Chili Verde Recipe (with Chicken Instead of Pork)


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. This chicken chili verde recipe is not only loaded with protein and nutrients, 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 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.

Chili verde step 1 - Dr. Axe

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.

Chili verde step 2 - Dr. Axe

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

Chili verde step 3 - Dr. Axe

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and onions. Sauté for the onions for 5 minutes. Now you’re ready to add everything else to the pot.

Chili verde step 4 - Dr. Axe

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

Chili verde step 5 - Dr. Axe

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

Chili verde step 6 - Dr. Axe

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

Chili verde step 7 - Dr. Axe Chili verde step 8 - Dr. Axe

Top the chili verde with fresh cilantro.

Chili verde recipe - Dr. Axe

Total Time

Prep: 10 minutes; Total: 1 hour 10 minutes



Diet Type


  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • two 16-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
  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2–3 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed (seeds removed, optional*), chopped
  • 1 cup 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 5 minutes.
  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. Top with fresh cilantro.

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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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