Chicken Pozole Verde

Kicking off Hispanic Heritage month with one of my favorite Mexican dishes ever- Pozole Verde! This soup is super comforting and packed with so much flavor. You have to try it!

What is Pozole?

Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup that is made with hominy and flavored with either red or green chiles. It is traditionally made with pork, but pozole verde is mostly made with chicken.

What makes Pozole unique from other soups is the main ingredient: Hominy. Hominy is dried kernels of corn that have been soaked & processed until they puff up. They have a wonderful aroma & complex flavors, often described as mild, earthy, and grainy. 

Pozole is traditionally eaten on Mexican Independence Day, Christmas, or any large family gathering. Every time I make it, it’s usually a large pot that can feed 6 to 8 people. It is a giant warm hug in a bowl- comforting and so important to Mexico’s history. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

I’ve made dozens of pots of pozole over the years, and nothing has ever tasted better than the techniques I’ve developed to make this recipe. 

Traditionally, a whole chicken is boiled and then seasonings and salsa verde is added. I prefer to make a “sofrito” first- with onions, garlic, and Mexican seasonings. This “sofrito” will develop some amazing flavor that is going to be added into the blender for the salsa verde.

What’s leftover in the pan will not be wasted- we will sear our chicken in it! I use a spatchcocked chicken.

I like to use a spatchcocked whole chicken for three reasons:

    • ALL the bones from a whole chicken will make a great chicken broth. Keep the spine that is removed to add to the broth!

    • I spatchcock it in order to get a good sear on it (more/flat surface area). That’s where a lot of flavor will develop, especially after being seared in the leftover bits from the “sofrito.”

    • I like to have a variety of white and dark meat in my pozole. If you don’t have a whole chicken or rather not spatchcock it, you can just use skin on chicken thighs, dumsticks, and/or breast. 


Different types of Pozole

There are actually many types of pozole! It can be made with chicken, pork, or any protein. I’ve had some seafood pozoles that were SO tasty!

Pozole can also come in different colors- red, green, and white (just like the Mexican flag). 

Red pozole (pozole rojo)

Made with red chiles, traditionally chile guajillo and chile ancho. 

Green pozole (pozole vere)

Made with green chiles and tomatillos. The chiles that are traditionally used are some combination of poblano, jalapeno, serrano, and cubanelle. 

White pozole (pozole blanco)

Made without chiles. This is what my Abuela made most of the time (she absolutely cannot handle spice haha). 


  • Chicken- for best results I recommend spatchcocking a whole chicken. You can also just use a cut up whole chicken, or chicken thighs/drumsticks/breasts. 

  • Hominy– Pozole is characterized mainly by this unique ingredient made from kernels of corn. Prepared hominy from the Mexican market is best, but you can also use canned hominy. I will show you how to prepare the canned stuff to make it better. 

  • Salsa verde- I’m using 3 of my favorite peppers for this recipe- poblanos, jalapenos, and serrano peppers. You can leave out the serranos if you don’t want it spicy at all. This salsa also has the “sofrito”, cilantro, and tomatillos.  

  • Seasoning- kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, and Knorr chicken bouillon.


  • Toppings-  Pozole would not be complete without all the delicious toppings! The usual toppings include cabbage, red radish, lime, avocado, onion, cilantro, and tostadas. I grew up eating pozole with iceberg lettuce, but cabbage is also very popular.

Prepared hominy

For the best results, I recommend making pozole with prepared hominy from the Mexican market. It takes longer to cook, but all you need to do is rinse and boil it in a separate pot for one and a half to two hours. 

How to make canned hominy taste better

Here’s a pro tip if you’re using canned hominy: toast them first! Rinse & pat them dry, then roast them in the same pan with the chiles and tomatillos. They taste better this way and the texture isn’t as mushy.

Canned hominy isn’t horrible, but it’s definitely not as good as using prepared hominy from the Mexican market. I know some of you may not have the time or option to use it, so here are my tips for the canned stuff: 

  • Rinse the can taste from the hominies

  • Drain and pat them dry

  • Spread evenly on the other half of the baking sheet for the chiles and tomatillos 

  • Toast them in the oven to bring out a wonderful corn flavor, until they have slightly browned on the edges

If you don’t feel like taking this extra step, its totally fine to just rinse and add them to your pozole. Since I am roasting the peppers on the same sheet anyway, I don’t see it as too much extra work.

Prepping the salsa verde

You can roast the peppers and tomatillos any way you prefer- air fryer, on the stove, over direct fire, or in the oven. If you’re using canned hominy, it is most convenient to roast the peppers in the oven so you can just add the hominy to the baking sheet.

Start by roasting the peppers and tomatillos on one side of the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes at 400degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven, then add the hominies on the other side, and continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes.  

How to eat pozole my way

Everyone has their preferred toppings and ways to eat pozole. I grew up adding onions, lime, avocado, iceberg lettuce, red radish, jalapenos, and cilantro to mine. I know- it’s a lot of toppings! But they all come together so well and just make the dish complete. 

Another thing I like to do is spread some sour cream and Tapatio hot sauce on a tostada. I don’t know if this is a common thing for Mexicans, but I’m pretty sure my Abuela taught me this as a kid and I’ve been eating it that way ever since. It is SO good, even just as a snack! 

Chicken Pozole Verde

5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people


  • 4 lb spatchcocked whole chicken or thighs, drums, and/or breast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 lbs prepared hominy or 29 oz can hominy
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Knorr chicken bouillon and/or salt to taste

Salsa Verde

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 serrano peppers optional (spicy)
  • 6 tomatillos
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbsp Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups water


  • cilantro
  • red radish
  • iceberg lettuce or cabbage
  • avocado
  • lime
  • onion
  • jalapenos
  • tostada w/sour cream & hot sauce


  • If using prepared hominy from the Mexican market, you will need to boil them for at least an hour and a half before adding it to the soup. Rinse them thoroughly then boil in water over a gentle simmer uncovered until they have softened.
  • Roast your washed peppers and tomatillos on a large baking sheet. If using canned hominy, place the peppers all on one side, leaving the other side empty. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spatchcock your chicken- use heavy duty kitchen shears to remove the spine, then place the chicken breast side up and press firmly on the breast bone with your palms to flatten.
    Once flat, season on both sides with 1 tbsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Keep the spine that you removed! This will go into the broth too.
    Note: You can also just cut a whole chicken into pieces, or you can use skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts.
  • In a large pot, sauté the diced onions in 3 tbsp olive oil on medium low heat until translucent. Reduce the heat to low, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute or two. Add the cumin, Mexican oregano, and Knorr chicken bouillon.
  • Continue to sauté for 20 seconds. Don't let the spices burn. Then remove the onions and set them aside.
  • Add a 2 tbsp olive oil to the pot and increase the heat to medium. Then place the chicken skin side down (the removed spine too) for 3-4 minutes to get a good sear on the skin. Flip over and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add about 10 cups of water and two bay leaves, then bring to a gentle boil. Remove any scum that floats to the surface, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Flip the chicken over a few times if it isn't fully submerged in the water.
  • Meanwhile, the peppers and tomatillos should be ready to flip. If using canned hominy, rinse and pat them dry then spread them evenly on the other side of the baking sheet. Continue to roast for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove the skin and seeds from the poblano peppers. You can remove the seeds from the jalapenos too if you don't want it spicy.
  • Blend all the peppers, tomatillos, onion & garlic, cilantro, and 2 cups of water until smooth.
    *If using canned hominy, just add plain water to the blender. If you're boiling prepared hominy, add 2 cups of the boiling water.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. Shred the chicken and discard the bones. I like to include some of the chicken skin in my pozole but you don't have to.
  • Add the salsa & hominy to the pot Taste the stock and add a little Knorr chicken bouillon and/or salt if needed. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • While the broth is simmering and the chicken is cooling, prepare all the toppings.
  • Add the chicken back to the pot and heat through.
  • Divide the pozole into bowls and add whatever toppings you like. You can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Keyword Chicken Posole, Chicken Pozole, Green Posole, Green Pozole, Hominy, Posole, Posole Verde, Pozole, Pozole Verde, Soup

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    5 stars
    I’m so excited the weather is getting cold because that generally means I get to crank out this recipe. Today is my 4th time making this recipe. I made it with a rotisserie chicken from Costco every time since it’s a bit easier for me and Stella’s pozole verde recipe is just so darn delicious. This one is definitely one of my favorites 😋

    1. Lisy

      5 stars
      I was thinking of doing the same. Did you add the whole costco chicken?

  2. Tristan

    5 stars
    After making your Al Pastor twice to rave reviews, I decided that on this rainy Florida Sunday I would place an order from Fresh Market and make your Pazole. This is an unbelievable recipe. I did not use the spinach (yucky) and I did not peel the poblanos because I wanted the char from the skin – don’t know if this had a negative impact on flavor but it was delicious so only up from here.
    I added an extra jalapeño from my garden because we like spicy. This was really really good. Trying your carne asada recipe tomorrow.

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Tristan, thank you so much for leaving a comment! If you didn’t feel like there was a negative impact on flavor, then it’s probably not necessary to remove the skins (will save you some time). However, the poblanos will still have that roasted char flavor whether you remove them or not. I’m so glad you enjoyed this even though it’s not how it’s traditionally made. I think you will also love the carne asada 🙂

  3. Em Gomez

    5 stars
    Made the recipe almost exactly, minus the spinach. Delish! And the tostada idea? Genius. Thanks for making such great recipes!

  4. Kathiryn

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to make this <3

  5. Chels

    5 stars
    The best!!

  6. Julz

    How many spinach should i put?? It doesn’t list on ingredients but it says on the instructions

    1. stellanspice

      Sorry about that! I will make sure to fix it. Just a small handful is fine, maybe around 2 oz? You don’t need that much, it’s just for color so you can even leave it out if you want 🙂

  7. Jesse

    I don’t see where the 4 cloves of garlic are used in the recipe steps. I am guessing with the onion? Thank you!

    1. stellanspice

      Oh yes it’s supposed to be after the onions are translucent! Thank you for letting me know- it has been corrected now 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    5 stars
    So good

  9. Ari

    Hi! I was wondering if the salsa can be made ahead of time? I’m wanting to make this but not sure I’ll have time to make it all at once haha

    Thank you ✨

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Ari, yes the salsa can be made ahead of time. Just keep it in the refrigerator before you plan to use it, for no longer than 3 days 🙂

      1. Anonymous

        Perfect! Thanks for responding so quickly ??✨

  10. Maria Ponce

    5 stars
    Made this last night and my family loved it! I left the seeds except for the poblano peppers and it was spicy enough for my family to eat and enjoy! Family requested to save the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Maria, that is my sister’s name 🙂 I am so glad your family enjoyed the pozole verde. Thank you so much for your comment!

  11. Kuenok

    5 stars
    Just made this for my family – and even my “never eat anything green” carnivore/simple carbs son loved it! So delicious and full of umami!

    1. stellanspice

      I’m so glad your family loved it! Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  12. Anonymous

    5 stars
    made it tonight, it was great!

  13. Yamilet

    Hi how many servings will this make?

    1. stellanspice

      This can feed between 6-8 people. If I’m just making it for me and my husband, I usually portion it out and freeze the rest. You can freeze for up to 3 months- it’s just as delicious reheated 🙂

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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