozole Verde, is a soul-warming Mexican stew full of shredded chicken and hominy in a green chile broth. It’s absolutely delicious, easy to make and perfect to take the cold weather chill out of any day.
This traditional pozole soup is a great recipe especially in the cooler months.
‘Posole’ is the name for hominy as well as the vibrant green dish, and without the hominy there is no true pozole. It’s easy to make even on busy weeknights, freezes well and is perfect for gatherings and celebrations.
This pozole recipe is a traditional Mexican soup recipe gifted to me from a Latina friend. We are delighted to share it with you too!
What is Green Pozole?
Tangy tomatillos along with other green chiles give this chicken pozole verde it’s gorgeous green color. The tomatillos also create a lighter, tangier flavor to the broth.
It’s a hearty dish without being heavy.
If you aren’t familiar with hominy, it looks like large corn kernels. The difference between hominy and regular corn is that hominy is soaked in a solution of calcium hydroxide (lime).
The flavor and texture are different than corn as well. Hominy is available in yellow or white, with yellow being slightly sweeter of the two. Either can be used in this recipe.
In our recipe we roast the tomatillos, fresh chiles, garlic and onion for the broth. It caramelized the sugars and gives a delicious flavor.
If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine this is a must make recipe.
What’s the difference between Red Pozole and Green Pozole?
We also have a recipe for a short cut slow cooker Red Pozole (or Pozole Rojo) which is delicious. The difference between the two is mainly about the chilies being used.
The green version included tomatillos, poblano chilies, jalapenos or serrano chilies. They blend to great the green appearance and have a different flavor.
The broth for this recipe is lighter with a bit of a tangy flavor and subtle heat. Green pozole also typically uses chicken as we have here.
Red pozole uses a red chile sauce made from different chilies with an earthy flavor. It’s also common to find pork shoulder in the red version.
Both share the wonderful toppings of radishes, finely shredded cabbage, avocado and more.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Boneless skinless Chicken Thighs. can use chicken breast or rotisserie chicken deboned
Onion. Use a white onion or yellow onion. Cut each onion into large piece or quarters; keep separate as they will be used in different parts of the recipe.
Garlic. Full garlic heads will be used. One to simmer with the chicken and the other will roast for the soup. Slice to top of the hard off to expose some of the cloves and peel away any excess outer papery skin. – use the complete heads. You will just slice off a little from the top to allow the garlic to really season the broth
Water. Used to cook the chicken thighs.
Salt. We recommend kosher salt which is a less salty flavored salt.
Tomatillos. You’ll use 2 pounds (about 20 tomatillos) peeled and rinsed. Tomatillos, also called ‘husk tomatoes’ aren’t actually tomatoes but look like green tomatoes.
Remove the outer papery husk and rinse the fruit (it has a slightly sticky feel to the skin). They are available at the grocery store.
Poblano Chiles. This will be roasted, seeded and peeled for the broth.
Jalapenos or serrano chiles. Jalapeno peppers are slightly less spicy than serrano peppers. Either can be used.
Cilantro. Some fresh cilantro is added to the posole as it cooks and also used as an optional topping.
Mexican Oregano. Regular oregano can be substituted.
Hominy. You’ll need 28 ounces;1 large can or 2 14-ounce cans of hominy. Drain and rinse the hominy. White or yellow hominy can be used.
Chicken Stock. Use low sodium chicken stock or chicken broth.
Radishes. Thinly sliced radishes are added on the stew before serving. They give a nice crunch and flavor.
Cabbage. Finely shredded cabbage or lettuce can be added.
Limes. Lime wedges can be served with the posole. It is tangy naturally so allow diners to choose to add squeeze of lime individually.
Avocado. Fresh sliced or cubed avocado.
Tostadas. These are crispy tortillas. Any brand can be used. Or you can use tortilla chips to scoop or crush on top of the soup.
Tongs. For turning the roasting vegetables.
Gallon Ziploc bag. Easy to use to steam the chilies before removing their skin. A large food storage container with lid or mixing bowl with plastic wrap can also be used.
Large Dutch oven or large stockpot
Rimmed baking sheet
How to Make Green Pozole – Step-by-Step
This recipe has three stages: cooking and flavoring the chicken, roasting the vegetables and making the final pozole.
STEP 1. Preparation
Place an oven rack on the top setting. Preheat the broiler to high heat.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet (or two) with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. A non-stick baking sheet can also be used.
STEP 2. Cook the chicken
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven add water, 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, salt and chicken thighs (photo 1-2). Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
STEP 3. Roast vegetables
While chicken is cooking, place tomatillos, poblano peppers, 1 onion, 1 garlic head, and the jalapenos on the prepared baking sheet (photo 3).
Place the pan under the broiler and broil till the tops of the chilis begin to blacken and bubble. Using tongs, turn the chilis and tomatillos over to the other side. Broil each side till bubbled and blackened (photo 4).
Remove cookie sheet and place the chilis in a gallon Ziploc bag. Let them steam for 5 minutes.
Remove chilis one at a time with the tongs and carefully remove blackened skins. With a sharp paring knife also remove the stems and seeds.
STEP 4. Blend
Place the roasted chilis, onion, and tomatillos in a blender. Cut or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin into the blender and blend till smooth (photo 5).
CAREFULLY REMOVE THE LID by lifting one side of the lid at a time.
STEP 5. Shred the chicken
When the chicken has cooked, turn off the heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the remaining ingredients including the cooking liquid. Shred the chicken using two forks or a stand mixer.
STEP 6. Make the pozole
To the same Dutch oven or pot add the oregano, hominy, shredded chicken, chicken stock and pureed green sauce (photos 7-8). Add a 4-5 sprigs of fresh cilantro (photo below).
Simmer for 15-20 minutes or longer.
STEP 7. Serve!
Serve with toppings.
Simmering builds flavor. The pozole will be done in the time noted but simmering on low heat longer builds more flavor. It can also be made ahead and reheated with also allows more flavor to develop.
Chicken shredding tip. Use a hand held or stand mixer on low speed to shred the cooked chicken. Do not over shred it.
Blending the roasted vegetables make need to be done in two batches. Split the tomatillos between the batches. Because they have more liquid the blender will process the chilies better mixed with the tomatillos.
How to Store
Store in an an airtight container or sealed glass jar for up to 4-5 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
How to Freeze Pozole
Allow it to cool. Do not add toppings before freezing. Place in a freezer-safe airtight container (leaving room for expansion on the top) and freeze for up to 3 months.
I love using this freezer block maker to freeze the soup in bags. It’s a mold that forms in the bag and after it’s frozen you have easily stackable bags of soup!
Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
More recipes you’ll love!
Green Pozole with Chicken (Pozole Verde)
- 2 cups water
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow or white onions cut into large pieces, divided
- 2 garlic heads top sliced off
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 pounds tomatillos husk removed and rinsed (approximately 20)
- 4 poblano peppers
- 2 jalapenos or serrano peppers
- 1 tablespoon mexican oregano
- 1 28-ounce can hominy drained and rinsed
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 bunch cilantro divided
- 1 bunch radishes sliced
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- 3 limes cut into wedges
- 2 avocados sliced
- 4 tostadas or tortilla chips
- Place an oven rack in the top position. Preheat the broiler on high heat.Line 1-2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray (or use a non-stick rimmed baking sheet)
Cook the Chicken
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven add the water, 1 cut onion, 1 head of garlic, salt and chicken thighs. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Roast the vegetables
- While chicken is cooking, place tomatillos, poblano peppers, 1 cut onion, 1 garlic head, and the jalapenos on the prepared pan.
- Place the pan under the broiler and broil till the tops of the chilis begin to blacken and bubble. Using tongs, turn the chilis and tomatillos over to the other side. Broil each side till bubbled and blackened.
- Remove pan from the oven and using tongs place the chilis in a gallon Ziploc bag*. Let them steam for 5 minutes.
- Remove chilis one at a time with the tongs and carefully remove blackened skins. With a sharp paring knife remove the stems and seeds. Repeat until all the chilis have been peeled, deseeded, and trimmed.
- Place the prepared chilis, onion and tomatillos in a blender. Cut or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the blender. Puree till smooth. NOTE: it may necessary to be process in batches based on blender size. If making two batches divide the tomatillos between the two batches for easiest blending.
- CAREFULLY REMOVE THE LID by lifting one side of the lid at a time. Since the contents are hot the pressure inside the blender could cause the sauce to jump up and out of the blender and could burn you if the lid is removed too quickly.
Shred the chicken
- When the chicken has cooked, remove from the heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the cooking ingredients. Shred the chicken using two forks or on low speed using a hand or stand mixer.
Make the pozole
- Using the same large pot or Dutch oven, add the oregano, hominy, shredded chicken, and chicken stock. Add 4-5 sprigs of cilantro.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes or longer.
- Serve the soup hot topped with fresh finely shredded cabbage, thin sliced radishes, fresh avocado slices, fresh chopped cilantro, and fresh lime wedges.