Pozole Verde is a comforting and delicious Mexican stew filled with tender pork (or chicken) and hominy in a flavorful green chile broth made from tomatillo, poblano, serrano, and jalapeño peppers. Serve with toppings like crushed tortilla chips, shredded cabbage, sour cream, and shredded cheese, this amazing stew is easy to make, gluten-free, and freezer-friendly!
The Best Pozole Verde Recipe
There are countless versions of pozole, but this one is definitely the best. Made with both chicken and pork, this incredible stew is flavorful, comforting, and so easy to make!
What is Pozole?
Pozole (also known as posole) is a classic Mexican stew made with hominy (dried corn kernels) and meat (usually pork) and comes with several optional garnishes including shredded lettuce or cabbage, thinly sliced radish, onion, cilantro, tortilla chips, and limes.
There are 3 main varieties of pozole: pozole rojo, pozole verde, and pozole blanco.
Traditionally made with pork, it seems that these days more and more pozole verde recipes are being made with chicken. Chronically indecisive, I chose to make this recipe with both chicken thighs and pork butt. Chicken is leaner, but pork really makes a beautiful broth. It was a perfect combination and the best of both.
So what makes pozole verde, pozole verde? The chiles. Unlike pozole rojo which used red chiles, pozole verde uses green chiles to uniquely flavor that delicious and beautiful broth I mentioned above. You’ll need tomatillos, poblano peppers, jalapeños, and serrano chiles, but the tomatillos are the most important.
What are tomatillos?
Tomatillos (also known as Mexican Husk Tomato) is a staple to Mexican cuisine and a primary ingredient in many dishes, like salsa verde and (this) pozole verde. When cultivated early (as needed for salsa verde, etc) the fruit is light and sour/tart tasting.
How to Make Pozole Verde
1. Cook the meat and simmer the broth.
In this first step we’re accomplishing two things. First, we’re simmering 5-6 pounds of chicken or pork (or a combination of both) with onion, garlic, cilantro, and salt in a mixture of water and chicken broth. As the meat simmers and cooks on the stovetop it also flavors the broth. Total win-win!
Once the meat is cooked, it’s time to discard the cilantro leaves and onion (you can save them if you’d like) and set aside the head of garlic and meat in a large bowl. Although it is optional, I always strain my broth through a fine-mesh strainer. It adds an additional 5 minutes, but it makes a clearer broth.
If your original pot is larger, clean it out and return the broth back to the pot.
Shred the chicken and add to the pot. Return the chunks of pork to the broth and add the drained and rinsed hominy. Return to a gentle simmer.
2. Make the Salsa Verde:
To the bowl of a large blender add the tomatillos, poblanos, white onion, jalapeño, serrano pepper, garlic, cilantro, pepitas, salt, lime juice, and 1 cup of water (add more only if needed). You may need to do this in two separate batches. Puree until smooth.
With the soup simmering, add the prepared salsa verde to the soup. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the soup changes from bright vibrant green to a deep yellowish-green. Season to taste with additional salt or lime juice.
Pozole Verde Toppings
Include as many or as few as you’d like! The most common and traditional garnishes include:
- Shredded cabbage or lettuce
- Chopped onion
- Sliced radishes
- Lime wedges
- Corn tortillas
- Sour cream
- Mexican oregano
Storing and Reheating
- Storing leftovers: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: Allow the pozole to cool completely before transferring to airtight, freezer-safe storage containers or freezer-safe bags. Best if used within 2-3 months.
- Thawing and reheating: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop until simmering and heated through.
More authentic Mexican recipes to try next,
Have you tried making this Pozole Verde Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Pozole Verde Recipe (Green Pozole)
- 6 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs - or pork butt (see notes)
- 2 small yellow onions - peeled and quartered
- 1 head garlic
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro
- 1½ tablespoons sea salt
- 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
- water to cover
- 2 (28 ounce) cans hominy - drained and rinsed
For the Salsa Verde
- 1½ pounds tomatillos - husked and halved
- 2 poblano chiles - cored, seeded, and cut into quarters
- ½ large white onion - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño - seeded and roughly chopped (see notes)
- 1 serrano pepper - seeded and halved
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup pepitas
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1-2 cups water - or chicken stock (start with 1 cup)
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice - plus more to taste
- shredded cabbage or lettuce
- sliced radish
- Mexican oregano - (see notes)
- diced white or red onion
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- tortilla chips or tostada shells
Cook the Meat to Make the Broth
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven add the chicken or pork (or both), the onion, whole garlic, 1/2 a bunch of cilantro, salt, and chicken broth. Add additional cold water to cover the chicken and remaining ingredients (do not over-fill as it will dilute the flavor of the broth).
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until the chicken (and/or pork) are fully cooked – about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Use kitchen tongs to remove the onion and cilantro from the pot (it's ok if some of it is left behind). Discard or use in another recipe. Remove the garlic and set it aside. Carefully remove the chicken (and/or pork) from the pot and set it aside in a clean bowl to cool. Very carefully strain the remaining broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a separate pot.
- If the second pot is large enough to hold the broth, meat, hominy, and additional liquid feel free to keep the strained broth in the pot. Otherwise, wash out the original pot and transfer the broth back to the large pot.
For the Salsa Verde
- To the bowl of a large blender add the tomatillos, poblanos, white onion, jalapeño, serrano pepper, garlic cloves (the garlic that was used to flavor the broth is ok to use in the salsa), cilantro, pepitas, salt, lime juice, and 1 cup of water (add more only if needed). Blend until smooth.
- Return the broth to a simmer. Shred the chicken and return it to the broth (add the chunks of pork butt back to the pot if using pork or a mixture of pork and chicken). Add the strained and rinsed hominy and mix well to combine.
- Add the salsa to the simmering soup. Allow everything to simmer all together for 20 minutes, or until the soup goes from a bright green to a deeper yellowish green.
- Season with additional salt and fresh lime juice, to taste.
- Serve in individual bowls garnished with all of your favorite toppings.
- Meat: Pozole verde can be made with either chicken or pork. For the healthiest and lowest calorie stew, use chicken breast meat. For the best tasting and most flavorful pozole verde, use 2 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and 4 pounds of pork butt (cut into large cubes with the fat!) The nutritional information above reflects what is shown in the images – pozole verde with chicken and pork.
- Japapeño and serrano peppers: If you enjoy spicy foods, then you will likely need to add 1-2 additional jalapeño and/or serrano peppers. As written, however, the stew should turn out quite mild, especially with toppings.
- Dried Mexican oregano: Mexican oregano is brighter with floral and citrus notes – less bitter or peppery- and a hint of anise. It’s found at many major grocery stores.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)