Chicken Chili Verde Recipe (Stovetop or Slow Cooked) - Dr. Axe

Chili Verde Recipe (with Chicken Instead of Pork)

Chicken chili verde - Dr. Axe

Traditionally, chili verde is a flavorful stew made with pork, usually pork shoulder to be exact. The “true” or  “authentic” chili verde recipe will vary somewhat depending on who you ask, but, in general, the recipes seem to be quite similar.

Chili verde is Spanish for green chili. Chili verde is a slow cooked stew of meat, green chili peppers and tomatillos. Chili verde can be anywhere from moderately spicy to very spicy in taste — it all depends on the heat of the peppers.

This recipe for chili verde uses chicken rather than pork and includes a few short cuts to make this recipe quicker to make yet still just as packed with flavor. (You can also have a slow cooker chili verde with the same ingredients. See bottom of post to find out how.)

This chicken chili verde recipe is not only loaded with protein and nutrients — 42 grams of carbs, 23 grams of fat and 54 grams of protein per serving! — it is a rich and comforting stew that leaves you satisfied without feeling stuffed. If you like your food super spicy, then you can even opt to throw in some even spicier peppers like a serrano pepper.

Chili verde ingredients - Dr. Axe

What Is Chili Verde?

The base for chile verde is a roasted tomatillo and chile sauce called salsa verde. Salsa verde ingredients typically include chicken bone broth, tomatillos, garlic and roasted green chilis. Chili verde recipes usually call for a good amount of slow cooking so that the flavors can really come together, resulting in rich and complex sauce.


There are a lot of recipes out there for pork chili verde, pork verde and pork green chili, but I highly recommend avoiding pork as your meat of choice. I recommend using organic chicken instead or you can even skip the meat all together if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. You could also use grass-fed beef as your protein here.

Any green chili recipe can be eaten on its own, but some consumers prefer to eat it along with tortillas or tortilla chips so that they don’t miss a drop of that delicious verde sauce. You can also take the final product and wrap it in a taco or burrito, or you can pour green chili over rice.

How to Make Chili Verde

If you’re wondering how to make chili verde, it’s definitely not too hard, even if you’re a novice in the kitchen. This recipe is a healthy option for lunch or dinner. Leftovers can also be used for breakfast when combined with scrambled eggs, put inside an omelette or added to a potato hash. No matter how you use chili verde, it’s always super flavorful.

First, you’ll need to chop the chicken breasts, red onion, jalapeño pepper and cilantro.

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and onions. Sauté for the onions for a few minutes, then add the chicken for another minute or so. Now you’re ready to add everything else to the pot.

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.

Chili verde step 6 - Dr. Axe

Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for one hour, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Once the chicken is cooked through and you’ve given the stew enough time to simmer, it’s ready to be served.

You can also prepare this entire dish in a slow cooker and cook for either 6 or 8 hours. Ideally, the onions and chicken are sautéed before. A slow cooker chicken chili verde may taste even more authentic because it allows the flavors to really meld.

Top the chili verde with fresh cilantro.

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Chicken Chili Verde Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Chili verde is Spanish for green chili. Chili verde is a slow cooked stew of meat, green chili peppers and tomatillos. It’s surprisingly easy to make and is absolutely delicious.


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped
  • two 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • one 26-ounce can crushed tomatillos
  • two 24-ounce cans salsa verde
  • one 4-ounce can green chiles
  • 3 cups chicken bone broth (or 2 scoops of protein powder from bone broth mixed with 3 cups of water)
  • 1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 2 limes


  1. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and onions.
  2. Sauté for few minutes before adding the chicken breast. Sauté for another minute or so.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 1 hour, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 F.
  5. You can also follow the same instructions to cook in a slow cooker. Cook for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Serve in big soup bowls and top with fresh cilantro.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 dish (613g)
  • Calories: 589
  • Sugar: 11.3g
  • Sodium: 730mg
  • Fat: 22.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.6g
  • Fiber: 11.5
  • Protein: 54g
  • Cholesterol: 118mg

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  1. Jasmine on

    OMG!!!! I love Chile Verde, and to have a chicken substitute sounds amazing. I’m so happy you shared this recipe!!


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